The festive season is upon us, and most retailers will be seeing a major boom in sales, but if they are smart, they will know that a customer is for life, not just for Christmas, and should be acting accordingly.
While it’s great to see so many new customers as consumers practically throw money at every business that can sell them something around this time of year, the inevitable slump will come. Just as a week or so of revelry as we celebrate with friends and family will probably lead to the January blues, businesses that enjoy a major lift in December are likely to suffer a big dip once Christmas has been and gone. Especially if all those new customers turn out to be one-time buyers.
It’s important to make sure those first-time customers come back and become not just repeat customers, but advocates for your brand or business.
That means using all of the digital marketing skills at your disposal to engage with those customers, to nurture them, making sure that they come to see your brand or business as the go-to resource, not just for useful information and content, but ultimately, for further purchases.
I’m going to assume you have put in place an optimised digital marketing strategy that not only provides the right information in the right place on your website and makes the user experience as positive and seamless as possible, but also captures customer data on your optimised website, with effective landing pages that bring in the contact information you need. If not, we know what you should get for Christmas.
The first thing you need to do to make sure your digital marketing strategy does not become a turkey is to filter these customers accordingly – don’t just add them to your contact database and start firing the same emails you would to leads or regular customers at them. They stand in a specific area of the customer journey, and need to be targeted in a personalised way that reflects this.
‘Tis the season for gift buying, so chances are many of those first-time buyers were purchasing goods or services for others. They may not be interested in receiving endless emails about products they really have no interest in, and only bought because it was running uncomfortably close to Christmas and they were desperate. Do you think I want to receive an endless amount of emails offering me toys, because I bought a plastic dinosaur for my nephew?
Filter these customers correctly by adding a simple ‘Is this a gift?’ type of form field on your purchase page. If it is a gift, that customer may not want repeated offers of deals, or content that is not relevant to them after December 25. If they are buying for themselves (and let’s face it, it’s important to treat yourself every now and then), great - that person enters your sales funnel and should be marketed to accordingly with more offers, more relevant information, and the chance to buy more and avail of great deals.
Though they may not reveal it when the gifts are exchanged, many people opt for a good bargain when on the hunt for Christmas presents, and these consumers can be filtered into a category of leads who are likely to react positively to incentives. I’m thinking January sales here.
If you have repeat customers who visit your online content frequently, mention you on social media, and buy from you several times a year (with added purchases in December), that person is clearly someone you can deem as loyal to your brand or business. They are buying for themselves, as well as for others, or at least go to you for many of the purchases they need to make throughout the year.
These consumers should be targeted with loyalty rewards and other incentives, but you can also try to encourage them to promote you, whether through a review, some citations on social media, and so on.
With email still the number one digital marketing tool, that juicy pile of new addresses needs to be acted upon swiftly once the holiday season is over. You’d be surprised just how many people might have no recollection that they even bought an item, let alone were ever on your site, so remind them that they were, and that there is value in coming back. First-time customers shouldn't be treated as one-offs, they should be seen as quality leads for upselling.
Remember I mentioned how consumers want a positive user experience? That will include the after-sales period. Don’t leave customers, whether they are loyal or first-time buyers, feeling that once they have purchased something, they are out of the picture.
A nice thank you message with an incentive to return to your business is a start. After that, it’s all about consistently providing the helpful and relevant content that shows you are the best resource for future purchases.
While the busy Christmas period may leave you feeling exhausted, and hopefully enjoying big profits for the quarter, it’s important that you don’t just spend January counting your hard-earned cash. The New Year is the time to fire up that digital marketing strategy to get the full benefit from all the customers you gained the previous month, and keep them interested, and coming back, all year round.
Find out how we can help you create an effective digital marketing campaign that targets the right people with the right content at the right time to generate more leads and increase sales by downloading our Lead Generation Survival Kit: