The holiday shoppers generated the high sales you were expecting, and along with that came the anticipated post-holiday slow down where the sparkle and the excitement have diminished. The eCommerce industry typically views this as a time where they take a hit, but it can be quite the opposite. A better way to look at it would be as an opportunity for post-holiday conversion where you have a chance to make long-term customers of your holiday visitors.
With the right planning, you can inspire customers and drive additional sales after the holidays. There are effective ways to achieve this, such as email marketing, loyalty programs, and incentives that are tailored to make a big impact. Let’s get started in going over a few marketing techniques that can give you a high post-holiday conversion rate!
Post-Holiday Email Marketing Can Spark Customer Interest and Keep it!
Now that the hustle and bustle of the season are over, your holiday customers are back to their daily routines and shopping is not at the forefront of their minds at this point. Fortunately, it’s possible to re-spark your post-holiday shopper’s interest by utilizing an effective email marketing campaign. With the number of email users growing, 3.7 billion in 2017, and an estimated 4.1 billion by the end of 2021, as shown in a study conducted by the Radicati Group, you can be sure your email marking efforts will be successful in turning your holiday shoppers into customers. Here are a few ideas to get your conversion goals on their way.
A Basic Follow-Up Email can Set the Stage for a Successful Conversion
The follow-up email is considered the most basic of emails within a marketing campaign, but don’t let this underestimate its value and effectiveness when it comes to increasing repeat engagement with your post-holiday shoppers. A follow-up email will enable a business to thank a customer or check-in to confirm their customer was happy with their purchase, as well as their shopping experience.
The main goal of the follow-up email is not so much to inspire click-through rates, but more to reintroduce your brand to the seasonal shopper, establish a relationship, and create a great customer service experience. This sets the stage for conversion. Although the click-through is not the main purpose, the underlying goal is still achieving a conversion, so a call-to-action should always be placed within the email.
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This post-purchase email can cause them to feel appreciated and valued as a customer, which will increase the likelihood of a repeat sale and successful conversion. Incorporating a Thank You email with coupons is shown to have a successful click, open, and conversion rate compared to emails that do not contain coupons.
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Leverage New Year’s Resolutions to Create Long-Term Customers
Promote a New Year’s sale email campaign to put your business back on the customer’s radar before they are lost. A New Year’s sale focuses on the fact that most customers have New Year’s resolutions in mind. A business can leverage this by providing information on their products and services in a way that pertains to a “new beginning” and a “new you”. This will bring your marketing efforts to a personal level that can create a connection with your post-holiday shoppers. Be sure to seize the opportunity in targeting resolution minded post-seasonal shoppers by scheduling your email release soon after the New Year hits.
Introduce Holiday Shoppers to Your Loyalty Program
Whether it’s during a customer’s holiday transaction or directly after the holidays, your shoppers should be introduced to your loyalty program. If your brand currently does not have a program in place, it’s imperative to implement a loyalty program to keep your customers engaged and increase the frequency of their store visits, as well as increase the amount of money spent as they try to reach their reward goals. If a program revamp or refresh is needed to make your loyalty program more successful, try adding incentives for customers to join, or hold a brainstorming session with your partners to come up with a creative program your post-holiday shoppers can’t resist. The bottom line is that loyalty programs make customers happy, they realize they are earning rewards as they invest money into your brand; it’s a win-win situation.
Up Your Membership Numbers by Offering an Incentive to Join
Like any marketing program, some thought and smart promoting are essential to be on top of your game. With that being said, you have a great chance of increasing your membership numbers by offering your holiday visitors an enticing incentive to join.
Advantages of implementing an incentive into your loyalty program:
- Sparks customer interest
- Creates a desire to join
- Immediate positive emotion towards your brand
- Stands out from other brand programs that only offer a free membership as the incentive
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While a free incentive can be viewed as taking a hit for some brands, in reality, it’s an investment that will be recouped at a certain point as the program member starts spending more to reap the rewards. In addition to this, your efforts will provide you with the conversion you were hoping for, as well as a loyal and longtime shopper.
Wow Your Post-Seasonal Shoppers With a Creative Loyalty Program
Impress your shoppers with a custom designed incentive program that is unique to your business. Creating a specialized loyalty program will catch your customer’s attention and can therefore increase program sign-up rates; this will enable your business to drive repeat purchases. Shoppers are bombarded with loyalty programs over the course of a year; so coming up with a loyalty program that stands out from the crowd is worth the time spent.
A few examples of creative program features:
- Customer of the week that receives bonus points
- Option to support a charity with earned points
- Brands selling items such as crafts, fabrics, or meal preparation products can feature high point earners on social media to showcase their creations
Holiday Returns & Exchanges – An Opportunity to Gain Customers
The holiday season is over and most shoppers are done with every aspect of it and have moved on, but wait, there is still that item they are not quite happy with and they need to return or exchange it. For some shoppers, this is a task they are not looking forward to. This is where you apply your smart business know-how and turn an expected not so fun experience into a pleasant one that will impress your customer. The keys to a successful return are exceptional customer service and the motivation to change a return or exchange into a sale with the potential to build customer loyalty.
The Importance of a Positive Return or Exchange Experience
This is a wonderful opportunity to show a potentially unhappy customer what your brand is made of. Customer service that exceeds their expectations can go a long way and convert your seasonal shopper into a repeat customer. It’s essential to take the steps necessary to convert the customer before the transaction is over, if you are not successful, you may lose their future business.
Whether the return is in-person or completed online with prewritten messages, these tips can turn the post-holiday transaction into a positive experience for the customer:
- Have a goal to exceed expectations
- Listen to the customer’s concerns
- Show sincere empathy
- Provide suggestions
- Offer incentives
- Allow for free shipping on the returned item
Convert Returns into Sales with Limited-Time Offers
Post-holiday returns are inevitable, but as mentioned, there is an opportunity within every return transaction. To maximize your chances of converting your post-holiday returns into a conversion, offer a limited-time offer on purchases.
Advantages of limited-time offers:
- Proven to be a powerful marketing tool
- Changes the focus from returning to purchasing
- Creates a sense of urgency
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A test conducted by HubSpot in which A/B testing was performed using two identical pages with the exception of one stating it was a limited-time offer showed that the page that included the limited-time offer outperformed the non limited-time offer page by 8%.
Be sure to define your offer dates. Avoid vague dates such as, “While Supplies Last” or “Sale Ends Next Week”, these phrases might not produce strong results or create urgency. However, stating, “Today Only”, or “Ends This Friday”, are clearer and have a better chance of converting a holiday return into a sale.
A Little Creative Thinking will Help You Gain Year-Round Loyal Customers!
The holiday rush not only sends new customers your way, it also brings multiple opportunities. With this, your business can create successful post-holiday conversions that make long-time customers of your holiday shoppers. So get started on your email marketing, creative loyalty programs, and holiday return opportunities because it’s time to create customer relationships and repeat purchases!