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September 14, 2023
Gary Marx

How subscription brands can leverage CRO techniques during Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Summer’s out, schools are back, and thinking about the best savings of the year is in motion.

Reframing how to think through your customer’s eyes will definitely help you drive sales. Remember, each of your future customers are thinking about how much they’re going to save & WHAT they’re going to get.

That’s it.

The key to selling the most on Black Friday Cyber Monday is to communicate that point through design.

Your designs must do 3 things: 

1. Highlight savings prominently ( $ or % )

Savings highlighted prominently on The Patch Brand

2. Make it easy to compare & find the best savings 

Compare savings and discounts between different options

3. Highlight benefits and customer incentives:

Incentives of the subscription program are clearly highlighted

First, a quick strategy chat:

Figure out what’s most important - a one time sale to move massive amounts of product or a recurring subscription?

Since you’re reading this on Loop’s blog, I’m going to assume subscription is the goal – increase LTV and hold off on massively undercutting yourself to drive temporary revenue.

That said, find your special way to sweeten the deal to win against the other major sales out there and treat Black Friday / Cyber Monday as a special event, one where your customers are celebrated and able to walk away with a great deal.

If you’re giving an incentive beyond a discount, you may want to highlight that first, with the amount of savings second. The catch here - that incentive needs to be more emotionally able to sell someone than a discount of 30% or more.

Incentives can be ‘doorbusters’, tiered savings, or some other value add.

If the goal is to sell entire carts of items, stack discounts where the more users buy, the more they save - proclaim that on the sitewide banner and on each page keep track of the tiers they’re approaching.

We have the example of Range bundles with tiered disounts on our demo store

Keeping this prominent throughout the users journey can add an extra 10% in sales and drive up the Average Order Value massively.

Show pacing as they add more items to the cart ( 3 of 6 items, only 1 more left to hit the next tier! ) just like you see on Free Shipping thresholds - and when customers are close, giving them a grab & go option can accelerate their pace to checkout.

Suggest an item in the cart that is either just enough to get over the next tier, something related to items in their cart, or default to a best seller.

If you predominantly sell 1 item ( that top item accounts for > 70% of your sales ), then you’ll want to push a strategy that doesn’t over discount that item but rather gets users to commit to a subscription and gets one of your other products as an incentive - which can even be spread out across the second and 3rd month - drawing them out beyond your new year’s incentive into February. Your CFO will appreciate that.

Mel Science most sought after item is the annual subscription box

Why do this? If you give the biggest discount of the year then your loyal customers will buy in bulk. People looking for a sample will buy one or two, but the loyalty will get cannibalized by this big discount and then you’re taking forward sales and cramming them into Black Friday / Cyber Monday. One of my clients loved this strategy - actually encouraging users to buy a year’s worth supply and they’re okay with it. You need to decide if it’s right for you.

Okay, now that you know your strategy, time to design your UX to convert

Highlight savings prominently  ( $ or % )

The following locations, elements, and pages should all be used to highlight these savings - use them ALL

  • Sitewide banner


  • Hero
  • Flags on Product highlights
  • New Sections
  • Subscription advertisement!


  • Image Carousel
  • Product Description
  • Product Price ( slash it and show a new one! )
  • Subscription call out- Includes toggle, consider making it default for the sale period
  • Advertisement sections

Cart (inline included)

  • Subtotal w/ savings
  • Product lines
  • Upsell products


  • Reminder of subscription, savings, & incentive to remind them how awesome their purchase is

New things

  • Benefit badges
  • Text Flags
  • Advertisement sections

Your website may have other locations to call out the sale and for some of you, you may think this is too much design and development work. The difference between utilizing all of these locations and not could be meaningful for you. Let’s look at data from past tests I’ve run on client websites

Inline Cart

+31% increase in upsell items added to cart ( & purchased)

HOW? By cleaning up the design in the cart for the user to flow smoothly from product, through upsells, to the Checkout CTA.

When this client has major sales ( like Black Friday / Cyber Monday ), this 31% increase really makes an impact on AOV and total revenue.

% vs $ off

Here’s a buried gem - know whether % savings or $$ savings resonates more with users. This simple difference has added 10% in sales during promotions from Valentines to a random summer holiday. Normally, the bigger value wins. For Black Friday / Cyber Monday, they expect this to be the biggest savings they’ll have all year - so go ahead, be shameless.

Make it easy to compare & find the best savings

Showcase what’s on sale, how much the user saves and even call out ‘Best Deal’ or ‘Deal of the Day’ → customers who are savvy savers flock to these. Calling out your subscription as the best deal in a new section on the homepage, landing page, and product page will do the math for the user and get them to commit at the same time.

Use Benefit badges/bumps

This guy -> 

Don’t forget to put your sale sticker on your products, every chance you get.

Change the color, the copy- do what you need to call out ‘PICK ME!’

An Extra banner on the PDP

Add an extra 5-10% in sales by highlighting the specific deal for the product the client is doing - especially if it’s a subscription incentive!

Put a banner on your store to promote discount on subscribe & save program

Highlight benefits and customer incentives

If your site is complex, create a guide & send it ahead of time to your users - keep it simple, and be transparent. If there’s a surprise to come, go ahead and tease it! This way you’re not giving everything away, but you still let customers plan and find what’s best for them.

As a DTC store owner, if you want to accelerate your growth through experimentation, get in touch with Coda Lift LLC

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