Peak seasons typically bring high engagement and sales. How do businesses keep that momentum going after those frenetic times begin to slow? Let’s look at several ways to maintain customer engagement and keep those sales flowing — even during traditionally slow periods.
Follow-Ups: The Power of a Thank You
One way to stay connected with your customers is to show appreciation for their business. Studies have shown that gratitude has a direct correlation with mental health and well-being. [LZ1] The power of a thank you can be immense. Whether you send a surprise “Thank you” coupon to your email distribution list or your sales associates thank each customer as she or he leaves your store, your attention and gratitude could go a long way. A simple “Thank you, we appreciate your business” can accomplish the following:
● Show the customer your appreciation
● Remind the customer that your business is still there and ready to serve
With that thank you, consider including an incentive for the customer to return during the non-peak season. This may be a special coupon, invitation to join the loyalty program, or a notification about previously out-of-stock popular items.
Sold out of the most popular products? Fantastic! However, as soon as those items are back in stock, it’s essential to notify customers:
● Follow up first with any customers holding rain checks. Let these customers know that you didn’t forget about them!
● Send an email to any customer who viewed or saved the item but did not purchase it. This is a great opportunity to put your product and your brand back in front of the customer — and could lead to that all important purchase.
● The same message can be sent to customers who’ve opted for text messages. Don’t make the mistake of emailing a customer who prefers text. The more you pay attention to detail, such as preferred communication methods, the more heard the customer will feel.
Pump Up the Loyalty Program
Anticipating and meeting often unexpressed customer needs is a primary way for companies to earn loyalty and build long-term relationships. Nearly 60% of internet users value loyalty points and earning rewards as a key aspect of their shopping experience.[LZ2]
In today’s marketplace, consumers have become accustomed to business loyalty programs. If you’re not offering one, it might be time to implement one. For businesses already offering a loyalty program, off-peak seasons are the ideal time to increase participation.
Offer incentives to join, such as discounts, free shipping, and bonus points for shopping and/or joining during the off-peak season. Be sure to promote extensively on your social media — offering a bonus if the customer also follows the social media account.
Launch a New Product
Interest is often sparked when something new is introduced. Heads turn and eyes widen. In retail, the item is added to the cart and purchased.
In one study, nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed stated they liked it when new
products were offered. More than half reported purchasing a new product during their last shopping trip.[LZ3]
Launching a product during a slower season is another way to keep brand recognition strong, excite long-term loyal customers, and bring in newcomers to expand the base.
Contests, Special Programs, Giveaways
Remaining relevant to the consumer — especially during slower seasons — can seem like a challenge. That makes the off-peak time perfect for introducing contests, special programs and giveaways. This helps boost brand awareness. What’s more, participants typically make additional purchases. Pair a contest with a seasonal clearance event or offer a limited giveaway during a one-day sales event.
Maintain Social Media Presence
A study has shown that people in all age categories are more connected than ever. They are using social media to maintain those connections. [LZ4] With zero or a low social media presence, your business has a limited reach. Keep your customers engaged and excited about products and services year-round through consistent social media.
There isn’t a one size fits all for avoiding the off-season slumps, but strategizing to keep the momentum going after peak seasons is critical. Look to develop new strategies to engage your customers, building long-term brand loyalty. Consistent year-round marketing can give your business the edge it needs to weather traditional slow seasons.
Author Bio: Juan Jaramillo is Performance Marketing Director for Cordial, a cross-channel marketing and data platform. He has 13 years of experience in the industry and focuses on performance marketing, search engine optimization, and analytics.