Engagement Strategy #3: Customers are actively buying after the holidays—taking advantage of post-holiday or year-end deals. Plan followup campaigns based on customer RFM data, popular rated products, top seasonal purchases, include a contest or giveaway, and more!

I’d say, “It’s that time of year again.” but it’s not true for only this time of year. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas present some of our biggest opportunities of the year for engagement and sales, but don’t forget about other holidays and events like Valentines Day, Easter, 4th of July, Birthdays, other religious celebrations—I can go on. They’re always just around the corner, and can never plan far enough in advance to take advantage, and I have some ideas that can get the conversation started.

Think about all of those after-holiday gift cards and cash burning a hole in customer pockets…There are plenty of opportunities to capitalize on product returns and exchanges, mobile-only deals, social contests, and more.

Here is a short list of pre- and post-holiday marketing concepts that I’ve had the experience implementing. They net incredible engagement activity and sales when executed properly:

  1. End of Year Celebration/Inventory Blowout event – These are probably the most popular, whether category or one-off product deals.
  2. Top 10 after holiday customer favorites.
  3. New years resolution email and landing page – Push consumables to restart customer usage of product they have purchased 6-12 months ago, and haven’t purchased since.
  4. Valentine’s Day – 14% off category + forward this email to a friend or loved one and be entered to win a gift card for two for dinner. This can run as a pre-and post-holiday continued for limited time offer.
  5. 4th of July – Save $17.76 on purchases over $76. This can run as a pre-and post-holiday continued for limited time offer.
  6. Customer return recapitalization — Just because a customer returns a product or two, doesn’t mean that the relationship is strained, no matter who’s at fault. It’s an opportunity to gain back trust, and loyalty. Let them know you want their business regardless of why the item was returned. Send them a personalized letter-formatted email from the CEO letting them know you heard that they experienced an item return and no matter what the reason, we value your time and loyalty with a 20% off + free shipping on anything (you may want to set up some restrictions and thresholds) in the online store.
  7. Social media contest based on best customer photos of product recently purchased for a chance at winning coupon discount codes towards future purchases.

Planning marketing for these events requires time, dedication and collaboration with an entire team of creative and marketing pros to concept and execute. It needs to be an ongoing effort in developing fresh creative ideas and promotional schemes that build your brand experience and generate sales.

Of course, make sure you always have landing or category product landing pages with source codes, social media, video, website, PPC, SEO, and sharing mechanisms in place. Pending your customer demographics, type of product, and budget, you could include direct mail and space ads for your promotion. This is the best time to track existing and new customer activity, and evaluate for your next holiday promotional event.

I’ve got hundreds of ideas just waiting for your next campaign. If you need assistance concepting, strategizing and executing promotions, I’m always available to help.

Jeff Behrenhauser is an accomplished Creative Director with over 15 years of experience in designing and developing email and web creative marketing strategies. He has held lead creative rolls in agencies and in-house marketing departments with successes in the Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, Healthcare, Automotive, Energy, Technology, Communications, and Retail Services industries. Click here to find out more about how Jeff’s accomplishments in marketing and advertising can help your business.

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