How to turn holiday shoppers into regular customers

It’s a lot cheaper to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one—but don’t let that stop you from capitalizing on the seasonal surge of holiday traffic.

Here’s how you can turn bargain-hungry shoppers into lifetime customers that will boost your revenue all year round.

Email marketing is not dead

Consumers and marketers alike love it
Despite the popularity of social media and messaging apps, email is alive and well. According to the DMA’s latest consumer tracking study, sponsored by Dotmailer, email is the preferred mode of brand marketing for consumers across all age groups. As such, marketers prefer email as it continues to be the best digital channel for ROI.

It’s the best way to woo smartphone-savvy shoppers
Litmus stats show that 54 percent of all emails are now opened on a mobile device. If that’s not enough to convince you of the importance of mobile-friendly targeted emails, consider this: Adobe predicts that more than half of online retail traffic this holiday season will start on mobile.

Personalization is a couple of clicks away
Personalized, targeted emails deliver six times more transaction rates than generic messages. Use customer attributes and actions to tailor the content of every email you send. xSellco has built the only customer support help desk for e-commerce that helps you automate key details such as the customer’s name, delivery address or any other localized information so you send fast, personalized messages.

Don’t treat all your customers the same

“Don’t batch and blast.” That’s what Skip Fidura, client services director at Dotmailer, advised attendees of a recent webinar we co-hosted together, suggesting that online sellers should segment their customers into different groups and target them separately.

For instance, a regular shopper should be receiving different targeted emails than someone who only buys from your store during the holidays. While a discount code or promotional offer might serve as a reminder and incentive for the latter to return to your site, a loyal customer will probably purchase from you anyway, so why lose money on that sale?

Instead, send personalized cross-sell and upsell product recommendations to those regular customers, or a seasonal promotion based on a past purchase.

Brand-new customers—especially those reeled in by your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales—shouldn’t receive any type of special offer. Why? It’s simple: they were introduced to your products at a lower price point and you want to avoid conditioning them to expect discounts with every purchase.

Holiday emails that build a relationship

Say more than thank you
Order confirmation emails have higher open, click and transaction rates than bulk messages, according to Experian data. That means there’s a massive opportunity to develop customer engagement and brand loyalty from the get-go.

Rather than simply thanking the customer for placing an order, provide some value-added content that they didn’t expect to receive. For instance, a support manual, a video that shows how the product is made, an ebook—anything that your customer would be interested in and happy to receive.

During our webinar with Dotmailer, an attendee who sells motorcycle safety and protective gear asked for pointers on how to foster customer loyalty when the goods he sells last two to three years. Skip suggested that he send seasonal safety tips to his customers. For instance, how to stay safe when riding a motorcycle in the autumn (wet leaves can be as slippery as ice!).

Reconnect in January
Don’t bombard brand-new customers with marketing emails during the holidays. Chances are they won’t read them. Worse, they might unsubscribe from your list.

Remember, you’re trying to build a long-term relationship with these new customers. The last thing you want to do is annoy them with an excessive amount of emails.

Skip recommends playing it cool by holding off until the new year and re-engaging festive spenders with a simple check-in, asking if the gifts they purchased were well received. Give your new leads time to breathe and they will pay attention the next time your email appears in their inbox.

Tempt shoppers back to your site
Once the holiday season and all the sales that come along with it are over, it’s time to tempt new leads back to your site. Segment your new customers and send out targeted emails based on the data you have collected from them so far. This could be a product recommendation that complements a past purchase, a limited-time offer or an alert that lets them know about new items added to your store.

Missed our webinar with Dotmailer?

Check out the slides