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Best Practices for Festive Flash Sale Campaigns

Julianna Alanne Aug 11, 2020 6:22:00 AM

The most festive of the seasons is here - the holiday season! Pushing out special offers and flash sales can be a great way to increase your revenue during seasonal festivities and holidays. As these promotions tend to last just a day or two, remember to give some extra love to your campaigns and set them for a short and sweet strategy to succeed.

Maximizing your performance in tight timeframes requires various measures in terms of campaign management and creative concepts. By keeping these in mind, your social advertising holiday flash campaigns are ready to go live and thrive.

Automate Every Step You Take

Automation allows you to focus on things that matter. In the heat of rapid sales, a lot of changes happen in a short time, which makes the work error-prone when executed manually. Making the most of automation and reduce manual work and human errors. With automation in place, you can focus your time and brainpower on strategy, analysis, and in driving the best results for your business. 

If you have a clear logic in your campaign actions (if x happens, then do y), you can automate all these actions. Always have a plan for monitoring results and how to act appropriately in various scenarios. With Smartly.io, you can automate your way to timely optimization actions. For example, on Facebook, if your Cost-Per-Acquisition is well under your goal figure, you can most likely afford to bid even higher. Set up custom triggers to adjust your bids and budgets, send you email notifications, and even control accelerated delivery - all automatically!  

Additionally, you can set up a system that kills the underperformers. Smartly.io's Stop-Loss function automatically pauses underperforming ads and guarantees that ineffective ads won't hit your flash campaign. Remember to keep at least one ad active to ensure that delivery won't stop altogether.

What's Creative Got to Do With It

The creative is like the first impression - you get one chance that you don't want to miss. Creative is key when reaching your customers with the right message at the right time.

Simultaneously, creative has become the performance lever that sets you apart from your competition. Your message needs to be relevant, and, in a flash sale situation, you want to state your offer clearly to encourage users to act fast.

Hint - It's All in the Seasonal Details 

Seasonal content can help you drive engagement and fight ad fatigue. Aim to understand what your audience is expecting from you this holiday season and produce creatives that meet those expectations. We have seen that creatives with seasonal elements are more likely to beat that much-feared ad fatigue and improve click-through-rates than generic and static content. 

Nevertheless, always count on data as seasonality doesn't improve performance per se - it's all in the execution of creatives. Test various seasonal concepts alongside with your evergreen ads to see what truly moves the needle. Make sure your offer is clear and actionable and always stay true to your brand's voice, look, and feel - even with the seasonal touches. 

If your seasonal creatives don't perform as expected, the reason could be that: 

Seasonal Creatives at Scale With Smartly.io

In a short-lived campaign, you want to prepare yourself with promotion-specific assets that may change daily or even by the hour. With Smartly.io’s Image and Video Templates you can build beautiful creatives at scale - and easily include all seasonal visual elements, discount codes, percentages, or count-downs while keeping your campaigns automatically up-to-date. 

Smartly.io also allows you to set your ads to automatically activate and pause based on the structure of your sale, or even link them directly with your product feed to archive ads for specific deals once they have ended.

Ain’t No Bid High Enough

When promoting a flash sale, you want to go after a high volume of impressions by winning as many auctions as possible. A high bid will put you on the spot to win the auctions more aggressively and maximize delivery. Usually, Lowest Cost bidding helps you find the cheapest conversions and make the most out of your given budget.

That is, however, not the case with flash sales: by setting high bid caps, you are signaling to Facebook your desire to maximize delivery.

Remember also to consider your competition. During popular sales events like Halloween or Black Friday, Lowest Cost bidding can sometimes lag due to advertisers increasing their bids. Increased bids, in turn, drive up the equilibrium price to a point where the Lowest Cost bidding misses out. Now is the time to be bid boldly.  

Budget Like Nobody’s Watching 

For campaigns shorter than 24 hours, Facebook recommends a lifetime budget for the best results. The more intuitive setting, however, would be the following: if you were to use a daily budget, e.g., in a six-hour campaign, Facebook wouldn't spend more than 25% (i.e., 6 ÷ 24) of the budget. Remember to take this into account when planning your budgets. 

If you haven’t tested Campaign Budget Optimization yet and plan to use it during the busy holiday season, test it beforehand. In fact, test all things optimization - a tested and validated set-up is key to success during the high season. 

Although Facebook's pacing algorithm optimizes your delivery for the best results possible, it's not designed to optimize daily budgets for shorter periods. Hence, make sure your budget strategy supports your speed.

When you have your bids, budgets, and seasonal creatives in place, it’s time to push out your flash campaigns - and, remember to gather all learnings for next year’s festivities. 

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Author
Julianna Alanne

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