Black Friday is the day where you're make so many sales your store goes from in the red (owing money) to in the black (making money). To do that you need to make a lot of profit. The keyword there is profit not revenue. If you aren't making enough profit on each sale you could still be losing money.
Getting people in the door is easier said than done. To draw the crowds you have to offer discounts and those discounts start eating away at your profit. So it's a balancing act to offer the right discount to draw people in and still make enough profit.
The good news is that you don't have to run a Black Friday promotion like everyone else. You can give tiny discounts, freebies, or you don't have to run a promotion at all if you don't want.
I'm starting to plan next year's Lift Off Summit so I've been talking to customers as well as looking at what other summits are doing. And what's interesting is that they paint two different stories. So I thought I'd take you through my though process as I decide how I can make this summit valuable for attendees and myself.
A few weeks go I went to Craft + Commerce. It was put on the people behind Convert Kit to help bloggers make money. And I loved it. There were 200+ attendees. Mostly professional bloggers and people who want to sell things on their website. The only thing they have in common is that they value email lists.
It's easy to get carried away with automation. One of the best ways to connect with your audience is to create & send personal video messages.
When people talk about automation in the marketing world I sometimes get a bad taste in my mouth. Because it seems like they want to automate everything. And that's not something I believe in.
I want to be empathetic and I want to help people. And for me that means talking with people and not at them. Automation is powerful but you need to know when to use it. I believe you should automate systems not relationships.
Now in an ideal world there'd be a positive connection between the personal welcome videos and someone purchasing a product. And I was curious if this would help. So I actually ran a little experiment.
I sent 1/2 of the people a personal welcome video + welcome email. And the other half just got the welcome email.
And from the data here's what I found:
Lift Off Summit had 448 viewers (at the time of this writing)
I sent 209 personal video welcomes.
159 videos were opened
84 videos were watched
And 54% of the sales came from people who had a Bonjoro sent to them
But with the number of sales I had. That number is not enough to be statistically significant. So take the above with a grain of salt.
In terms of what it cost me. Bonjoro is free (with some nice features under their premium plan). The real cost was the amount of time. My typical welcome video was 2.5 minutes.
And sending 209 welcome videos at ~2.5 minutes a piece that's 8.7 hours!
So based on the ROI this wasn't a good investment. In fact if you're just looking to make money off of people online do not do this. It's not a good use of your time.
Luckily – that's not the best thing about Bonjoro. At least that's not where I found value.
Deep Customer Learning
Bonjoro is great at building authentic connections. People don't respond to welcome emails. Those are automated and companies rarely respond. If someone takes time to send you a personal welcome message you might actually respond to them.
I sent 209 videos. And I received 21 email responses to the Bonjoro welcome alone.
I learned so much about my viewers. I learned about their businesses, the products they're selling, how they found me & what they wanted out of my live event.
Ellen sells fragrances:
Thanks for checking it out! Everything is still in its incipient stages, so a lot of it is word-of-mouth based right now. Marketing and self-promotion have always been some of my biggest challenges, so I'm looking forward to the Summit and hoping I can learn a lot!
Carla sells furniture:
I’ve been doing my own websites for years, but this e-commerce stuff is fairly new. Even with some professional help, I’m amazed at how much extra time this takes! I just wanna get on to the fun stuff – making videos, blogging and connecting with people – so any shortcuts, or tips for managing inventory, customers & reporting would be helpful.
Looking forward to the summit – I’ll let you know when I come up with any more questions.
And Cara runs a small agency that wants to build more eCommerce sites:
I own a small web agency with one small WooCommerce e-commerce client. I noticed that Rebecca Gil and Chris Lema will be speaking at Summit and the schedule has such valuable content — just could not afford not to take part! So much to gain and to give back to my client base. Plus, I would like to take on more e-commerce sites and this will jump start my process.
This is just a paragraph or two from 3 of the 21 responses I got. I found this information extremely valuable.
Different Than an Email Auto Responder
I made jokes with people. When I accidentally pronounced their name wrong I asked them how to properly say it. And I shared a little bit about myself.
In some videos I was walking around down town and I talked about that, in some I was walking through the art district and I talked about that, for some I was on the patio outside my favorite coffee shop, and for others I was at my parents house in DC and was getting rained on.
Automation doesn't impress us. People taking time out of their day to make our lives better impresses us.
And I think there's another reason. When you give people personalized adviceyou're actually providing value.
Every time I prepared to send a personal video message I looked at the persons email address and if they had their own domain I would check it out. I found a pastry shop, and author, and all sorts of physical good stores. And based on what I found in their site recommended specific sessions at my summit.
So if you're looking to increase revenue don't sent personal welcome videos. If you're looking to be authentic, to connect with your audience, and to help people then use these videos. They're a great way connect.
Note: if you want me to send you a personal welcome email sign up for Lift Off Summit and I'll send you one. 🙂
PS: If you want to know how Lift Off Summit went I'll do a full write up next week.
My link to Bonjoro is a discount link. I get a discount on my plan if you upgrade to the premium plan. As you can see from this post I clearly enjoy the service and would recommend it even if there wasn't a discount available.