I dislike the overblown, frenetic, & scarcity-minded ethos of Black Friday. Plus, dignify always has our own one-day, once-a-year sale earlier in November. So: why participate in any of it?!
This is a tension that I have wrestled with over 6 holiday seasons, end every year, I’m back at the drawing board.
This year, we decided that yes, we would offer free shipping over the weekend as a BFCM (industry shorthand for Black Friday/Cyber Monday) bonus. And yes, what led us there was simple economics. It works, it makes money, it makes sense. But, probably not in the same way that you think...
In the world of online retail marketing, email is still King & Queen. It’s intimate, it’s direct, and as a business, you don’t have to pay every time you pop into someone’s inbox (unlike, say, showing an ad on Facebook or elsewhere, where you have to pay every time). This is why you see such common incentives to “Sign Up!” for mailing lists, and why so many retailers give discounts, downloads, or other goodies in exchange for your email address.
We, of course, email on the regular — our Saturday morning “Keep Up” email is a crucial piece of our dignify puzzle. I don’t give any incentive to sign up other than first-to-know access (which, for a shop full of one-of-a-kind items, is indeed a benefit!). But, I use the same “best practices” as any other online brand: I try to create content & provide writing and links that are interesting and appreciated by the audience who is receiving it.
The feedback I hear generally echoes that many of you find this true!
Two years ago, I tried an experiment. Instead of announcing a BFCM deal/bonus, and then trying to promote it & generate sales amidst the Black Friday noise, what if I just used the deal as an incentive for joining the email list?
I promoted this idea — sign up to find out what our Black Friday deal is — and, as a result, there were 120 new subscribers to our weekly email list. How many of them made purchases that weekend? 3. But, how many of those sign-ups purchased sometime over the course of the year? Many more, spending over $2,000. Two years later, the total spent by those BFCM sign-ups is now around $4,500.
I will be doing the same thing this year, this upcoming week. I think that our email content is good, the "Shop Good" message is important, and the conversations we have around here are valuable. And, I want more people to discover this!
I also, of course, want to sell blankets. Not to anyone who can't afford them, or as another item to covet, or to complete the "perfect" home decor. But, to the ones who want them, need them, value them. Yes. Let's keep this good work going.
Any thoughts? Questions? Disagreements? Share them in the comments below.
Looking back at some photos from last Christmas, I came across this screenshot from my phone that really made me laugh:
My husband was dropping off our parcels recently, and a woman working in our shipper's office said, "I was looking at your site, and I think I might buy some of these blankets this year as gifts; I'm mostly shopping online." Another employee chimed in, "I'm going to do all of my shopping online, too."
That evening, he went with our kids to the mall to pick something up (masked, natch), and as he surveyed the hallways — with some permanently closed stores, some shuttered from lack of employees, etc. — Wayne's thought was, "I think I need to do all my shopping at the mall!"
Recently, dignify received a review on our blankets that addressed the variety of our styles (color/pattern), and the contrast/matching choices that go into our kantha. Let's take a glimpse behind-the-scenes at the number of factors that contribute to these decisions.
How do we choose the fabric? How do we match saris to create the kantha blankets? Why are some combinations bad? Why aren’t there more grey/buttery yellow/navy blue color combos?
I know that many of you have wondered about these questions from time to time, too!