This guest post was written by Tina Donati, the Senior Marketing Manager at Fuel Made. Fuel Made is a Shopify agency with a mission to help ecommerce companies grow on Shopify and Klaviyo.
You may be ready for the holiday season — the sales, the excited shoppers (or the stressed last-minute shoppers), and the increased seasonal website traffic — but are you prepared for what comes after?
Here’s the thing: new customer acquisition is becoming increasingly expensive, so your best bet for 2022 is to leverage the traffic you already have.
From all your sales over BFCM and the December holidays, you should immediately start nurturing those new customer relationships in the new year.
In fact, Klaviyo customers saw 58% of their Cyber Monday sales come from new customers in 2020, and across the Black Friday weekend, businesses using Klaviyo added 59.25 million new email and SMS subscribers.
That’s a huge opportunity to start nurturing those new customers and turn them into brand advocates. Let’s talk about the different ways to do that.
5 ways to bring customers back after the holidays
Customer retention works across all your channels. From your website, to your emails, and even grittier details like your exchange policy—all of these pieces play a critical role in how customers experience your brand and whether or not they stick around.
But what tactics should you prioritize to bring customers back after the holidays? Below are five key areas to focus on:
1. Create valuable email flows
Sending engaging and value-add content via email is one of the best ways to nurture a new customer relationship. Here are three types of emails you should set up as part of your post-purchase flow:
After customers sign up for your emails or make a purchase, welcome them to your brand, using some of the following ideas:
- Write a personal thank you from the founder, explaining why that customer’s business is important.
- Introduce a charity that you support and share why your brand partnered with that charity.
- Show behind-the-scenes of how your products are made and their benefits.
- Highlight where customers can engage with you on other channels.
- Ask customers to introduce themselves, and share a link to a survey or an email preferences center where the customer can share what kind of content they’re interested in receiving from you.
Here’s an example from American Tall, telling customers they’re interested in learning more about them.
Transactional emails are a low-hanging fruit to communicate with customers and build trust.
Customers should receive emails when their order is confirmed, when it’s shipped, when it’s supposed to arrive, and when it arrives.
Without communicating this information, customers are left questioning when they can expect their order. Or worse, wondering if they’ve just been scammed. Talk about a quick way to ruin brand credibility and trust, right?
When a customer successfully uses your product, there’s a better chance they’ll come back and purchase again. This is why educational emails are helpful. Make sure to make these emails fun and engaging.
2. Invest in a frictionless shopping experience
If there’s one thing that makes customers not want to return to a brand, it’s a bad shopping experience. Lack of support and difficulty navigating your site can lead to feelings of frustration.
Let’s discuss three areas to improve:
It’s no secret page speed affects conversion rates. Customers won’t stick around on a website that takes too long to load. They’ll drop off at some point during the shopping journey, meaning money left on the table for you.
In fact, a 1-second delay in page speed time can cut conversions by 7%. If your website is too slow, customers will bounce off of it with no interest in returning.
It also impacts other factors such as your SEO, bounce rate, mobile experience, and more.
89% of companies say that excellent customer service plays a huge role in customer retention, according to Semrush, so prepare to have more support hands on deck so you can help customers efficiently with holiday returns.
And be kind; people are stressed during this season, and a good customer service experience will help you stand out.
Website accessibility involves strategically using design and code to make the content on your online store available for all users. The goal is to remove all accessibility barriers from your website, so persons with disabilities have full and equal access to all of its content.
Without an accessible website, you’re creating barriers for people who are trying to browse or make a purchase. Those customers are unlikely to return in the future.
3. Promote joining your loyalty program
There are many benefits to joining a loyalty program—for both the customer and the business. Points, referrals, gamification, and discounts are just a few reasons why customers engage with them.
In fact, 75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. But a lot of the time, businesses forget to promote their loyalty program to encourage sign-ups. This is where the opportunity lies.
Actively promote your loyalty program to drive acquisition, and then keep engaging customers with loyalty campaigns to drive retention.
With your loyalty program, try the following ideas:
- Run a bonus point, bonus redemption, or bonus referral discount campaign. Let customers earn double the points or rewards for a period of time to encourage new sign-ups and purchases.
- Include a referrals element and VIP tiers. Semrush shared that 50% of customers change their habits just to get to a higher tier of a loyalty program they participate in.
Announce your program in your email or SMS flows. Let customers know your program exists and highlight the benefits they get by joining. Here’s a great example by Premama.
4. Facilitate exchanges over returns
Customers often request a return because they purchased the wrong size. Or perhaps it’s as simple as the color wasn’t what they expected. These issues can be fixed with an exchange instead.
To encourage customers to make an exchange instead…
- Extend your exchange policy to the beginning of Q1. You’ll help your customer take the plunge because they’ll feel better knowing that they can return the item after the holidays.
- Offer free credits to exchangers.
Keep in mind, exchanging customers will likely have a much higher lifetime value than returners. So this is likely to pay for itself over the long run as they turn into loyal customers.
5. Send replenishment reminders
Your customers are busy, especially during the holidays, and they might not realize they’re about to run out of their cleanser or vitamins.
Help them by mentioning it’s time to restock an item.
This is a perfect way to bring back customers who purchased your product for the first time over the holiday season. In the new year, you can send them reminders about when it’s time to restock every few months.
Retention is a long-term game — yet it’s the most profitable
With all the new website traffic you’re going to get around the holidays with shoppers purchasing gifts, focusing on retention is a smart move to keep bringing those customers back.
Keep in mind, retention marketing doesn’t always drive instant results, but over time it can be a really powerful strategy to complement your acquisition efforts.
Hopefully, this gives you a good list to start with. Good luck bringing all those new customers back again in the new year!