How to Turn Seasonal One-Time Shoppers Into Lifelong Customers

by Shopify Writer Corey Ferreira
7 minute read

Christmas shoppers are unique in that many of them will buy your products without knowing a thing about your brand. This means they might forget about your business entirely if you don’t make an effort to keep them interested.

Turning Christmas shoppers into repeat customers can have an enormous impact on the success of your business. Over time, they’ll cost less, buy more, and even develop a real connection with your business. Now that BFCM is over, turning these first-time customers into lifetime fans should be your number one priority.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through some of the most effective ways to get that done.  

Nurture Your New Relationship Through Email

Email is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. But how do you develop a relationship with a new seasonal customer through email? Introduce them to your brand and tell your story with the very first email you send them.

Your first email doesn’t need to be sent immediately. You should consider sending out a welcome email to all BFCM customers a few days after your sales end and the dust settles.
Here’s an example of an effective welcome email from NOMAD:

NOMAD welcome email

An email like this kicks off the nurturing process with your new customers. It warms them up to your brand and messaging. It allows you to share your story and what your brand is all about. If you just start blasting new customers with promotions right off the bat, you won’t develop a worthwhile and lasting relationship with them.

According to a SilverPop/DemandGen report, nurturing emails get 10 times more responses than regular promotional emails. This means that nurturing your new customers keeps them more engaged with you. Keeping them engaged will make them less likely to forget about you and more receptive to future promotional emails.

Here are some examples of emails you can send out, after your welcome email, to nurture Black Friday Cyber Monday customers and keep them engaged:
  • Educational Content: Put your helpful blog posts into your emails, or create content in your emails that helps and educates people interested in your niche. For example, if you sell yoga mats, don’t make all your emails about yoga mats. Teach them a new pose or share some workout routines you’ve enjoyed.
  • Entertaining Content: Educational content won’t suit every business or niche. Alternatively, you can nurture your customers with content that is entertaining. For example, if you sell dog food, share a cute video of your dogs playing or create memes dog lovers would enjoy.
  • Customer Stories: Your customers have interesting stories about your products and their personal experiences that your new BFCM customers can relate to. Tell their stories to help your new customers better relate to your brand.
  • Content Curation: You don’t need to create original content to keep customers engaged with your brand through email. Share interesting and useful resources from around the internet in an email, almost like a digest.
  • Brand Culture: If you have an interesting brand and messaging that people identify with, it’s okay to make some of your emails all about you and your business. Like your first welcome email, your nurturing emails can continue to tell your brand’s story and share your mission. If it helps customers get more passionate about your brand, it can help one-time customers begin to identify with your brand, too.

Exceed Customer Expectations

You can be like every other ecommerce website that Christmas shoppers do business with, or you can be different and stand out. What are some things you can do that other websites don’t do? How can you surprise your customers and exceed their expectations?

Most businesses treat Christmas customers as "just seasonal sales". In turn, those customers treat those businesses as "just a Christmas sale to take advantage of". This is a very soulless transaction. 

If you can stand out, your business will be memorable. If your business is more memorable, it can begin to build a worthwhile relationship. It’s all about having amazing customer service.
Here are some ideas you can use to exceed customer expectations after BFCM:
  • “Thank You” Email or Note: Contact customers a few days after the Black Friday Cyber Monday craze with a personalized and meaningful message. If this was your first BFCM sale, let them know. Tell them know how grateful you are to have them as a customer. This is most effective when you handwrite these notes, but an email is also a great option. Only 20 customers on BFCM? Send out 20 handwritten notes. 100 customers? Take an afternoon to email each customer individually. Sounds crazy, right? Wouldn’t automation be a lot easier? It would be, but then it loses its magic. Tip: There's an easy way to create a special buying experience in real time—Hire Kit. One of Kit's most popular skills is Thank you emails. Kit will follow up with you via Messenger and ask to send quick Thank you emails to your 1st and 2nd time buyers. 
Brooks Brothers handwritten thank you letter
  • Discounts, Coupons and Gift Cards: An easy way to get people back to your store is to offer them a discount, coupon or free gift card. This might be better a few weeks after their purchase (once they've received their order).
  • Be Proactive: Most businesses wait for customers to have an issue or question before offering assistance. Your business can stand out by being proactive. Ask your customer if they need help assembling your product, ask if they have any questions, and ask what their experience with your product has been like so far.
  • Lightning Fast Service: The holiday season creates more customer support requests than any other time of the year. Instead of allowing it to slow you down, work to halve your response time during BFCM. Hire a temporary support person, enable live chat on your website and have your phone on you to quickly respond to emails. Remember, this is temporary. I wouldn’t expect any business to go beyond their resources year-round, but during the most important time of the year, it’s worth considering.
  • Tweet or Facebook Message New Customers: Not many brands engage with their customers on social media after their purchase. It’s not always possible, but if you’re small and have time to find your customers on social media, it's worth it. Try asking your customers to use a hashtag or tweet you with an image of their purchase. This will give you an opportunity to engage with your customers and make them feel special.

Re-Engage Customers With Retargeting

You should consider placing a Facebook retargeting (custom audience) pixel on your website if you haven’t already and retarget visitors that reached checkout. This keeps you engaged with your one-time shoppers, and allows you to continue to build a relationship outside of just your website and email list. 

You don’t need a crazy budget either. Because this custom audience will likely be small, and retargeting ads generally perform better, a small budget of $5-$10 a day can work well.

Here are some Facebook ad ideas you can use on your custom audience of BFCM shoppers:
  • New Product Announcement: If you’ve added a new product to your store that Black Friday Cyber Monday shoppers would likely be interested in learning about, create an ad letting them know.
  • New Sale: If you’re running another sale or deal, it might be a good idea to let customers that took advantage of a sale previously know about this new sale.
  • “Comeback!” Discount/Sale: If you’re having a hard time getting a seasonal customer’s attention, consider offering a coupon. Something along the lines of: “We haven’t seen you in a while.” or “Have you checked us out recently?” with a coupon offer can work well.
  • Grab Their Attention: Alternatively, you can create a very unique ad to grab your Black Friday Cyber Monday customers' attention. It could be a very personal ad, such as, “Hey, how did you like our product? Let us know in the comments.” Or something simple like, “Thanks for being a [Business Name] customer.” They’re not ads people typically see in their feed and the goal doesn’t always have to be the immediate repeat sale. Sometimes, it’s just about brand awareness and developing a relationship with previous customers. 
MVMT watches retargeting

If the thought of running Facebook and Instagram ads is making your head spin, or you simply need to get some time back to dedicate on other tasks you cannot automate, remember there's Kit.
Free to use and exclusive to Shopify merchants, Kit makes it easy to get up and running with both Facebook and Instagram Dynamic product ads. Kit will take care of setting up your tracking pixel and leverage Facebook's audience tools to target your ads to those most likely to buy.

Your Turn

These are certainly strategies and principles you can use year-round to cement an awesome relationship with your customers. However, they will eat up a ton of resources. Use Black Friday Cyber Monday as a testing ground since you'll see a lot of seasonal shoppers come through.
If you have any questions or comments, be sure to leave them below. I engage with and respond to everyone.

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