2023 BFCM brought a new all-time high for online consumer spending despite rising living expenses and inflation. Retailers offered more ways to buy and connect with customers through messaging across multiple channels, including SMS. So, while Q1 has historically meant less shopping activity and fewer planned marketing campaigns, there are compelling opportunities to prioritize retention now and build off of a successful holiday season (or right the ship). Read on for ways to reconnect with your best customers, newly subscribed contacts, and recent purchasers this new year.

Focus on Cross-Channel Orchestration with Email and SMS

If you haven't already, now is the time to take charge and synchronize your email and SMS campaigns! Aligning your efforts through strategic segmentation and automation maximizes your message volume and allows you to reach your contacts efficiently where they're most engaged. We know that contacts who subscribe to both email and SMS from a single retailer have upwards of a 30% higher lifetime value than those who opt into just one. So it's critical to speak to them through each.

Email is the perfect channel for more long-form communication with multiple calls to action, visual Product Recommendations, and frequent outreach each day. On the other hand, SMS is great for short-form updates, time-sensitive alerts, and important reminders. For example – Whenever you drop a new collection, you should tease it first to your most engaged contacts via email (and early!), followed by an announcement to everyone. Then, you can send a reminder via text right before it goes live. As inventory dwindles, trigger 1:1 Product Alerts to recent browsers based on the channel(s) they're opted into. And finally, send a text to your subscribers with any reminders of corresponding promos or time left to buy.

All in all, feel free to send your most important messages via email and SMS. Create more campaigns and use more volume for targeted outreach based on engagement, subscription status, and your position as part of your program.

Target Your Different Customer Personas with Post Purchase Automation

As part of your comprehensive cross-channel orchestration, it's strategic to prioritize Post Purchase campaigns in the early part of the new year. Acquiring new customers can be costly, so give your loyalists and other buyers some love and attention to keep them engaged and buying more. The 80/20 rule applies in digital marketing, with 80% of revenue generally coming from just 20% of a customer base.

When a customer buys for the first time, send them a 1:1 thank you for their purchase with additional products they might want or need. When a repeat customer crosses a specific dollar amount threshold or number of orders, send them a special offer. When a customer starts to lapse or hasn't been around in a while, send them one of the best incentives you can share.

We’ve seen Post Purchase campaigns earn engagement rates upwards of 5x higher than broadcast campaigns, so these are critical to send as part of retention efforts. Don’t wait too long to trigger them after a purchase event, either!

Re-engage with New Subscribers Who Need an Extra Nudge

If you were successful with acquisition efforts over the holiday season, take the time now to ensure your new subscribers remain engaged past attractive BFCM incentives and promos. You can again leverage strategic segmentation and automation to target contacts by subscription, click, and purchase recency to get to a coveted group: New subscribers who have clicked recently but haven’t bought (among others). We all know contacts are more likely to engage and convert when they have recent activity, but sometimes, potential customers need an extra nudge.

Create an automated journey based on engagement to reach your contacts with emails and texts as they interact with your campaigns to prevent as many from lapsing as possible. But towards the latter half of said journey, use direct language and evergreen offers to entice anyone who needs to be re-engaged to come back. Even if you don’t have dollar or percentage off coupons to share, think about promoting anything you might have to add to an order (free shipping, gifts with purchase, etc.). We don’t want any prospect or customer left behind!

Set Yourself Up for Success with a Consistent Calendar

Be sure to remain consistent with your cross-channel messaging calendar as you incorporate new strategies. Don’t let your competition become top of mind for your subscribers by decreasing your volume; continue with a regular campaign frequency and a full calendar. A deployment schedule we recommend is to send a few emails and at least two text messages a week to keep you connected with your contacts while they move in and out of your automated journeys based on their activity.

Get Started Today

Retention efforts are essential to incorporate into your marketing strategy, but the early part of the new year and throughout Q1 is the perfect time to prioritize it as a focus. Remember to leverage email and SMS to reach your contacts wherever they’re at, efficiently reach buyers through Post Purchase automation, leverage segmentation to initiate re-engagement, and set yourself up for the year ahead with a consistent calendar and campaign frequency. Doing all this will help you achieve your retention goals and maximize your ROI. 

Work with your Account Manager to implement these, or request a demo of the Listrak platform to see them in action.

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