A flash sale is a great way to generate a lot of sales and excitement in a very short period of time. The best way to do this is to plan it several weeks out, bring in your marketing partners to promote the event, and build anticipation among your prospects.
How do you do that? By following this 25-point checklist. Take a look…
1. Define a Goal
The very first thing you need to do is define your goal for this sale. Ideally you should have just one primary goal to focus on, though you may have secondary goals as well. These goals may include:
- Customer acquisition.
- Generate sales for frontend profits.
- Boost backend profits.
- Create affiliate excitement.
- Create a buzz in the niche about your products.
- Establish yourself as a “big player” in the niche.
- Build your mailing lists.
- Generate excitement about a particular product.
Pick your primary goal, and then move onto the next step…
2. Pick An In-Demand Offer
No matter what your goal is, you need to promote an in-demand offer. Throwing a flash sale for one of your most popular products serves this purpose. However, you can also run a flash sale on a new offer—just make sure it’s something your market really wants.
In other words, do your market research first! Specifically:
- See what the hot sellers in your niche are in marketplaces like ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, and even Amazon.com.
- Survey your market to see what they want.
- Take note of what the top marketers in your niche are selling on their websites, through their newsletters, and to their social media followers.
- Check out what type of products people are paying money to advertise on Google, on top sites in your niche, and even on Facebook.
- Use a keyword tool like WordTracker.com or MarketSamurai.com to uncover what your niche is looking for.
Once you have a popular product in hand, then move on…
3. Choose a Date
Now choose a date for your flash sale. Keep these points in mind:
- Choose a date that is at least two to three weeks away. This gives you and your affiliates time to prepare.
- Research the date to find out if there is anything major going on at the same time. For example, if a really popular marketer in your niche is launching a huge product on the same date, you’ll have a harder time getting affiliates onboard and getting customers to take notice.
4. Decide on Your Sale Offer
Here’s where you decide on the following points:
- What all will you include in the offer? For example, are you going to toss in an extra bonus or two to make the offer even more attractive?
- What percentage-off or discount are you offering? Hint: A flash sale should be a really attractive offer, such as 40% off or more the regular price.
- What percentage will you give to affiliates? This is partly going to depend on your goals. If you’re looking at building a list, getting affiliates really involved and generating backend profits, then you may consider giving all or most of the frontend commissions to affiliates. If you’re looking at generating a lot of frontend profits, then you can offer a more standard 50% commission rate for affiliates. (This is assuming you are selling digital products—commissions of course are smaller if you’re selling physical products.)
5. Determine How Long It Will Run
As the name implies, a flash sale happens fast – it’s usually over in a matter of hours. Generally, this may be anywhere from four hours twenty-four hours.
- Determine the start and end times.
- Figure on running it for at least 8-12 hours for maximum exposure.
- Take your prospects’ time zones and activities (such as work) into consideration when deciding the start and end times. In other words, you don’t want the entire sale to fall within the work day, otherwise you’ll have a lot of people missing out.
6. Create Marketing Materials
This is where you create sales materials for your marketing partners for these three purposes:
- To build anticipation for the sale in the week leading up to the sale day.
- To announce the sale itself.
- To send out one or more reminders about the sale during the actual sale day.
Think about the communication channels both you and your affiliates use to reach prospects. Then create materials for these channels. For example:
- Blog posts
- Social media blurbs (short ones for Twitter, longer ones for platforms like Facebook).
- Text messages.
Once you’ve created these materials, upload them to the affiliate center for your partners’ convenience.
7. Inform Existing Partners of the Upcoming Sale
If you already have a team of affiliates, then now is the time to inform them of the sale.
- Tell them at least two weeks in advance of the sale so they have time to prepare. A longer lead time is preferable, as top affiliates usually have a full publishing schedule.
- Give your affiliates access to the product.
- Let them know how to promote (e.g., how to obtain get their affiliate link).
- Tell them about the marketing materials inside the affiliate center.
- Generate excitement around the event—talk about the commissions they’ll earn, the current conversion rate on the sales letter, etc.
- Give them a timeline so they know when to send out the pre-sale materials.
8. Recruit And Inform New Marketing Partners
If you’d like to make a really big splash on sales day, then you may consider recruiting new affiliate partners. You can do this yourself, or you can hire an affiliate manager or JV broker to do it for you.
As always, it’s easier to get people to say yes to your request if they already know, like and trust you. Here’s an example email or social media message you can send to these potential partners…
Subject line: I wanted you to be the first to know…
Hi [First Name],
[Your Name] here from [your site]. I’ve got a flash sale coming up in [number of weeks], and I wanted to extend a personal invitation for you to join in on this unique event where you can generate [percent] commissions – that’s [$ amount] for every sale you bring in.
Let me explain…
This sale is for the [name of product], which [quick description of the product]. This would be a good match for your audience because [explain reason].
You can take a look for yourself here:
This flash sale starts at [date and time] and ends [insert when it ends]. Because sale is so short, we’re expecting conversion rates above and beyond the normal [percent conversion rates]. That means those [$ amount] commissions are going to add up fast!
I’ve already set everything up for you so it’s super easy for you to take part in this event.
Here’s your affiliate link: [insert link]
Here’s where you can get a complete set of emails and ads to promote the event: [insert link]
Shoot me an email back to let me know if you’re on board! I look forward to working with you..
p.s. Those who jump in early get the biggest commission rates. Hit reply to let me know you’re in, and I’ll boost your commission rate to [percentage]…
9. Take Care Of the Tech Aspects
A popular, well-advertised flash sale can create a lot of traffic – and in turn, this heavy server load can create problems on your site. That’s why you’ll want to do the following:
- If you’re not every technical, then hire a tech whiz to handle this step.
- Make sure your web hosting account can accommodate a big spike in traffic and requests.
- If you have a dedicated server, be sure it’s ready for high traffic.
10. Prepare Customer Service
Another place where you’re likely to see a spike is in your customer service requests. That’s why you’ll want to make sure your customer service is ready to handle the load. This includes:
- Hiring additional help if needed.
- Training both new hires and existing staff on how to handle the inquiries that are likely to arise during the sale.
- Creating new FAQs and other materials to help cut down on customer service load during the sale.
- Offering multiple ways for prospects and customers to reach you, such as live chat and a help desk.
11. Test and Track Sales Copy
The idea here is that you want to optimize your copy so that you get maximum conversions during the sale. Steps to take:
- Use a quick way to generate traffic for your testing, such as Google AdWords and Facebook ads.
- Focus on the factors that will have the most impact, such as the headline, bulleted benefit list, P.S., price and call to action.
12. Prepare Your Own Emails and Blog Posts
You’ve already created materials for your affiliates and marketing partners. Now you need to create these same materials for yourself. This step is actually easy, because in most cases all you have to do is tweak the affiliate materials.
For example, whereas an affiliate email may refer to “John Doe’s new product,” you would tweak this to first-person language such as, “My new product.”
13. Create A Video
The next step is to create a short sales video to help drum up excitement the day of the flash sale. This is particularly important if your sales letter is a text letter, as offering a pre-sale video will help you reach more people.
- Keep it short, just two to three minutes long.
- Present a problem, highlight the signs of that problem, and then offer your product as the solution to the problem.
- Showcase the main benefits of your product.
- Provide a strong call to action, being sure to mention the flash sale to create urgency.
On sale day you’ll be posting this on YouTube, on your social media pages, as well as on your blog.
The next step…
14. Prepare Facebook Ads
To generate extra excitement on sale day, you’ll want to run some paid advertising. The Facebook ad platform is a good choice. The idea is to launch the ads on sale day, but of course you’ll want to prepare them in advance. This includes:
- Choosing an eye-catching graphic.
- Writing your ad.
- Selecting the target audience using Facebook’s ad platform editor.
- Setting it all up to start running at the appointed time and day.
- Double check everything to be sure the links, start time and end times are all correct.
15. Purchase Ads on High-Traffic Niche Sites
Same as above—you’ll want to prepare ads and set them to run on sale day. Most niche site owners set up and run ads manually, so you’ll need to make arrangements with the owner and pay in advance.
16. Start a Buzz on Social Media
- Building anticipation for the upcoming sale.
- Sharing graphics, videos or other content that are likely to go viral.
- Inserting a specific call to action encouraging people to share the content.
17. Inform Payment Processor
Your payment processor may suspect suspicious activity if suddenly you have a huge sales surge without warning –and they could temporarily suspend your account. That’s why you’ll want to do two things:
- Inform payment processor of the expected surge. Ideally, you should speak to a human on the phone about this, get the representative’s name, and ask them to email you about the call. (So you have proof that they were informed.)
- Make a “Plan B” in case your payment processor does go down. Just be sure that Plan B gives credit to affiliates, where applicable.
18. Set Up Backend Offers
If you haven’t already done so, be sure to build out your sales funnel on the backend of this offer. This may include:
- Inserting an order form upsell.
- Inserting backend offers in the product itself.
- Setting up an autoresponder sequence for these new customers with backend offers inserted into the sequence.
19. Remind Partners Of Upcoming Sale
Your job is to remind all marketing partners of the approaching sale, and let them know when to start promoting. So, for example:
- Let them know two weeks before the sale that they can start promoting one week out.
- About a week and a half before the sale let them know they can promote in three days.
- Remind them four days before the sale to do pre-selling.
- Remind them the night before the sale to promote the next morning.
- Remind them the day of the sale to promote hard.
TIP: You can automate all of these emails by loading them into an autoresponder.
20. Send Out Emails To Your List
Now you can start building anticipation by sending your pre-sale emails about one week before the sale starts and three or four days before the sale starts.
21. Email The Night Before
Now send out the final anticipation email the night before the sale to generate excitement. Be sure to list the benefits of the product, as well as remind people of how short the sale period is.
22. Upload The Offer Page
Do this the morning of the sale.
23. Test The Entire Sales Process
Run through all the links, forms and payment processor steps to make sure everything is in good working order.
24. Send Out Sale Day Materials
When the sale starts, send out all the sales materials you previously created, including emails, blog posts and social media posts.
25. Publish Last Chance Materials
Later in the day (a few hours before the sale ends) send out emails, blog posts and social media posts reminding people that this is their last chance to get the product at any incredible discount.
So there you have it – a complete 25-point checklist for running your very own super-profitable flash sale. Print this out and get to work setting up your sale today!