Post-Holiday Strategies: 15 Awesome Ideas

by Megan Ouellet, Director of Content Marketing. Reach out and say hi to Megan on LinkedIn.
The holidays are practically upon us. And while you could be fine-tuning your holiday strategy and putting the finishing touches on your holiday campaigns, you shouldn’t over look your post-holiday strategy. Without a post-holiday strategy, you’ll lose many of your new subscribers.

In this article, I’ll share five often overlooked ideas, five awesome post-holiday email campaign ideas, and five additional cross-channel ideas you should consider putting into place now.

What to do before the holidays are over
There are several things you can put into place now that will not only help you reach your holiday goals, but will also help you keep new subscribers and customers engaged after the holidays.

Understand Transit Days
One of our favorite tips is to gain a better understanding of your shipping deadlines. This will help you extend your shipping deadlines in areas closest to your warehouses. For example, you can see on the UPS map below how long it will take packages to be delivered from a warehouse in NJ. Understanding transit days will allow you to target customers in the right regions with accurate shipping deadlines and rates.

Understand Abandonment Rates
You must also carefully monitor bounce rates on your site in order to determine if there are changes you can make to reduce abandonments. Many times, you can control factors that will keep shoppers on your site, such as adjusting prices, changing images, adding product recommendations and reviews, etc.

If shoppers do abandon, you want to adjust the timing of your browse abandonment and cart abandonment campaigns during the holidays and don’t wait as long to reach back to customers.

Understand New Subscribers
Email acquisition rates increase about 13% in the fourth quarter, on average. This isn’t by accident – most retailers have a strategy in place to acquire as many subscribers as they can during this time…onsite, in social networks, in-store – everywhere their shoppers are. But it’s not enough to just acquire these new email addresses, you must carefully monitor new subscribers so you know which ones have purchased, which ones haven’t, which ones are engaged, which ones aren’t, etc. This way, you’ll be able to determine where new customers are coming from and you can adjust your messaging to target subscribers appropriately.

Understand Purchase Habits
You must also understand your customers’ purchase habits in order to be able to effectively generate a second sale from new customers. This level of customer data can be difficult to mine, but Listrak offers a Bayes Net Analysis that tracks sales and shows the likelihood of additional purchases being made within specific time frames. As you can see, this analysis from one of our retail clients shows that their customers have a 10% chance of placing a second order within 30 days of the first purchase, while that likelihood drops to 2.6% three months out. But customers that purchased more than five times have a 26% chance of placing another order within 30 days. Knowing when your customers buy will help you fine tune the timing of your post-purchase campaigns so you can reach shoppers at the right time.

What to Send
Now that you have a better understanding of your audience, here are a few post-holiday campaign ideas that will keep shoppers engaged and buying from you in January. These campaigns go beyond the typical holiday sales, allowing you to promote full price merchandise.

Stock Up
Help your customers beat the January blues by stocking up on essentials. These items can be full price or you can offer a sale – the point is; you can engage shoppers by showing them items that can be used year-round. They’ll appreciate a break from all of the holiday-related merchandise.

Spring Preview
After the holiday lights come down, many people are already thinking about spring, warm weather, sunlight and a new wardrobe! Help them prepare by sharing a preview of your spring merchandise.

Gift Card Redemption
An oldie but goodie! 67% of holiday shoppers will buy at least one gift card and it’s up to the retailer to be sure the recipients redeem them, which can be difficult as they don’t always know who the recipient is. Gift cards don’t count as revenue for retailers until the cards are used, and with billions of dollars in unused gift cards floating around, it is in your best interest to capture this lost revenue. According to Gift Card Statistics, 61% of gift card holders spend more than the amount on the gift card and 75% of those overspend by 60%. It is in your best interest to send at least one email to your list that makes it easy for shoppers to redeem their gift cards; however, it shouldn’t be the main message as not everyone on your list will have one. Here are some emails that we love:

Content Related to Activity
2016 was the year of personal product recommendations and customers responded positively to these messages, clicking and buying the recommended merchandise at a high rate. We expect 2017 to be the year of content recommendations based on activity. For example, if you bought an espresso maker, you could receive an email like the one below from Whole Latte Love that shares videos of how to use the machine. Or if you searched for jeans but didn’t buy anything, you could receive an email like the Style Co. example below that talks about the best jean styles for every body type. This is a great way to keep shoppers engaged without just sending another email asking them to buy something. But…we’ve found that customers DO buy from these messages even though few of them even contain a CTA asking them to.

Cross-Channel Campaigns
While there has been a slight decline in emails that offer in-store or online discounts exclusively, this tactic can help you reach specific post-holiday goals, especially when it comes to clearing out holiday merchandise.

What Else Can You Do?
While email remains the most effective channel in which to reach and convert shoppers, you can’t rely on it solely. Here are five ideas for reaching and engaging subscribers in other channels.

Every year, mobile sales have the highest growth rates as more and more customers shop on their phones and tablets. And, chances are, you’re putting a mobile strategy in place so you can reach customers through SMS messages. A great way to acquire more numbers is to let customers sign up for text messages in your opt-down. When email recipients click the unsubscribe button, give them options to either select to receive fewer email messages and/or sign up to receive SMS messages. This will help you grow your lists while reaching customers in their preferred channel.

The average retailer only has email addresses for 30% of site visitors. The rest remain anonymous. Implementing a programmatic ad strategy allows you to re-engage these anonymous shoppers through personalized and highly relevant display ads, driving them back to your site to shop.

Social Ads
Another great way to engage anonymous site shoppers is through your social networks. For example, Facebook Lead Ads is a strategic way to acquire email addresses from anonymous site visitors who showed high purchase intent by retargeting them on their Facebook news feed. You can also show shoppers ads that feature items they browsed or carted on your site, driving them back to your site to complete the purchase.

But you shouldn’t stop there. You can also build Facebook Custom Audiences to help you find new shoppers that look like your best customers.

Listrak can help you accomplish these tactics. Questions? Let us know in the comments section.
And be sure to watch our Post-Holiday Webinar for even more tips and a sneak peek into how Listrak can help you achieve all of this and more.

iOS 10 updates that impact email marketers

By Aaron Pearson, Listrak product manager

Apple is currently beta testing the iOS 10 software update that will be rolling out soon to iPhone and iPad, and a few changes have been noted that will have an impact on email marketers and subscribers.

One-Click Unsubscribe

The most noticeable change is an unsubscribe banner that will now appear at the top of marketing emails.

Years ago, Gmail added an unsubscribe link in webmail and people freaked out. It's somewhat of a positive thing, because it provides users the ability to unsub rather than mark as spam, which can happen often. If someone wants to unsub, at least they won't mark it as spam and harm your reputation. This could also help to organically clean your list of non-engaged subscribers.

It's also a bummer because it's placed in the best real estate of the email - the top - which will take away from the available space for the content of your message. The first impression of your email will be important to get your readers' attention. Make sure your subject line and preheader text are engaging and relevant with the content of your message. Remove unnecessary content from the top of your email such as navigation, social, contact information, etc., and get right to the point. Your main message and main call-to-action paired with a relevant subject line and preheader text will provide the best experience for an opener.

Video is back

I didn't add an exclamation point after the title, because while it's cool that video is back, it's still rather unsupported across all inboxes and difficult to set up. The <video> tag used to be available in iOS, but Apple removed it for the past few versions. Now it's back. What do you think? Is this something you'd like to know more about? Let us know.

Remove Apple apps

On the last page of apps on my iPhone you'll find a folder called Junk. I plan on removing Maps, Weather, Tips, Watch, Health and Contacts (because why does this exist in two places!?). Point is, Apple will let you remove unwanted preinstalled Apple apps. It will be possible for users to remove the native Mail app, which may attract users to seek out other mail apps. The Apple Mail app has been known to have good support for responsive design, so it's important that your emails be optimized for mobile to account for the varying support of other third-party mail apps.

Make sure to take a look at the device usage of your subscribers to find out who will be impacted by these changes. iPhone remains the most popular device for opening emails, so consider optimizing your emails for the best experience.

Unique Page Browse Abandonment Email Boosts Conversions for Mobile Accessories Brand

By Donna Fulmer, Listrak market research and communications manager 

A well-known mobile accessories brand client deploys several Abandonment campaigns, including a three-message Shopping Cart Abandonment campaign and two-message Product Detail Page Browse Abandonment campaign. In addition, being familiar with its target customers’ buying habits, the client takes its abandonment remarketing one step further with a unique Page Browse Abandonment message. 

Knowing that many of its subscribers visit the website because they have recently purchased or plan to purchase a new device, the client uses a clever Page Browse Abandonment email as an opportunity to educate them about its number one selling screen protection product.  

Visitors who land on any page of the client's website and then abandon receive an email a few hours later (if they have not received it within the past few months), which focuses on compelling statistics about screen damage. The email then drives the recipient to the product detail page for the company's industry-leading product. 

The Page Browse Abandonment email accounts for more than 10% of the company's total abandonment campaign revenue, and together the Page and Product Browse Abandonment campaigns generate slightly more revenue than the company's Shopping Cart Abandonment campaign.

The key to the success of the Page Browse Abandonment email is in the sheer number of visitors who receive it. It goes to nearly four times as many subscribers as the Product Browse Abandonment campaign and 40 times as many as the Cart Abandonment campaign.

Learn more about Browse Abandonment Campaigns in our previous blog post from our Learning and Development department.