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Written by Dan Wilkinson Content Manager
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12 Oct 2018  |  Black Friday

Strategies for Upgrading Your Existing User Base on Black Friday

3 minute read

Want to wow your existing customers into upgrading this Black Friday? We outline the best promotions to draw people to your software product.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday’s impact as one of the best days to sell software cannot be underestimated.

This is why we’re breaking down the ways to upgrade your existing customers.

Best Discounts for Upgrading Existing Users

Many software developers usually only give discounts to new customers - feeling that existing customers should be happy to pay full price, right?

While this can be true, there are also many benefits in engaging with your existing customers during Black Friday. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Offering them a unique discount before you even communicate the normal discount on social media or on your website.

  • Offering a discount that’s worth less, but applies to more products (e.g instead of 40% off your main product, they get 20% off all products).

  • Giving them a sneak peek on the products that’ll be on sale before anyone else is even aware.

  • Promoting a referral scheme with increased rewards for each new customer they bring you (turn your happiest customers into promoters).

Cross-promotion - The Power of Collaboration?

One aspect that often gets overlooked is cross-promotion, which is when you team up with another company within your sector. To illustrate our point, you could team up if you’re two companies both selling to designers.

This could come in the form of newsletters promotion, social media or even a new product bundle. For those considering cross-promotion, or looking for someone to team-up, get in touch and we’ll be able to help with some suggestions and maybe even an introduction!

Your Email Message

You may have several email lists: one with customers who’ve bought one of your products before, one with subscribers to your blog, one with people who gave you their email to download a free resource you came up with 2 years ago… Determine which lists would be most receptive to your message - making sure that you have collected permission to email them.

The Subject Line

Probably the most important part of your newsletter: the majority of recipients will not open your email (depending on your segment, even getting 10% or 20% open rates could be considered a success), so spend some time on the subject line.

Hubspot provides a handy recipe:

  1. Check for deliverability: avoid spam filters and your readers’ BS detector by limiting triggers words like “free”, “limited time”, “REMINDER”…

  2. Make it actionable: use a verb to convey what the reader can get from your email, e.g “Get a 50% discount” vs. “50% discount”

  3. Personalize: use any information you have about your readers (especially if you’ve segmented your list) to make the subject line sound like something they want, rather than a something generic

  4. Scrub for clarity: keep it clear - try to be too intriguing or witty and people may not bother opening

  5. Edit for brevity: a good rule of thumb is 50 characters or shorter

  6. Ensure consistency: deliver in your email what you promise in your subject line

The Copy

Here’s a few tips we have about the email copy you’ll be writing.

  • Keep the design clear and simple: it’s all too easy to clutter your email. It also makes it harder to showcase a good looking email on all clients and devices. Provide plenty of white space between your sections to make it more appealing to a tired eye.

  • Keep the copy short and to the point: your goal is to convince your readers to take action and click.

  • Give an alt text to your images: many email clients block images, so make sure your email is still functional without them.

The call to action

There is a golden rule in a promotion newsletter: have one unique call to action. There are many lists of call to action examples, for example:

  1. Save $50

  2. Buy now

  3. Redeem your personal offer

  4. Get it before it runs out

  5. Enjoy 50% off today

Waltr does this well by using their call to action button “Get It Now” - “Or never”.


This works because of the branding that draws you to the CTA, with clear colors and a deadline for when to act. It's all about having the right information presented in a clear way.

Using these techniques will allow you to persuade your existing customers to upgrade during Black Friday.

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