(Best Of!) Pros & Cons of "Black Friday" Promotions - Rick Mulready

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(Best Of!) Pros & Cons of “Black Friday” Promotions

November 11, 2022

Are you thinking about running a Black Friday promotion?

In this quick tip episode of Art of Online Business, I’m sharing a “Best Of” episode from this time last year. The reason I wanted to share this again is that it’s that time of year and I get a lot of questions about this so I knew this would be a great episode to revisit. 

To be honest, I have some pretty strong feelings surrounding Black Friday promotions and I want to break down the pros and cons in this episode so that you can make the right decision for your business. 

The origin of this day is probably not what you think it is. It actually has a very negative association in history. If you decide to do it, there are ways that you can do it really well without getting mixed up in all of the noise of Black Friday promotions. 


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The origin of Black Friday
  • Why your promotion may just blend in with the rest on this day
  • Why discounting diminishes the value of your work
  • How a discount helps people who can’t always afford your offers
  • Why these promotions can bring in some serious sales
  • Creative ways to run a promotion


Links & Resources:

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.


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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

How the “5 Ps of Alignment” Affect the Success of Your Business, with Annemie Tonken

3 “Creative” Funnels Working Right Now

How (and Why) to Choose the Right Coach or Mentor




Hey, my friend Rick here wanted to jump in real quick and share some really cool news with you. So I get questions all the time about my accelerator coaching program, and I wanted to let you know I’ve made some big changes to it recently, including I’ve added access to 230 minute one on one coaching calls with me each month. And when I did this, the members were like, Are you sure? Like, Are you cool with this? I’m like, Yes, I’m announcing it and I absolutely love it. And so if you’re interested in one on one and group mentorship to help guide you to the next level of your business through things like clear systems, creating an effective and efficient team and a growth focused strategy, then I want to invite you to hop on over to Rick Mul radio forward slash accelerator and fill out the short application right there. It’s application only. So just go to Rick Morrow, dotcom forward slash accelerator, fill out the short application there and look forward to getting your application. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Hey. Hey. What’s up, my friend? Rick, I’m already here. Welcome to the Art of Online Business podcast. This is a best of episode today, and the reason why I wanted to share this episode again with you. I first published this back in almost a year ago to the date. Actually. This episode is called Pros and Cons of Black Friday Promotions. 

And the reason I wanted to share it again with you. Number one, I got a lot of feedback on it. How how many people like this episode? And number two, it’s that time of year again, right? And number three, I’m getting this question a lot inside of our accelerator community group where people are asking about Black Friday deals and ideas and promotions and all that stuff. So I thought it’d be a really timely best of episode to share with you again. So without further ado, let’s dive into this best of pros and cons of Black Friday promotions. What’s up, my friends? Welcome back to the podcast. This is another quick tip episode here on the show. I hope you’re doing well. Whatever you’re up to right now, Thanks so much for coming to hang out with me. So let’s talk Black Friday promotions, quote unquote, Black Friday promotions. And what I want to do in this episode here, because we’re at this time of year, this is the middle of November when this episode is coming out. Most people are with us CEOs. Many of us are thinking about and talking about what kind of Black Friday promotions we should be doing. I know just recently in the past week or so when I’m recording this, this has been a major discussion in our accelerator coaching program, both in our community and on calls that we’ve had and just kind of brainstorming promotions and so forth. 

Well, I have some pretty strong feelings around promotions for Black Friday and like I said, so pros and cons and I do have more cons than pros, and so I’m going to break these down for you, and I want to finish out with my recommendation for you whether I think this is smart for you to do it or not, or if you’re thinking about it, or maybe you’re starting to set something up and maybe I say something today that might change your mind or double down or what have you. That’s my intention for for today. And then at the end of this episode, I want to share with you somebody who I think is doing things really the right way when it comes to a, quote, Black Friday promotion that’s going to be coming up towards the end. Now, before we get into all of this quick announcement for you, we are taking applications right now for my accelerator coaching program. This is our one on one coaching group coaching and mastermind experience for more established online course creators and online coaches. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, if you want to scale your business, but you’re not quite sure what next steps that you should be doing to take you there, right? If you are feeling overwhelmed in the business, if you’re working simply way too much in your business, you’re doing kind of all the things, then accelerator is going to be for you. 

What we help you do inside of Accelerator is increase your profit because top line revenue is great, but it’s really about how much of that is going in your pocket. So we help you increase your profit, increase your impact because it’s all about impact, my friends, right? If you are not in business or if you are if you’re in business and a major focus for you is not to have a true impact on the world, to help people deeply live better lives in whatever way that you help people, then this program is not for you. We help you increase your impact. So more profit, more impact with less hustle. So we help you do all this while working fewer hours because the whole hustle culture is so toxic. And I have an episode about that coming up here on the show, and we do this through optimizing your systems and processes, optimizing your sales and marketing and optimizing your mindset. I talk about all these things on the show all the time, so if you’re interested in learning more and applying, go to Rick Morrow forward slash accelerator. All right. So I’m going to start off with the cons rather than the pros of my thoughts around Black Friday. And I want to start off with.

A little bit of a history, a little bit of a quick back lesson, if you will, on the origin of Black Friday, because there’s a huge misconception out there of what Black Friday has always you know, people think but the thing Black Friday is all about, right. So contrary to popular belief, it is not. It’s not because retailers, quote unquote, go in the black the day after Thanksgiving. Right. Because so many people are shopping on that day. It is not because retailers go in the black because they make a whole bunch of sales that day, rather. Check this out. Black Friday in history is used again and again for various tragic events and various disasters, if you will. It’s not a good it’s associated. The association with it is not a positive one. And so according to History.com, the term Black Friday, like for 100 hundreds of years, the term Black Friday was associated with a 19th century financial crisis. And in 1869, according to History.com, I’ll read what they said. Two scheming Wall Street financiers bought as much gold as they could with the hopes of artificially driving up the price and selling it at an astronomical profit. Well, instead, what happened was the gold market collapsed and took the stock market with it, which in the process bankrupted millions of people. And that happened on Friday, September 24th, 1869. So that was a that was a they reference it as a Black Friday. 

Right. And Black Friday kept its negative connotation throughout the early 20th century when business owners would complain about workers calling in sick after the Friday after Thanksgiving. Right. Which without quote unquote, people to help out with retail and labor that really wreaked havoc on the economy. And so, again, there was a negative connotation to the term Black Friday. And then later on in the late 1950s, it came up again where they were calling it Black Friday, when Philadelphia police gave this nickname of Black Friday to downtown Philadelphia, because not only was there a huge influx of people shopping on the sidewalks and increase in traffic, but there was the annual Army-Navy football game. So it just added to the overwhelm, if you will, for police in downtown Philadelphia. Lots of people on the sidewalks, traffic. And it was just you know, it was just kind of an overwhelming experience. And they dubbed it Black Friday. So again, it’s being associated with a variety of negative events, tragic events. And personally, if you think about this and I’ve thought a lot about this personally I don’t understand, nor do I agree with why things that are so negative are referred to as black. I think that’s just flat out wrong. And so I don’t love the association that’s being made with Black Friday because retailers in so many businesses. 

Right. Look at it as a good thing because the perception is, oh, it’s it’s bringing businesses in into the black, right. Because of bringing more revenue in, etc., when historically it’s been associated with a lot of negative, negative events and tragic events. And again, I personally don’t understand or agree with why things that are so negative are referred to as black. I just don’t agree with that. So that’s from a history perspective. And so another con quote unquote, for me when it comes to Black Friday is if you decide to run a promotion, you’re going to blend in with all the all the other businesses and other online businesses who are doing a promotion on that day or over that weekend. So you’re going to blend in with all the noise of every other person in business who is also emailing about their promotion or talking about it on social media. And it becomes way more difficult to stand out and be seen amongst all the noise. So that’s another con. And I’ll talk a little bit more on the flip side of that here in just a second. When I talk about some pros and the final con that I’ll talk about, quote unquote, is I don’t know why I’m seeing quote unquote, a lot. Finally, I don’t love most people when it comes to a Black Friday promotion. They’re talking about discounting. Right. So, hey, you can get this for whatever a large percentage off. 

Just think about all the sales that all the retailers have, you know, get huge percentages off and a lot of online businesses and of course, creators and so forth, you know, drastically discount their their products and their courses and resources and so forth. And I’ve never been a fan of discounting, never been a fan of discounting, because I feel like it diminishes the value of what you have created as the expert that you are. And so I just I just have never loved discounting. Do I think it has its place? Yes. And I’ll share more about that here in just a second. But from an overarching perspective, how I look at discounting, I’m not a huge fan of it. There are ways to use it, which I’ll talk about in a second. But for the most part, I don’t love it because I feel like it diminishes the value and I don’t think that that’s necessary. Your offer, your resource, your program, your course, your coaching program should just be of amazing value and be able to stand on its own at the price that you have put on it. Right. So those are the cons now on the pros. On the flip side of that. Oc when it comes to a discount, right? So if you decide to do a Black Friday promotion, so most promotions go Friday, Saturday, Sunday, most of them, some people do just Friday, some people do like Friday, Saturday, whatever it might be. 

Some people do like Friday through Monday because Monday is that Cyber Monday, if you will. So if you decide to do a promotion, that includes a discount. That discount can be really helpful to people who might not normally be able to otherwise afford your course or product or coaching. And that’s a good thing, right? Because now we’re able to serve people who really that your offer or offers can really help out and maybe they have been able to afford it up until now. But yet your discount during this special promotion time is really helpful, right? So that’s a good thing. The other one is if running a promotion this time of year around Thanksgiving is something that you always do, many people in your audience and on your email list will often be waiting to see what your special promotion is. And if they’ve been sort of on the fence about whatever you’re offering and you come out with a special a special promo around it, they’re going to wait to buy whatever it is that you’re offering and that can really bring in some nice, serious revenue for you over the weekend from doing those promotions. If you want to do a promotion and you don’t want to discount it, another way that you can do it is you can add bonuses to your offer, right? Or you can add bundles of specific maybe programs that you have, courses that you have or resources or what have you.

So there’s different ways that you can do it. And then, by the way, like the bundle, like the special bundle price is just for just for the promotion period or the bonuses are just during the promotion period. So there’s creative ways that you can do it. If you would like to do some sort of a promotion, if you decide to do a promotion, what I like to do, what I coach my members on, I should say, because traditionally I don’t do, especially now with our accelerator offer, You know, Black Friday promotions are things that I just haven’t done in the past for a lot of the reasons I’m talking about here today. If you decide to do one, why not do it earlier? You know, why not do it maybe the week earlier or the previous weekend? Right. And so that way you’re separating yourself from all the other offers. You can call it whatever you want, but now you’re separating yourself from all the noise, right? And you’re just making it easier for people to find your special promotion. So that’s what that’s sort of how I feel about, quote, Black Friday promotions. Cons and pros. And I think that if you decide to do it, there are ways to do it really, really well. 

And like I said, a lot of our accelerator members, they do it really well and they have amazingly successful weekends because of it or they do it earlier and they see huge success from doing that. Because again, they’re not getting mixed up with all the noise and every other every other person in business emailing their email list about their special promotions. Now, ironically, when I was putting this episode together for you, I got an email from my buddy Pat Flynn. So if you don’t know Pat smart passive income dot com. He also has the spy podcast. Pat’s a very good friend of mine. He literally lives like a mile down the road from me here in San Diego. And so as I was putting this together, I got an email from him that the subject line was on Black Friday. So of course, as I’m putting this together, this episode for you, I open that up and I read through it and I think Pat is approaching this really, really well. And so by the way, in sharing this, I have there’s this is not an affiliate. I have zero financial investment in this at all. Right? So I don’t benefit in this in any way. I merely wanted to use this as an example of what I think is a really good presentation of a special promotion. 

And so I’m going to read you a couple of a couple of pieces of the of the email here. And I’ll also share with you his coupon code because he is doing a special. And so essentially he’s just saying, you know, he’s talking about all the upcoming quote unquote Black Friday and Cyber Monday noise that’s about to be unleashed upon us like that. And so this year, he says, we decide to keep it simple and stress free for you and your team while still providing you great value to help you build your audience and grow your business and so forth. And so they called it they said introducing Spy, which is again smart passive income on Black Friday promotion, because it really can’t get more simple than this. And then it says $100 off any spy course until the end of the month. And he sent this on November 5th. So basically almost an entire month of November. You can get this offer. He says nothing fancy and not a huge rush, just a great deal in any course that’s useful to you for where you are right now. And by the way, I would recommend his podcasting course and his email marketing thing is called email marketing magic to really, really good courses that I purchased in the past. And so anyway, again, I have zero. I’m not an affiliate or anything, I’m just sharing this example. 

So if you want to go check it out, go to courses Smart Passive Income and it says to use the coupon code on Black Friday during checkout and you get 100 bucks off. So anyway, I just think that he really positioned it very well. And it’s just like, look, if you’d like this, no stress, no hurry, right? No. Like quick deadline here. This is good till the for the entire month of November. Again, sending something like that out on November 5th, way ahead of all the noise, way ahead of all the, you know, the inundation that is that a 

word, the inundation that your email inbox is going to see right there. No stress. Boom. Here it is. If this is helpful with you, great. If it’s not, that’s okay, too. And another example where if somebody has wanted one of his courses in the past and hasn’t been able to afford it, I think this is a really good use of a discount because it’s like, oh, somebody can get into whatever the podcast and course of the email marketing course that they maybe haven’t been able to do in the past. Well, now they can because of this special promotion, which they’re calling the Black Friday promotion. So I’d love to get your thoughts on this because I know that, you know, people are on both sides of the fence here. And some of the things that I brought up today might you might agree with, you might not agree with. 

I’d love to hear whatever your point of view is, shoot me a DM over on Instagram at Rick Morty and just let me know how this falls for you. So coming up on the podcast here, really excited. We’re going to be continuing the membership series here on the podcast, and I’ve got my friends Autumn Whitt, Boyd and Shante Hallett, who are both attorneys. And we’re going to be talking about a topic, frankly, that rarely ever gets talked about, and that is how to legally protect your membership. And in this conversation, courses also come up quite a bit and yourself. And there’s so many things that so many of us. Think about it from a legal perspective, from whether it’s our membership or whether it’s our online course until it’s too late. And so we fix all that for you coming up in the next episode where you’re going to learn all of the things that we don’t normally think about. But yet it’s super important to think about it because we are more advanced in our business, right? And there’s lots of things to be thinking about. So that’s coming up in the next episode. Until then, my friend, thank you as always for tuning in today. I super appreciate you. Be well, my friends and I’ll talk to you soon. Yeah.


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