by Megan Ouellet, Director of Content Marketing. Reach out and say hi to Megan on LinkedIn.
The holidays are practically upon us. And while you could be fine-tuning your holiday strategy and putting the finishing touches on your holiday campaigns, you shouldn’t over look your post-holiday strategy. Without a post-holiday strategy, you’ll lose many of your new subscribers.
In this article, I’ll share five often overlooked ideas, five awesome post-holiday email campaign ideas, and five additional cross-channel ideas you should consider putting into place now.
What to do before the holidays are over
There are several things you can put into place now that will not only help you reach your holiday goals, but will also help you keep new subscribers and customers engaged after the holidays.
Understand Transit Days
One of our favorite tips is to gain a better understanding of your shipping deadlines. This will help you extend your shipping deadlines in areas closest to your warehouses. For example, you can see on the UPS map below how long it will take packages to be delivered from a warehouse in NJ. Understanding transit days will allow you to target customers in the right regions with accurate shipping deadlines and rates.
You must also carefully monitor bounce rates on your site in order to determine if there are changes you can make to reduce abandonments. Many times, you can control factors that will keep shoppers on your site, such as adjusting prices, changing images, adding product recommendations and reviews, etc.
If shoppers do abandon, you want to adjust the timing of your browse abandonment and cart abandonment campaigns during the holidays and don’t wait as long to reach back to customers.
Understand New Subscribers
Email acquisition rates increase about 13% in the fourth quarter, on average. This isn’t by accident – most retailers have a strategy in place to acquire as many subscribers as they can during this time…onsite, in social networks, in-store – everywhere their shoppers are. But it’s not enough to just acquire these new email addresses, you must carefully monitor new subscribers so you know which ones have purchased, which ones haven’t, which ones are engaged, which ones aren’t, etc. This way, you’ll be able to determine where new customers are coming from and you can adjust your messaging to target subscribers appropriately.
Understand Purchase Habits
You must also understand your customers’ purchase habits in order to be able to effectively generate a second sale from new customers. This level of customer data can be difficult to mine, but Listrak offers a Bayes Net Analysis that tracks sales and shows the likelihood of additional purchases being made within specific time frames. As you can see, this analysis from one of our retail clients shows that their customers have a 10% chance of placing a second order within 30 days of the first purchase, while that likelihood drops to 2.6% three months out. But customers that purchased more than five times have a 26% chance of placing another order within 30 days. Knowing when your customers buy will help you fine tune the timing of your post-purchase campaigns so you can reach shoppers at the right time.
What to Send
Help your customers beat the January blues by stocking up on essentials. These items can be full price or you can offer a sale – the point is; you can engage shoppers by showing them items that can be used year-round. They’ll appreciate a break from all of the holiday-related merchandise.
After the holiday lights come down, many people are already thinking about spring, warm weather, sunlight and a new wardrobe! Help them prepare by sharing a preview of your spring merchandise.
Gift Card Redemption
An oldie but goodie! 67% of holiday shoppers will buy at least one gift card and it’s up to the retailer to be sure the recipients redeem them, which can be difficult as they don’t always know who the recipient is. Gift cards don’t count as revenue for retailers until the cards are used, and with billions of dollars in unused gift cards floating around, it is in your best interest to capture this lost revenue. According to Gift Card Statistics, 61% of gift card holders spend more than the amount on the gift card and 75% of those overspend by 60%. It is in your best interest to send at least one email to your list that makes it easy for shoppers to redeem their gift cards; however, it shouldn’t be the main message as not everyone on your list will have one. Here are some emails that we love:
Content Related to Activity
2016 was the year of personal product recommendations and customers responded positively to these messages, clicking and buying the recommended merchandise at a high rate. We expect 2017 to be the year of content recommendations based on activity. For example, if you bought an espresso maker, you could receive an email like the one below from Whole Latte Love that shares videos of how to use the machine. Or if you searched for jeans but didn’t buy anything, you could receive an email like the Style Co. example below that talks about the best jean styles for every body type. This is a great way to keep shoppers engaged without just sending another email asking them to buy something. But…we’ve found that customers DO buy from these messages even though few of them even contain a CTA asking them to.
While there has been a slight decline in emails that offer in-store or online discounts exclusively, this tactic can help you reach specific post-holiday goals, especially when it comes to clearing out holiday merchandise.
What Else Can You Do?
While email remains the most effective channel in which to reach and convert shoppers, you can’t rely on it solely. Here are five ideas for reaching and engaging subscribers in other channels.
Every year, mobile sales have the highest growth rates as more and more customers shop on their phones and tablets. And, chances are, you’re putting a mobile strategy in place so you can reach customers through SMS messages. A great way to acquire more numbers is to let customers sign up for text messages in your opt-down. When email recipients click the unsubscribe button, give them options to either select to receive fewer email messages and/or sign up to receive SMS messages. This will help you grow your lists while reaching customers in their preferred channel.
The average retailer only has email addresses for 30% of site visitors. The rest remain anonymous. Implementing a programmatic ad strategy allows you to re-engage these anonymous shoppers through personalized and highly relevant display ads, driving them back to your site to shop.
Another great way to engage anonymous site shoppers is through your social networks. For example, Facebook Lead Ads is a strategic way to acquire email addresses from anonymous site visitors who showed high purchase intent by retargeting them on their Facebook news feed. You can also show shoppers ads that feature items they browsed or carted on your site, driving them back to your site to complete the purchase.
But you shouldn’t stop there. You can also build Facebook Custom Audiences to help you find new shoppers that look like your best customers.
Listrak can help you accomplish these tactics. Questions? Let us know in the comments section.