Black Friday for SaaS – 8 steps to successful campaigns (+ Free Checklist)

Mortals, beware.

The time has come for us to camp in front of Walmarts, clog up Amazon’s servers, and spend money like there is no tomorrow. And it is best that we be prepared.

This fateful date is, of course, Black Friday.

black friday campaign

Though we all have our strong opinions on the infamous consumerism celebration day, it is not something a SaaS company can turn a blind eye to.

And I’m here to tell you how to open up that blind eye and stare into your biggest revenue ever.

Today we are talking about:

Unless you want to set up a tent right here, let’s get to it!

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the first Friday right after Thanksgiving and is deemed the starting date of the Christmas shopping season, though it is not considered an official holiday. Among the companies getting the biggest revenues during Black Friday are Amazon and Walmart, as they attract buyers throughout the weekend and on Cyber Monday likewise.

Now you are thinking, “I already know what Black Friday is.”

But did you know that in 2020, the estimated revenue for Black Friday was $184 billion and it ended up being $188 billion? And that it was a new record?

When the consumption rates are this high, you could be selling water in rain and could still profit.

So, what about SaaS businesses?

How can Black Friday benefit SaaS businesses?

Well, a SaaS tool isn’t necessarily what I would ask for as a Christmas gift.

Especially when it is B2B, the stakes are even higher and as always, the number of buyers you have is naturally lower.

But still, somehow, there are three reasons that make Black Friday and Cyber Monday the perfect time of the year to sell your SaaS product.

1- Free Advertising

In 2021, it would be one big challenge to try and find someone who doesn’t know what Black Friday is.

The good news is, that means people also know when and where it is. And the chances are, a big majority of buyers will come to you themselves before you even start advertising your software.

Moreover, if your discount rate is good enough, your tool might also end up being featured on Black Friday deals listings and articles. (like this one)

Sounds like a big old win-win to me ๐Ÿ˜Ž

2- Huge Audience

On Black Friday, literally, everyone could be a potential buyer.

Because people are aware that any and every product could be on sale, they tend to be on the lookout for any and every product, even SaaS tools.

In the end, it all depends on the discount rates and how well you handle your campaign. Keep it appealing!

3- More value

Just like every other product ever, SaaS also gains double the value when on sale.

Especially on Cyber Monday software sales reach a peak and let me tell you, that’s not something you want to miss out on.

Speaking of value, black Friday also boosts Customer Lifetime Value since Black Friday buyers want to use your tool to its full potential and end up getting retained for longer than a regular customer on some occasions.

Now, these are the benefits. But how exactly do you achieve them?

Here’s the complete roadmap to a successful Black Friday for your SaaS company.

how to successfully campaign on black friday

8 Steps to Getting the Most out of This Black Friday for your SaaS

1- Don’t be late to the party (start at least a month before)

The saying goes pretty clear: the early bird gets the worm.

It may not be a first come first serve situation, but the earlier you start preparing for BFCM the better your chances of creating a better campaign.

Moreover, if you start spreading the news early enough, you also start creating hype around the upcoming deal. Since it is harder for SaaS companies to reach their leads (we don’t really do TV anymore, do we?) a couple of months is an optimal time period for a good hype.

Early start, big hype, huge rewards ๐Ÿ™Œ

2- Create a tempting deal/promotion

Deciding the discount rate and building the campaign around it can be very tricky.

Yes, we want lower prices but you can’t tell me that you have never seen a product on a big sale and thought, “Wow, great deal but why so cheap?” ๐Ÿคจ

You can’t just reduce prices and expect 500% returns in the long run.

That would mean inflated margins which will come back to bite you when your competitors copy your technique and lower their own prices.

So, what should be the optimal discount rate & plugin price for black Friday?

Try the shoe seller technique.

It’s quite simple. When it comes to shoes, most people are happy with any deal as long as they get an OK product. What happens is that the customers with high demands will simply buy it used or wait for a Black Friday sale.

With SaaS tools, it is more or less the same thing.

Since each tool is unique, most people will find it hard to tell which one offers better features and that is why they will simply take the first offer they find on Black Friday.

So, what rate to go with?

That leads us to the magic Black Friday discount rate that will boost your Black Friday sale:  30-50% off seems to be the sweet spot according to many Black Friday experts, but you might want to experiment with different rates on your own since there are no strict rules when it comes to SaaS Black Friday.

3- Creating the Promotion Material

When it comes to creating the landing pages and the visuals for a Black Friday deal, a lot of consumer psychology goes into it.

The funny part is, especially if you are a B2B business, your buyers will know what is up when you play around with the promotion material to manipulate them into buying.

So, be subtle.

Create urgency – creating a sense of urgency is probably the oldest trick in the book and it can take on many forms. For example, a simple “running out” microcopy or a “sale ends on [date]” can instantly turn your potential buyers into customers.

Let them actually see the deal – Preparing the visuals and the copy for a Black Friday deal must have one simple goal first and foremost. That the buyers can actually see and interact with your campaign. You simply can’t go for a “accept cookies” type of banner. Make it big, bright, and attention-drawing. The sad truth is, you will get overlooked otherwise.

Be easy on the eye – Yes, I know what I said. Big, bright, and attention-drawing. But for the love of God don’t make it look hideous. It is pretty easy if you test the campaign before going with it. I cannot be the only one who skipped deals because the banner annoyed me.

The countdown – The countdown is a fool-proof strategy that many try to pull every BFCM. There are a few tricks to make it more appealing and less anxiety-inducing like putting it on a landing page and not at the top of your website banner, but you got it.

For example, look at this Black Friday banner by Hugo Boss.

black friday campaign example

4- Promote on your Website / in your Product

Promoting deals and discounts on the website a product is in works for retail alright.

And there is no reason for it to not work for the SaaS and software industry.

Popups and announcement modals, despite being often annoying to users, might work well if you have a great, and I mean a great deal that will rock their world.

Here’s what worked for us last Black Friday here at UserGuiding:

Honestly, it took us less than 5 minutes to create this announcement modal in UserGuiding.

But, if you ask me, these kinds of announcement modals might be less engaging especially if you’re not sure all your customers would be interested in your offer.

A less annoying but super-functional alternative I can suggest is an announcement banner that you can display on top or the bottom of your website:

Here’s a bit more zoomed-in version of this announcement banner created in UserGuiding:

These UI/UX elements can be a good way to get your website or business blog visitors exposed to your product and your offers. You can also use tools such as UserGuiding to target specific pages on your website and blog, to make sure you’re getting your content to the related visitors.

Don’t forget to keep the offer good and the UX/UI elements as simple as possible.

5- Promote to your Followers

If you are not the type of SaaS business that focuses on Black Friday and Black Friday only, you probably have at least a few people following you on social media.

Well, this is the moment they have been waiting for. Give your loyal followers a heads-up that your Black Friday deal is around the corner and maybe go a step further and turn your campaign into something they might want to share.

For example, when giffgaff and LadBible collaborated for the “Check Your Drawers” campaign on YouTube, it had a lot of people hyped up about it and actually sharing it.

black friday deal campaign example

The deal with the campaign was that people kept old phones in their drawers and giffgaff offered cash in return.

What is stopping you from coming up with a fun little concept for Black Friday that will rule the internet?

6- Promote through Paid Advertisements

Now, now. We all do paid ads, no need to be embarrassed.

And there is no shame in doing it especially when Black Friday is around the corner.

Use Black Friday to your advantage and the paid ads will pay off.

You will get the most out of your Black Friday if you are using Google Adwords or Facebook Ads.

Of course, the Black Friday & Black Friday keywords are very competitive (duh ๐Ÿ˜‰), so although your CPC will be high, the quality score might not be as good as you were expecting.

But that’s okay, because Black Friday is a sale, so people are going looking for Black Friday keywords just to have a look and only the ones that really want to buy will actually perform a Black Friday search.

Just get in that SEM mindset and go crazy.

7- Promote through outreach

It wouldn’t hurt to poke those cold leads again with your great offer.

Prepare a Black Friday email list and show no mercy. Even better if you can get an influential persona on your email list and get their attention.

Then there is the timing factor.

If you send them out too soon, your emails will bounce because the Black Friday deal isn’t out yet; but if you wait too long, Black Friday might be over and it will be pointless to send that email (unless you are planning on sending one more for Cyber Monday).

What’s more, you can keep the campaign and the outreach going for as long as you want.

For example, Razorware’s campaign lasted a whopping 14 days and they ended up getting a 30% increase in revenue.

Point is, however long you want to keep your campaign up, don’t forget to reach out to the relevant people and who knows, you might get more than you anticipated.

8- Get on a Black Friday Deals list

If you are a SaaS business with a cool Black Friday deal in the making (or better, active already) you have one last stop to go.

Campaigning, paid ads, and promoting on social media can get you places, but putting your Black Friday deal on a big directory of deal lists can give you the edge. Because:

  1. You will get more exposure,
  2. Your product will be easier to compare to others,
  3. Your deal will shine through (or die down, if you are greedy)

Case in point: you will (out)shine many unless your campaign is a lame one. Go put that deal on a Black Friday Deals list!

Oh and if you don’t know where to find one, take a look at UserGuiding’s Black Friday deals list and add your deal in under a minute.

Conclusion

Campaigning on Black Friday as a SaaS company can be seriously stress-inducing. So don’t put yourself through that.

Instead, make use of this article and show everyone what a great opportunity Black Friday can be for SaaS companies. And don’t forget to put your deal on the list!

Good luck!

Serra Alban

Serra is a Creative Content Writer of UserGuiding specialized in user onboarding and UX. When she is not writing you can find her playing video games or throwing random movie trivia at uninterested people.

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