The National Retail Federation forecasts so-so holiday sales, “We expect families to spend prudently and deliberately, though still less constrained than what we saw even two years ago.” And according to Consumer Affairs, “The evidence so far suggests shoppers will be careful with money and look for bargains”.
Though this sounds like less-than optimistic news, it’s actually a good tip for the smart business owner. Tell customers why they should choose to spend their money with you. To do that, create an extremely enticing (gender neutral) offer and create a plan to get the word out to stay top-of-mind with prospects as well as your previous customers.
Previous customers should be a major focus of your marketing efforts. Studies show the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. And, it costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
If you have an email list of your previous customers and/or prospective customers, don’t miss out on connecting with those people often during the holiday season. Staying top-of-mind depends on being in your audience’s recent experience. During this busy season when every seller is vying for holiday dollars, an effective frequency for your email promotions would be once a week for 6-8 weeks prior to the first of January. This allows you regular visibility without being annoying. Of course there are always exceptions. One of which would be to send an additional email reminder a day or two before the end of a sale or the morning of the end of a sale for online purchases.
Think about what your business can do to give extra value to shoppers this holiday season. One type of promotion that has proven to be highly effective via email is an appreciation program. Show your appreciation to your email list subscribers by rewarding them with an exclusive offer. Appreciation programs show good will and encourage loyalty. Consider a special discount with purchase. For example, spending $75, could enable them to purchase a $50 gift card or gift certificate for $10. This gives the customer an inexpensive way to purchase an additional gift.
Don’t let the projection of prudent holiday spending get you down. Let it inspire you to regularly broadcast extremely desirable offers that will appeal to those prudent shoppers and encourage their decision to shop with you.
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