Post-Holiday SMS Plans: Making The Most of Your List Growth

Corinne Watson

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Now that Black Friday – Cyber Monday (aka Cyber Week) is finally over, retailers around the world are breathing a sigh of relief.

While many people were celebrating with family and taking time to relax after the whirlwind that was 2020, brand marketers everywhere were putting pedal to the metal to get all their campaigns up and running to make the most out of the holiday shopping season.

  • More and more people shopped online this year than ever before. Shopify’s merchants collectively made $5.1 billion in sales from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30, up 76% from last year’s totals for the Black Friday-Cyber Monday (BFCM) stretch.
  • Mobile continues to grow as a preferred way to shop: 37% of digital sales on Cyber Monday and 46.5% on Thanksgiving were made on mobile devices, according to Adobe

Online shopping was definitely a large part of just about everyone’s gift-giving strategy.

Now, retailers are looking back at the subscribers who shopped with them over the holiday and perhaps wondering what to do with this new group of customers.

One of the largest opportunities in ecommerce marketing is retention. Once a customer has already shopped with you, it is important to make sure that they come back for more and more. We’ve all heard that it is 6-7 times more expensive to get a new customer than to retain an existing one.

And what better time to take a look at your retention strategies than going into the new year? You have a fresh list of subscribers that have shopped with you over the holidays, and now it’s time to create campaigns for next year to provide them with more value and make them shop even more.

In this guide, we sat down with a few of the Customer Success Managers at Postscript to figure out what they recommend brands do to make the most out of their holiday subscribers.

Consider this your mini crash-course in customer retention for the beginning of 2021.

Become a friend to your customers

We see more and more brands doing conversational marketing with SMS, where they’re not even actually marketing — they’re instead simply starting a conversation with their customers, offering tips or support, and fostering a sense of community.

This could be as simple as sending a post-holiday “check in”, offering health/wellness tips and preparing your shoppers for a “New Year New You”, or asking customers what their intentions are for the new year.

These messages don’t need to be promotional at all. Check out this example from Olipop:

Take them behind the scenes

The more eco-conscious and smart-spending behavior of Millennials and Gen-z have caused a lot of brands to “peel back the curtain” by giving customers a glimpse into product development, sustainability initiatives, and more.

Offer a photo peek into your warehouse or manufacturing facility. Create a video or blog post walking customers through your store or showing them how orders are created and fulfilled. Showing the humans behind your brand makes your relationship with customers more personal.

Send them a pick-me-up

Treat subscribers (or high-value customers) to a Monday coffee on you by sending them a $5 gift card. While this initiative might not scale if you have a large list, Blume found a good workaround by having a limit.

Upsell / cross-sell post-purchase

Perhaps the most obvious technique for customer retention is post purchase upsell and cross sell. After a customer has purchased something from you, it makes a lot of sense to recommend something else that might accompany their purchase or even wait a few more days and then offer them something that continues to deliver value.

Here’s a great example from Kitsch.

Gather UGC and reviews from your purchasers

After someone receives their product, ask them what they think! This could be as simple as asking for a picture for a chance to be featured on social media — or you could use our integration with Okendo or Junip to get reviews.

Take this example from J Skis. Sent right after delivery, this text is a great way to gather some fun pictures from customers.

This message could also be timed to send a week or two after delivery, to give the customer a chance to enjoy the product. You could also use that touchpoint as an opportunity to ask if they have any thoughts on how to improve the product.

This is a great way to foster trust with your customers, while at the same time saving a lot of money on marketing by having them create content on your behalf.

If your business is focused on collecting reviews, consider using our Okendo integration to send subscribers an easy link to click and write a review.

Create a tailored experience with keywords

During Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, we saw a lot of brands use keyword flows to create a more tailored customer experience. This is a strategy that can easily be applied outside of the holidays, as well.

Check out what Omsom sends after someone purchases. By asking what type of recipes a customer would be interested in, they’re gathering useful information about them while also creating a friendly back-and-forth.

This helps create a more tailored experience for the customer and closely mimics the in store-browsing experience with someone that can help them pick out what works best for them.

Conclusion

While for many, Black Friday through Cyber Monday is focused on bringing in new business, increasing online competition paired with rising customer acquisition costs make retention marketing more top-of-mind for brands who want to remain agile while still bringing in revenue.

Simple put: don’t forget about your customers after their first purchase.

A great way to remind customers to purchase again is by communicating with them through the SMS channel — but brands must take care to not over crowd the channel, only send messages when they have a clear intent, and never forget to bring a human element to your approach.

This article is a perfect place to get started with customer retention via SMS, but don’t be afraid to experiment and use the SMS channel in more innovative ways. As long as you remain compliant, segment your lists, and avoid annoying your customers, you’re set up for baseline success.

Fantastic Texts makes it easy to browse and discover the best real text messages from hundreds of ecommerce brands.

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Corinne Watson

Corinne is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Postscript. After working at an ecommerce brand straight out of college, Corinne made the roundabout journey to leading content at BigCommerce, afterwards joining the Postscript team in March of 2020. When she's not researching and writing about all-things-ecommerce, she's exploring Austin, enjoying time with her 4-month old, and not waiting for the dough to chill before putting it in the oven. Follow her on Twitter at @corinnejuliette.