As summer winds down, many people start looking forward to Halloween. With roadside stalls selling pumpkins and pop-up costume shops appearing on every corner, the candy-infused holiday seems to be the next big thing on people’s minds. However, any savvy merchant knows that the holiday you should be preparing for is Christmas.
On November 1st, spooky ghosts and friendly Jack-o-lanterns will be replaced with tinsel and glittery ornaments as merchants all over the world start the final sprint towards the end of the year. Since the holiday season is responsible for 50%-100% more revenue than the rest of the year, it’s easy to see why it’s never too early to start holiday marketing.
With so much emphasis on advertising, it’s important to establish a strategy that puts your store ahead of the pack. Luckily, you already have one: your rewards program! With a professional rewards program in your retention toolkit, you already have everything you need to boost your program’s engagement and turn your store into the number one place to shop this holiday season.
In order to guarantee your business a very merry Christmas, here are three marketing campaigns you need to be running this holiday season.
Reward Your Customers With Bonus Points This Holiday Season
Although Christmas isn’t until December 25th, the holiday season really starts with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With projected sales around $3.52 billion this year, the Black Friday weekend is the perfect opportunity for you to groom your customers into profitable members of your rewards programs. The best way to do that? Bonus points!
Bonus points are an effective way to get both new and existing customers excited about your rewards program and the value it offers. You can offer bonus points in a couple of different ways:
1. Price Specific Bonus Points
You can also set a price threshold customers need to cross in order to earn bonus points. By setting a minimum balance they need to reach in order to receive a benefit, you encourage customers to spend more per transaction, increasing your average customer lifetime value and order value.
2. Date Specific Bonus Points
Offering your customers bonus points on a specific day is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and make your store more attractive to opportunistic shoppers.
With the promise of additional points that turn into rewards in the future, you create a valuable switching cost that will make customers think twice before shopping with a competitor.
Whether you choose to run price or date specific bonus points strategy, this type of marketing campaign will set you up for success throughout the entire holiday season. By enticing shoppers to your store at the beginning of the holiday shopping period, you make it easy for them to find value and benefit from your program early on, making sure they get the most out of your program all season long!
Run Rewards Redemption Campaigns to Encourage Holiday Spending
With so many people to buy for, Christmas shopping can be extremely expensive. This makes the holiday season the perfect time to remind customers of the monetary value of participating in your rewards program. Redemption campaigns are the perfect way to do that!
At their core, redemption campaigns are designed to encourage customers to spend their points. When you remind customers of what their points can earn them, you reintroduce your program’s value proposition and immediately place a monetary value on their membership. This makes it easy for them to visualize the benefits of participating, and creates a sense of excitement around doing so.
Like bonus points promotions, redemption campaigns can take many forms:
1. Points Balance Reminders
Redemption campaigns don’t have to be complicated to be effective. After all, some customers just need a gentle nudge to get reengaged. Points balance emails are an easy way to encourage customers to spend their rewards on a regular basis.
When customers see how close they are to their next reward, they’ll be motivated to either return and redeem them, or spend more to reach the next redemption threshold. Both of these actions are very valuable around the holidays and keep your customers are both informed and engaged - two extremely valuable qualities for your program!
2. Introduce New Ways to Spend Rewards
It’s always more exciting to engage in a program that is consistently new and exciting. As we’ve said many times before, your rewards program should always be evolving to exceed your customer’s expectations, and that includes how they can redeem their points. Customers want to know that they’re investing time and energy into something worthwhile, so tell them about it! Communicating that you’ve added new rewards instantly makes spending more appealing, and demonstrates a commitment to your program that customers appreciate.
3. Increase Points Balance
As a rewards program member, there are few things better than a healthy points balance. Customers like to have options, and the more points they have the more choices they have for what they can redeem those points on.
This makes an increased value campaign extremely effective. When you increase your customers’ points balances for a limited time, you essentially offer them the opportunity to experience your program at its fullest. With more points to spend, you extend the value of their experience beyond what they originally expected, showing them what the fullest potential of their membership could look like. Think of it as a holiday gift you’re giving your members!
Each of these redemption campaigns push your program towards a healthy 20% engagement rate. Better yet, they each encourage profitable engagement behaviors that will only benefit your business later on. So whether they want to spend their rewards on themselves or someone else, redemption campaigns are gifts that keep on giving!
Give the Gift of VIP Treatment with Special Events
Christmas parties are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. Between the good food, good cheer, and good company, they always manage to feel festive and special. This type of atmosphere is the perfect extension of a well-designed VIP program, and an even better way to reward your best customers over the holidays.
As loyal brand advocates committed to your store, your program’s VIPs have a huge impact on the success of both your store and your rewards program. These qualities are probably what prompted you to treat them as VIPs in the first place, and running exclusive events is one of the best ways to show them your appreciation.
Brands like Nordstrom and Sephora have been running VIP events for years. With early access to sales, exclusive previews of new products, and celebrity meet-and-greets, these brands craft events based on what their customers value most. These are all principles you can apply to your own VIP events!
When customers see how few of their fellow shoppers are VIPs, their status in your program becomes even more valuable. This renewed sense of exclusivity and social status will rejuvenate the excitement they originally had for your brand, recommitting them to the program and your store as a whole. In addition, these events will increase the desire other customers have to reach your program’s highest tier, securing higher engagement for your program well beyond the holiday season.
Give Yourself the Gift of Effective Holiday Marketing
Whether you look forward to the holiday season or not, it’s hard to deny its impact on your business. These three marketing campaigns are all highly effective ways to leverage your rewards program to make sure that both you and your customers get the most out of it this holiday season.
So while Christmas might only come once a year, these campaign’s don’t have to! With two sided value that benefits both you and your customers, bonus points, redemption campaigns, and VIP events lay the framework for amazing marketing you can do all year. Make every day feel like the holidays with a rock solid marketing campaign that keeps your customers happy and your program thriving.