In the last instalment of our new blog series, we explore the long-term impact of your seasonal campaigns.
After all the effort you’ve put into making your holiday sales season a success, don’t treat it as a ‘one and done’ activity. Your goal should be to maintain that momentum for next year.
Encouraging your customers to come back and spend with you again and again throughout the following year can help you increase your customer lifetime value. And sustaining the SEO and brand equity you accrued will give you a platform on which to build.
Here’s how you can maintain customer engagement.
Invest in a first-party data strategy
This is essential to increasing lifetime value and encouraging repeat purchases. People will exchange their data for a number of benefits or perks that go beyond a discount – things like convenience, functionality, speed and access to new ideas and knowledge. What are you able to offer customers that will make them give you their email address?
There are three ways into this: value, meaning and engagement.
- Value is all about how your product or service meets a fundamental human need
- Meaning is about creating emotional and memorable experiences that connect people with others or with themselves
- Engagement is about creating an interactive and dynamic experience that gets people to lean in
So, look across the entire customer journey and identify the moments of customer interaction, then start testing data collection there. Of course, it’s not just about how and when you’ll capture this data – it’s about what you do with it.
Use the data to increase lifetime value
Email marketing has gone through its ups and downs over the years, but it’s still a powerful way to reach your audience. And it brings your message directly into their homes or pockets.
Make the most of the transactional emails you send around order and shipping confirmations, and ask customers to leave a review. If they’ve signed up for your email newsletter, don’t send a broadcast mail to everyone on your list. Segment by customer type, how they’ve interacted with you before or by preference to tailor your communication to add value for them.
You can also run retargeting campaigns via email or paid channels that reinforce the brand or promote complementary products, based on what customers have looked at before, or what people like them have bought.
Oil the wheels
Conversion rate optimisation is an ongoing activity that looks at the customer’s digital experience. It then identifies any barriers they encounter and works to systematically remove them.
There are some steps you should take to remove the friction and optimise conversions.
- Simplify navigation to make searches faster and easier
- Offer a one-page checkout that’s quick and easy to use on mobile
- Remove extra fields from forms that you don’t really need
- Explain shipping costs quickly and clearly – ideally without having to take customers to a separate page
- Explain return policies to make the purchase feel hassle-free
It’s worth doing this before peak shopping season hits, so that nothing will stand in the way when traffic starts building.
Invest in amazing customer service
Brands that have made an excellent customer experience their priority are rewarded with customer loyalty, referrals and repeat purchases.
HubSpot identified six characteristics of good customer service, and it’s worth taking the time to see how you measure up:
- Ensure customers get a fast response
- Collect data that’s then analysed and actioned
- Provide ways for people to self-serve
- Be accessible across the customer’s preferred channel
- Train your team in emotional intelligence and empathy
- Empower your team to solve customer problems creatively
Maintain your SEO equity
Keep your seasonal landing pages live on a memorable and short URL. And don’t include a date, to prevent needing to change the URL next year. When the holiday season is really kicking off, link to it from your navigation and make sure it’s indexed. Once the holidays are over, you can remove it from your navigation. But keep it live to retain all the SEO equity you built over the season. Check out further Christmas SEO tips here.
You should also update the copy on the page and add a data collection form offering customers the chance to hear about deals and new promotions first. When the holidays get closer, you can even put a countdown timer on the page to build excitement and urgency about the new campaign.
Black Friday used to be the day that kicked off holiday shopping. But the reality is that 23% of shoppers start researching gifts three to six months before the holiday season.
To capture those searches, work with your internal team, agency partners or with influencers in your category to create content that meets the need. Things like gift guides, inspirational content, lifestyle content and guest posts can extend your audience and make you more memorable when the time comes to buy.
Build physical and mental availability
Despite all we do, customer loyalty often comes down to habits and convenience. People only consider a small group of brands. They ignore most others and purchase from the ones that are easiest to buy from.
So you need to be ready for the next holiday season. Which is all about expanding your availability. Physically, this means focusing on how easy you are to see and buy from. Mentally, it’s how noticeable your brand is and thought about in a buying situation.
Take a leaf out of Byron Sharp’s book How Brands Grow and invest in your distinctive brand assets and distribution channels. And work to get your brand in front of as many customers as your budget will allow.
And finally . . .
The buzz around the holidays provides a great opportunity for introducing your brand to a new audience, but the challenge is standing out from the many other brands all clamouring for limited attention.
We hope you found the information in this guide helpful. If you have any questions or want help planning a holiday campaign with longevity, just get in touch.
This is the last in the series of blogs – want the full thing? Download the full eBook below for all the data, insights and expert commentary you need to hone your Black Friday strategy.