One of the eCommerce businesses’ biggest challenges after the holidays is how to market to customers who are marketed out? After they’ve been bombarded with sales and discounts and offers from Black Friday on, how can marketers coax them out of the post-holiday slump? Offering your customers a fresh perspective for the New Year, encouraging them to buy something for themselves, nurturing new loyalty club members with targeted offers and other strategies can all help bring customers to your site and keep your sales from taking a nosedive. Here how to have a high-performing post-holiday season:
1. Offer big sales on leftover holiday stock
Some people live for post-holiday liquidations. And even those who don’t usually participate in them can be tempted by a sale that’s too good to pass up. It’s also a great way for you to get rid of retail “perishables” like food, fads or anything with 2016 blazoned on it. Deep discounts help drive traffic to your site to get rid of old stock, and while they’re at it, customers might pick up some other items too.
2. Grant permission to self-indulge
Many people enjoy the holidays, but it can also be very stressful with all the planning, cooking, cleaning, buying, traveling, dealing with family dynamics, etc. The holidays are also about giving to others, and after the festivities are over, your customers may be in need of something that offers a dose of “this is for me.” Switch it up and market to the customer who wants to feel good about self-gifting.
3. Change the focus to New Year’s
Come January 1, holiday hedonism turns into the portrait of austerity and self-restraint. Quitting drinking, quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthier and other similar resolutions top the list every year. Ads that suggest helping customers with their New Year’s resolutions can bring in results. Messages about health, positive outlooks, renewal, make-overs and plans for the future all have a resolution-y ring to them.
4. Use their holiday purchase history
This can be tricky because customers were often buying gifts for other people in the months leading up to the holidays. That means that you should make the discount or promotion shareable. Target the customer who bought the product, but make sure they understand that someone else can use the discount. If, for example, they bought a Keurig coffee maker pre-holiday, send them a discount on related items such as coffee pods, coffee mugs, coasters and other relevant items. Encourage them to share the discount with friends. That way you cover all the bases if the gift was for themselves or another person AND it gives you the opportunity to increase you customer base if they do share the promotion.
5. Conduct a poll
Start the New Year off by communicating directly with your customers with a poll. Polls are a really good way to engage your client base. They accomplish a lot of things:
- They get customers thinking about your business.
- They offer customers a place to voice their praise or criticism.
- They give you an insight into what you need to improve.
Through polls, you can find out things like what new items they plan to buy this year, what’s more important to them price or quality, how satisfied they are with your services, which platform they most prefer to receive messages (social, SMS or email) and other information.
6. Nurture clients with SMS
If you did a big SMS opt-in campaign push for the holidays, now’s the time when it’s really going to pay off. And if you haven’t done one yet, now’s the good time to start. Don’t leave your customers hanging once the holidays have passed. Instead, continue building the relationship with these and other SMS marketing ideas:
- Personalized messages. Give your message a personal touch by using your client’s name. Use their purchasing preferences to send out the promotions on items they might like.
- Special discounts only for SMS loyalty club members. Make your promotions unique to SMS customers so they see the benefit of having signed up and have an incentive to stay opted in.
- Useful tips. Offer advice on how to care for a product they bought.
- Customer service. Let them know you received a returned item and send a confirmation of credit issued to them via text. If they’ve ordered a new product, keep them updated on the shipping status with an SMS message.
7. Use social media
Social media works as a marketing platform any time of the year, including post-holiday. Use photos and videos to promote discounts and show off new merchandise. Running contests on social media is a popular way to get people to visit your site. Most retailers run pre-holiday contests. Be unconventional and run a post-holiday contest. For example, participants could post their New Year’s resolutions to enter a sweepstakes. Have you already tried out one of these post-holiday marketing tips? Or maybe you have your own? Share with us in comments! Alexa Lemzy is the customer service specialist and content editor at TextMagic. She writes about best marketing pactices and customer service techniques, and focuses on small businesses and eCommerce. Feel free to reach her at @Alexa_Lemzy.