Black Friday is nearly here, and the big focus for many online retailers is acquisition. Rightfully so, this shopping holiday is the event that brings the newest customers to your site.
Unfortunately, 64% of retailers say that shoppers acquired during Black Friday/Cyber Monday have a shorter customer lifetime value than those acquired at any other time of the year.
However, these customers don't have to be burn and churn. You don't need to resign them to one-off purchases. Instead, put a strategy in place that encourages that first purchase, and then many more after.
This was the top tip offered by recently polled digital marketing and ecommerce experts. When asked about their best Black Friday prep advice, the most frequent response was to focus on customer retention after the shopping holiday.
But how can you transform shoppers for the season into shoppers for the reason?
Luckily, there are tactics that you can set up right now that will automatically nurture your Black Friday shoppers, and give you the opportunity to transform them into lifelong customers.
1. Welcome Your Customer Into the Fold
If you've been optimizing your SEO properly, your best sellers should be at the forefront of your customers' search results. Visitors coming to your site in November and during Black Friday will already be ultra high-intent customers: and they're here for the deals.
Encourage the First Purchase
It's going to be a hard sell to capture an email address without a great incentive in place. Try a targeted popup when your customer arrives on the site for an additional discount to your best Black Friday sales.
Once you've made them an offer they can't refuse, make sure you have a welcome automation series in place that keeps their attention.
A few tips on encouraging that first purchase:
- Use a three-message workflow to stay on your customer's radar
- Create a sense of urgency by placing a time limit on your offer. This helps your customer act quickly.
- Use a few different channels to reach your customer, and provide an immersive experience
Your campaign should look something like this:
Note how they've used both email and SMS, and have created urgency throughout the campaign. This is the recipe for getting your customers to make that first purchase.
Provide a Stellar First Experience
Let's say your customers go through with their first purchase. The key part to getting them to keep coming back is to make sure, despite the stress and the rush of the holidays, that you provide them with a first experience they'll never forget.
Your resources might be thin over the holidays — that's understandable. But the way that you communicate with your customers, and the experience you provide is going to be critical. They've already decided to trust you with a first purchase, keep that trust by delivering exactly what you promised when you promised it.
2. Use Opportunities to Up and Cross Sell
Part of creating that amazing experience boils down to how you communicate with your customers throughout their customer journey. Post-sale communication is going to be very important to your customers, who will be watching their inboxes like hawks for their tracking codes.
In fact, order confirmation emails will have the highest open and click through rates of any other campaign you'll send this holiday season.
Over half of order confirmation emails were opened in 2018, and they boasted a 12% click through rate.
Use this undivided attention to recommend products that are complementary to those that your customer recently purchased. While order and confirmation emails have the lowest order rate among automation workflows, any product that's in front of your customer's eyes is a benefit to you.
Pro-tip: try adding an incentive to come back and shop again, like a discount or free shipping. This will show your customer that you're trustworthy because you've confirmed their purchase and given them a tracking number. It also shows that you value their business with a small gift as a thank you for purchasing.
3. Bring Them Back and Keep Them
It's possible that your customers will only be interested in your Black Friday deals, and will move along once the holidays are over.
However, you shouldn't make it easy to forget you. Instead, plan reactivation workflow sequences to engage inactive customers (those who haven't opened or clicked your campaign after a certain amount of time, typically 30 days or more).
We can even see in 2018 that reactivation workflows performed rather well for marketers, boasting a 31% open rate, a 6% click through rate, and an order rate of 1.41%.
While those numbers may be dwarfed in comparison to stronger workflows, like welcome and cart abandonment, remember that these are going to customers with low intent to purchase. The results are amplified if it means reconverting a customer more regularly in the future.
A few ways to nail your reactivation campaign:
- Reach out on an emotional level: "We miss you"
- Offer an incentive to come back: Show your customer that you appreciate them (put the incentive in your subject line to boost open rate)
- Use a sequence with at least three messages
- Follow up or run retargeting ads in unison with your workflow to stay in front of their eyes
- Remind them of previous purchases, and recommend new purchases to go along with them
A great reactivation message feels personal and real. Try to keep your copy as intimate as appropriate with your customer to foster an emotional connection.
Black Friday and the holidays altogether will be a busy time for you, as for your customer. But by getting these workflows set up now, you'll be a step ahead on nurturing your Black Friday visitors into customers that shop year-round with you.
Put the work into getting that first sale, that's the priority after all. But don't forget about creating an environment that brings your new customers back over and over again.