How Black Friday Became Golden? Case study

December 19, 2018 Sylwester Karnuszewicz 8 min read
Sylwester Karnuszewicz

The post-Black Friday dust settled a few days ago, so it’s about time to analyze the results. This year we’ve decided to put some real effort into this, and it turned out to be a good choice.

In the Beginning, There Was Chaos

Among the many theories regarding the birth of Black Friday, only one is right – it’s a story about traffic chaos in Philadelphia (PA) the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Chaos has crept into our actions, too – in years past our Black Friday promos barely moved the needle. We have been taking part in the annual shopping day since 2015, carefully trying out new solutions. The results were underwhelming. Last year’s edition, however, gave us some hope:

Last years Black Friday offer from Landingi

This was Landingi’s offer in 2017 – we sold 11 subscriptions. Considering that we didn’t spend much money on this and all marketing was performed by our one-man army (at that time we didn’t have any marketing team), it wasn’t so bad. It would have been even better without having to replace the graphics because we used a client’s page and didn’t want to improperly endorse it.

Citius Altius Fortius

During 2018 Landingi changed a lot. Among other things, we’ve completed our marketing team, and that’s affected our expectations. We assumed that this year’s Black Friday would bring us no less than 50 annual subscriptions sold.

We split the work between us: Andrzej supervised everything and created the concept, Łukasz took care of our social media channels, Przemek cranked up the Google Ads engines, Karola made sure that Landingi’s Black Friday was visible in search engines, Judyta worked on mailing campaigns and I did all the content.

Preparations

Our work on Black Friday began six weeks before the start of the promotion. We decided to link it with the still-popular Game of Thrones show (Winter is Coming along with Black Friday!) by creating consistent communication, starting with wintery graphics and facebook videos.

Landing page before

We began with a timer on a landing page,  ticking down until the start of Black Friday:

Pre Black Friday landing page

The aim of this landing page – other than to inform about the upcoming Black Friday offer – was to collect leads from interested people.

Throughout all the preparations, 975 people subscribed to our notifications, with an average conversion rate a reasonable 26%.

Landing page during the promotion

Since we had to keep it a secret, all clients found out what was inside on Black Friday itself. Of course, those who subscribed to our Black Friday is Coming notification got the news on Thursday. This year we offered any Landingi plan for the price of the next cheapest plan. The offer was valid for annual payments:

Black Friday offer

Our landing page is still available – click here. See how we presented our proposal and be inspired.

Social Media

We were working hard on Social Media, sharing lots of posts on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn:

Black Friday Facebook Video

Our Landingi platform annual subscription post was then shared by brand influencers, which affected its reach:

Landingi offer shared on twitter

We also launched a Messenger chatbot, which went to work sending info about our deal to interested users after they commented under the post.

We were greatly surprised by how well Facebook groups worked. They turned out to generate a decent amount of leads at low cost:

Facebook Groups

The average price of lead generation on Social Media channel during the Black Friday campaign was $2.24.

Mailing

We ran 15 mailing campaigns, sending over 65 000 emails to our subscribers. And we got some promising results:

email campaigns summary

Naturally, emails sent to our leads (taken during the pre-Black Friday phase) gave us much better results:

email campaigns to previous leads summary

Google Ads and SEO

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday time we were working hard on search engine results, and we were launching remarketing campaigns. Banners promoting Black Friday by Landingi appeared in various formats on every device type (mobile, tablet, desktop):

Black Friday banery reklamowe

Google Ads campaigns generated over a million views, users clicked banners more than 1 600 times:

Google Ads views and clicks

The average cost of lead generation on Google Ads was $7.35.

We also couldn’t forget about those who came to landingi.com via organic search. We prepared an info bar at the top of the website – it contained the most essential information about the upcoming deal, and yet it didn’t cover any part of our homepage. Also, we placed a button there to give the possibility of a quick sign up for a subscription:

Landingi main page with sign up bar

Lectures

A significant portion of the Landingi Black Friday campaign were lectures given by our CEO at Digital Fest and Tour de E-commerce. Błażej was telling a detailed story about taking advantage of Black Friday for any business – his presentations were based on our marketing campaign that was going on at the time.

Black Friday is Here

On Friday morning we were on pins and needles, waiting for the results of our work. The first payments appeared on Thursday (the offer was already available for those who subscribed for notification earlier), but the number of plans sold was below expectations. We got a little worried during the weekend, because we sold 4 (four!) plans through Saturday and Sunday. See for yourself:

Sales on Black Fridays and next few days

The chart above confirmed what we already knew: our clients are mostly companies that don’t work weekends. This explains the low sales on Saturday and Sunday. Monday, on the other hand, was the kicker – we sold almost ⅓ of all the Black Friday deals! It looks like most buyers needed some time to make up their mind.

The following days made us believe that not showing the offer before the promotion started was a double-edged sword – on one hand, it got us some desired attention, but on the other, it shortened the amount of time for users to consider buying our product. That resulted in people asking questions about our deal throughout the whole week.

Results and conclusions

The combined efforts of both the marketing, product and customer success teams produced  a much better than expected result:

  • Google Ads campaigns gained over a million views!
  • We achieved a 63,7% Open Rate in one of the e-mails
  • Users who subscribed for pre-Black Friday notifications clicked on one of our e-mails at a 35% rate

But what’s more important, we sold precisely 100 annual plans! That doubled our expectations!

Total revenue for the Black Friday sale achieved was $46 903,71, but to get the full picture, we need to consider some things. Firstly, we dealt with almost no sales throughout the whole of November – that “cost” us around $14 286. People knew that we’d come up with something special on Black Friday, so they mostly decided to wait. Also, we spent $1 681 on the marketing campaign. We did the math and the final result is just excellent – $30 937 in the black!

Here are some more numbers about what we sold exactly:

Czarny Piatek Sprzedane Plany

Black Friday in 2018 truly became golden for us. Despite this, we still have some room for improvement. This year’s Black Friday edition was a huge success: we collected 975 leads, sold 100 annual plans and surpassed the line of 1300 Landingi platform clients! We gave ourselves a while to rest, but business doesn’t favor  the humble or hesitant – which is why we’ve already launched a new campaign for our clients – an Advent Calendar.

This year’s Black Friday success was a door with many locks – an exceptional offer is a key to only one of them. The rest is online and offline promotion, customer support and – of course – an attractive product. A lack of any of these and you may come up short. Keep that in mind while preparing for Black Friday in your own company next year!

Sylwester Karnuszewicz

Sylwester Karnuszewicz

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