MarketBeat had a successful New Year’s sale that ran from December 26th to January 3rd. We’ve done this for the last few years and the results keep getting better every year. I’m not 100% sure what makes the window between Christmas and the New Year a particularly good time to promote our newsletter and software subscriptions to our audience, but it may have something to do with the stock market having minimal activity and people being away from their jobs. In this post, I’m going to show you how we set up our New Year’s email campaign and provide you the exact emails that were sent to our audience.

The Campaign

This year, we sent out a total of 13 emails between December 26th and January 3rd. The offer was $100.00 off a subscriber’s first year to MarketBeat Daily Premium ($99 for their 2020 subscription in lieu of $199). For people that had already subscribed to MarketBeat Daily Premium, we did a discount on MarketBeat All Access, which is our highest subscription tier. That deal was $199 for their 2020 subscription in lieu of the normal $399 price. We sent out one email per day except for the last day, when we sent out four emails. We also did a “second close” on Friday, January 3rd which included another four teams. On the last day of the sale, we sweetened the offer by giving people a 30-day trial in addition to their 50% first-year discount to catch any stragglers that were on the fence.

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Here is the schedule of emails we sent:

  • December 26th – Sale Introduction
  • December 27th – FAQ Email
  • December 28th – Email About Features
  • December 29th – Email About Features
  • December 30th – “The sale is ending tomorrow” email.
  • December 31st 7:00 AM – “The sale is ending today”
  • December 31st 12:00 PM – “The sale is ending today”
  • December 31st 5:00 PM – “We’re sweetening the deal”
  • December 31st 9:00 PM – “Last Chance”
  • January 3rd 7:00 AM – “We’re re-opening the sale for one more day.”
  • January 3rd 12:00 PM – “Why Upgrade Email”
  • January 3rd 5:00 PM – “The Deal Ends at Midnight”
  • January 3rd 9:00 PM – “Last Chance”
  • Download all 13 campaign emails here. (No sign-up required!)

The Results

As of the writing of this post, I don’t have our January 3rd numbers in yet. However, we sold a total of 509 subscriptions between December 26th and December 31st. This created $66,612.60 in new recurring annual revenue for MarketBeat. Our average email open rate was 14.1% and had a total of 7,228 people click through from an email to our sales page. I anticipate that we will have sold another 100-200 subscriptions on January 3rd. These results are pretty good considering we have approximately 6,300 customers that pay for premium subscriptions.

How to Run a Successful New Year’s Sale Email Campaign

You will ultimately need to develop a product or service that people want to pay for to have a successful new year’s campaign, Over the years we’ve identified several strategies that seem to make these types of holiday campaigns work well. It is somewhat difficult to attribute our campaign’s success to any one of these tactics, but as a group, they seem to work well:

  • Have a reason for the sale. I think it helps to have a theme to your sale of a specific reason you are having a sale. We’ve always had good luck with a “Black Friday” sale every year and a “New Year’s sale” as well. We’ve also done a “tax day” sale and the company’s anniversary as a reason for a sale too.
  • Use a countdown timer. Put a countdown timer in your emails showing exactly how much time is left on the sale. This creates a sense of urgency and shows your customers that the deal won’t be around forever. We use MotionMail for this.
  • Resend to non-openers. On the days where we only sent one email at 7:00 AM, we would resend the same email to people that didn’t open the first email twelve hours later at 7:00 PM. Most people’s inboxes are full and they won’t always see your first email. I can attribute at least 50 additional sales to the “resend” emails.
  • Run the sale for multiple days. Not everyone is paying attention to your business every day and not everyone will be ready to make a purchase on day one. By having a sale period, you have more opportunities to communicate with your audience and more opportunities to persuade them to take action and make a purchase.
  • Offer a real discount. Offer a meaningful discount during your sales (at least 30%). If it’s not a very big discount, people won’t see any urgency to purchase during your sale. MarketBeat will typically offer a 50% discount for the first year during these sales. We don’t lose out on long-term revenue because the deal is only good for the first year of their subscription and we’re happy to provide that discount because our marginal cost to service an additional subscriber is very minimal.
  • Run different sales to different segments. If you have a group of customers that have already purchased your main product or service, offer that segment of people something else with a similar discount. For the people that are subscribed to our core product, MarketBeat Daily Premium, we will run a variation of the same campaign to those people for our top-level subscription, MarketBeat All Access.
  • Supplement email with other mediums. For a major sale, MarketBeat will also send push notifications to its push list and place a banner on the top of its website that’s fixed to the header (sometimes called a Hello Bar). If you have other communication channels, such as a web push list, an SMS list, a website or a Facebook Group, use those methods to promote your sale as well.
  • Send four emails on the last day. We have had good success sending multiple emails on the last day of the sale to encourage people to take action. In fact, more than 50% of our sales occurred during the last day of the sale.
  • Sweeten the deal on the last day. We like to improve the offer slightly in the final two emails of the sale. We do this by giving people a 30-day trial for $1.00 in addition to the 50% first-year discount. This gives your potential customers a bit more encouragement to take action in the final hours of your sale.
  • Have a second close a few days later. Our sales typically happen over holidays and some people are simply gone and not looking at their email. We will often re-open the sale for a 24-hour period a few days after the sale is over to give people that weren’t paying attention to take action. The “second close” day is often very successful will generate over 100 additional sales for us. This year, December 31st was on a Wednesday and we did our “second close” on Friday, December 3rd.

I sincerely hope the example of how we did our New Year’s sale will be useful to you and your business and that you will be able to leverage these tactics to generate a significant revenue boost for your business.