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Flash Sales – Are They Worth It?

9PMFlashSale

Flash Sales for Everyone

In general, I try to stay away from posts that skew heavily towards ecommerce and retail sites but the idea of the flash sale is such an effective form of marketing that I felt I would be remiss if I didn’t. Besides, there’s really no reason why conent writers and freelancers cannot or should not offer flash sales for their services even if you don’t see such promotions as often as you due from traditional retailers (in fact, as I was writng this sentence I got an email from 6PM.com offering me great savings until midnight only!).

What is a Flash Sale?

Not sure what a flash sale is? No worries, that’s what I’m here for. In essence, a flash sale is a new take on a very old marketing trick. In the past, before the age of the internet, marketers relied on the ideas of scarcity and urgency to move viewers from simple consumers of their content and into active buyers. This was done using such familiar tools as “Only while supplies last” an “Offer expires soon” and has proven so effective that these techniques are still in use today.

The flash sale is the 21st version of this technique on steroids. Whereas in the past advertisers would need to allow for larger windows of opportunity in order for their marketing communications materials to reach the public, the advent of the internet allows for instantaneous communication of these messages via email or (less so) social media. So, rather than expiring in a week or at the end of the month, flash sales begin and end within the span of a day or even a few hours.

But, Does it Work?

If the only thing different about flash sales were that they were hyperactive versions of traditional marketing methods there wouldn’t be much point in writing about them but the truth is that flash sales work very well indeed. In fact, according to a recent industry white paper sponsored by Experian, 56% of business have higher click-to-open rates on flash sale emails compared to average yearly CTO rates.

According to the same paper, two hour windows offer the best CTO with 3 hour sales providing the best conversion rates (up to 59% higher than normal marketing emails. Overall, Flash Sales generate  a 35 percent lift in transaction rates. Finally, the tme of dday that the flash email is sent has an incredible impact upon open and conversion rates”

Transaction rates are 23% higher for evening Flash Sales compared to Lunchtime sales, and revenue per email is 30% higher in the evening. Regardless of the reason for the higher performance, testing time of day can help your message stand out.

The Takeaway

The Takeaway should be clear: if you’re not using flash sales as part of your tool box you should begin adding them in as soon as you can. And although flash saales are more common in e-retail there’s simply no reason you can’t buck the trend and start offer flash sale articles, blog posts or press releases. Happy Labor Day!

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About Michael Rickicki

I am a freelance writer, translator, social media manager and co-owner of a mid-sized automotive accessories manufacturer and retailer in Brooklyn.

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This entry was posted on September 1, 2014 by in Email Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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