Beyond Black Friday: Marketing ideas to retain holiday customers

By November 8, 2019 CCG Retail Marketing Blog

A one-day jackpot is great. Year-round profits are even better. Here’s how to make the most of Black Friday shoppers for the long-term.

By Sandra Gudat, President/CEO

Black Friday marketing ideas to retain customers

Article Highlights

  • Retaining Black Friday customers can bring revenue all year long
  • First-time purchasers have a 60% likelihood of buying from you again
  • Black Friday provides an opportunity to make outstanding first impressions
  • Post-Black Friday marketing strategies should build customer relationships and give shoppers reasons to return

The time of year is fast approaching that every retailer loves to hate: Black Friday. By now, you have strategies in place to help make this one of — if not the — most profitable days of the year. But what happens when all those customers go home? What can you do to convert them from one-day holiday shoppers into long-term customers who keep coming back after the holiday rush? Start with these seven post-Black Friday marketing ideas.

But first: Why these customers matter

You already know that keeping an existing customer is cheaper than acquiring a new customer. But it can also be more profitable — even if those customers have only shopped with you once. According to Marketing Metrics, customers who make a first purchase with you have a 60% likelihood of buying from you again.1 The longer you keep them, the more profitable they can become: On average, customers will spend 67% more with you in their third year as a customer than their first.1

Now let’s dive into specific post-Black Friday marketing strategy steps you can take to retain those first-time customers.

1: Crank Up Customer Service and Support

Of course, you strive to provide good customer service all year. But Black Friday is the time to truly shine and make outstanding first impressions on new shoppers. What can you do that you don’t already? What can you do better than your competitors? How can you remove friction from the purchase process and make it a seamless and purely pleasurable experience?

Consider:

  • Ramping up staff with temporary help to ensure you have plenty of associates on the floor and at checkout
  • Offering live chat options for online shoppers
  • Holding a team meeting to discuss potential issues so you can prepare to bypass them
  • Finding ways to exceed expectations and surprise new customers in delightful ways

2: Connect Across Channels

That friction-free, seamless shopping experience needs to expand across all of your shopping channels and across devices. In terms of Black Friday marketing, of course that means making promotions visible, and offers available, through any of your shopping channels. It also means leveraging cross-channel tactics to improve the customer experience.

For instance, customers today may simply expect that they can order online and pick up (or return) merchandise in store, so make that possible. There’s something in it for you, too, beyond that initial sale: 37% of customers who take advantage of this option will make additional unplanned purchases when they’re in-store for a pickup, according to Retail Dive.2

3: Give Them a Reason to Return

Gift cards with purchase and bounce-back offers are two straightforward ways to bring Black Friday shoppers back after the big day. But don’t just hand out the goodies. Add some context to encourage another visit from someone who might not normally shop your store except when it’s gift-giving time.

For instance, if you give a gift card with purchase, put it in a carrier with messaging that encourages the shopper to use it for themselves or for another special occasion. Have a little fun with copy and graphics to remind shoppers of common — or even uncommon — gift-giving opportunities, from birthdays and anniversaries, to dog weddings and baby’s first haircut.

4: Get Them Into Your Loyalty Program

Loyalty program members spend $42 more over three months than non-member customers, according to Forrester.

Plus, when customers enroll, you capture valuable data, such as their email and mailing addresses, product preferences and lifestyle interests. So make sure to promote your loyalty program hand-in-glove with other Black Friday campaigns.

Brainstorm creative ways to get people engaged, since many will be newcomers with only gift purchases in mind. You can offer enrollment gifts and discounts, but be careful because people may sign up just to get the special. Instead, you might give double or triple points toward rewards, or perhaps a gift with their next purchase. Be sure to promote all of your program benefits, as well.

5: Say Thank You

Sounds obvious. But this doesn’t mean just saying thanks at checkout when the purchase is made. It means following up with a thank you note after the sale. Depending on your resources, your store brand and personality, and perhaps the size or type of purchase, this could be a simple trigger email or it could be a personalized, hand signed note card. While you might include an offer and an invitation to “come see us again,” this should not be a sales piece, but a true thank you for the business.

Obviously, you’ll need a mailing address or email address for this tactic — another reason to encourage loyalty program sign-ups. But you can also ask shoppers to provide this information so they can receive future offers, product announcements and other store information.

6: Roll Out the Welcome Mat

A thank you note can stand alone or it can be part of a complete welcome series. For cost and time efficiencies, these series are typically automated emails, triggered by the purchase and personalized from customer data. And they’re well worth putting time and effort into, since welcome emails have an average open rate of 42%, according to Omnisend.3

Send the first welcome message within a week of the purchase — within a day or two if your systems can manage it. Then follow up with a few more spread out over the course of several weeks. Again, it’s okay to include offers, but these emails should also work to develop a personal relationship between the customer and your brand.

Tell the story of your company, share informational or entertaining content, and give tips on how to make the most of their purchase — whether it’s four ways to wear that little black dress or how to maintain their new snow blower. You should also ask about their shopping experience with you — you can even include a satisfaction survey in one email. And make sure to let them know how to contact you if they need assistance.

7: Take Aim with Retargeting

Use retargeting advertising as a post-Black Friday marketing strategy to keep customers engaged. Use the ads to announce new products or make special offers. You can even provide links to exclusive value-add content, like a look book of fashions for the new year or a cheat sheet to help customers shop for a related item — for instance, a printer if they purchased a computer.

Working Toward a Happy New Year

No matter how big your Black Friday profits, you can make them even better by using these seven marketing ideas to turn those new shoppers into repeat customers. And that means not just happy holidays, but a prosperous New Year, too!

Looking for customer retention ideas, inspirations and innovations? We’ve specialized in exactly that for more than 40 years. Our experienced retail marketing consultants can help you identify opportunities and support your goals with a full range of retail marketing solutions. Learn more at no cost with a complimentary consultation. Schedule online or call 303.986.3000.

1 “21 Surprising Customer Retention Statistics for 2018,” Grace Miller, AnnexCloud.com, https://www.annexcloud.com/blog/21-surprising-customer-retention-statistics-2018/, accessed Oct. 4, 2019

2 “Click-and-Collect ‘Superconsumers’ Buy More in Stores,” Dan Alaimo, Retail Dive, posted July 26, 2018, https://www.retaildive.com/news/click-and-collect-superconsumers-buy-more-in-stores/528686/, accessed Oct. 25, 2019

3 “Ecommerce Email Marketing Statistics 2018,” Omnisend News, posted Sept. 5, 2018,
https://www.omnisend.com/blog/ecommerce-email-marketing-statistics-infographic/, accessed Oct. 25, 2019

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