Studies show that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your existing consumers. In other words, maintaining your loyal customers is the backbone of your business. To prove them how much they mean to you, you should give thanks to your customers all year round. Unfortunately, the chances are that, just like any other small business, you won’t have enough resources to do so.
However, this shouldn’t discourage you. This year’s holiday season has finally arrived, giving you an amazing opportunity to show a little appreciation to those keeping your business up and running.
Let’s see how to do so.
Start a Rewards Program
When done right, loyalty programs are one of the most significant customer retention boosters. What you also need to keep in mind is that they go far beyond rewarding customers just for being loyal. They are also about incentivizing them for sending a feedback, reaching a certain goal, or making referrals. Given these facts, starting a holiday rewards program is your chance to engage your customers with your brand and take your interaction to the next level.
Numerous famous brands turn to this tactic. For example, Southwest Airlines has started an “Unwrap Holiday Bonus” campaign, offering holiday bonuses on flights. The members of their Rapid Rewards loyalty program also have a chance to earn 3000 bonus points and get exclusive holiday deals.
Organize a Giveaway
Have in mind that, during the giving season, your customers will have a plethora of products thrown in their faces every day. To grab a greater deal of sales this year, you should promote your products first and there is no better way to do so than running a Christmas giveaway.
Now, the majority of giveaways are based on choosing one product or service you want to put an emphasis on. However, to capitalize on this strategy and convert your followers into holiday sales, you should focus on offering a wider range of valuable products, with a grand prize as a cherry on top. This strategy builds excitement within your online community and encourages your followers to visit your site every day.
A prime example of a perfectly planned holiday giveaway is the “Starbucks for Life” sweepstakes. By making a purchase with the Starbucks Rewards card, customers get a unique gameplay code they need to enter, unlock a new game to play, and win amazing rewards, from free Starbucks for a week, a month, or even for life, to free mugs and bonus points.
Throw a Christmas Party
In today’s world of impersonal interaction between brands and their customers, planning face-to-face events may be an effective way for you to engage with your customers. This was beautifully explained by Mashable’s Karen Hartline, emphasizing that: “There’s something different about meeting face-to-face and having a conversation that’s not delayed or happening through Facebook messages or limited to 140 characters.”
Instead of booking some expensive party venues, consider throwing an office holiday party, where your customers can meet the real people behind your brand in a more relaxed environment. Most importantly, ask your employees to avoid pitching sales or talking about business. Remember, your holiday party is all about fun, good music, and drinks, so make it as casual as possible.
Send a Thank-You Note
To prove that you appreciate your customers’ as individuals, you need to treat them like valued business partners or even friend. And, a creative Christmas card may be exactly the right way to show a little customer appreciation. However, have in mind that it is not just a thank you card, but also the way you deliver it that makes the difference.
For example, if you’re going green and sending e-cards, you need to turn off your automated email marketing software for a while and send authentic emails to your loyal customers. Statistics tell us that such mails have a 29% higher unique open rate and a 41% higher click-through rate. Unfortunately, few brands recognize the importance of this practice. Namely, only 21% of consumers say they’ve got an authentic promotional email in the past two months.
Now, even though email marketing is cost-effective and time-saving, you could also take your approach to a whole new level by sending out handwritten thank-you notes to your most loyal customers. Even though handwritten letters are a pretty rare commodity nowadays, they may evoke nostalgia and serve as a powerful customer retention technique.
To Wrap it Up
To make the most of this holiday season that has already started, you should do your research and execute your customer appreciation strategy as soon as possible. With the techniques mentioned above, you will manage to create stronger relationships with your customers and encourage their positive feelings associated with your brand.