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How to Maximize Your DTC Revenue in Q4


Q4 is coming, so let’s prepare now and be sure you’re ready to smash your sales from last year.


There’s a lot to think about when it comes to planning your Q4/holiday sales — when to launch, what to say and how to get the best returns from your advertising spend. Below, I’ve written a quick 5-minute read to help you prep.


When to Launch:


Many of the brands I speak with ask when they should kick-off their holiday promotions. Over the years, you’ve likely noticed that many Black Friday sales are increasingly becoming Black November sales.


According to a 2021 study by RetailMeNot,

83% of consumers stated they would start

holiday shopping before Thanksgiving.


With mass market brands like Target, Walmart and Best Buy launching their Q4 sales earlier and earlier, Forrester Research Analyst, Brendan Witcher, states that


“It’s probably safe to say that Nov. 1 is the new start

of the holiday deal season going

forward.”


What to Say:


In my experience running online sales, roughly 50-70% of all purchases happen in the last 24 hours of a promotion.


I believe this is primarily due to two things; the first being increased urgency since the sale is ending and the second being that the awareness of the sale has reached an all-time-high. Knowing that, how can we use this to our advantage in planning your Q4 promotions?

Launch multiple, staggered promotions.


Some ideas of effective promotions to run this Q4 could be:


  • An exclusive sale for loyal customers/advocates.


  • An early Black Friday sale.


  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales.


  • Tiered discount flash sales.


  • Gifting & giving promotions (e.g. gift cards)


  • New product drops as bonus gifts for customers.


If you’re not sure if holding an extended sale is the best move for your brand long term, there is definitely justification for that. However, it can be helpful to note that if you’re not running a promotion during the month of November, there’s a higher chance of your conversion rate dropping in this time as many consumers are distracted by promotions or waiting for your brand to announce a sale.


After analyzing over a 100 DTC brands e-commerce sales, I've observed a 20-50% drop in conversion rates during the 2 weeks leading up to when the brands launched their respective Black Friday deals. Your promotion doesn’t need to be a generic discount, but it would be worth brainstorming some type of promotion (e.g. bundles, gift cards, free bonus products, limited edition drops, etc…) that gives consumers an increased urgency to purchase and that suits your brand.


How to Get the Best Returns From Your Advertising Spend:


As you can likely tell, I’m a proponent of DTC brands launching promotions early and competing for consumer attention during the buying friendzy that is Q4, but I do have two cautionary notes with launching sales earlier:


1. Creative fatigue is real, so be proactive and plan your assets out in advance to mitigate it.


How do you mitigate creative fatigue? The best way in my experience is to use assets that are visually different at a quick glance. Keep them on brand of course, but don’t use a similar visual for weeks on end. Quick examples of how to do this can be switching studio imagery backgrounds from white to black, changing the first 1-3 seconds of visuals in your video ad or promoting entirely different products.


For a visual reference, here are examples from one of my favorite DTC brands Tropicfeel




Note, each pair promote the same offer however the first two upon a quick glance in someone’s social media feed could look the same (e.g placement, setup, colors). Therefore, if you weren’t interested in the creative the first time you saw it and then got served the second ad you may scroll right past it. Now if you get served the third ad, there’s a chance the new visual could grab your attention and you stick around to consider the offer.


This same logic can be applied to your different promotions as well. Just changing the overlay text on an asset with new promotion terms does not mean that your audience will read the text or notice that anything is different. Remember, users have extremely short attention spans on social media and love to scroll by ads without taking time to register what they say.


2. As mentioned above, urgency is key for driving sales during a promotion so try to think about how your sale dates are interpreted by your customers.


As an example, if you launch one 30-day sale there is little urgency for a custom to purchase today, but if you launch multiple shorter promotions during that time, you can keep your creative fresh and also provide more moments of urgency along the way.


Lastly, Q4 is a very busy time for everyone involved in the industry, especially the ad platforms so ad approvals can take longer than usual. To be safe, I’d recommend uploading all of your ad creative into completed campaigns and submitting them for approval 48-72 hours in advance. This can help ensure they show when you need them to as well as lower your last-minute stress.


Best of luck and happy testing,


Rory Beaupre

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