Midnight Madness PPC

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving, it’s fast approaching. I’m sure you’ve got your campaigns all pumped up with holiday-riffic ad copy burgeoning with sales and promo codes sitting in an Editor file, ready to go. And course, have your daily budgets set to skyrocket to keep up with demand.

People sure a love a deal. And they prove it at new heights every year- with stores now opening at midnight, crowds camping out the night before in freezing temperatures to be one of the first 5 people allowed into a Best Buy. Could be to save a few a bucks, a few hundred bucks or just to experience humanity at it’s best- stuffed with tryptophan after a 12hr day of family togetherness and alcohol. I personally refuse to do the midnight camp out, but I’m sure there are some fine individuals out there who enjoy the sport of it.

Instead, I’ll be “camping out” online with many other shoppers on Monday. Cyber Monday is great, you don’t have to deal with crowds, stand in line or even get it all on Cyber Monday. Sites will have great deals, promo codes and shipping offers right up until Dec. 23rd.

So how can you capitalize on this coming Cyber Monday and beyond?

Midnight Madness PPC

It’s pretty simple, special deals at special hours, driven through PPC only. But it does require a plan.

  • Choose your promo- sale, % off, shipping- but make it good. 10-15% isn’t going to do it. Neither is free shipping alone (unless your product is a TV that weighs 200 lbs)
  • Start new campaigns (or you can do current- but you’ll miss out on the ad copy part that’s coming up.)
  • Create them on your best keywords/promotional items.
  • Schedule them to only run at certain hours, like 10pm to 3am. Thur-Sun nights.
  • Pay attention to time zones! You may need one for Central/EST and another for MTN/PST- or singular campaign for each.
  • Schedule your regular campaigns for those same items/keywords to turn OFF turning those times.
  • Write ads that have the promo and the limited availability info in them.
  • Create a special lander that can only be reached through PPC for that promo.
  • Create “buzz” around your deal/promotion: have some of your regular ads mention the special sale. Mention that the offer is coming soon for that item on it’s product page. Depending on how big of deal this is and how much product you want to move- you can say specifically what the deal is or make it mystery. Or how tied to just running through PPC you are.

Here’s an example product/site:

You sell DVDs. You’re doing a 20% of all boxed sets sale. Sale hours are 10pm EST- 3am EST with a second campaign for PST, same hours- 10pm PST-3am PST.

Take the keywords for the DVD box sets you want to sell the most of, create ad groups and ads around the same.

Example ads:
20% Off Harry Potter: Complete 8 Disc Series. 10pm-3am Tonight Only!
Dexter –Shop 10pm Tonight: Save 20% Off Midnight Madness Sale! Ends Soon.
Boxed Sets- 20% Off: Shop 10pm-3am Tonight Only & Save!

You get the idea.

Obviously something like this requires a bit of work on the front end to really pull off on this scale, but what’s to say you couldn’t do it on a smaller scale as well? Like with a promo code for example. Include the promo code in the ads, run them at night and your lower traffic, late night customers will get a treat. The trick being that no one turns around and submits the code to a coupon offer site immediately so you can get some good data off what a late night shopper with a promo code will do.

Happy Holiday PPC Planning!

Start call to action

See how Portent can help you own your piece of the web.

End call to action


  1. Good stuff.
    I actually run paid search for one of the big companies named above. And…sad to say we didn’t get time to implement any pure PPC to in-store tests, but it was on our radar and in the plans for next year. The promo-code route is really the way to go for good measurement. We’re excited to measure the results, which will take a number of teams to coordinate and report out.

Comments are closed.

Close Mobile Menu Button
Close search overlay