Those four letters are enough to get any ecommerce marketer’s heart pounding. Black Friday/Cyber Monday is a pressure-cooker marathon laden with high expectations, littered with traps, and loaded with time-sensitive tasks.
A lesser marketer might be tempted to take the short-sighted approach when faced with those conditions, focusing on quick sales and acquisition above all else—but not you! You’re reading Repeat’s blog, so we already know you understand retention’s importance.
So, how will you make retention a core part of your BFCM plans? As we gear up for this high season with you, we put together some ideas to consider that will help you reach your existing customers and prepare to turn the incoming wave of first-timers into loyal fans.
This post is your roadmap to leveraging Black Friday for retention. We’ll explore acquisition offers with retention in mind, segmenting offers for returning customers, and identifying gift buyers. We also spotlight important email and SMS flows to encourage customer retention and see how to update them for BFCM.
So, no time to waste! Let’s hop into it.
Design Acquisition Offers with Retention in Mind
As you plan your offers for BFCM, now is the time to think two steps ahead in the customer journey. The best offers don’t just get someone to buy once—they prime them to return for more. Here are three ideas to get you on the road to creating acquisition offers that do just that.
Focus on the Right Products
Consider your product catalog with retention in mind. Which products have the highest returning customer rates? These are the items to build your acquisition offers around because they bring people back. By focusing your BFCM promotions on these products, you set the stage for repeat purchases.
Want a head start? Head into the Repeat app and have a look at these reports:
- Replenishment Intervals: learn how often customers reorder specific products and variants.
- Product Pairs: identify what products customers order next based on their first order.
- Days to Second Order: see how long it takes for someone to place a second order by product/variant.
Build Better Bundle Offers
When putting together bundle offers for BFCM, ensure they include a product that customers usually replenish quickly. This, paired with the right post-purchase communication (like our Replenishment Reminder Play), can create a habit loop for your customers, increasing the likelihood of future purchases.
The best bundles for retention-focused acquisition offers are built with:
- At least one product with a short replenishment cycle.
- Products that are consumed concurrently. For example, a bundle that includes shampoo and conditioner is better than a two-pack of body wash.
Use The Double-Discount Strategy
Everyone loves “BOGO” and “50% off” deals, but how can we make these even more profitable over the long term? Get creative with a double-discount offer: offer an initial discount during BFCM, plus the promise of an even bigger discount on their next purchase. This 2-for-1 deal not only compels an immediate purchase but also encourages buyers to come back again.
When you’re implementing this strategy, update your post-purchase email & SMS messages to remind customers that they can take advantage of the second half of the offer. You might want to:
- Create a segment of the customers who took advantage of the initial discount so you can follow up with them.
- Add a conditional block to your email flows and campaigns to remind this segment that they have another discount waiting.
- Add a branch to your post-purchase SMS flows with messaging made for this segment.
Segment Returning Customers For Personalized Offers
For your customers, BFCM is peak inbox mayhem. They’re getting hit with email after email for weeks on end, so this is the time to pull out all the stops on personalization and segmentation. If your emails are relevant, you’ll give yourself the best shot to cut through the noise.
Target Replenishment-Ready Customers
Customers who are running low on a product they bought before are primed to buy again. So don’t miss the chance to hit them with an offer to do just that. Here’s how we’d approach it:
- Pick out your top products. For most brands, the Pareto principle holds true: 80% of revenue comes from the top 20% of your product catalog.
- Craft email and SMS campaigns for each of them. Highlight the product, remind customers it’s time to replenish, and put the most relevant BFCM offer for that product above the fold.
- Find the customers who are due to replenish. Repeat’s Klaviyo integration makes this part simple: each customer has a custom profile property that tells you exactly which products they’re running low on.
Once you’ve created the segments for your target products, tee it up and get ready for the replenishment orders to roll in. You might want to send this campaign a few times throughout the season—you’ll capture newly ready-to-reorder customers each time.
An Offer For At-Risk Customers
Every store has a segment of customers who are about to lapse, and you’re probably not getting them back once they do. This segment is often overlooked amid BFCM hype, but there’s an opportunity hiding here. Here’s the strategy:
- Identify your at-risk customers. Repeat can help here: you might want to build a segment of customers who received our “About To Lapse” trigger in the last 30 days.
- Make sure they get messaging about your biggest BFCM discounts. Or, better yet, create a discount just for them that’s bigger than your other offers—it’s your last chance to get them to buy again.
- Wait until the sales peak has passed, then hit them with a campaign. If they didn’t bite when they got the rest of your BFCM messaging, it’s time to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Many customers are just waiting for a compelling reason to return. Sending your best offer to customers who are about to lapse can be the last-minute save. Take advantage of BFCM to make this win-back effort.
Prepare For Post-BFCM Now
Your future self will thank you if you set aside time before the busy season begins to prepare for what’s next. A few things you probably want to put on your to-do list:
Identify the Gift-Givers
You’re going to acquire new customers whose purchases were for someone other than themselves. Bringing them back after the holidays might require a different approach than you usually take. How do you know who is gifting? Ask them.
- Vary your post-purchase messaging to sway gift-givers to make a purchase for themselves.
- Customize replenishment flows and ask gifters to forward a discount to the recipient when they’re likely to be running low.
- Create campaigns after BFCM that target this segment.
With a bit of forethought now, you can ensure your future messaging has the best shot at re-converting the most generous of your newly acquired customers.
Get Your Retention Flows Ready
Make sure you have the most essential email and SMS flows set up to encourage customers to return after Black Friday has passed. This is the time to get your flows in order so they can do the heavy lifting on retention for you.
On our punch list? These are the must-have flows for post-BFCM success:
Putting A Bow On It
There you have it. All of our retention-focused Black Friday/Cyber Monday secrets!
The upcoming season presents a unique opportunity to drive quick sales and prioritize customer retention. By designing acquisition offers with retention in mind, segmenting returning customers for personalized offers, and preparing for post-BFCM initiatives, you’ll be a retention hero come next year.
Remember, it’s not just about the short-term gains. Building long-term customer loyalty and turning first-time buyers into repeat customers should be a central focus.
So, embrace the challenges, stay customer-centric, and make retention a core part of your BFCM plans. Happy selling, and best of luck in your BFCM endeavors!