Last year, ecommerce sales pulled in $9 billion on Cyber Monday. That’s an impressive amount for just a single day, and showcases the potential for brands to increase their revenue during the holidays. What’s even more interesting is that Black Friday is no longer the single best sales day during the holiday season. Now, the holiday season is all about shopping that occurs between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
With this year’s holiday season around the corner, it’s time to put together an effective marketing strategy to get the most out of it. However, your competition is also thinking along the same lines, so it’s crucial to launch campaigns that encourage customers to buy from you.
Holiday marketing campaigns to focus on
The holiday season offers enormous potential to increase your sales, but an ineffective marketing campaign could throw your chances of driving revenue away entirely.
So, our advice is to go with strategies that are proven to be effective. You can get creative with the details, but strategies like customer retention and win-back campaigns are tried and tested. Brands have used them for years because they work – so use this season to get the most out of them.
Some thorough research conducted by Bain & Co revealed that just a 5% increase in customer retention could boost your brand’s profitability by as much as 75%. This statistic showcases the enormous potential of repeat business.
During the holiday season, your eCommerce store will likely receive a mix of visitors – both prospects and existing customers. A retention campaign provides brands with the opportunity to keep new customers around for a long time, and to encourage repeat spends from existing ones.
Retention campaigns can be of different types, but they share the same goal: to establish lasting relationships with your customers and keep them coming back for more. You can set up a rewards program, launch a personalized email campaign, engage with customers on social media, and more, to boost customer retention.
Email remains one of the most effective channels for marketing, offering as much as a $42 return for each dollar spent. For the holiday season, though, it’s a good idea to engage and market your brand across multiple channels.
To pull off an effective omnichannel campaign, it’s a good practice to maintain consistency across all channels. This includes maintaining the same brand voice, working towards the same goal, and keeping the discourse consistent.
For example, a Black Friday email campaign may contain comprehensive details about your upcoming holiday sale. You can complement the email campaign with an SMS campaign, with simple text messages like “Don’t miss out on this year’s Black Friday Sale – Up to X Percent Off” or the like. The SMS won’t be nearly as long or comprehensive as the email, but the subject matter is the same – maintaining consistency across the two channels.
Similarly, your social media campaigns should align with your email and SMS marketing efforts, and compliment each other.
Loyalty campaigns encourage repeat purchases and help brands segment their most loyal customers. These are the customers that are interested in staying with your brand long-term, and the holiday season is the perfect time to show them how much your brand cares.
You can reward loyal customers by hosting giveaways or offering them exclusive perks during the holiday season. For example, you can reserve exclusive holiday discounts on select items for loyal customers, or offer them more significant discounts on certain products. This ensures customers realize that your brand acknowledges their loyalty and values their commitment.
What better time to re-engage inactive customers than the holiday season? As your brand gears up to offer some of the best sales of the year, including massive Cyber Monday discounts, inactive customers have more incentive than ever to recommit to your brand.
You can launch an effective winback campaign via email, engaging inactive customers with an email that addresses their past experience and incentivizes them to return to your brand. In your winback email, consider addressing:
- Your previous relationship with the customer – e.g., whether it was long-term or short.
- The customer’s purchase history, to establish a more personal connection.
- What’s changed since the customer last engaged with your brand.
- Why did the customer initially choose your brand – what makes you stand out from the competition?
- What deals to look out for in the holiday season.
At the very least, a winback campaign will reveal customers that have genuinely abandoned your brand and are beyond retargeting efforts. However, statistics show that winback campaigns can bring as many as 49% of churning customers back to your eCommerce store. So the numbers are in your favor.
How to get the best performance from your holiday campaigns
Looking to get the most out of your holiday campaigns? Here are some tips to optimize their performance and get the best results.
Marketers use segmentation in different ways to boost customer engagement and drive sales. For example, segmenting customers based on their buying interests and spending potential helps brands launch personalized marketing campaigns and send relevant product recommendations.
Alternatively, brands can segment their audiences across different channels to drive user engagement. Are some customers repeatedly ignoring your email messages? Consider shooting them a short text message with an incentive to engage with your brand again.
SMS messages have much higher open rates than emails, and customers are more likely to see them. So if your retargeting message packs enough incentive, you can win back inactive customers.
Offer fast-shipping speeds
Many brands are forced to offer slower shipping times during the holiday season because of the large influx of orders. Therefore, this presents an excellent opportunity to stand out from the competition by offering faster shipping speeds.
Fast-shipping doesn’t have to be overnight delivery – even a two-day delivery option can be enough to keep your customers interested. A series of surveys found that 45% of consumers were not likely to buy again from brands that delivered their orders late. So offering fast, reliable shipping is vital.
Of course, providing fast shipping times can be challenging, especially with a large volume of orders coming in during the holidays. So be realistic about what you can offer customers – it’s better to be upfront about your fulfillment times than fail to meet the deadlines.
Alternatively, you can work with a logistics partner to manage the order fulfillment for you. This way, you can offer customers fast, reliable shipping times without burdening your workforce. Giving customers the option of same-day shipping or 2-day shipping can be a competitive boon for your business.
Don’t spam emails or texts
One of the best ways to lose a customer is to annoy them, and spamming consumers over the holidays with emails or texts will do precisely that. While promoting your holiday deals is important, overdoing your marketing efforts can be detrimental to your brand.
So make sure each email or text conveys enough information to keep your customers interested. Moreover, avoid sending the same emails or texts repeatedly – any new messages should provide new, valuable information.
While the holiday season is stressful for marketers, it’s also a time of great opportunity and potential. Moreover, while the season is fast-paced, marketing strategies remain the same. The best way to engage customers and encourage them to buy from your brand is to use the same proven strategies that successful brands employ regularly.
With strategic, well-designed holiday campaigns, you can win new customers over and strengthen your relationships with existing ones.
Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of ecommerce. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.