4 Steps To A Profitable Flash Sale

Way back when I wwoman enjoying the salesorked at Tkmaxx (Tjmaxx if you’re in the US) part time whilst studying for my degree, we used to run sales on clothes just about to go out of season…

On all stock that we were told to be reduce by a certain date we’d put a sticker on it for 50% off and put a huge banner near where the sales rack was.


Within a few days, all the sale items were gone…  Problem solved.

Whenever I see an email that says “Flash Sale,” it takes me back to my Tkmaxx days! Ever since, it seems like everyone is doing ‘limited time offer sales’, which tells me one thing…

They work!

So, we started running our own, in different niches…  All with fantastic success!

When you consider it, companies like GroupOn and Wowcher have used this concept of a Flash Sale as their entire business model!  What about Black Friday!…  Black Friday is a collection of Flash Sales, all day long!

I am sharing all this to say…

Flash Sales should be a part of your business.  There are numerous benefits to a Flash Sale and by the end of this blog post you’ll have a better understanding of how to get one launched in your business…

Why Flash Sales Work

The goal of a Flash Sale is to get a prospect to take action, using discounts and scarcity as the motivational tools behind it.

If you know you only have 3 days to buy a product for a massive discount, then each day that goes by makes your purchase decision more and more urgent (if you want what’s on offer of course!)

For instance, recently, Wowcher had a bluetooth speaker for sale. I saw the offer, but didn’t take action. I logged in a few days later (knowing in the back of mind that it’d be gone), and it was…

I was so annoyed with myself for not checking out the site sooner!

The same issue will happen with your customers.  They’ll understand that you’re giving them a massive discount.  They’ll know that they only have a very limited time to buy.  If they do not take action, they miss out!

This is called Fear of loss and it is a very powerful motivating factor.

There is a reason why we see Flash Sales everywhere whether it’s online are on the high street.  To be upfront, it’s not about the profit you’ll make on it (especially if what you are selling is a digital product).

If you have a eBook bundle that’s $47 and you discount it to $7 for a 3-day Flash Sale, that’s a big deal for your customers.  But…  If you sell 100 copies, you’ve only made $700.

The real reason you run Flash Sales is to cast a wider net over your prospects and get more of your customers into your sales funnel where you can offer your upsell.

If you have a front end offer that is $7 and then your next offer is $47, depending on your sales copy you might have 30% or 40% who take you up on that!

And, if there’s another upsell at $197, you might have 10% of people who buy that too!

So, the $7 front end product is really more about getting qualified buyers and moving them through your upsell process.  If you want to turn more of your prospects into buyers – running a Flash Sale is the way to go!

Closing Down The Flash Sale

At the end of the Flash Sale, you have to shut it down. It annoys me when I see marketers say it’s X price till midnight then a week later I still see the same offer!

What you can do is stay up until the sale is over and redirect your sales page or you can use any one of the countdown timers out there to redirect the page for you.

I use the countdown timer built into WP profit builder. It’s easy to setup, once the clock hits zero, the page redirects somewhere else.  Usually, to a “Sorry, you missed it!” page.

You might get emails from people asking you to extend the sale, but it’s your decision if you extend it or not. You just need to make sure that publicly, the page is closed or the product is offered at the full price when you say it’s going to be!

Executing Your Flash Sale

There are 4 steps to running a highly profitable and enticing Flash Sale.

They aren’t difficult and most of the complicated work is probably already done for you…

Really, it’ll involve changing the price of one of your products, figuring out how long your Flash Sale should be in place for and letting your audience know about it!

  1. Choosing Your Offer

You can choose any of your front end products or services to do a Flash Sale with, but the best ones are always your newer offers or the one that stands out as your best.

If you’re releasing something new into the market, a Flash Sale might be a great way to get it out there and generate some sales quickly, or…

If you’ve got a flagship product that is at the low end that always serves as one of the best in terms of moving people from being prospects to paid customers – I would recommend using that one.

You want to be able to offer a significant discount, so the publicly available price should be $37 or more…

Maybe you have a course that sells for $97 or an ebook that sells for $37…  you want the discount to be quite substantial!

What gets people’s attention more when an email comes in that says “Get 80% off today!”? It sure grabs my attention, I love sales!

2. Adding A Time Limit

When putting your Flash Sale together, make sure you offer it for a limited time.

We’ve found that 3 days works the best for digital products, software and physical products.  If you are offering a service, you might need the sale to last a bit longer.

One of the reasons to keep it to a 3 day process for example, is to make sure that everyone on your email list sees the email at least once…  If you make it 12 hours or 24 hours, there’s a good chance that people on your list won’t see it!

The 3 day flash sale also allows for people who don’t check their email often and are really busy…

At the end of the day, please remember that all the emails you send out is going to a real, live person who has their obligations, commitments and lives of their own! Don’t expect everyone to read an email you send out on the same day!

3. Letting Your Audience Know

As I am sure you know, there are many ways to drive traffic to a website, however, there aren’t that many traffic sources that are as dependable as sending an email to your list. The main reason is that you can quantify what you send too!

Your email list is made up of people that have expressed an interest in you and your products at a certain point in the past – it only makes sense that they’d be interested in a Flash Sale

You can use the Flash Sale announcement as a reason to communicate with them, even if you haven’t interacted with your list recently…

You’ll be surprised how many of your prospects become more engaged once they learn about the discount that you’re offering (and the fact that it’s going away in X amount of days!)

4. The Final Push

It’s easy to overlook this, but the last email you send on the last day is actually what will drive 70% of your sales, can you believe it 70%!

3 or 4 hours before your promotion is set to end, email your list a final reminder for them to join in.  You’ll notice a steady flow of buyers come in hours between when the email is sent and when the offer closes.

That means, more people in your upsell sequences where you can really begin to increase the average customer value of your buyers!

Launching Your Flash Sale

Inside Scriptly, there’s a Flash Sale Autoresponder Template waiting for you to use…

It’s a 4 email, 3-day template that you can use to promote a Flash Sale to your list.  Included in the template are:

  • Directions on when to mail it out
  • The exact subject lines that have been proven to increase open rates
  • Email body copy that’s more effective in getting someone to click to a Flash Sale
  • The “Final Push” email that engages your last minute shoppers

All you have to do to generate your Flash Sale Template, is copy and paste it into your autoresponder and you’re all set to start mailing!


Posted in: Blog, Email Marketing

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