what I learned from hosting a black friday sale

Business

My Biggest Takeaways from Hosting a Black Friday Sale

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I’m gonna be real with you: I was super nervous about our MMC Christmas Sale aka hosting a Black Friday Sale. It wasn’t the numbers or the logistics that had my stomach in knots. It was the literal selling part.

 

If you’ve been in the MMC Mail Club for a little while, you might remember how I’ve been openly sharing about my tension with “internet marketing as we know it.”

 

I’ve been on my own journey, per se, to figure out how to run an internet business without selling like a total cheese ball.

 

I’ve asked myself over and over for weeks: Is it possible to market your business and sell from a place of authenticity? Yes, I realize authenticity is a 2018 cliche buzzword.

 

And I wrestled for weeks over how to host a sale and stay true to my core.

 

lessons learned after hosting a black friday sale, digital download shop, e-commerce black friday strategy, how to run a sale in business

 

My top 3 strengths (based on StrengthsFinder) are:

  1. Communication: People exceptionally talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
  2. Woo: People exceptionally talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with someone.
  3. Activator: People exceptionally talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They want to do things now, rather than simply talk about them.

 

Basically, I am really good at selling. When I believe in something, I can sell it. Naturally, I believe in my products.

 

Even though I am good at selling and deeply believe in our mission, I was still nervous about our MMC Christmas Sale. I didn’t want to add to the noise. I didn’t want to go back on my word of marketing this business differently. But this sale was important for my business, so I had to figure it out. Here’s what I did:

 

what I learned from hosting a black friday sale

 

My Biggest Takeaways from hosting a black friday sale

 

The Why: Instead of hosting another sale “just because everyone else does,” I thought long and hard about WHY I was going to do it. I realize my products are not cheap. They are big investments and some of my customers have to press pause and save up for a long time to be able to say yes. I respect that level of commitment and loyalty! I also realize some of my customers have invested in my products at full price (which I’m extremely grateful for!) and hosting a sale could allow them to get the next thing on their wish list sooner. The sales are a little way I can show my customers love!

 

The Takeaway: Hosting a sale is a way I can give back and show gratitude to my customers. And that is worth it.

 

During the Sale: I was the main person BTS. The gurus would probably gasp at this confession, but I literally ran the sale myself. I turned the daily deals off and on every day and I was the person behind the chat box. If you sent Team MMC an email, I was the person responding. If you chatted on our site, I was there to answer any questions and walk you through whether or not what you were looking for would be the best fit for your business. I could have had someone else do the talking, but I’m glad I didn’t. I got to connect with people who had been following MMC for awhile and hear their stories and business dreams. I got to cheer them on as they said yes or thank them even if it wasn’t a good fit.

If we do the daily deal style sale again next year, I’ll probably outsource the logistics of turning off and on the deals, but I definitely don’t want to give up being the main point of contact for our customer service!

 

The Takeaway: No matter how much we hope to grow, I never want to lose sight of who really makes this biz dream of mine possible. You. You matter. Your story matters. And you are the reason I do what I do. I can hire people to everything else, but I never want to grow too big to where I can’t connect with you!

 

My Non-Negotiable: I refused to start the Black Friday Sale on Thanksgiving. I wanted to be fully present with my family on Thanksgiving and not stressing about my business. I also didn’t want my customers stressing about missing out on a deal because they were spending time with their families.

Before Black Friday rolled around, I saw a commercial on TV where a family had just sat down over their Thanksgiving meal and began sharing what they were individually thankful for. When it came time for the mom in the commercial to share, she hopped out of her seat exclaiming how grateful she was for the deals she was going to get at the store and ran off to go shopping. In the middle of Thanksgiving with her family. While I got the humor in it, I was honestly just plain sad to see how real that theme actually is in our culture.

In my world, my family comes first. There are times when I mess it up and have to check myself, but nothing is more important than them. I don’t ever want my business to take precedence over my family. And don’t ever want to see it take precedence over yours. Keeping Thanksgiving (or any holiday) out of a sale is a non-negotiable for me!

 

The Takeaway: You get to choose how you run your business. Do what feels right. Forget the rest. No amount of money is worth missing out on what really matters in your world!

 

On the Money: I let enough be enough. I’m not all about flashy numbers. But I know many of you want to hear about the reality of what running my business looks like. So in an effort to be transparent: We had a goal to hit $12,000 in profit for the sale based on past sale results and current reach growth. On Cyber Monday, we were only about over halfway to our goal. I honestly didn’t think we would reach it. My business strategist, Yasmine, and I came up with a plan to work for it which included an uptick in the number of emails I’d send on Tuesday, the last day of our sale.

Tuesday came and completely overwhelmed me. It was the second most successful day of the entire sale (Black Friday was the most successful). And by noon that day, we had surpassed our goal. Meanwhile, I was really feeling the tension of adding to the noise. I knew your inboxes were filled to the brim. Mine sure was.

But here’s the thing that pretty much every business owner I’ve talked to agrees on about those sales emails: Annoying as they are, they work. Every email correlates with more sales. That’s why your inbox blows up.

We still had half a day left and I had a decision to make. Do I stay the course and send the extra emails or do I rest in enough? Option A meant more money. More money sounds nice, right?

Gurus: Avert Your Eyes. In the end, I decided not to send the extra emails. I had sent enough. My list had heard enough. We made more than enough. More than we were shooting for. Instead of pushing for more, J and I popped a bottle of champagne and had bubbly in the middle of a Tuesday. We had smiles from ear to ear!

 

celebrating the results of our black friday sale

 

At the end of Tuesday night, J and I were shocked to see that we earned over $15,000 during the sale. I still can’t believe it! But believe me when I say we worked hard for it. And are incredibly grateful for it. We have a renewed fire in our mission and direction. And we can’t wait to get to work on serving you well in 2019!

 

The Biggest Takeaway: It is okay to own your enough. Did we miss out on more money? Most likely. Do I wish we had sent those extra emails? No way.

 

In the past, I’ve fallen prey to chasing moving targets. No number was enough. And friend, that chase is exhausting. There is never any time to celebrate. There is never time to reflect and be thankful. More is more and that was that.

 

But now? I’m done with that game. We know our financial target that supports our family while allowing us to keep doing what we love in life and in business. It is okay to know what enough is for you and not chase more. I’d even call it freeing as an entrepreneur. 

 

A little Thank You

 

My biggest takeaways after hosting a black friday sale

 

I want to end this post with a note of gratitude. Every time you buy, every time you share, and every time you cheer this little biz dream of mine on, you are supporting our family. You’re helping us teach these sweet girls and chunky boy that they can do big things. Hard things. Meaningful things. You’re giving Jeremy and I another day to continue creating and innovating so we can serve you even better. There’s a real family behind these products & this colorful brand and we couldn’t be more grateful for you every single day. You make it all worth it. Thank you for shopping small and being our biggest cheerleaders. We love you!

 

Images Captured by Sarahdipity Photos

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  1. Zoe says:

    I love this post, Megan! I think it’s so important to focus on the purpose of hosting a sale instead of just trying to make more money. Also, I love that you’re the one behind the scenes answering questions – it makes such a big difference!

  2. Sigh… Megan, I loved reading this! Here are 2 quotes that really struck me:

    1) “The Takeaway: You get to choose how you run your business. Do what feels right. Forget the rest. No amount of money is worth missing out on what really matters in your world!”

    YES! You’re soooo right. It’s hard to remember this, and allow yourself to step outside the lines. Whose lines are these, anyway?!

    2) “In the past, I’ve fallen prey to chasing moving targets. No number was enough. And friend, that chase is exhausting. There is never any time to celebrate. There is never time to reflect and be thankful. More is more and that was that.”

    Again, spot on. I’m in this spot right now and it’s so hard. Thank you for reminding me to pause.

    xoxox

    • Megan Martin says:

      Girl, I get that spot and feelings! I was SO there at the end of last year. You are not alone there <3 I did a lot of work just stripping this biz down over the past year. Down to what matters and letting go of the bells and whistles that really didn't need to be there! I'm cheering you and here for you! XOXO

  3. Great post! Congratulations hitting your numbers on your thanksgiving sales. It’s encouraging to know that it’s possible to have a business with kids and not have to chase the paper wagon. Love your insight on staying true to who you are and knowing when enough is enough. xoxoxo

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