As 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.
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.