Follow-Up Folly: Many SMBs Fail To Send Emails After Holiday Rush

Most small businesses depend on holiday sales to make their numbers. But too few have strategies in place to retain new customers, according to Holiday Trends For SMBs, a study from Constant Contact, conducted by Ascend2.  

Only 49% of the consumers polled receive an email after making a purchase, and 27% never hear from the business again. Yet 81% are open to receiving messages from a small business they have visited or bought from during the holidays.  

What is wrong with SMBs? Some 93% of them agree it is essential to retain new holiday customers into the new year. But only 18% feel their Q1 strategy is highly effective, and 14 have no retention strategy. 

Yet 52% send personalized emails and texts, while 42% use social-media ads and 40% offer sales or discounts to grow their bases during the season.  



There is no question that the holiday is important. 

For instance, 50% of SMBs get at least one-fourth of their annual revenue from holiday shoppers. This jumps to 73% for those in the retail/ecommerce space. 

Moreover, 75% of those in the latter category say they rely heavily on holiday sales to meet their annual revenue goals. And 58% overall agree that holiday shoppers are extremely important to their success.

Most shoppers don’t realize this — only 33% feel that patronizing an SMB during the holidays significantly impacts its livelihood. Yet they say their main reason for visiting or buying from an SMB is to support small businesses and their communities. 

At the same time, 84% of consumers are likely to visit a small business they have never purchased from during this year’s holiday season. And 87% are likely to return.

For their part, SMBs pursue these goals during the holiday season: finding new customers (63%), retaining current ones (52%) and planning for the next year (45%). For their part, small business owners feel thankful (78%), happy (69%) and hopeful (37%) when a customer visits or buys during the season. 

Ascend2 polled 500 SMBs across various industries and 500 consumers in the U.S. in September 2023. 


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