Here's the dark truth about Black Friday...
You asked, we answered:
Plus Kurt goes to SEMA to rub elbows with a few celebrities.
Kurt Elster: He loves it.
Paul Reda: Folks. This is my business partner, Jojo the seal.
Kurt Elster: All right.
Paul Reda: He works for tuna. He has an iron deficiency.
Kurt Elster: Yes, I recently suspect I have developed an iron deficiency from my, I've been pescatarian for 10 weeks.
Paul Reda: Your newfound vegetarian lifestyle.
Kurt Elster: Pescatarian?
Paul Reda: Why do you always correct it? Just say vegetarian.
Kurt Elster: Because if you offered a vegetarian fish, I don't think they would appreciate it.
Paul Reda: I think that most of them do eat fish.
Kurt Elster: Then they're pescatarian, not vegetarian.
Paul Reda: It's too hard of a word.
Kurt Elster: It's just you don't like the word?
Paul Reda: Fish don't have feelings.
Kurt Elster: That's why I eat them. You understand.
Paul Reda: I hate fish.
Kurt Elster: Today I want to talk about two things. I went to Las Vegas' biggest convention, SEMA, the wonderfully named Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association.
Paul Reda: That's what that stands for?
Kurt Elster: That's what SEMA stands for.
Paul Reda: It's a car show.
Kurt Elster: Which yeah, it's after market parts for cars. It's a terrible name, but it's after market parts for cars and it is the biggest, craziest thing I've ever seen in my life. As well as some pre-Black Friday questions and some Black Friday takeaways.
Kurt Elster: All right. I know I talk about car stuff. I promise this has implications for eCommerce, but before we get into that. 10 days ago we launched the holiday email guide and that thing sold crazy well.
Paul Reda: Yeah, it's doing great.
Kurt Elster: That's our third year selling the holiday email guide and if you buy it in any one year you get updates for the rest of forever. Every year I update it, re-send it out, add more to it, update it.
Kurt Elster: And this year I wanted to do something cool. I am going to post in the Facebook group on the morning of Black Friday, our Facebook group, Unofficial Shopify Podcast Insiders, and I'm going to ask people, share screenshots of the best Black Friday emails you've gotten.
Kurt Elster: And then I will curate those, put them in a nice format and that will be then included in next year's email guide.
Paul Reda: Wait, so if they buy this holiday email guide, what do they get?
Kurt Elster: They get something like a 30 page PDF that includes, all right, here is if you've procrastinated, you've waited this long to set up your emails. Lord have mercy, but "Hey, we can still help you help yourself."
Kurt Elster: And in the email guide I lay down, all right, here are the dates you'd be sending your emails. Every opportunity to send an email and then as well as the best practices.
Paul Reda: All right.
Kurt Elster: But it's not like if you know nothing and expect like, "All right, this is going to bail me out."
Paul Reda: Yeah, it's "I don't know what to do. Here's a blueprint."
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: You've still got to know how to build the house.
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: We can give you the blueprints for the house.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. So I don't call it a book. It's an executive summary. It is intentionally short. If I dropped a a hundred page book on you, you wouldn't do anything with it.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: And I am proud. Of the many we've sold, only a single sideways refund request.
Paul Reda: It was a real passive aggressive refund request, too.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, it was unusual. He said I was a man of integrity, but was like "I don't want a refund. This wasn't what I expected." But then described exactly the thing that I said it was.
Paul Reda: "I don't want to refund. I am just not happy with the product. And I know you're a good guy."
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: But that's it.
Kurt Elster: It's like, "All right, well here's your refund." Which I'm happy to do if you buy it. It's no risk. If you buy it and don't like it here, I will happily refund you.
Paul Reda: Got the windows fixed, after you threw your chair through the window because someone complained.
Kurt Elster: I have never thrown anything through these windows, though I should because then we can open them.
Kurt Elster: Okay. That's my plug for the holiday email guide. SEMA. It's at that giant convention center in Las Vegas and there are 200,000 people, which I believe makes it the biggest convention in Las Vegas?
Paul Reda: I went there for CES, which was-
Kurt Elster: And that's what people compared it to.
Paul Reda: Obviously bonkers, which was bonkers.
Kurt Elster: They said everybody thinks CES is the biggest, SEMA's bigger than CES. This thing is monster big and it spans multiple convention center warehouse. I didn't even see all of it in two days. At SEMA, you've got all the big car show or the big car manufacturer's show up to show not just their cars, but the after market parts for the car specifically.
Kurt Elster: That is how huge that industry is. It's not just cars, it's the guys who make wheels and the guys who make spoilers. Every crazy thing you can think of down to floor mats.
Kurt Elster: And so eavesdropping and listening in, there's a lot of direct to consumer and a lot of eCommerce stuff being discussed, that I thought was interesting, but really I was there just to meet with clients.
Paul Reda: Yeah, we had a lot of clients there. We had Leno. We had Hoonigan. Corsa Motor Sports. Who else?
Kurt Elster: Adam's Polishes.
Paul Reda: Adam's Polishes.
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: Can never forget Adam's.
Kurt Elster: And then a few who were not represented there. I was looking through the thing. But man, I barely had time to connect with those folks. That was kind of cool. As we relaunched Corsa's website, Corsa Performance.
Paul Reda: We relaunched Corsa's website at SEMA.
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: You were texting me changes to make and I was like, "All right, I'm pushing it live."
Kurt Elster: I thought that was kind of neat. I've never relaunched a website from a convention center show before.
Paul Reda: Yeah, that was good. You met Jay Leno again.
Kurt Elster: Again, a second time.
Paul Reda: You and him are like friends now.
Kurt Elster: We're basically best friends.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: In that, when I saw him the second time and someone reminded him who I was, he graciously said, "Oh, I thought you looked familiar."
Paul Reda: Oh, yeah, he definitely remembers you.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. I'm like, "Listen, I know we both know you're lying, but I appreciate the effort." Anyway, I met up with Drew Sanocki, who is the CEO of Auto Anything, but many listeners may recognize that name.
Kurt Elster: He also ran Nerd Marketing. He taught, he had a bunch of info products for Shopify merchants around email marketing and that was his specialty. And he even taught a email course for the, it was for Shopify., I believe it was for the Shopify Academy.
Kurt Elster: And he had a couple really interesting points and hot takes. Number one was an opportunity in eCommerce. And even though the show was huge and there were 200,000 people and there was every manner of crazy car or like, "Oh yeah, if you need wheels specific to your Lamborghini," kind of niche stuff.
Kurt Elster: I didn't seen a single electric vehicle. Ford brought one. They had one.
Paul Reda: Oh you peed your pants about this car.
Kurt Elster: I did. It was, yeah. Well, I'm a mad that they're never going to sell this thing. It was like 900 horsepower. All electric Mustang with a manual transmission. Essentially my dream car. But anyway, electric vehicles like Tesla, I didn't see a single one. You didn't see electric vehicles represented there.
Kurt Elster: But people who buy those cars still want to buy accessories for them. Still want to customize and modify them. If you are at all considering or have the ability to get into that space and sell after market parts for electric vehicles, do it. It is a wide blue ocean. There's no one doing this right now.
Paul Reda: Adam Watson asks, "So Kurt, if you were to start a store, what niche would you start in?"
Kurt Elster: I would buy myself a Tesla, drive it around and start figuring out what the pains or problems are and I would start designing and manufacturing my own simple products, probably accessories around the interior. First look for issues to fix and then start looking for little annoyances that you discover when you first buy a car. First, fix that stuff and then turn around and start making cool accessory items for the car.
Kurt Elster: Maybe nothing crazy like body kits, smaller stuff like a carbon fiber lip spoiler, whatever I could come up with or maybe own one manufacturer vehicle or space. Tesla seems like the obvious one, but there are other electric cars out there and others coming down the line. That's a huge opportunity.
Kurt Elster: And another point that that Drew Sanocki made was within the offered community, you think of Jeep when you think of off road and trucks, but there's a new category that's rapidly growing called overland. And overland is like "I'm off-roading, but it's not like hillbilly redneck stuff." I've got a customer lifetime value of half a million dollars because I'm going to buy a Land Rover and then outfit that for camping.
Kurt Elster: It's like a weird premium luxury version of off-roading.
Paul Reda: It's glamping.
Kurt Elster: Essentially glamping.
Paul Reda: It's off road glamping.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, off road glamping. And so I thought, and that you saw that stuff there, but it's not oversaturated. Maybe there's a Land Rover enthusiast out there who's thinking about creating a product. If that's the case, absolutely jump on that.
Kurt Elster: And for the Shopify partners, the issue, we have well known, within this space, because all industries have their own issues, is product information management,. PIM systems. Around automotive and Shopify.
Kurt Elster: You've got all these sites have to have a year, make, model, vehicle selector. It's pick your car. I've got a 2012 Ford F 150, where you go on down the line and then it just shows you, "Hey, here's the parts that fit your car."
Kurt Elster: No one has really solved this in a great way.
Paul Reda: Well, because there's just, it's too many options.
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: Because if you offer the last 10, it's like 10 years times 10 car manufacturers times 10 models. That's now a thousand possible permutations right there.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. It's a data problem.
Paul Reda: And that's a small number I just declared.
Kurt Elster: Yes. You've got a data problem and then also the implementation within Shopify. You'd rapidly tear your hair out trying to manage this thing and the people who've done it have torn their hair out. You can identify the people, just handfuls of hair, running around SEMA screaming.
Paul Reda: They look like Larry from The Three Stooges?
Kurt Elster: Yes. Yeah. If you've got thoughts on that issue, I'm happy to hear it. Somebody email me. Tell me if there is a sane way to fix this.
Paul Reda: Well, I mean that was, you used to work with someone for an auto parts manufacturer and they were on a platform-
Kurt Elster: That specialized in this.
Paul Reda: That specialized in this.
Kurt Elster: RPMWare.
Paul Reda: And RPMWare is Shopify essentially, but for aftermarket car parts and the reason you were stuck on RPMWare is because-
Kurt Elster: Of exactly this.
Paul Reda: Of exactly that.
Kurt Elster: And that was over 10 years ago. I don't think anybody has solved it yet.
Paul Reda: And it's the same thing with my brother-in-law. He co-owns and helps run one of the biggest bike shops in Chicago and they are trapped on their ERP PIM system that runs the bike shop database and their online store is all attached to that.
Paul Reda: And they can't get off of it and try to do better or be on Shopify, because they're stuck with this insane system where you're like, "Well I need this specific part from this specific bike from this specific year." And it's just too hard to manage all the information.
Kurt Elster: Right. So yeah, if you're entering one of those spaces, be aware of that problem or if you're in that space and have a solution, we would love to hear it.
Kurt Elster: A housekeeping note, I just interviewed Dave from iOgrapher. This is really cool story about a guy who went from Kickstarter to selling a suite of products that lets you turn your iPad or iPhone into a proper cinematic film camera.
Kurt Elster: And in that episode, he's giving away several of the product, like kits. When that episode drops a week after this one, just make sure, listen at the end to learn how to win and then join our Facebook group. That's the answers. Join the Facebook group, comment for an opportunity to win one of these kits. It's a cool episode.
Kurt Elster: All right, so I've been bouncing around a lot here.
Paul Reda: Drew Sanocki also gave you a hot take?
Kurt Elster: On Black Friday.
Paul Reda: On Black Friday, about Black Friday.
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: And the moment you told this to me, I was like, "He's right."
Kurt Elster: Yeah. This is the dark truth about Black Friday, is what he offered up. He said the big surge that you see on Black Friday isn't new demand. It's reallocated demand from October. Really, you'll have a soft September, October, and early November and then suddenly you get this massive, amazing, crazy day.
Paul Reda: Wait, then you drop, then you give out a bunch of sales.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Uh-oh.
Paul Reda: On Black Friday. You drop your prices by 30%.
Kurt Elster: Yes. Now really it's sales that you didn't make earlier in the month or weeks to months prior.
Paul Reda: You're now making them.
Kurt Elster: Now you're making those, but you're at a fraction of what you would have normally. And then on top of it, you've got, it's when your ad costs peak because everybody comes out of the woodwork and starts spinning up their Facebook ads.
Kurt Elster: But now we're competing against big players, big box stores like Walmart and huge CPG brands like P&G who are in there and just, they don't care about acquisition costs because their customer, they want to, when they say lifetime, they're talking decades.
Kurt Elster: If they have to way over spend to get somebody, they're fine with that. It will not bother them in the slightest. That drives up Facebook ads. He said that, suddenly Black Friday became this diabolical thing we need to defeat.
Paul Reda: Well, it's a self inflicted wound.
Kurt Elster: Yes. He's brainstorming some solutions to this.
Paul Reda: Well, I mean, it immediately made sense to me because I was just thinking about it this week, because there's all these games coming out that's like Red Dead Redemption 2, on PC, Outer Worlds. Borderlands 3 came out.
Paul Reda: There's a game called Overland that I was very interested in and I was like, "Oh, I want to buy one of those." I'm itching for something and my first immediate thought was, "Well, buying anything now's stupid, I should just wait three weeks and I'll get it for half off."
Kurt Elster: Exactly.
Paul Reda: So I didn't buy anything.
Kurt Elster: You were ready to pull the trigger then.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: But you know, "Well, why would I do it?"
Paul Reda: Yeah. I'd be dumb if I bought anything now, so I won't. The thing I was going to buy now, I'm just going to buy it in three weeks and I'll pay less money for it.
Kurt Elster: That's also-
Paul Reda: They didn't make any more money off of me. They're making less money off of me.
Kurt Elster: That's why you see retailers who are normally discounters, like Macy's, those kind of places, where they sell stuff at a discount. Okay. Year-round. Everything's 50% off. Suddenly September, October, early November, everything's at full retail and the reason is because they're just going to bring it back down to the normal price they'd sell at anyway during Black Friday and go, "Oh, look at this amazing deal on sale."
Kurt Elster: Maybe the answer is we start looking for ways to add value on those days that aren't just centered around discounting. Another way to offer a discount on a coupon code is, "Hey, we'll do expedited shipping during this time." Or do product bundles, which kind of help obscure the price or do limited editions or brand collaborations.
Paul Reda: Wow. Your solution that you thought up was way nicer than the solution I thought up.
Kurt Elster: All right, well, really, that was extemporaneous. I did that off the top of my head. What's yours?
Paul Reda: My solution that I thought up off the top of my head was you pull the scam that stores that are going out of business pull, which is ToysRUs and all the stores that have liquidated. Everyone hears that a store is liquidating so they're like, "Oh shit, I'm going to get over there and get some crazy ass deals."
Paul Reda: You're not getting a crazy ass deal because before they liquidated it, they doubled all the prices. Then declared that everything was half off, so that you're paying the same thing you would've paid before the liquidation occurred. It's just that it has a bunch of sales signs on it.
Kurt Elster: That strategy actually works-
Paul Reda: My answer is do that on your store, which is essentially, yeah, send out a bunch of emails saying that everything's half off, give people coupon codes and all that, but increase your prices by 50% before you do it.
Kurt Elster: My fear would be the damage in trust. That that hurts the the customer relationship.
Paul Reda: Who notices the price of things from a month ago?
Kurt Elster: If you're direct to consumer, I think you have to be very careful with that strategy. If you are a reseller, then you could probably get away with it.
Paul Reda: I'm not saying do it, I'm just saying-
Kurt Elster: Don't not do it.
Paul Reda: I'm just saying maybe you'll make a bunch of money if you do it.
Kurt Elster: Well, it's probably, at this point it's too late. Right? They would've had to Jack up the prices earlier. Right?
Paul Reda: Well, no, you just-
Kurt Elster: What's the tale in which I have to have had the prices up to declare to discount.?
Paul Reda: I'm just saying don't jack the price up. Just say you have a big discount. And then in Shopify put, the product used to be field, just make that more.
Kurt Elster: Set the compare at? The price is unchanged. But the compare at price went way up?
Paul Reda: Well and then you put a bunch of labor and then you sent it a bunch of emails and put up a bunch of signs like, "Oh this is 50% off now. You could have bought it for this price four months ago. But now I declare it's 50% off."
Kurt Elster: Well, I think this is still ethical. It does feel amoral.
Paul Reda: It's not unethical. I can say-
Kurt Elster: Okay. Maybe, how about it's just douchey?
Paul Reda: Do you want to buy this pen? This pen's normally $1,000.
Kurt Elster: It's not though!
Paul Reda: But I'll give it to you for $1.
Kurt Elster: I could go type pilot G2 into Amazon and know this is not the case.
Paul Reda: It's 999% off. Don't you want it? You want it more now, don't you?
Kurt Elster: How much you want for it? Can I trade you? Do you accept barter?
Kurt Elster: Yeah. I don't know, I think, I don't know how long Black Friday will continue as we've seen it, where it became a race to the bottom and now it's become a race to the bottom, propped up by smoke and mirrors essentially.
Paul Reda: Well, welcome to the American economy.
Kurt Elster: Ooh, hot take!
Paul Reda: 2020.
Kurt Elster: No. Don't. No, no politics. My God. We already get crazy emails, so yeah. Do, do we have any more, any blackmail or Black Friday hot takes or do you want to move on a couple of these questions?
Paul Reda: I don't have a hot take. Remember DVDs?
Kurt Elster: What about DVDs?
Paul Reda: I used to get up on Black Friday and go to Best Buy and buy, you know? Do the thing where you get 20 DVDs and it ends up costing you 20 bucks?
Kurt Elster: Did you ever camp out at a big box store for Black Friday?
Paul Reda: I never camped out. I definitely, I went to that Best Buy on Greenwood and Gulf?
Kurt Elster: Right.
Paul Reda: Right next to Gulf Mill. I remember going there at, doors open 7:00 AM.
Kurt Elster: And now they open on Thanksgiving, right?
Paul Reda: But yeah, I remember going there doors open 7:00 AM, it was still dark. The line snaked through the store by the time you got there. Just to buy 12 DVDs for real cheap. I don't know why I did that. That was pretty stupid.
Kurt Elster: 15 years ago.
Paul Reda: You know all those DVDs I have now, that I totally watch all the time?
Kurt Elster: Right.
Paul Reda: And my DVD player that I definitely own.
Kurt Elster: Do you have a DVD tower?
Kurt Elster: Yeah. When you look back on this purchase you had to make, often, by the time you hit 10 years you're like, "What the hell was I thinking?"
Paul Reda: It almost wasn't like I had to make it. It just seemed like fun and I was getting a deal.
Kurt Elster: Right.
Paul Reda: I was getting the whole dollars trilogy for five bucks, man.
Kurt Elster: Oh my gosh.
Kurt Elster: 15 years ago, I think, maybe more. Yeah, 15 years ago, I camped outside of a Best Buy because I had two friends who wanted to buy computers that were on crazy sale. But this one you really could get for real deals, because they are all based on mail in rebate.
Kurt Elster: And what was wonderful about mail in rebates is the redemption rate.
Paul Reda: They're the worst. The worst.
Kurt Elster: The redemption rate on a mail in rebate was at best one out of five. They counted on the majority of people not actually redeeming the deal. You had to loan them the money, but I was on top of it. I always sent in my mail in rebates, even if it was for seven bucks.
Kurt Elster: And then eight weeks later you get a check and I remember I did so many of these, I had a spreadsheet to keep track of them. Yeah, I was that guy, but it would be like, "Oh wow, you get this pretty decent computer for 200 bucks after a $500 mail in rebate," because they knew most people weren't going to do it!
Kurt Elster: And what happened was mail in rebates got outlawed in several states and so they just dropped them entirely.
Paul Reda: What? They did?
Kurt Elster: Yeah. There's several states where mail in rebates are outlawed, so now the big box retailers don't bother with it.
Paul Reda: They still do them on computer parts all the time.
Kurt Elster: They exist, but it's just fallen out of favor.
Paul Reda: Because I was just going to say, our listeners mail in rebates on Black Friday.
Kurt Elster: I want someone.
Paul Reda: That's how you can discount stuff, but then not get boned by the discount.
Kurt Elster: All right. If someone has experience with mail in rebates, you have a standing offer to come as a guest on the show and teach me about mail in rebates. I think this is a tremendous opportunity.
Paul Reda: If they're illegal in some states, that's just going to be a nightmare to try and deal with.
Kurt Elster: Well, we could talk through figuring that out. That solution.
Paul Reda: Yeah. All right. If anyone's a mail in rebate genius. Come on the show.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, let me know. That'd be cool.
Paul Reda: Won't, lower.
Kurt Elster: I know.
Paul Reda: "It's be nice. It's be cool."
Kurt Elster: And I'm not kidding in the slightest. I really would find that genuinely interesting. Kim Otterburn said, "You mentioned the importance of building an email list. Any practical ideas for how to get people to sign up?"
Kurt Elster: Well, right now, today, I would sign up a teaser where you say, "Hey, do you want early access to our Black Friday sale?" And use that as your email opt in. And then when people opt in, you run your Black Friday sale this Friday for just those people who opted in, as a way to test it, as a way to drive those email people.
Kurt Elster: And potentially, as a way to get multiple purchases from a single customer in that maybe they'll purchase during that early bird preview window and then again on Black Friday weekend.
Paul Reda: My thoughts on this were one, so you get people to sign up by giving them something. Giving them early access to your Black Friday sale. Great idea. I was also thinking about a tiny discount, 5% maybe. Just a tiny little discount that's not going to kill your margin, but people, make it a tiny ask from them.
Paul Reda: You've just got to give me your email and I'm going to give you 5% off. Or if you charge for shipping, free shipping on your first order, something like that. And then the other thing I thought of is a piece of content.
Kurt Elster: Oh, content upgrade.
Paul Reda: Am I right or wrong here? Does Kim Otterburn run Welsh Otter?
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: Welsh Otter sells furniture that is very nice and fancy.
Kurt Elster: Home decor.
Paul Reda: Is this home? It's home decor and I'm sure she has knowledge on how to take care of your furniture, how to clean it, how to do all that stuff for your home decor. Maybe Kim can offer them a little PDF or whatever on how to properly take care of your Welsh Otter products. It's like, "I'm going to teach you something, if you sign up for my email list."
Paul Reda: Give them something.
Kurt Elster: And really, it's so easy to do that. Essentially, you may already have the content. Look at your-
Paul Reda: Could be blog posts that you've already made.
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: If you're doing good content marketing.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, blog posts you already made or a social media post that you know does really well. Take that, expand on it, make a video version of it to go with it. And then you send that out either as one email or break it up as an email series.
Kurt Elster: I like the idea of doing the email series because it makes a long piece of content more digestible and it gives you an excuse to be in that inbox, build that relationship. And then ideally, at the end of every email and you'll see I do this, like, "Hey, hit reply, ask me a question."
Kurt Elster: A majority of people won't, but for the few people who do, when they actually get a response from you and they see that like, "Oh, this is a real person who's actually engaged and knows whatever this industry niche hobby is," they'll be impressed by that and that earns trust.
Paul Reda: It sounds good to me.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. No, I like that idea. Jesse Westover had asked about timing for social media posts for the holidays, when to release your Black Friday deal on social, et cetera. The answer is continuously.
Paul Reda: Just constantly?
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: Slowly escalating the discounts and releases.
Kurt Elster: Well, if I emailed you 10 times in a day, that would be strange.
Paul Reda: It's be like, "Fuck this guy."
Kurt Elster: Yeah, you would click unsubscribe. Or if someone replied to one of my emails today, if someone's feeling real salty, they won't just click unsubscribe. They want you to do it for them so that you know they unsubscribed like, "Yeah, got him." As if I care and that the guy replied, "Take me off your spam list, Kurt." "You signed up for my email." That's the one that always baffles me. And the people sign up and then they're like, "unsubscribe me."
Paul Reda: It's Schrodinger spam. If you wanted it, it's good email. If they didn't want it, it's spam. Could be the same thing.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. The same email, somebody will be like, "This is amazing. Thank you. Your content's so valuable." And then the next person is like, "You've got a room temperature IQ." Both of those things are actual emails I've received.
Paul Reda: If you had a room temperature IQ, I don't think you could set up an email welcome series.
Kurt Elster: Thank you. That's right. Yeah. I certainly would not be able to spell eCommerce correctly. Anyway, unlike email, with social media, it doesn't have the same organic reach. If I post on Facebook, I'm lucky if 10% of my people see that post. You could post every hour throughout the day and be fine and that probably actually wouldn't be a bad strategy, as long as it's valuable in some way.
Kurt Elster: It's funny, it's engaging, it's dynamic, it's useful, it's helpful. Like, "Hey, of our sale, this item is about to sell out." Look for those excuses, those reasons to post. But at a minimum for social, I would match it up to your email and do 7:00 AM, 5:00 PM, 10:00 PM, so that you've got it running throughout the day.
Kurt Elster: But I'd also probably do something in the afternoon as well.
Paul Reda: Are you talking about, this is, you're talking about on Black Friday day?
Kurt Elster: Yes.
Paul Reda: And don't get us wrong. You shouldn't be doing a bunch of stuff before you get to this point. Don't wait.
Kurt Elster: Schedule these things. Oh, my gosh.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, I would. And those posts I would promote and that, I don't know. That may be an issue just in getting the approval from Facebook. I would try and promote them and it may not work, but it's worth a shot. Even if it's like you put 10 bucks behind each one, that is worth a considerable increase in organic reach on Facebook.
Kurt Elster: Yeah. Facebook, that's much lower risk in posting. Oh, you know what my advice is for your social media posts during these holiday sales is just spam it.
Paul Reda: Yeah, because I mean you're going to get, it's just another drop in the rainstorm. Everyone, all your customers are getting spammed by 20 other stores. It's not like they're going to specifically remember you as being a bad guy if you're worried about overdoing it.
Kurt Elster: Well, I think my point is you can't overdo it on these holidays.
Paul Reda: I think you can overdo it.
Kurt Elster: All right. But if it's a challenge, yeah.
Paul Reda: I think the bar is way higher than-
Kurt Elster: Anyone realized.
Paul Reda: Anyone realizes. Yeah. Because what was that stat? You're like "Women's clothing stores send out 14 emails on Black Friday." Or something.
Kurt Elster: Yeah, throughout the holiday, some of them will get up to a hundred emails. No problem. It's nuts.
Paul Reda: Well, it's prorated out over like.
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: 60 days. That's different.
Kurt Elster: Less than 60 days.
Paul Reda: 45.
Kurt Elster: Yeah an unusual number of emails, more than you would realize. If you want the exact stat and the source I cited, you'll have to buy the holiday email guide.
Paul Reda: Ooh.
Kurt Elster: Doh! $29.
Paul Reda: Plug. Paul needs a new PC.
Kurt Elster: All right, it's Friday. We're a little punchy today. Will Roya asks, "What do you budget for your one day ads on social, for Black Friday, et cetera?" And so the rule of thumb here.
Paul Reda: Well, there's a rule of thumb because I was going to say this is the king of it depends questions.
Kurt Elster: Well, that's why I wanted to do it. Two things. One, you could take, here, I'll give you, this is a really safe answer. You've got your Facebook ads and you've got it segmented into cold audience, warm audience, hot audience.
Kurt Elster: What I want you to do is kill the cold audience ad spend. Reallocate that because that's the one that's going to be really expensive and low ROAS. Return on ad spend.
Kurt Elster: Reallocate that into the warm and hot audiences and then a safe answer is add 10% onto that. Now if you're looking for an overall budget, based on last year's performing, hopefully you have previous year's performance. Based on your previous year's Black Friday sale. Take 10%. It's a conservative number. Make that your ad budget.
Kurt Elster: I think those are very safe benchmark numbers to use.
Paul Reda: That's good. That's a good answer. That fits for everyone.
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: Well done.
Kurt Elster: Percentages. And again, if you want a deeper dive into that. Listen to our recent episode this month with Kurt Bullock. He lays out, "Hey, here's my full Black Friday Facebook ad strategy." And he does answer this budget question directly.
Kurt Elster: Right after that episode, I got a message from a listener who is like, "Well, actually." He well actually'd me, but he said, "Hey, actually, we've run our cold ad traffic on Black Friday and we are still able to acquire customers on Black Friday."
Kurt Elster: So if it's a thing you want to put a little money behind and risk it and you've got that money to spend, you could do it. You could try to see if you could acquire customers on cold traffic on Black Friday. I'm fairly risk averse. I wouldn't even bother to attempt it.
Kurt Elster: And finally, our final listener question, actually, we have two more, I'm sorry. Edwin Alejandro Ruiz asks, "What type of ads should we run for Black Friday and how can the ads be aligned with emails, per Ezra's email campaign?"
Kurt Elster: Well, so the easy answer here, if you want your Facebook ads to align with your email campaigns, and certainly you should, literally why not take the subject, the headline, the call to action from the ad or from the email and just reuse that as the text in the ad.
Kurt Elster: And certainly you probably have a hero image or graphic you used in the email. You'd use that in the ad as well. And then let's say you're using Klaviyo and you got these emails segmented to people, you could sync those to Facebook as custom audiences, to ensure that the very same people see that exact same thing.
Kurt Elster: And when you post your ads to Facebook, and remember you've got to do this in advance of Black Friday, because of the the lead time on approval, you could schedule them so they run during that day on Black Friday.
Kurt Elster: And so whatever day that email goes out, you really could, once you build out the email campaign, just turn around and recreate that as Facebook ads.
Paul Reda: Okay.
Kurt Elster: Did that answer the question?
Paul Reda: There's a lot of words.
Kurt Elster: There were words in there. It's Friday. There was a question in the Facebook group that you had sent me that I'd liked. Tom Humphries asks about social media scheduling. He said, "I'd been posting to Facebook instant pinner separately, decided try to schedule things to speed up the process." Good. Yes.
Kurt Elster: "I've just tried Hoot Suite and was hoping the post would be done platform specifically. I input text, the box for, blah, blah, blah. But it actually just posted the same thing everywhere."
Kurt Elster: All right, so I'll give you the easy answer here is a wonderful app called Buffer, B-U-F-F-E-R. Buffer. I have used it for years. I loved it. I tried a bunch of other ones and I just ended up back on Buffer and now I'm just committed to Buffer.
Kurt Elster: Buffer is a social media scheduling tool that works exactly the way you're describing. You pick the channels you want your content to go to, you paste in your content and then it says, "Okay, now you can edit and individualize and populate each network individually."
Kurt Elster: I don't think it can post to Instagram natively. I may be wrong. I've not tried that in awhile, but if you're looking for a tool that can also do Instagram and Pinterest, specifically, in this case, Tom Humphreys is check out Tailwind and that's the one my wife uses and she swears by it.
Kurt Elster: She loves Tailwind, because really it was built first for Pinterest and then they added Instagram and I think it could do some of the other channels, but between Buffer or Tailwind, one of those will make your life much easier.
Kurt Elster: Both offer free trials. So check those out.
Kurt Elster: In closing, what kind of questions would Paul like in the next one?
Paul Reda: Oh, I'm fine. I don't care. I just like being here every week.
Kurt Elster: A very positive attitude.
Paul Reda: You know I'm good. Things are going good. Built that cool thing for Hoonigan. Well, we didn't build it for Hoonigan, but I'm super into this thing I made.
Kurt Elster: Well, the proof of concept was-
Paul Reda: The proof of concept, I used Hoonigan.
Kurt Elster: Explain to me the thing you built, because I love it.
Paul Reda: Well, during all of your many meetings in Las Vegas, you were talking with people or someone brought up the idea of having, and this was also something that was brought up by someone in the Facebook group three weeks ago. Where they wanted to inject something in the collection page.
Paul Reda: It would be going through the items in the collection page and then there would be a different block instead of an item. Then the guy in the Facebook group, what he wanted was to take you to a different collection or to take you to some piece of content or something like that, to just kind of redirect users.
Paul Reda: I'm not sure what his use case was. And then your one was inside the collection pages to have content.
Kurt Elster: Yes. Right now, if I've got a collection and I want to add content to it, really my only option is I can add an image and whatever I could jam into the collection description and if I want to get fancy, I can do a split.
Kurt Elster: But no matter what, there's not content in the collection grid.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: And what you're saying is you have developed a way where, let's say I've got eight items in my collection.
Paul Reda: The way it works great is it's got to be the last item on a line.
Kurt Elster: Okay. I've got eight items in a collection. It's two rows of four and suddenly, well, we'll say seven items in a collection, two rows of four, and then the fourth product in that grid gets replaced with a piece of content.
Paul Reda: Yes. Well, a piece of content is injected that then pushes the rest of the grid down one more slot. But yeah, you can style it to make it look like an item and you click on it and then behind the grid, the grid accordions itself and splits open and then inside that space now, you can just have whatever you want.
Paul Reda: And it just opens and closes and we can put page content in there, whatever. If you look in the Facebook group, I re-bumped that thread of the guy asking about it and you could see it in action. Kurt made a GIF of it, but it's really cool and every single client we've showed it to so far has been like, "That's really cool. I want that."
Kurt Elster: Yeah, I'm into it as a way.
Paul Reda: Want to push that somewhere.
Kurt Elster: So the idea is, if you've got, well, a lot of products require education. That's a big barrier to purchase for people is, "Well, I've got questions about this. I've got objections."
Kurt Elster: And so you could have in a collection-
Paul Reda: And a great place to do that is in your pages and on the product pages.
Kurt Elster: Right? You're probably already doing that now.
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: This is a way to put that content to do a little, you could have a little buyer's guide that can accordion open inside your collection, so they stay on the collection page. They get their question answered and therefore, their objection busted and they know, "All right, this is the one I'm going to go grab." Cool!
Paul Reda: Yeah.
Kurt Elster: I love this idea.
Paul Reda: Yeah, it's super cool. And I mean the main way it works is, if anyone's actually looked on their collection page listing, the collection grid starts with four product in collection products and Liquid has a thing called, that has one called limit and you just put limit seven and then after seven it stops listing out products.
Paul Reda: You put all your stuff in there and this code I developed and there's some Java script and stuff like that. And then when you're done with that, you restart it with a collection collection grid and then the restart is skip.
Paul Reda: I forget what the thing is. There's also a Liquid pipe filter where you skip the first couple ones and continue with the thing. And it's-
Kurt Elster: Short answer. That's dope.
Paul Reda: The short answer is it's dope. You've got to hire someone to do it. Preferably us, but we're going to do it.
Kurt Elster: Dude. So sick.
Paul Reda: It's so sick. Anyway, that's all I got.
Kurt Elster: Yeah.
Paul Reda: You can just talk more about Facebook ads now.
Kurt Elster: Early stage, I don't know jack about Facebook ads. Actually, I'm just reading off crib notes. I'll go ask Kurt Bullock and then I read it on the back of my hand. "What does ROAS mean again? Oh, what the hell?"
Kurt Elster: All right. In closing, join the Facebook group, because we've got the upcoming giveaway and it is the only place that we accept questions to talk about on the show. Every two weeks I post in there, ask for your questions. I want to know what keeps you up at night, how we can help you.
Kurt Elster: And grab the email guide at eachcycle.com/holiday and if you hate it, just email me. Send me something crazy and I will refund your money in full. I hope.
Kurt Elster: This is the last time we'll talk before Black Friday.
Paul Reda: Is it?
Kurt Elster: I don't know. I'm also not good at dates.
Paul Reda: And time zones.
Kurt Elster: Time zones.
Paul Reda: And directions.
Kurt Elster: Directions, geography, really bad at that.
Paul Reda: Yep.
Kurt Elster: But great reading comprehension.
Paul Reda: Super good at reading. Very good at scheduling social media posts.
Kurt Elster: Excellent at that. I nail it, somehow, despite the time zone thing. Okay. Thank you for listening. We will see you soon and I hope you make more cash than you know what to do with on Black Friday.
Paul Reda: Farewell.