While the majority of your eCommerce holiday sales are going to come from your existing customers it's likely there are going to be a large portion of them who are brand new to you. With the cost of acquisition rising and the fact that repeat customers spend a lot more money than new ones do, it's definitely in your best interest to have a solid plan in place to bring those holiday shoppers back in the new year.
Having a solid strategy to encourage those repeat purchases is also a great way to bring in some additional revenue during January and February which are typically slower times for retail businesses.
The good news is, this isn't my first rodeo which means I have a few ideas on how you can be intentional about capitalizing on the increased website traffic this holiday season. Read on for 10 ways you can bring back your holiday shoppers in the new year.
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Make a Great First Impression With Automated Email Marketing
When you're thinking about how to turn new customers into repeat customers the most important thing you can do is create a great impression the first time they shop with you. And one of my favorite ways to do this is by utilizing automated email marketing to nurture the relationship with them. There are two automated email flows I recommend you set up in time for the holiday shopping season to do this.
Post-Purchase Thank You Flow
Create a text-based email (so it looks like you sat down at your desk + wrote it) Thank them for making their first purchase with you and let them know how much you appreciate their business.
This one seems really simple… almost too simple and truth be told it’s not necessarily going to be a revenue generator… but this quick automated step will instantly deepen the relationship you have with your new customers.
Post-Purchase Education Flow
Once you’ve got the personal thank you down, then it’s time to make sure they have a really great experience with the product they just bought from you and the way to do that is through a post-purchase education email flow.
The ultimate goal of this email is to give the customer everything they need to have a great experience with your product or so they can articulate it to the gift recipient.
This is especially important if your product has a learning curve, but even if you THINK it doesn’t – there is someone out there who needs a little bit more support. Seriously, even the simplest, most obvious thing to you isn’t obvious to everyone.
Use Your Product Reviews to Figure out What to Talk About
Back in the day, I worked with a client who sells a razor subscription for women and shave butter. When I doing the research for this post-purchase email I started digging through her customer reviews to see what people had to say about her product.
Your reviews are one of the best places to figure out what people need help with.
I came across this review where the customer was talking about how slippery the handle was and she kept dropping it in the shower, etc. One of the things that make this particular razor superior to all the rest is that it has a metal handle, but it also has a rubbery grip and as a customer and end user of this product I never had an issue holding onto the razor… except for that time I didn’t rinse the shave butter off my hand before picking up the razor.
It’s kinda like when you get a cup of take-out coffee and it says caution: hot on the cup. Seems obvious right, but you have to assume your customer knows nothing.
Offer a Bounce-Back with their Q4 Purchase
Now that you’ve set the stage to make a great impression on your customers and give them a positive experience with your brand and product, let’s chat about how you encourage them to return.
Let’s give them a bounce-back offer with their purchase during Q4. This is a great option for any of your biggest selling seasons, whether it’s valentine’s day, mother’s day, father’s day, or back to school… it doesn’t matter. The idea of the bounce back is to take advantage of the increased traffic and get the offer in front of as many people as possible… and then bring them back during a slower time of the year like January or February in the case of Q4.
And if you’ve ever shopped at Old Navy you’ve probably received super cash at least once, right?
The important thing is you have to remind them when it’s time to redeem because most customers are distracted and forgetful. This can be as simple as sending an email at the beginning of the redemption period.
Offer a Rewards or Loyalty Program
Another way you can encourage repeat purchases from your customers all year long is to implement a rewards or loyalty program. What’s great about these is you don’t have to give much away. In fact, most loyalty programs only give back about 5%. It’s a small price to pay for repeat customers who spend 3x – 5x the amount that new customers do.
This becomes a really great email marketing opportunity as well because it gives you a reason to keep in touch with your customers such as letting them know when they’ve earned enough points to redeem a reward.
You can also run special events around the program like double point days.
Plus, you can set all sorts of rules around the program so you don’t have a bunch of unused points laying around like having points expire after a certain amount of time or when a customer hasn’t earned or redeemed them in a while.
Launch a Marketing Campaign in the New Year
Another really easy way to bring back your Q4 customer is to give them a REASON! Whether it’s a New Year/New You campaign or a Valentine’s Day love fest, create a marketing campaign around a time and topic that makes sense for your business, and make sure you include this new group in your marketing.
And it doesn’t have to be a huge campaign with a waitlist and all the things I talk about in the product launch process, it can be simple. This is just a way for you to have a conversation with your customers and spark their interest again. It gives you content for social and email, it gives you an opportunity to highlight specific products; there are SOOO many fun things you can do to drum up excitement about your business again.
Create a Personalized Email Journey
You’ll want to take this opportunity to gather as much data about your customers as you can because the more personalized you can make their journey with you the better. Whether it’s through a survey, a quiz, or even just a quick manage preferences update, find out more about this person and what they want so you can tailor your content and marketing emails to be more relevant to them.
Make Product Recommendations
Speaking of email again, this is a great way to make product recommendations. The amazing thing about the technology is that we have SOOO much data we can use to send targeted offers to our customers. Once you know what these customers are interested in and resonate with most, create a special cross-sell email campaign to recommend products you think they’ll enjoy.
Now, I don’t necessarily recommend that you hyper-segment your audience all the time, that can actually hurt you more than help you. But if you have specific products you know would be a great fit for a particular group of customers you can tailor the messaging to that specific group while keeping more general for the rest of your list.
Use Retargeting Campaigns
If you’re using ads in your business you’ll want to make sure this group gets added to your regular scheduled retargeting campaigns. And even if you’re not running ads all the time or at all, make sure you include them the next time you have a new product launch, promotion, or even during a heavy gifting season.
Keep Communicating With Them
The most important tip of all is to keep communicating with them! This seems obvious, but so many businesses are missing out on the power of email marketing. Once you take them through the post-purchase journey don’t stop emailing them! This is important ANY time of year, but especially after you get an influx of new customers during a big shopping season like Holiday! Sometimes marketing is just about being top of mind so when the customer is ready for a product like yours, you’re the first person they think of!
Don't Count Them Out if They Don't Come Back Right Away
And then lastly, don’t count them out if they don’t come back right away. It’s possible this new customer isn’t your IDEAL customer, but a loved one in their life is. So even if they don’t come back and shop with you for themselves, don’t count them out. Hang onto their data so you can re-engage them during next year’s holiday season!