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Beyond Black Friday: 3 Engagement Strategies To Maximize Post-Holiday Results


Black Friday is an exciting time for retail and e-commerce marketers. 

It can also be a stressful time. 

With swarms of new and existing shoppers looking to buy products and services, marketers face a huge demand to engage them all with highly satisfying customer experiences. To make matters more challenging, every competing brand puts their best marketing foot forward during this time, working hard to out-engage one another and win the lion’s share of customers. The spoils go to the brands with the best marketing strategy and execution. 

If you’ve watched our webinar on holiday readiness or visited our Mastering Black Friday resource hub, you more than likely have already formulated a solid strategy for driving customer engagement during the momentous day. However, if your only goal is to win big during Black Friday, and thus, you haven’t formulated a post-holiday plan… you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to increase customer growth and revenue throughout Q4 and well beyond. 

This year, don’t leave opportunities on the table. Have a plan in place to nurture new and existing customer relationships and continue accelerating business outcomes. To get started, let’s look at three engagement strategies you’ll want to pursue after Black Friday to really maximize post-holiday results.

1. Leverage Referrals to Grow Your Database

A well-stocked pond will certainly increase your chances of catching a fish, but you still need skill to get a bite on the line and reel ’em in. Similarly, Black Friday brings a huge influx of new and existing customers to your brand, but your skill in delivering exceptional, personalized experiences is what helps you secure their business. (To continue the fishing analogy, I could say single-channel customer engagement is like fishing with just one rod, whereas personalized omnichannel customer engagement is like fishing with a giant net, but I’ll give it a rest before I’m in too deep.) 

So, if you’ve put in the hard work to win more customers during Black Friday, extend that success with a referral program. 

Let Your Satisfied Customers Spread the Word

After Black Friday, you’ll have a host of happy customers who are delighted with the shopping experiences they just had with your brand. Give them an opportunity to tell their friends and family about it. 

Many referrals happen organically. But if you have a strategic referral program in place, you can motivate more customers to spread the word about your brand and your offerings. Use incentives as a way to reward customers that take the time to provide referrals or reviews. The key, of course, is that you need to provide your customers an experience worth raving about. 

When your satisfied customers encourage others to investigate or shop your brand, you’ll end up with even more customers. That’s why referral-based programs like a “refer-a-friend” campaign are such powerful ways to continue building your database after critical holiday shopping events. 

Referral Content that Gets Results

What kind of referral content works best? Of course, like with any content, the more relevant and personalized you make it, the more impact it will have. But here are a few highly effective referral campaigns that generate results: 

  • “Refer-a-Friend” Limited-Time Coupon: Offer this incentive to customers in exchange for referring a friend. Any kind of discount will be a nice reward for the customer, but adding the time constraint motivates them to act quickly and bring you new customers faster. 
  • “Refer-a-Friend” Reward Points: Worried about excessive discounting hurting your margins? Instead of discounts or dollar-off coupons, reward points can be offered to motivate referrals. If you have a solid reward program in place, these can be just as enticing for customers. 
  • Leave a Review: Not all referrals have to be directly from one customer to the next. If a customer leaves a positive review of your brand, they’re essentially giving a one-to-many referral. A post-purchase “leave a review” SMS campaign is a great way to follow up with customers on a recent purchase, and if they choose to leave a positive review, it might just bring one, two, or hundreds of new customers to your brand.

Discover 10 Omnichannel Strategies to Help You Beat Competitors and Make More Money During Black Friday

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2. Provide Rewards to Secure Loyalty

We’ve covered how you can reward customers in exchange for a referral. But if you’re looking to secure long-lasting loyalty, try rewarding customers in exchange for…

…simply being your customer.

To strengthen your relationships with new customers, or even existing customers who’ve returned to your brand to do their holiday shopping, reward them and let them know you appreciate their business. A reward doesn’t have to be monetary; it can be anything that gives value to the customer — exclusivity, special perks, events, or other reward opportunities can go a long way in delighting your customers and making them feel special. 

Consider the following ideas:

  • Exclusive or Early Access: Reward customers with access to exclusive items, or early access to new products or sales promotion. 
  • Status Upgrade: Upgrade a customer’s order from standard to expedited shipping. Bump up a customer to the next loyalty tear. Give customers VIP access to an event. Any of these will elevate the customer’s experience with your brand. 
  • Event-Based Reward: Send customers a reward to mark a special occasion. Birthdays, registrations, and purchase anniversaries are all worthy of celebration and serve as a great opportunity to re-engage a valued customer. 

3. Use Personalized Automations to Continue Your Customers’ Journeys

During Black Friday, you’ll have your everyday customers, occasional purchasers, and holiday-only shoppers that your brand (hopefully) already knows and has identified. But you also have totally new customers meeting your brand for the first time. Every customer is at a different point in their journey with your brand during the big day, but it’s on you as a marketer to ensure they continue that journey. 

Map out what journey you want your customers to take and plan out your personalized marketing automations and content so you can continue building your relationship with them. Some of these will be your tried-and-true, always-on automations, and some will be specific to following up with your holiday shoppers. These include:

  • Back in stock
  • First-time to repeat buyer 
  • Wishlist price drop
  • Welcome for new contacts
  • Post-purchase follow up
  • Post-purchase cross-sell or upsell
  • Leave a review

Remember, these automations need to be personalized for the customer based on their experience with your brand. For example, a generic welcome email won’t be as powerful as a welcome email that names the customer and congratulates them on the specific pair of shoes they just purchased.

And not every automation has to be focused around buying something. Sometimes, the best way to extend a customer’s journey is to continue the conversation without asking for a purchase. Get creative with ways you can stay in touch with customers via automations. 

Mastering Black Friday

Black Friday might be one single shopping day, but the most successful marketers understand it takes weeks if not months of planning to make it a success. To master Black Friday, you and your marketing team need to implement strategies before, during, and after the big day. This will ensure you maximize growth and revenue while delighting and satisfying your customers. 

If you’re not sure whether your team has the right customer engagement strategies in place to succeed this Black Friday, visit our Mastering Black Friday hub page. There you’ll find plenty of content and resources — including our Power Up Your Black Friday ebook — to help you engage more customers and accelerate business outcomes this holiday season. 

Of course, even the best customer engagement strategy in the world won’t succeed if you don’t have the right technology to support it. Watch this 3-minute demo to see how the Emarsys Customer Engagement Solution helps thousands of marketers across the globe deliver the personalized omnichannel experiences their customers demand — on Black Friday, and every day after.  

Inspire your strategy, push your performance, and hear from top brands — join the Power to the Marketer festival.

Register for free!

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Special thanks to our friends at Emarsys for their insights on this topic.
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