Lifecycle Marketing: How to Win Post-Holiday

Cory Smith
December 16, 2022
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Most eCommerce businesses do a ton of business during the runup to Black Friday through the end of the holiday season – people are buying gifts for others and themselves, and businesses are often offering their best deals of the year. Many millions of dollars go into acquiring customers who ultimately purchase during the holiday season. But what happens after the mistletoe gets taken down and the champagne flutes are back on the shelves? 

There are a shocking number of businesses who stash away their Lifecycle program after the holiday season and come back to it the following season. We’re always surprised at the number of emails we see in our inboxes from brands who stash away their Lifecycle programs at the end of the holiday season along with the lights and tinsel.

While there are myriad operational reasons not to do this – deliverability, user experience, list fatigue, and more – brands are also leaving money on the table when they only engage with their subscribers when it’s convenient for them. 

While there’s something to be said for relaxing send volume immediately post holiday, finding clever and innovative ways to engage your list in the off-season is a surefire way to unlock revenue for your brand.

Let’s talk about just a few ideas that might be right for you. 

1. Gift buyers

‍There’s no doubt that some of the people who purchased during the holiday season bought for someone other than themselves, and those people might have a tendency to be less engaged than others. Think about finding ways to determine people who gifted your product, and consider treating them a little bit differently than other users. Perhaps they shipped to another zip code than where they live, or they bought a personalized product for someone, or included a gift note at checkout – use these kinds of signals to determine gift purchasers, and tag them.

Then, when you send email, consider leveraging gift-style messaging more heavily to these users, as they might buy more gifts from your brand, or might recommend your product as a gift even if they aren’t purchasing for themselves. You want to stay relevant throughout the year so that when it comes time to gift again – say, for another holiday – you’re top of mind for them. 

2. Product reviews

‍While product reviews should probably be a part of your post purchase journey already, if they aren’t, post holiday is a great time to implement them. You can get a huge influx of reviews by giving a bit of an offer along with a verified review, and those people who are willing to leave a positive review are likely to be those who come back and buy again. And if they leave a negative review – this is a chance to reach out to them to see how you can make it right, or perhaps relax your frequency. 

3. VIP and loyalty

Getting holiday users to purchase again can offset the additional cost of acquiring users at one of the busiest times of year. Consider giving a VIP offer to users tailored to the kinds of products they purchased during holiday with upsell and cross-sell. We’ve worked with brands whose repeat purchase rate ebbs and flows with the holiday season – leveling that curve throughout the year makes decision-making and planning easier and lowers the stakes around having a huge holiday season if economic times are uncertain. 

4. New users

Welcome emails sent during the holiday season can get lost in the shuffle of inboxes crowded with holiday promotions. Consider boosting welcome emails that tell about the value proposition of your brand to newer users after the holiday season has concluded so they are better prepared to be good users for you in the future. 

5. Referrals

If users were gifters, consider asking them to refer the person to whom they gifted so that you’re dealing with the first party rather than the second party. Offering an incentive to the referee rather than the referrer in this case might be the best ticket to getting users to come back and buy again. 

If you’re looking for more ideas about how to handle your Lifecycle program after the conclusion of holiday, we’re here to help! Reach out to schedule time to speak with us and we’ll gladly take time to talk about your program and how we can level up for the new year. 

Cory Smith

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