Black Friday South Africa 2018

Black Friday South Africa 2018

Let’s get to the items you [probably] want to know:

  1. What should I put on sale?
  2. What’s the discount I should offer?
  3. How do I still make money?
  4. How do I get noticed? / Cutting through the clutter 101
  5. What should I send and when do I send my emails?
  6. It’s on the 23rd of November 2018

Let’s go through each one, one at a time.

1) What should I put on sale?

Let’s keep it simple, simple simple simple. If you don’t get these two things right, forget Black Friday. Preferably don’t do anything.

The product you have on offer needs to be one of the top products you sell.

No brainer black friday deal

No brainer Black Friday deal

(Don’t try to get rid of the old stock/swamp donkey products you have in the backroom)

It’s got to be a no-brainer deal.

Test this, get your loved ones to ask their friends. Think about the discounts you have given in the past. Go nuts here. Low low low with extra bolt on products/services.

To recap, get this right or skip Black Friday for 2018:

No brainer deal on a product that’s in demand

2) How much of a discount should we offer?

I couldn’t find stats for South Africa, though I did find some data from the states. for 2016 had these values, and this should give you a ballpark of where you need to aim:

  • Travel: 60%.
  • Office supplies: 50%.
  • Electronics: 47%.
  • Clothing: 32%.
  • Gifts: 31%.

3) How do I still make money?

If you worked with some of the group buying sites in SA about eight years ago (like, you might have felt like there was no way to make money by selling items on their website. They hammered on that being on Groupon was about exposure, and as all musicians and artists will tell you, Woolies doesn’t let you pay for your groceries with exposure.

Here are some methods:

a) Mystery Margin

Mystery margin bundle

Mystery margin bundle

Bundle your top product with another product to create a mystery margin. By doing this, the consumer can’t precisely tell the price of each item. (The mobile operators were fantastic at doing this with our mobile contracts)

Combining this additional item in your gift guide will help with the question a consumer will have of: “Why do I need to buy this other thing?”

b) Additional discount on a larger basket or total purchase

Have your top Black Friday product at a reasonable discount. Offer it at an extra discount if the person buys more. I will leave the maths to you, though in broad strokes you could offset the discount this way by still offering a product at a low price.

c) Unlock an additional VIP discount by referring 20 people.

You may think this is just an additional cost, though work out how much you are paying to get people on your database. You may be as high as R25 per new email address. It may make sense to future spend this money for more eyeballs in 2019.

4) How do I get noticed? / Cutting through the clutter 101

a) Peacocking on the emails.

Peacocking is all about being fancy, just to get noticed. Think about the idiot at a nightclub with a pink cowboy hat. It’s silly, but he probably is going to speak to more girls.

Here is an [incomplete] list of ideas to think about

  • Animated gifs
    Animated images
  • Moving background images
    Moving background image
  • Name merge on images
    Name merge on emails
  • Hourly deals with a countdown of stock and time on the deal items
    Seating being booked
  • Countdown Timer to deal open time
    Countdown timer

b) Personalisation [Like an F’n boss]

Personalised image

c) A bit of repetition

Have a November content plan, which allows you to send a bit more than usual and remind people about your deals.

November Content Plan

November Content Plan

d) Timing is [almost] everything

Your company has transactional emails, things like password reset emails or notifications like “your parcel is out for delivery”. These are incredibly important places to let people know about the upcoming deals. You can send a bit more than usual for this special; we have covered frequency before if you want to recap.

e) Value value value

It’s one thing having a significant discount on a top product. You may think this is enough. Though some competitors are going even further on the day, and to them it makes sense. People are going crazy to shop.

Alibaba offers gifts below $2 when you buy certain products. If you have some freebee’s you use, why not add them now. It’s one day you are doing it for and if you sell more, great right?!

5) What should I send, and when do I send my emails?

So the content is all about specials, deals, etc.

Sales are great, its the content we as marketing teams mostly want to send as it mostly gets sales.

We still need to keep some email marketing best practices in mind, here are some thoughts:

1) Segment your database

If you know, some of your specials are more important to specific subsets. Segment and send different content to these segments, promoting the products they would want to see.

2) Personalise the email as much as possible.

See our enrichment blog post about some of the additional data we can find for you and how this could help you.

3) Live content with loss aversion

Have a look at the peacocking examples for:

  • Countdown timers
  • Stock levels counting down

4) Let people know what’s going to be on special, and the times they are on.

5) If you are running a few deals over the day:

Split specials by time and you have pre-configured the campaigns to go then let people add themselves to the lists, so they only get what they want.

6) Use hero images of what’s on special.

7) Start sending your campaigns three weeks before and ramp it up as the day arrives.

Send a few on the day too.

8) Offer sneak peaks of the specials coming up

9) Create a gift guide for your customers.

For him, her, kids, boss, team member etc.

10) Offer mystery savings before the time (this is great for engagement)

You can use a tool like Zembula which allows you to add scratch cards, peel it offers and other interactive experiences to your online store.

Scratch reveal

11) Send SMS messages (if you have mobile numbers)

Getting started.

We are a full-service digital communication agency, which means we come up with ideas for your company, put the plans together, set everything up and run it all for your company.

We do this for many companies (that you already know)

If you would like us to do this type of work for you, please make contact with us.


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Greg Phillips
Greg Phillips
Founder and CEO of TouchBasePro.

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