It doesn’t take much for a consumer’s inbox to go from neat and ordered to overwhelmingly crowded, especially during the holiday season. In fact, the number of holiday emails sent by brands increased by 13.4% year-over-year in 2015, making it even more important for brands to distinguish themselves to catch consumers’ attention.
To ensure that their holiday emails are actively engaging their subscribers, marketers need to look beyond the inbox and run multichannel campaigns that maximize each touchpoint. Thankfully, marketers have tools already at their fingertips to create engaging, multichannel holiday marketing campaigns that will grab their customers’ attention. Social is commonly pegged as a broadcast medium, but it is possible for brands to leverage this channel creating individual connections and interactions with consumers this holiday season. Here’s how:
1. Choose quality over quantity
By now, it goes without saying that data is important in understanding the target audience. By analyzing customer shopping habits, marketers can create more of a one-on-one conversation on social media as opposed to a mass broadcast message.
That said, it’s important to begin personalizing messages from the first point of contact. Sixty percent of marketers struggle to personalize content in real-time, but this can be as easy as suggesting products relevant to a recent purchase or offering a unique discount based on purchase history. Retailers can share a special code on Twitter, for example, that allows followers free shipping or a secret discount if they interact with the brand in some shape or form.
Marriott Rewards, for example, leveraged social as a part of its year-in-review campaign to create more one-on-one relationships with customers. Through email, customers were encouraged to follow the company on Instagram with the incentive of 500 points, and from there, they were further encouraged to share vacation photos and engage with the company on social for additional rewards. This made customers’ experiences with the brand feel more personal as opposed to disingenuous and sales driven.
2. Engage one-time buyers
While it’s tempting to focus all efforts on their best customers during the key retail season, the holidays present a unique challenge to engage with a new audience. In the spirit of gift-giving, shoppers often buy things for others that they normally wouldn’t purchase for themselves. Additionally, these purchasers may only interact with a brand once a year. Marketers who neglect this important segment of their audience will miss out on key sales.
For example, a consumer may have recently purchased Chicago Cubs World Series paraphernalia at a sporting goods store as gifts. However, this does not mean that they should be retargeting the same consumer with camping gear because of their recent purchase. One-time customers have an entirely different set of needs and therefore should not get the same message as a regularly engaged brand advocate. Constantly messaging one-time customers year-round is a waste of time, and it would fatigue the one-time buyer and turn them off from purchasing again at some point down the road. By waiting to reach out at a time when they’re more likely to buy, it saves consumers time and effort in the search for the perfect gift. This is a value-add for the consumer, and it can turn these infrequent buyers into loyal customers.
A home goods store, for example, can drive consumers to a platform like Pinterest to provide a value-added approach, for example, initiating a conversation around the DIY steps involved with a recent purchase. There, they can suggest best interior design practices that work well with a recent furniture piece or other purchased item. Encouraging a new customer to interact with a brand post-purchase can turn a one-time buyer into a lasting relationship.