‘Tis the season to think strategically about how you market to customers. With so many brands competing for attention in stores, online, in the email inbox, on social media and other marketing channels, it’s critical that marketers focus on best practices to break through the clutter and drive results. Below are 12 tips for the holidays, and every day, to help brands connect with customers, build engagement, create meaningful experiences and achieve success.
1. Understand your customer. Seek insights that demonstrate what is most relevant to customers; what is their preferred channel of communication; what time of day is best to reach them?
2. It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it. It is important to ensure that marketing campaigns are being built with emotion in mind. Numerous studies have shown that when customers are emotionally connected, they spend more and show deeper brand loyalty.
3. Reward brand loyalty. Rewards programs drive engagement all year round but over the holidays it’s especially important to show your gratitude for your customer’s patronage “Thank you” offers go a long way in creating lifetime customer value that transcends the season.
4. Give them a story. If you want people to talk about your product, you’ve got to give them a good reason to talk about your product. Word of mouth is a powerful tool especially when you give consumers all the resources they need to spread the good word about your brand.
5. Learn as you go. Continually test, assess and measure your results during, as well as after, the campaign. Adjusting your strategy in real-time based on performance and feedback will result in stronger, more profitable results.
6. Pull the trigger. Our email benchmark report shows time and time again that triggered email messages, the result of an action such as welcome, abandoned shopping cart or confirmation, outperform business as usual messages, such as offers and sales notifications. Take advantage of these opportunities to engage customers and deliver relevant messaging designed to drive behavior.
7. Retarget your customers. Send follow up emails to customers who clicked on emails after the holidays (as well as during). If you know that they showed interest but didn’t purchase, find a way to remind them that the holiday deals are still available.
8. It’s not social if you don’t engage. As the volume of social messages increases, what is surprising is how many of those messages are inquiries from the customer to the brand and even more surprising is the lack of response from brands. It’s not simply enough to have a brand presence on social media. Consumers today expect you to recognize them and respond in real-time.
9. Know your fans. Most brands’ Facebook fans are existing customers rather than new prospects.Therefore, brands should use custom audience-targeted Facebook posts to reach these existing customers based on valuable online and offline insights.
10. Consider Instagram Incentives. Consumers flock to social media all year long but especially over the holidays as they share photos and videos with friends and family. Utilize your brand’s Instagram account to its full potential this season by posting special discount codes, time-sensitive sales or online pop-up stores for followers.
11. Look out for holiday-only shoppers. Tailor your messaging to this segment and encourage gift-giving. Also, think about how you might target this group in the future for other upcoming holiday periods such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.
12. Optimize campaigns for mobile wallets Mobile payments are becoming mainstream with the launch of Apple Pay and its integration with Passbook. Mobile wallets and mobile payments will allow you to market to your customers in new ways. Make sure you’re prepared to capitalize on the opportunities these emerging technologies provide this holiday season and beyond.
This holiday season give your customers a gift that they can unwrap all year long — give them the right message, at the right time, in the channel where they want to engage with you.