The strategic importance of your January sale Published January 6, 2017 For many retailers January means going back to square one. Budgets are reset and there’s pressure to get the sales in while discounts are high. But the January sale isn’t just about 50% off – it’s about engaging customers so they’ll return throughout the year. Here are just a few examples of how your email marketing can drive revenue as well as strategy for the forthcoming year… Reward high-value customers Instead of releasing your January sale to everyone at the same time, consider releasing your sale to a chosen few first. Use software that gives a single-customer view such as PureIntelligence to select and target high-value or loyal customers and release your sale to them 24 hours ahead of everyone else. It’s a great way to reward loyalty and show them that you value their custom. Grow your database You’ll be faced with a new sales target for the forthcoming year so why not use your sale as a way to grow your database? Incentivise customers with free delivery, further discounts or other benefits to encourage more people to sign-up. Don’t forget to use tools such as PurePromotions to encourage sign-ups on your social media channels or through competitions promoted on your website. Encourage repeat custom Some retailers only see certain customers once a year at Christmas. These are gift buyers who visit your store or website purchasing for others. Create a gift buying segment on PureIntelligence and reach out to those customers again in January to encourage them to return throughout the year. Promote gift buying for birthdays and other celebrations. Look at the information you collected on these buyers, what they browsed, who they are and inspire them to treat themselves. Consider offering them an incentive to return throughout the year to thank them for their support at Christmas. Get them to try something new Use the lower price points to target customers with email suggestions for alternative purchases. The barriers-to-entry into new categories are lower for the customer when they don’t need to invest so much to try something new. Use solutions such as PureTargeting to show personalised suggestions on your website and emails to tempt consumers into buying something new. Use the insight you can get from technology like PureIntelligence to show them what customers who have a similar profile to them purchase. Offer value alongside discount Some retailers will tell you that marketing January sale gets boring. The same old red signage, designs and discounts crushes creatively. Think of how to retell sale in a different way each week – from using technology such as PureTargeting to promote crowd-sourced favourites to engaging customers with useful hints and tips or the stories behind the products. Take a break from constantly promoting offers to engage them with content and show them your value is way beyond price. Keep their interest Keep up the momentum of the sales generated by email by creating mini-events within the sale. Use flash events promoted to your loyalty members or social fans to offer free delivery, extra discounts or free gifts for short periods. These are useful tactics to pull out of the bag as sale stock or interest begins to dwindle. These mini-events maintain a sense of urgency and keep recipients engaged in your email alerts. Promote quality Sale isn’t just about discount – interest customers with the quality and performance as well as the prices. By sampling your product at a discount you can get them purchasing at full price throughout the year. Remember to target customers with free samples, trials and demonstrations of products during sale. If you can impress them during sale in ways that aren’t dependent on price then you can get them to purchase without discount in the future. Carry on the conversation Email marketing isn’t just about securing the purchase. It’s about carrying on the conversation after the sale is made to grow loyalty. Target customers with one-to-one automated emails after they make their purchase, and re-engage them long-term. Ask them to rate and review their purchase, give them hints and tips and send them suggestions for further purchases based in their browsing or purchase habits. Behaviour marketing solutions such as PureTargeting will allow you to re-target customers easily with trigger automations that continue the conversation way beyond the initial sale. So there you are – tips that will not only maximise your short-term revenue but also support your longer-term strategy. Ways to keep your sale messaging fresh, grow your database and engage more customers each year.