For many years, our plugin business Paid Memberships Pro never ran sales. In recent we did one Black Friday/Cyber Monday (BFCM) sale and since then we slowly eased into running a sale often. But how often should you run a sale? In our experience, run a sale at least once per year on the BFCM weekend.

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After our initial testing of running a sale on Black Friday, we tested a summer sale the following year. Thereafter we did a spring sale, summer, fall, and then BFCM. In this way, we eased into running a sale once every quarter or so.

For an annual membership type product, running a sale quarterly makes sense. From all these sales combined, Paid Memberships Pro (PMPro) built a good backlog of customers. These customers were either price-sensitive or needed a little push.

Target Audience

On a typical BFCM weekend, you’ll get the customers that were priced out of your product or membership. Some people, however, like waiting for a sale, and they will be more motivated to buy even if they aren’t 100% in need of it. 

Knowing your target audience can help you gauge how many customers are waiting for your product to become more affordable.

Running Sales Too Often

Running sales too often, on the other hand, will have people thinking that your product is overpriced, hence giving out discounts regularly to attract customers. Or that it is “cheap,” and you aren’t actually giving out discounts, rather marketing your “cheap” product.

Read more on “Would running a sale make my product look cheap?“.

Sale Dips

Another way we like to decide when to run sales is to look for months where sales naturally dip. Bring up a chart of your monthly revenue and look for low months. Picks those months where your income is below average and run a sale. Over time, these sales can help to even out your revenue month to month.

New Financial Year

Another time to run sales is at the end of the financial year when the budgets are front and centre in people’s minds. Those in need of your product or membership will find a reason to buy if you give them great discounts.

Holiday Gift

If you have the kind of product sold as a holiday gift, you’re likely to spot a spike in demand during the BFCM. You can also give discounts on gift cards to spice up your sales.

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