Using data pulled from Engagement Cloud, we found three key trends occurring across our wide range of customers during the Black Friday weekend:
- Inactive customers are eagerly re-engaging with brands
- New customers are more like to become inactive after the sales are over
- Brand champions are hard to engage during the sales period
Armed with this knowledge, identifying the segments you need to target is easier. Using RFM persona movement tracker, you can keep a close eye on how successfully you’re converting holiday shoppers to repeat buyers.
The return of the inactive customer
Inactive customers are a key segment you should be keeping a constant eye on. During the Black Friday weekend, you’re most likely to see a larger proportion of these shoppers moving from inactive to recent purchasers. As they’ve already interacted with you before, you don’t need to earn their trust, which makes it easier for them to convert.
But that isn’t enough. We want to keep them coming back, long after the sales are over. Adopting new tactics will help ensure these shoppers don’t relapse back into your inactive segment.
Beyond basic first name personalization, tap into the data you already have. As existing customers, you’ll have a wide range of information on them, from order insights to shipping address. You can use this in your sales emails to deliver a delightfully personal experience.
Order insight or browsing behavior can be used to populate product recommendations blocks. Highlight products similar to those they’ve already bought, or items that complement a previous purchase.
Dynamic content can pull in specific messages based on data such as location. This can be used to push shoppers to their local stores or encourage in-store collection. By driving them to your brick-and-mortar store, you’ll increase the chances of shoppers making additional spontaneous purchases.
Modern customers demand special experiences from brands. Not receiving personalized communications is one of the key factors that drive shoppers to inactivity. Therefore, it’s important you put your data to work.
When inactive customers aren’t engaging with your emails it’s time to try a new channel.
If you haven’t already acquired customers’ phone numbers, Black Friday is the perfect time to do this. With this extra piece of information, you have a chance to opt inactive customers into marketing channels such as SMS.
The powerful impact of SMS marketing is unmistakable. With 95% of messages being opened and read within 5 minutes, it’s the perfect channel for flash sales and limited-time offers. You can target customers with unique discount codes regularly throughout the year to keep them from lapsing back into inactivity.
For customers who need some incentive to shop, this is the perfect tactic, as it catches them whenever and wherever they are, without the need for them to sift through their emails to find you.
Get new customer ready
One of the key advantages of the Black Friday weekend is that new customers are on the hunt for a deal. If you win their business, then you have new names in your database.
Unfortunately, these new customers are twice as likely to abandon you after they’ve bought your goods or services. In order to keep them active, you need to ensure you’re nurturing them. Automation is key to keep them engaged.
And, as an added bonus, it saves both time and money for you and your team.
The welcome program
Welcome programs are essential for every new customer. During the Black Friday sales period, you need to take extra effort to introduce your brand. Storytelling is essential here. People remember stories better than stats and evoking an emotional response will keep your brand at the forefront of shoppers’ minds.
Enroll new customers onto your welcome program as your competitors bring their sales to a close. Shoppers’ inboxes will be quietening down, so this is the time to get yourself heard. Demonstrating your brand’s personality and USPs will help keep new customers engaged, post-sale.
Now that your new customers are through the door, the hard work begins. You need to give new shoppers a reason to keep coming back. Beyond connecting with your brand, customers need an incentive to stay loyal.
As part of your welcome series, introduce your loyalty program and outline the benefits of joining. This is a great way of collecting more data on your new customers. Whether you’re collecting dates for exclusive birthday offers or favorite products or hobbies, customers are happy to hand over their personal data if they feel like they’re benefitting from the relationship.
These key automations will keep new customers engaged. As a result, you’ll have more opportunity to develop a relationship with them. Once you have a relationship established, converting throughout the year will be easier.
Loyalty: hard to earn, easy to lose
Loyalty can be hard to earn from modern shoppers. They have hundreds of choices waiting for them with the click of a button or tap of a screen. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
A strong brand story, teamed with a rewarding and engaging loyalty program, will keep customers coming back. But Black Friday can be a tricky time for these engaged shoppers. They’re already choosing you over your competitors time and again, so don’t bore them with endless sales emails. Using these intelligent tactics, you can keep your loyal shoppers engaged throughout the Black Friday sales period.
As loyal customers, these subscribers are shopping with you frequently, or on a regular basis. It’s therefore fair to assume that these shoppers are not going to be as engaged with your Black Friday comms as new or returning customers. To ensure you don’t cause these shoppers to switch off, it’s essential you take them on a separate journey to the rest of your database.
Make sure this segment is still enrolled in your regular marketing messages to keep them connected to the brand. It also reduces the risk of them finding something they’ve already purchased in your sale. Your Black Friday sales tactics should instead focus on giving them something ‘exclusive’.
This could take the form of early access to pre-sale content or an extra 10% off sale items. Whichever tactic you choose, it’s important these shoppers feel special and aren’t overwhelmed by sales marketing.
‘Tis the season for giving after all, so why not treat your loyal customers to something special. These treats are what’ll tip your loyal customers into champions. As champions, they’ll spread the word about your brand, by word of mouth, across social media and through reviews.
To do this, offer loyal customers something like free shipping for the year, or VIP prices on high ticket items if they make a purchase during Black Friday weekend. This will give them a greater incentive to keep returning to your brand, as well as contribute to your Black Friday revenue.
To say the holiday season is frantic is an understatement – especially for anyone working in ecommerce. But there are many opportunities out there to massively shift your customer database.
What’s essential is that you track the movement of your shoppers. Using Engagement Cloud’s RFM persona tracker, you can gain clear insight into the behavior of your customers. This will help you determine the perfect journeys for every segment which will keep them engaged for longer.