Make New Holiday Subscribers the Gift that Keeps on Giving

giftAs the holiday season approaches, retail marketers can expect a significant spike in email subscribers as consumers scour the Internet in search of gift ideas and bargains. Some will subscribe in hopes of receiving a coupon or free shipping code; others will want to be notified of promotions and sales that are still to come.

But what happens to these seasonal subscribers after the holidays? Will they remain engaged with your brand once they’ve fulfilled their holiday mission, or will they disengage, unsubscribe, or become a lapsed customer? In order to truly understand the long-term value of new holiday subscribers, it’s important to think about them differently within your overall acquisition strategy. Follow these best practices to help make the most of your holiday subscribers.

Treat holiday subscribers as a unique profile or segment.  The circumstances of a holiday season subscription are unique, so be prepared to treat it that way. Create a unique profile or segment that enables you to customize campaigns to new holiday subscribers. For example, you might want trigger a holiday-themed welcome message as opposed to your standard welcome trigger email.

Reintroduce your brand to holiday subscribers after the holidays. If a consumer subscribes to your email program because they heard about a coupon you are offering, she may not take the time to learn more about the program. In fact, once she’s used the coupon she may forget all about your brand. Why not follow up with a welcome message that reintroduces her to your program and its value? Now that the pressures of the holidays are over, it’s a better time to get acquainted.

Consider one-off audiences within your holiday subscribers segment. For example, let’s say you are an online jewelry retailer. If you have an audience of male subscribers who used a coupon to buy holiday-themed charm bracelets, they are in danger of becoming “one-and-done” customers, and are much more difficult to keep engaged after the holidays. Perhaps you can send them a special post-holidays campaign that previews offers for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. As long as they believe your program will keep delivering value and gift ideas, these one-off subscribers are more likely to remain engaged, and profitable to your business.

Don’t be afraid to return the gift if it isn’t giving. In other words, one-off subscribers are what they are, so if after 90 days they are no longer engaged in your program, remove them from your list. You can always separate the segment and follow up with them next holiday season. But don’t let these one-and-done purchasers linger on your list and end up costing you more than you profited.

Following these tips will help ease your holiday hangover when it comes to new subscribers.

Dan McDermott
Director of Product Marketing, Epsilon
EEC Member Advisory Committee Board Member
EEC Events Subcommittee, Awards Subcommittee

About Dan McDermott
Dan is responsible for strategic positioning and product marketing activities associated with Epsilon’s Agility Harmony digital messaging platform. He brings 15-plus years of B2B marketing experience and a passion for digital communications. He’s also an active member of the DMA Email Experience Council’s Board.

One thought on “Make New Holiday Subscribers the Gift that Keeps on Giving

  1. Always put them into their own segment! Not just subscribers you get from the holiday season, but also any other influxes of subscribers you get from other holidays and special occasions. It helps so much when you need to know who you should send certain newsletters/promotions to, and just to remember which subscribers came from where. It also lets you compare open rates/etc across the different segments, so you can put more focus on the different seasons or occasions or whatever.

    I’m kind of rambling, but basically the point is that segmenting your email lists is awesome and you should do it EVERY time it makes sense to do it.

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