There is no denying the appeal of getting new customers. But the fact is, retaining existing customers is more financially savvy—costing anywhere from 5 to 25 times less than acquiring new customers. So it only makes sense to engage in regular customer retention activities—and what better time to do so than the holidays? We have gathered some of our favorite end-of-year holiday customer retention programs for your consideration. Just incorporating one of them into your holiday marketing should yield noticeable benefits.
5 Holiday Customer Retention Programs for the End-of-Year
1. Kick off 2019 the right way with exclusive subscriber discounts.
A simple email offering discounts to subscribers can be enough to excite former customers into making another purchase. Inspire quick action and conversion by making the offer only for a limited time, such as before the new year starts. It also doesn’t hurt to tell customers that the deals are only available to a select group—subscribers to your marketing emails—so they feel extra special.
A great example of this can be seen below. Simple, New Year’s themed, and targeted to lead to drive new conversions. As you can see, the discount does not even have to be that significant. A small discount, when combined with a limited time offer, can encourage purchases.
2. Ask former customers to submit a review of the product and/or your company.
Prior customers are a vital resource for demonstrating the quality of your products and your service. Everyone nowadays goes online looking for reviews because they are so easy to find and help customers make better buying decisions. While you cannot exercise full control over the kind of reviews you get—and let’s face it, the unhappy customer is the first one to write a review—you can help balance the scales by encouraging all customers to leave reviews. Plenty of them have been happy, but they may not have thought about sharing their experience.
The fact that it is the end of the year and the holiday season is in full swing can make your appeal for reviews more compelling to email recipients. Let them know that you can use their help and would love some honest feedback about their experiences. When you tell them you want to hear from them, it will have an impact.
Check out the email below from online mattress retailer Casper. Notice how it only took a few short sentences to convey a desire for honesty and feedback.
3. Offer some product recommendations.
E-commerce is huge—and the vast amount of purchasing possibilities is often overwhelming for customers. There is just too much to choose from, too many decisions to make, too many ways for purchases to become disappointments. The complications and the risks involved push people to seek informed opinions about the products they may or may not purchase.
Most customers are looking for some help in deciding what is worth their money. Because you are an expert in the types of products you offer, you are well-equipped to give product recommendations. You know which of your products most excite you. Sharing that excitement with customers is a great way to encourage purchases as well. You can create a win-win situation for your customers and your company by letting readers know what products stand out above the rest.
Below is a snippet of a great example. You can see the full email here. One of the more interesting aspects of this email is that it offers readers recommendations on where to shop during a festival, showing that you do not have to limit your advice to products alone. Giving recommendations in your area of expertise is helpful, whether they are recommendations for products, businesses, attractions or anything else you know you can give good advice about.
4. Show off your referral program.
Even the coolest referral programs have a way of being forgotten by previous customers. Once they purchase their product and go back to their day-to-day lives, they very well may not remember that you even have a referral program. Fortunately, you can always remind them.
The end-of-year is an excellent time to bring up your referral program again. With so many people buying products for the holidays, it is often easier for customers to take advantage of referral programs. You can also combine your referral program with end-of-year discounts as a one-two punch to really get customers excited.
Feel free to have fun with your messaging. Referral programs are win-win-win: customers get a discount, their friend gets a discount, and you get more business.
5. BONUS: Try an end-of-year win-back campaign before cleaning up your email list to kick off the new year.
Trying to retain customers can be frustrating sometimes. A lot of previous customers are going to slip away—it’s just not likely that you’ll be able to keep all of them loyal to your business. You have probably noticed the lack of response you get to some of your emails. Once you determine that some contacts are not worth keeping, you will need to purge your list to keep things organized. For many businesses, the end of the year presents a perfect time to clean up the email list and move on with new marketing efforts.
But before you hit the delete button, you can make one more attempt to reach out. A win-back campaign gives you the chance to connect again and offer an encouraging message to keep customers around. It may or may not be successful, but there is little harm in trying. And if you are efficient about it—creating a compelling campaign and making sure that your outreach is segmented and personalized—then you will definitely get some results you can be satisfied with.
If you have ever canceled a subscription to a service, you have probably seen the product of a win-back campaign. Below is a template example you can find in ShippingEasy’s Customer Marketing tool.
Make Customer Retention Easier
Email marketing should be a priority for all e-commerce businesses, particularly in your holiday customer retention efforts. Luckily, you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. When you incorporate a tool like ShippingEasy’s Customer Marketing tool, you can set up email campaigns that convert in a snap. Send review request, product recommendations, win-back campaigns, and more. Beautiful templates are built into the software to help you set up your campaigns with minimal busy work. Pick from options that suit your customers and your business, schedule a timetable for sending the emails and move on with your day. Or, set up a time with one of our email marketing experts and get help setting up a great campaign. Click below to learn more!