Timing Is Everything

If you’re reading this the day I sent you the email then it’s Black Friday.

Today – almost certainly – you’ve had a ton of emails from anyone and everyone trying to sell you something.

They’re all offering a product that was selling last week, but today they’re charging less for it. You really have to ask why. Why don’t they sell it at the lower price all the time?

I’ve had two (yes, two) very similar offers to join a gym. Let me preface the next section by saying that I regularly join gyms in the New Year with wonderful intentions of getting healthy, trim and buff. Before the end of January I’ve usually stopped going. We’ll come back to that point!

And of course the gyms have my name and email. That means they can contact me at times like this – Black Friday.

Here’s a couple of screenshots showing what they’re offering me:

 

You’ll notice they are both waiving the joining fee. The joining fee is an obstacle to anyone joining. It’s an extra step and expense before you “join”. But today they will waive that fee.

Why don’t they do that January 1st 2018? Why will they charge me a joining fee on that date, like pretty much every other gym at that time of year?

The reason is simple and you likely already know it. It’s supply and demand.

At the start of the New Year, oh boy do people have the same aspirations as everyone else on the planet. Lose weight, get a better job, make more money and so on.

Some niches are seasonal. Everyone wants to get healthy at the start of a new year. So there’s a lot of demand and prices go up – or at least you don’t get the special offers.

By this time of year NOBODY is joining a gym. Well, almost nobody. So the gyms have nothing to lose by letting people join without the joining fee. Simple, right? And obvious when we think about it. I’ve never joined a gym, that I can recall, at this time of year. They’d have to have some amazing incentive to persuade me.

At this time of year healthy eating and exercise are just not really on my radar.

But come January 1? I’ll be obsessed with the whole idea again, full of enthusiasm – again.

And they know they’ve got me at that point.

Ever heard of “Happy Hour” in pubs and bars? Same principles.

When it’s quiet do something to get people in and spending money!

Two for one Tuesday? Wednesday Midweek Bargains? Off-peak travel? Off-season airline tickets?

On those occasions when people are not buying en masse, marketers look to find a way to encourage them to buy.

You should do the same.

Look for the seasonal trends in the niche you’re involved in.

If you’re involved in any of the self-help, self-improvement niches (and that’s a big niche with lots of sub-niches) now is the time to be getting your content out there.

Just a few weeks from now there will be hordes of traffic.

Even sites that are normally quiet will start to see an upturn in traffic.

The big surprise to me is that many people find seasonal trends a big surprise. Seriously? We see these promotions all the time. WE are marketed to by other marketers, big and small. And we see the same things at the same time of year, every year. I think you probably see those same things, too.

Given that we see so many patterns, year after year, you’d think we’d all be better at predicting that opportunity is coming. But we’re not!

When I talk to people a very large percentage never think to prepare in advance of a seasonal trend. But those trends are coming around like clockwork! I know that a year from now people will be buying more than they normally do, because of Black Friday deals.

Just think about that. I have a full 12 months to get ready for that massive selling opportunity – and so do you!

Even if I don’t have a product to sell I can prepare generic mailers in advance. Find a product just ahead of the season and then plugin the product name and specifics!

Boom – you’re now a marketer. After Black Friday there’s….Cyber Monday. After Cyber Monday there’s….Christmas. After Christmas there’s….New Year, after New year there’s…well you get the idea.

And on and on and on. Talk about rinse and repeat! Sometimes the opportunities are so in our face that we don’t really notice them, even if we see them. The difference between seeing and noticing (or observing) is a massive one.

Have you mapped out the seasonal trends for your niche yet? If you haven’t, just know that your competition has!

Take a look at the graph below, if you don’t believe me! (provided by PCA direct)

 

Let me know in the comments how you handle seasonality in your business!

p.s. If you want to see some of the results of this very specific seasonality (at least in the UK), there’s an interesting article on the BBC website here.

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