By: Joseph Kerschbaum. This article first appeared on SearchEngineWatch.com.
All great parties must come to an end. The same goes for your crazy-bananas high tide of seasonal sales extravaganza.
After the holiday rush is over, a hangover may set in, causing disorientation, grogginess, and denial that it all had to come to an end. But unfortunately, for many businesses, the numbers don’t lie:
This time of year most marketers are focused on accentuating their business’ peak traffic/conversion season. Your business may thrive in Q4 or perhaps in Q1.
Getting the most out of your seasonal high tide can be an exciting ride, but don’t neglect what lies ahead: the slow season. Smart marketers can have even more impact on their business by mitigating the low tide that follows those record-breaking sales cycles.
Go ahead and accept this is going to happen. You don’t have to wake up with a hangover if you plan ahead.
Your Objective: Create Repeat Customers
The objectives of your hangover cure will be specific to your business.
To mitigate the valley that usually follows your seasonal peak, you’re probably looking to generate more sales and revenue. You can’t just magically make this happen. If you could, then the entire year would be a non-stop party.
The objective here should be to take possible one-time customers and transform them into repeat customers – or even lifetime customers!
Reasons Someone May Buy Again
Folks who purchase during the holidays are probably different than folks who purchase throughout the year. Some folks may be repeat customers, which is awesome. Many of the people who make holiday purchases have never been to your site, and they may make only that single gift-minded transaction.
There are a few personas to consider when transforming these one-time purchasers to a repeat or lifetime customer:
- May buy again for themselves: Often people buy gifts for other folks that they might find interesting for themselves. Or they may purchase a different product you offer. Hopefully, when someone buys from you they are impressed with the product and this will inspire them to make a purchase for themselves. This is what you want to happen.
- May buy again as another gift: Most of the time we don’t buy gifts once for one person throughout the entire year. If you liked a specific product for one friend, it’s very possible another friend may like that same product or a different product from the same company.
- May recommend to others: Hopefully your holiday customer is so impressed with their experience with your company that they will tell others, which will influence their purchasing decisions.
The relationship with your holiday crowd doesn’t have to end once the lights come off the Christmas tree.
Methods to Continue the Conversation
You need a game plan to help with that holiday hangover and to sustain momentum from your holiday upswing. You should know who needs to be targeted with additional content, information, and special offers but now the question is how.
There are a few channels at your disposal to foster lifetime customers:
- Email marketing: Develop an email marketing program targeted to individuals who purchase specifically during the holidays. It is likely that these folks may not have even used your product yet because they gave it away as a gift. Perhaps provide some incentive to make their purchase.
- Remarketing: Continue the conversation with remarketing. You don’t want to blast people with ads and follow them around the Internet for six months, but you should maintain an acceptable level of visibility in order to inspire people to purchase again. Using dynamic remarketing ads can be a huge win in this category as you dynamically display specific images to each user.
- Social: When someone makes a purchase, encourage that customer to engage with you on the various social platforms, the most prominent being Facebook.
- Direct marketing: This is the old guard in this list but you should certainly consider direct marketing as a tool for creating lifetime customers.
All of these channels will help continue the conversation past the holidays and hopefully into future purchases. Within each of these channels you should utilize various messaging and value propositions.
Mixing up your campaigns and offers will minimize banner blindness and keep your content fresh:
- Special offers: People love special offers. Consumers respond most readily to specials within social over any other type of content, according to a recent study.
- Contests and giveaways: The aforementioned report also states that second highest response rate on social media belongs to contests and giveaways.
- New products: When you launch a new product, make sure that all this lights up your social media channels. All of your customers should know when new products are ready, but especially those holiday purchasers you’re still trying to convert to lifetime customers.
- Cross sell: Especially within email you should promote other products that the individual didn’t buy within their initial purchase.
Make a plan now to capitalize on the conversation that has been started by your peak seasonal traffic. This goes for ecommerce as well B2B lead gen folks too.
Don’t let that holiday hangover give you a headache. Devise a plan that will work throughout the rest of the year, especially those low-tide months were you could use a little boost.