With more people buying costumes, decorations, and party supplies online, Halloween is becoming a big shipping holiday. In 2017, 179 million people celebrated Halloween, spending around $9.1 billion. As these customers spend money with you in a once-a-year capacity, employing customer retention tactics to keep them around will be critical.
A few things to keep in mind for your Halloween customer marketing:
- Most customers will be only thinking about a one-time purchase right now, so it’s your job to figure out how to keep them engaged beyond that
- The pressure will mount as you get closer to the actual Holiday, so plan your shipping and marketing efforts accordingly to make that work for your conversion percentages
- The day after Halloween, people are often ready to move on, so plan to offer day-after sales for early birds who want to save on next year’s holiday, helping you clear some inventory and make some more sales
- Offer the ability to subscribe for future sales and deals, particularly if your products can maintain interest beyond Halloween (jewelry, makeup, and clothing, for example)
Post-Holiday Customer Retention
Email is a powerful way to keep those customers acquired from Halloween promotions engaged and maintain a high level of customer retention. It isn’t the only way, though. Let’s look at a few other ways to keep one-time customers around.
Loyalty Programs and Referrals
Loyalty programs and referrals are a great way to boost your business after a Halloween rush of new customers. Allowing customers to earn points or credit toward future purchases gamifies the shopping experience, and has been shown to increase customer retention. Build an automated email marketing campaign triggered by a customer’s first purchase that invites them to sign up for a loyalty program or provides them with a code to refer friends. Make it easy to encourage sharing unique links on social media to gain social proof by providing social sharing buttons right in the email. If you really want to dive into it, you could set up a leaderboard to help your customers track their progress against others in the program, which may spur some healthy competition.
Loyalty and referral programs pay dividends long after that Halloween candy is gone.
For further reading on loyalty programs: Check out “E-commerce Loyalty Programs That Work for Millennials”
Use Social to Reap a Harvest of Repeat Visitors
Your social media channels offer an opportunity to keep the conversation going throughout the year. The challenge is to keep people engaged beyond fright night to keep all those likes and follows. Here are simple ways to dress up your storefront and engage new visitors.
- Decorate your social media profiles with Halloween and holiday flair.
- Announce special offers and insider information to those that follow your social pages, making it an exclusive club rather than just another network.
- Host contests where visitors can share posts on your social pages. Announce the prizes on social, encouraging the winners to share with their friends.
- Use social to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or exclusive emails. You can also publicize the aforementioned loyalty programs and referral programs to this audience.
If you want to go to the next level, you can then even take some of the user-generated content created from social and feature it in a fun way. Take the below example from Sephora. They encouraged followers to share “their look,” which empowers their followers to be their own version of a beauty expert. This then doubles as content showcasing Sephora’s own products, which they turned into a Pinterest-style board on their site.
Talk about keeping your customers engaged and building customer retention! Framing this in the Halloween conversation, you could easily encourage a customer to share photos of their Halloween costume, party, or treats involving the products they purchased from your site!
Immediate Holiday Recovery
Shoppers love post-holiday promotions. Who among us hasn’t gone to a local store to scoop up all that candy that’s now 50% off (I’ll sheepishly raise my own hand here)? That’s what makes day-after promotion one of the best ways to move more inventory. Try some post-Halloween email subject lines and email intros to unload your leftover treats:
- Spend all your money on candy? How about $2 off your next purchase – this week only.
- Busy night? Recover with a BOGO [beverage] to get hydrated.
- Does Halloween give you the creeps? Here’s your chance to celebrate it’s over. Buy one [product] online and get one free.
Emails like this can be created ahead of time and scheduled to launch first thing after a holiday using most email marketing tools (like ShippingEasy’s Customer Marketing tool). Automation makes this marketing opportunity easy, as well as potentially lucrative.
Customer Retention Through Service
One thing your customers will remember after they’ve finished/run out of/disposed of your product is their experience shopping with you. If you’re not one for the post-holiday sales, use the next day as an opportunity to encourage customers to share their input with the world.
This customer retention technique shows your customer that you value your opinion, which can help build loyalty. But it works vastly in your favor as well. World-of-mouth feedback from other customers is one of the most trusted factors in consumer purchasing decisions. Some rules of thumb for successful review requesting:
- Make it as easy as possible. If you have a preferred place for a customer to write reviews, link directly to it in a clear call to action.
- In the case of an Amazon store, be sure you follow the very strict rules on requesting feedback from your customers.
- Ask for honest feedback on their experience. Hinting at only providing a top-notch review, or only writing a review if they had a perfect experience undercuts your opportunity to make a wrong situation right, and just makes you look bad.
- Monitor reviews at least every few days and respond. Responding to reviews has shown to increase the perception of a brand, even in a poor review!
With respect to Halloween, these new reviews offer an opportunity to improve your reputation and create more search-friendly reviews ahead of peak holiday shopping season.
Halloween is more than a fun holiday full of spooky ghouls and goblins. It can set a solid baseline for a successful holiday shopping season, helping you increase sales and repeat business. To help with your reputation management and email marketing, not to mention streamline your shipping, give ShippingEasy a try. It’s FREE for 30 days! Just click below to get started.
Latest posts by Rob Zaleski (see all)
- How Having the Lowest Shipping Rates Grows Your Business - October 16, 2018