How to Run a Flash Sale Like a Pro

How to Run a Flash Sale

Running sales and promos are a big part of running a business. But the truth is, they can be anything but simple or easy. There are a lot of logistics to consider, and when you’re a team of one (or you have a very small team), it can be overwhelming. 

How to Run a Flash Sale Like a Pro

We don’t want that overwhelm to stop you from hosting a flash sale that could drive a lot of revenue, which is why we’re talking about how to pull one off here. You may have heard a lot about flash sales in the online business space, but today we’re going to give you the rundown on what they actually are, how to use them in your own biz, and how to make them a raging success.

What's a flash sale?

A flash sale is just like any other sale you run in your business, whether it’s on your products or services. However, they aren’t sales like a Black Friday or Labor Day sale. They’re not usually something you advertise before they go live.

These sales also include a higher discount than usual, a shorter buying period, and a limited quantity or selection (most of the time on just one product or service). 

For example, we’ve hosted flash sales on our membership to our email list and social media followers that last anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. People love these sales because they get a big discount on our membership and we get to welcome way more members than usual in a short amount of time.

P.S. Want to be the first to know about our flash sales? Make sure you’re on our email list!

Why host a flash sale?

Flash sales give you the opportunity to sell more than you usually do in a shorter amount of time. Whether you’re a service provider or online shop owner, they have a running list of benefits, like:

  • Clearing out space for new inventory
  • Increasing brand awareness 
  • Converting customers and clients faster
  • Boosting revenue
  • Building loyalty with your existing audience

Basically, FOMO (fear of missing out) attracts people to your sale. Because they’re so short and oftentimes at random, people aren’t sure when you’re going to offer your flash sale again and they know it’s time to take action.

Plus, it sends a message to your audience — that you appreciate them and you’re willing to throw in some surprises here and there.

It’s kind of like when you randomly get taken out for a nice date by your S.O. Or get a surprise gift from a friend. Or have a special brunch made from your kids “just because.”. It’s a nice way to say, “Hey, thanks for sticking around!” to followers, clients, or customers.

What kind of discount should you offer?

Knowing what type of discount to offer depends on your business. Do you have seasonal offers? You may want to plan an end-of-season sale. Are your services local? Is there an event happening that you can tie your sale to? Is this a time period your audience could really use your product?

Here are just a few examples to get your wheels turning:

  • A web designer might host a 50% off flash sale for their website templates on their business anniversary
  • A ceramics maker might give a bonus free mug to anyone who purchases in the next 24 hours to help with inventory
  • A VA might offer 2 additional hours on their monthly retainers when someone books this week 
  • A business coaching membership might offer 1 month free when a member pays for a year upfront

There’s not a specific answer here because it depends on your business model and the wants and needs of your audience. Just make sure you’re pricing well enough that you’re still making a profit!

How long should your flash sale be?

Keep your flash sales short. Most flash sales last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. 50% of sales happen within the first few hours anyway. So the longer the sale, the less momentum you have among your audience to purchase from you. 

And as far as when you should open the doors to your sale — just be mindful of your audience. 

Pay attention to your analytics and notice behavior patterns. Do they shop early in the morning? When are email open rates the highest? What day of the week are you getting the most sales? 

How do you promote your flash sale?

There are so many ways you can promote your flash sale. You should be using all of the resources you have on hand, like your email list and social media to name a few.

But they won’t get promoted the same as your other content. 

You want to treat your flash sale advertisements and promotions as simple as possible. Don’t use abstract concepts and big language. Don’t draw the copy out more than it needs to be. 

Don’t make it hard for people to buy, is what we’re saying. 

Of course, you can also add these to your content strategy to promote your sale:

  • Going live on Instagram
  • Promoting it in your Stories
  • Answering FAQs
  • Sharing testimonials
  • Sending emails with clear sales subject lines

It’s similar to any other sale promotion — you just have to keep in mind the urgency around it. 

Make flash sales easier with our NEW Flash Sale Toolkit

We know this post made flash sales sound a little easy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t add any extra stress to your already packed schedule. Being an entrepreneur is tough and time-consuming, so we thought we’d make it a little easier on you to have a successful flash sale!

Introducing the Flash Sale Toolkit — for Styled Stock Society members ONLY.

This toolkit comes full of the swipe copy and graphics you need to promo your next flash sale like a pro. The best part? If you’re a member, it’s yours to keep forever. You can use it over and over again to make each flash sale a best seller!

Not a member yet? Join now and be one of the first to experience our Flash Sale Toolkit! Oh, and you’ll also get access to some other amazing features, like:

  • Unlimited downloads from our stock photo library (which are also yours to keep forever!)
  • Even more bonus marketing toolkits
  • Monthly social media caption guides
  • Stock video clips
  • And additional bonus resources added throughout the year

Ready to run your flash sale like a pro? Join Styled Stock Society now