Once the excitement of your Product Launch Formula launch has settled down, and your new customers are happy and contented with the product they bought from you, running regular flash sales is a great way to generate a lot of sales and buzz in a very short period of time.
The best way to do this is to plan each promotion a few weeks in advance, and invite your PLF marketing partners to promote the event with you. Having some of them on board will help to build anticipation among your prospects and customers and increase your sales significantly.
So you don’t miss any of the critical steps in running a successful flash sale, make sure you follow this 25-point checklist every single time…
Don’t have time to read this powerful step-by-step guide right this minute? Click here to get the PDF version and read it anytime you want!
1. Define A Goal For Your Flash Sale
The first step is define your goal for this sale. Ideally you’ll set one primary goal to focus on, though you may have secondary goals as well.
Your goals might include:
- Acquisition of new customers with an irresistible low priced offer
- Generating more sales for one of your front-end profits
- Boosting the sales of a higher ticket product or service
- Creating some excitement among your affiliates
- Creating some buzz for your products or services in your market
- Establishing yourself as a “big player” in the niche
- Cross promoting different lead magnets to build your mailing lists
- Generating excitement about the launch of your NEXT product
So pick your primary goal, and then let’s move on to Step 2…
2. Pick A Product Or Service That’s Already In Demand
No matter what your goal is, for best results you’ll want to promote something that’s already in-demand. And throwing a flash sale for one of your most popular products serves this purpose perfectly. Of course you can also run a flash sale on a newly released product, but you’ll want to be sure it’s something your market really wants to buy.
In other words, do your market research first! Specifically, you’ll want to:
- Search marketplaces like ClickBank.com, JVZoo.com, and Amazon.com to see what the hottest selling stuff is in your niche
- Run a survey or even run an ASK Campaign like Ryan Levesque does to discover what people in your market really want to buy
- Do some snooping around to see what the top marketers in your niche are selling on their websites, promoting in their newsletters, and offering to their social media followers
- Search Google and look at the products people are paying top dollar for to advertise with Google Adwords
- Look for banner ads on the top sites in your niche, and study the ads you see coming through your Facebook newsfeed
- Use a keyword tool like the Adwords Keyword Planner or MarketSamurai.com to uncover what customers in your niche are looking for
Once you’re sure you have a popular product to promote, then move on to…
3. Choose A Date For Your Promotion
When you are choosing a date for your flash sale, keep these points in mind:
- Choose a date that is at least 2 or 3 weeks away, so both you and your affiliates have plenty of time to prepare and schedule in a mailing date
- Research the date on sites such as JVNotifyPro.com to see if there is anything major going on at the same time. If a really popular marketer in your niche is opening the shopping cart for a huge product launch on the same date, you’ll struggle to get affiliates onboard or customers to take notice of your messages
4. Decide On Your Irresistible Offer
Here’s where you decide on the following points:
- What components will you include in the offer? For example, are you going to include extra bonuses to make the offer even more attractive?
- Are you going to offer a big discount to increase the number of sales? Hint: A flash sale will have the best results if you make a really attractive offer, such as 40% or more off the regular price
- What percentage of the sale price will you give to your affiliates? The percentage you pay out is partly going to depend on your goals. If you’re goal is to build a big list, getting your affiliates really involved and generating backend profits later, then you might want to give all or most of the frontend sale price to affiliates as commission. If your goal is to generate a lot of frontend profit, you can offer a more standard 50% commission to your affiliates. (Of course this assumes you’re selling digital products. The commission percentages are going to be smaller if you’re selling physical products.)
One final thing. Creating an irresistible offer is so important that I’ve put together a Free Cheat Sheet that shows you how to create the perfect offer. To make sure you don’t miss anything as you develop your offer, click here to grab your Free copy of The Perfect Offer Cheatsheet
5. Determine How Long Your Flash Sale Will Run
As the name implies, a flash sale happens in a flash – it’s usually over in a matter of hours, but it may run anywhere from four hours to twenty-four hours. So…
- Determine the starting and ending times of your sale
- Plan on running your sale for at least 8-12 hours to get maximum exposure
- Consider your prospects’ time zones and activities (such as work) when deciding the start and end times of your sales. In other words, you don’t want the entire sale to fall within the working day of your audience, or you’ll probably have a lot of people missing out
6. Create Your Marketing Materials
Now it’s time to create sales materials for your marketing partners to share with their audiences. These materials are for these three purposes:
- To build anticipation for the sale in the week leading up to the sale day (similar to Product Launch Formula’s pre-launch content)
- To announce the sale itself (like Jeff Walker’s ‘Open Cart’ email)
- To send out one or more reminders about the sale during the day of the actual sale (to create scarcity and increase urgency)
Think about the types of communication channels you and your affiliates will be using to reach prospects, and create marketing materials for those channels.
- An email sequence covering the full period of the promotion
- A series of story-based blog posts leading up to the sale
- Social media posts with links back to pre-sale content and the offer itself (short messages for Twitter, longer messages for platforms like Facebook)
- Text messages with links to your promotional content
Once you’ve created these materials, upload them to the affiliate centre so they are ready for your partners to grab them.
7. Let Your Partners Know About The Upcoming Sale
If you already have a group of affiliates or JV partners, then now is the time to let them know about the sale.
- Give them at least two weeks notice of the sale so they have time to prepare. More time is preferable because top affiliates usually have a full mailing schedule
- Give your affiliates login details so they can access the product (in case they want to do a product review)
- Let them know how they can promote (e.g., how to get their affiliate link easily)
- Give them links to the marketing materials inside the affiliate centre and ideas on how to use them
- Generate some excitement around the event. Talk about the commissions they can earn, the current conversion rate on the sales letter, etc
- Give your affiliates a detailed timeline so they know when to send out your pre-sale materials
8. Reach Out To And Recruit New Marketing Partners
If you’d like to turn your sales day in to a really big event, you may want to reach out and recruit some new affiliate partners to help you out. You can do this yourself, or you can pay an affiliate manager or JV broker to do it for you.
Of course it’s going to be easier to get people to say yes to your request if they already know and trust you. With this in mind, here’s an example email or social media message you can send to your potential partners…
Subject line: just wanted you to be the first to know…
Hi [First Name],
[Your Name] here from [your website]. I’ve got a flash sale coming up in [number of weeks], and I’d like to extend a personal invitation for you to join in on this unique event where you can generate [percent] commissions – that works out to be [$ amount] for every sale you bring in.
This sale is for [name of product] which is one of my best converting products, and [give them a quick description of the product]. This would be a good match for your audience because [explain the reason their audience will like it].
You can take a look for yourself and download a free copy of the product here: [download link]
This flash sale starts at [time and date] and ends [insert when it ends]. Because the sale period is so short, we’re expecting conversion rates to be higher than normal, which are currently [percent conversion rates]. That means those [$ amount] commissions are going to add up for you fast!
I’ve already set everything up for you so it’s quick and easy for you to take part in this event.
Here’s your affiliate link: [insert link]
You can get a complete set of emails and ads to promote the event here: [insert link to affiliate centre]
Shoot me back an email to let me know if you’re on board or if you have any questions! I’m looking forward to working with you [First Name].
p.s. The people who jump in early get the biggest commission rates. Hit reply to let me know you’re in, and I’ll lift your commission rate to [percentage]…
9. Take Care Of All The Technology
A popular, well-promoted flash sale can create a lot of traffic to your website. And in turn, this sort of heavy load on your web server can create a lot of problems on your site. That’s why you’ll want to sale-proof your systems.
These 3 steps are important:
- If you’re not every technically minded, or if your time is better spent running the rest of the launch, then hire a tech person to handle hardening up your system
- Make sure you have a premium web hosting account that can accommodate a big spike in traffic and requests
- If you already have a dedicated server, make sure it’s ready for higher than normal traffic
10. Prepare Your Customer Service Department
Another area where you’re likely to see a big spike is in your customer service requests. Most of them will be minor (lost logins, difficulty access the downloads, refund requests, etc.). That’s why you’ll want to ensure your customer service people are ready to handle the load.
This includes things like:
- Hiring additional short-term help to answer emails or man the help desk if needed
- Training both new people and existing staff on how to handle the inquiries they are likely to get during the sale
- Creating some 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 a direct email address, live chat and a 24 hour help desk
11. Test And Track All Of Your Promotional Copy
The goal here is to optimize your ad copy, email copy, and sales page copy so that you get maximum conversions during your sale. You’ll want to:
- Use something like Google AdWords or Facebook ads as a quick way to generate traffic for your testing
- Focus on optimising the factors that will have the most impact, such as the offer, the headline, bulleted benefit list, the P.S., your price and call to action
12. Prepare Your Email Messages and Blog Posts
By now you’ve will have created materials for your affiliates and marketing partners to use in their promotions. Now it’s time to create these same materials for yourself. This step is pretty easy because in most cases, all you’ll have to do is tweak the affiliate materials to make them unique.
For example, you might have an affiliate email that refers to “John Doe’s new product is…” so you would tweak this to first-person language such as, “My new product is”
13. Create Your Sales Video
The next step is to create a short sales video to help generate excitement on the day of your flash sale. This is especially important if your sales page is a text letter, because offering a pre-sale video will help you reach and convert more people into customers.
Some sales video pointers include:
- Keep it short, just two to three minutes highlighting the biggest benefits
- Present a problem, highlight what that problem is costing people, and then offer your product as the best solution to the problem
- Showcase the main benefits of your product and the results they can expect
- Provide a strong call to action, making sure to remind them it’s a flash sale to create urgency
On the day of the sale, you’ll be posting this video on YouTube and on your social media pages, as well as on your blog.
The next step…
14. Prepare Your Facebook Ads
To generate as much excitement as possible on sale day, running some paid advertising is a great strategy. Facebook’s ad platform is a good choice, although you’ll need some experience if you’d like to maximise your returns.
The idea is to launch your ads on sale day, but of course you’ll want to have them prepared and ready to go in advance. This includes:
- Choosing an eye-catching graphic
- Writing some persuasive ad copy
- Selecting a tightly targeted audience using Facebook’s ad editor
- Setting it all up to start running at the correct time and day
- Double checking everything to make sure the links, start time and end times are all correct
15. Buy Some Ads On High-Traffic Niche Sites
Same as we discussed above, you’ll want to prepare ads and set them to run on the day of your sale. Most niche site owners like to set up and run ads manually, so you’ll want to make arrangements with the owner and pay in advance so everything’s ready to go.
16. Start To Build Buzz On Social Media
If you’ve followed any of Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula launches, you’ll know that he starts ‘seeding’ his audience several weeks before he releases the first piece of pre-launch content.
You don’t have to go as far as that for your Flash Sale, but you can certainly do simple things like:
- Building anticipation for the upcoming sale by hinting that something big is coming
- Sharing cryptic or normal graphics, videos or other content that are likely to go viral
- Using a specific call to action hinting at something cool coming up, and encouraging people to share the content with their friends
17. Warn Your Payment Processor Of Increased Volume
Even though for the most part online marketing doesn’t have the same shady reputation it used to have, there are still plenty of crooks around doing some pretty dodgy stuff.
For this reason, your payment processor may suspect suspicious activity if you suddenly have a huge surge in sales without warning them. And if they suspect suspicious activity, they could temporarily suspend your account.
In fact, this still happens to lots of people, which can cause all sorts of problems. From not getting paid yourself, to being unable to pay your affiliates, to not being able to pay for any physical products or bonuses you have to deliver.
That’s why you’ll want to do two things:
- Let your payment processor know about the expected surge in sales so they don’t get the wrong idea. It’s best if you speak to a real live human on the phone about this, get that person’s name, and ask them to email you the details of the call so you have proof in writing that they knew about your sale.
- Make sure you have a “Plan B” just in case your payment processor does go down for any reason. You’ll also want to ensure that your Plan B gives credit to affiliates, where applicable
The next step is…
18. Set Up One Or More Backend Offers
If you haven’t done so already, make sure to build out your sales funnel on the backend of this offer to increase sales and profits for both you and your affiliates. This may include:
- Adding an order form upsell or ‘bump’ offer that allows customers to add something to their order by clicking a checkbox
- Inserting a range of backend offers inside the product itself
- Setting up a multi-part autoresponder sequence for these new customers that makes backend offers for other related products and services they’ll be needing
19. Remind Your Partners Of The Upcoming Sale
Now it’s time to remind all of your marketing partners of the approaching sale, and let them know the final details of when they can start promoting.
So, for example:
- Let people know two weeks before the sale date that they can start promoting in one week’s time
- About a week and a half before the sale, remind them that they can start to promote in 3 days
- Remind them to start pre-selling 4 days before the sale day
- Remind them the night before the sale that it’s game day tomorrow
- Remind them the day of the sale and ask them to promote hard for maximum results
TIP: You can automate all of these email messages by pre-loading them into an autoresponder such as Aweber or another reliable service.
20. Send Your Promotional Messages To Your List
Now’s the time to begin building anticipation by sending your pre-sale emails, starting at around one week before the sale starts, and then three or four days before the sale starts.
21. Email Your List The Night Before
Now send one final anticipation email the night before the sale to generate anticipation and excitement. Be sure to list the benefits of the product and the results people can expect get from owning it, as well as reminding them how short the sale period is.
22. Upload The Offer Page
You can do this early on the morning of the sale.
23. Test The Entire Sales Process From Start To Finish
Do a full systems check by placing orders through different browsers and making sure everything works correctly. Run through and test all the links, forms and payment processor steps to make sure everything is ready for your sale.
24. Send Out Your Sale Day Materials
When the sale starts, send out all the sales materials you’ve prepared, including your emails, blog posts and social media posts.
25. Publish Your ‘Last Chance’ Materials
Later in the day (and a few hours before the sale ends) send out your ‘last chance’ emails, release your final blog posts, and make some final social media posts reminding people that this is their last chance to get the product at a big discount.
So there you have a complete 25-point checklist for running your very own super-profitable post-product launch Flash Sale. Now print out this checklist and get to work setting up your sale today!
And if you would like to learn more about everything to do with launching your own product or service, including seeing more examples and case studies of people who have used PLF with outstanding success, check out Jeff Walker’s free Product Launch Masterclass here.
PLUS: When you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you to grow your business using product launches:
1. How To Create A Signature Product Out Of Thin Air In 72 Hours Or Less
Creating your product does not need to take weeks or months. My 72 Hour Product Creation Guide shows you how to build high value products one after the other in 72 hours or less. Click Here
2. How To Outsource Your Product Creation And Make It Hands Free.
Outsourcing the creation of some or all of your products and bonuses is a great way to save your time for the more important (and more fun) things you’d rather be doing. Grab my Hands Free Outsourcing Cheat Sheet to learn more. Click Here
3. How To Build A Profitable Launch List.
Building an email list is critical if you plan on doing a launch for your product, service or business. My 1-2-3 List Building Cheat Sheet will show you how to build a responsive list of prospects who are ready to buy from you during your launch. Click Here
4. Work One-On-One With Me
If you’d like to work directly with me to run a launch for your business… just send me a message by emailing me at rocky [at] localwebsolutions.com and put “One-on-One” in the subject line… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!
Also, check this out 🙂
Jeff Walker’s free Product Launch Formula training.