Cyber Monday is the business owner’s dream. It’s the one day a year when we’re expected to tell the world our special offers, when people are not only receptive to our sales pitches, but darn near demand them.
Image: John Hartnup via Flickr, Creative Commons
Are you ready?
If you are, congratulations. I award you with my genuine envy of your time management skills.
If you aren’t, join the club. Next year we’re getting jackets.
Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, one day seems like it’s so far away. Next month, or next week, and then suddenly, it’s today!
And here you are with a perfectly good website, all set up take orders.
Yet you haven’t done a single thing to promote your products and services for this potentially huge money-making day.
Or, maybe your business isn’t accessible online yet, but you’ve heard how much Cyber Monday can help drive leads and sales.
Well, even if you’ve waited until the last possible second to take advantage of Cyber Monday, here’s some good news.
First, according to Inc. Magazine, this holiday season may be the first in which every day is Cyber Monday, as the Cyber Monday trend may be morphing into more of a Cyber Season. So relax.
Even if today is Cyber Monday, at worst it’s the half-way point of the online shopping holiday season, so you still have time to offer a special holiday discount.
Second, even if that’s not true, there are things you can do all the way up to the morning of Cyber Monday to hop on this trend. I’ve listed three simple things below, and there’s one for every budget.
Three simple last-minute Cyber Monday tips
Cyber Monday Last Minute Tip #1
Send out an online newsletter with a Cyber Monday Discount Code.
If you’re already got a newsletter set up, this won’t cost you anything extra. No matter how much you may have neglected your online newsletter, or how often you send it out, you shouldn’t feel any apprehension at all about sending out a a mailing with some Cyber Monday discounts.
It’s as simple as creating a discount code, then sending them to your visitors. If you don’t have an online merchant account that supports creating coupon codes, one solution is to sign up for Google Checkout.
Look under Tools -> Coupons to create either a flat amount off like $20, or a percentage off deal, such as 25% off purchases of $100 or more.
Note: You’ll need your EIN number to sign up, and your checking account information so your sales can be electronically deposited.
Don’t have an online newsletter? Start one today! Cyber Monday is the perfect excuse to announce it in your blog, website, Facebook profile or Twitter Update.
Some people will sign up just to get your discounts. Keep them coming back by balancing relevant tips, tools and resources with updates on sales and special offers.
Cyber Monday Last Minute Tip #2
Send out a press release with coupon codes.
There are really two tips here. An online press release is a fast way to get the word out about an event or special occurrence like a sale.
In the offline world, a press release is often targeted only to a journalist, who will then be the person who may or may not write a story on the information they receive.
Online press releases, on the other hand, often end up before consumers. They can discover them directly, from following a topic on a site like Google News or Yahoo News, or indirectly.
Or they can find them by doing a search for Cyber Monday discounts – press releases can be optimized to show up in both news and web results with tools like the free Press Feed toolbar.
Some net-savvy consumers sign up to follow a phrase like “sony coupon codes” or “cyber monday deals” using services like Google Alerts. Still more people read blog posts written by people who reference online news releases, or re-publish them on their sites, and of course there’s always the traditional route of a journalist writing a story based on a discovered press release.
The trick here is to put the kind of information into the press release that your ideal customer is searching for at the time. “Coupon code” or “Cyber Monday Deals” are two popular terms. A local toy store might use “kinect coupon code”, or “kinect cyber monday deal” — so think about what you’d type into Google if you were going shopping this holiday seasn.
Note: in Google web search the News results are often at the top for this search.
At some online press release sites, your press release can be online in an hour if you pay a priority distribution fee, so remember, even if you’re reading this on Cyber Monday morning, it’s not too late.
Now arguably, online press releases range from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on how much coverage you need, at what speed, and what your budget will allow. If the coverage you need is out of your reach, there’s one last option that will cost you nothing.
Cyber Monday Last Minute Tip #3
Leverage the Immediacy of Social Media & Networking Tools.
The US economy is (supposedly) in recovery mode. Adoption of social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter is picking up such speed that its getting hard to find people who haven’t used at least one of them before.
You can often find whole new audiences for your products and services at these sites with the proper strategy. And what’s more, you can often get help from friends who are existing users to get your content discovered on any of these channels today.
If you’ve never used YouTube, Twitter or Facebook before in business owner mode, you can ask friends who are already using them for help.
Just tell them you’re a newbie, and ask if they’d mind letting people know about your Cyber Monday deal. Be sure to pick people who have audiences that make sense to promote to – and don’t be afraid to ask on the phone or in person.
On the other hand, if you’re a veteran user, take note of the people who have helped you spread the word in the past, people who you’ve promoted, people who like you, and folks who admire you. All of these folks may be more likely to help you. Just ask.
The worst thing they can say is no, and it’s unlikely that everyone will.
Searches that mention cyber monday on Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and other social media services with a realtime service are being featured in Google, so you can get an additional traffic edge over your competitors by expanding your website promotion to social media.
With these three options for Cyber Monday promotion, you have no excuse to neglect your audience on this important online shopping day.
- Regular contributor Francie Dalton gives you 6 essentials for the disciplined entrepreneur to build revenue
- 5 quick tips for boosting your small biz’ holiday retail sales by Maria Valdez Haubrich for our sister blog, Grow Smart Business
- Check out the Cyber Monday offers at Network Solutions ( Host of this community)