The stretch of Halloween to Christmas is the busiest time of year for most businesses, which naturally leads to a drop-off in customers after the New Year. This can turn a nice December into a depressing January when you're working to get a fledgling business off the ground. However, the slowdown is also a great opportunity to turn the holiday traffic boost into an army of loyal returning customers.
How can you go about doing that?
Get Started Right Away
It doesn't matter if you saw 5 or 5000 new customers over the holidays, start marketing to them in January. It may feel like you're jumping the gun, but the longer you wait to reach out the less connection new customers will feel with your business.
The best place to start marketing to your new customers is in the easiest way possible. Email.
Plan a Winter Email Series
It's cold outside in the winter. Luckily, this makes people want to stay indoors and read the things they receive while they're there.
Is email annoying? Sometimes! That's true of any marketing. There's a reason why we all skip TV commercials when given the opportunity. That doesn't stop marketing from being useful, with email marketing being particularly accessible and effective. 72% of US consumers prefer email as a marketing contact point over all other forms of messaging. Direct postal mail comes in a distant second at 9.5%, and less than 1% of customers want no marketing contact at all.
Get things moving by laying out a marketing calendar. Work to email all of your customers every two weeks and stick with that schedule. Grab their attention by ensuring your messages are engaging.
That last part is the real trick though, isn't it? How can you write an engaging email if you don't happen to be Don Draper?
Get Personal with Groups
The more targeted your emails are, the more likely customers are to open and take action with them. Weebly Promote allows you to segment your customers into groups using numerous data points that we automatically collect:
- When a subscriber joined your list.
- Whether or not they're a paying customer.
- What products they've purchased.
- When they purchased those products.
The most direct way to get started is to split your mailing list into recent customers from over the holidays and more distant customers who last visited your store before this season. Then you can target a "thank you" message to those recent customers and some form of "missed you this Christmas" message to those who are not as recent.
If you're feeling ambitious, you can create groups based on specific products that customers purchased and do a follow up email that discusses that product, how other people are using it, and other products the customers may like based on that previous purchase.
This sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't once you get things moving. Especially if you automate some of that work.
Make This All Easier with Email Automation
Weebly Promote provides automated triggers that work in conjunction with your store. Several of these triggers can automatically group customers into categories and send out messages without you needing to manually create those groups.
The "Thank You," "Welcome New Contacts," "We've Missed You," and "See What's New" messages are particularly useful. How do they work?
You write an email (which you can regularly update) for each of these categories and then determine what action triggers them to go out. Take the "We've Missed You" message. You could set up Weebly Promote to send it out 90 days after a customer last shopped with you, pointing them to a discount code to win them back or to new items you've added in that time. Setting the message to only go out after 90 days ensures you don't accidentally send a "miss you" email to anyone who has been regularly shopping at your store.
The goal of any marketing is to get customers to take action. What's the easiest way to do that?
Sales! Sales! Sales!
According to the same study from Adestra, the two biggest drivers that lead customers to take action with email are sales and info about new products they might like. This remains true regardless of the segment you're trying to reach.
With this in mind, it would seem that the most effective email is likely to be one that includes a sale, alongside information (like customer reviews) that pique your customers' interest in your products. Not every email should contain this combo, but at least some of them should.
According to this same study, the two types of sales customers prefer are percentage discounts (like 20% of all purchases over $50) or free shipping. Fortunately, we make it easy to set up discount codes for both.
Keeping business booming is about more than your marketing messages, though. It's also necessary to close the deal on your site.
Create Landing Pages
Unless you're advertising a sale for a specific product (in which case you can simply link directly to that product), it's ideal to lead customers to a landing page that ties directly in to your email. That page will further strengthen your marketing message and lead customers to all the places on your site they can go to take advantage of that message.
Compare this to simply linking customers to your home page. What should they do when they get there? It may be obvious to you, but it won't be as obvious to them. A landing page takes a little extra time, but the benefits of leading your customer exactly where they should go makes it worth the effort. Plus it probably won't surprise you to learn that it's a snap to create them in the Editor.
Approximately 40% of business revenue comes from repeat customers. And that doesn't even take into account all the valuable word-of-mouth marketing you'll see from returning customers who tell their friends about you. Jump on this opportunity to make a stronger connection with your holiday shoppers. You'll create a solid foundation upon which the rest of your business can be built.