How To Navigate The Post-Holiday Season Slump
With Christmas over and the New Year coming closer over the horizon, businesses that are not in the Health & Wellness space can fall into a "post-holiday slump." It is both true that we feel this physically, struggling to get back in the grind. But then we suffer monetary impacts as we are coming off the biggest sales of the year. Never fear, as Amy Mangueira has five tips to help keep you moving forward and help you navigate that slump. Take a deep breath because it is going to be a great year. Who said that it's impossible to boost sales in January? This episode will help you surprise your customers, keep them interested, provide top-class support, and help you keep your sales and profits high.
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How To Navigate The Post-Holiday Season Slump
I'm so excited to be launching Season 2. Can you believe it is January 2022 already? I have a packed agenda so far in 2022 on the show with a ton of tips and experts, so you won't want to miss an episode. Before we dive in, I want to tell you about something super exciting. If you're a small business or a startup that's in that funky go-to-market stage, you're likely trying to get your top-of-the-funnel activities underway like your Facebook ads. You are trying to get purchases and people into your list.
You may have email on the back burner or it might be a reactive situation where you send an email out here and there for key moments in time. The good news for you is I've created a five-week Email Essentials Bootcamp course so that you can build solid foundations and understand how to run best-in-class campaigns to help your email channel thrive as your business grows. If you want to take advantage or learn more, you can check out the link to enroll.
The holidays are over. I'm hoping everybody had a great holiday season. While most folks are pumped about the New Year as businesses that are not in the health and wellness space, we can fall into a post-holiday slump. It is both true that we feel this physically returning from the holidays back into the grind, but we suffer monetary impact sometimes as well in this first quarter of the year, especially January and February, because we're coming off the biggest sales of the year.
The good news for you is I have some ideas that work pretty well. For email, it is important to stay true to these due to the nature of this channel. Let's jump right in. The first thing is whatever you do, don't go radio silent. Q1, typically January through March of most businesses, is reset time. This may be the time to redo your website, reposition your products or give people a sales break. Oftentimes, we don't email the same. We go from fifteen emails to nothing.
With all of this in mind, that doesn't mean that you want to stop sending emails. Not at all. Remember that one email per week is better than one email per month. Also, it's a huge deliverability flag and impact on your sender reputation that comes from inconsistent sending cadence. We're sending a lot in December and then we go completely dry. That is not a good thing. What can you do? First, you can send out some educational emails
It's never too soon to start getting folks ready for the seasons to come.
For customers that already have your products, add some value. Tell them something they don't know. If you have blog content, this is a great addition. Also, this is the perfect time to launch a loyalty or referral program. If there is anything that needs attention, like a giveaway or Instagram Live, use email as the vessel of communication. There are plenty of reasons we can use email, but we don't want to go radio silent. Next, why don't you try to ride the New Year, New You train?
Usually, January 1st is a magical date when most of us want to start a new life. We would like to get better, change something about our lifestyle and bring our New Year's resolutions to life. It opens a huge opportunity for big marketing moves for any merchant or business. Whatever you sell, anything that can be logically tied to people's New Year's resolutions scheme, market it to this type of attitude.
Here are a couple of examples. If you sell clothing, it's time to radically change your style and get a new look in the New Year. If you sell electronics, this is the year to replace your shabby old iPhone with a brand new shiny iPhone. If you're selling car parts, 2022 is the year when your twenty-year-old Mustang will get a new life. Another point here is that a post-holiday period is a time when people don't have to spend money on presents for others, but they can start spending on themselves again.
This is a psychological thing here. Self-gifting has been popular for years. After the holidays, there's usually a surge where we want to give ourselves something because we have been so blocked during the holiday season for doing that. You can leverage this in this campaign, “Treat yourself.” Do something like that. Ride the New Year, New You train if it applies. Virtually, most businesses can fall into it someway, somehow.
The third thing to beat this post-holiday slump is to try capitalizing on the upcoming season. Most of you were walking around your local Target or whatnot. At the end of September and early October, we're starting to see not only Halloween stuff come out. We're starting to see Christmas stuff creeping out and we're like, “I cannot believe they're putting Christmas stuff out in October. Halloween hasn't happened.” Folks, capitalizing on an upcoming season is the new black when it comes to purchasing behavior.
When the Christmas holidays are over, we naturally slowly start to say goodbye in our minds to the cold winter weather and think about saying hello to the return of outdoor sports, tours, activity parks, and being outside because we're thinking about spring. Why not capitalize on that? It's never too soon to start getting folks ready for the seasons to come. They are looking forward to the seasons to come. Start selling them items for the upcoming warmer seasons.
January is the perfect time when you can start marketing to customers and leads that have yet to be exposed to spring services and letting them know that they're getting a competitive edge and getting ahead of it. Why not? Start thinking about how you can position yourself to bridge into the upcoming season and get ahead of your competition this way. That's another great tactic. Everybody's doing it. Why not join in?
Next, how about avoiding price wars and desperate discounting? Nothing is going to get you in a more post-holiday slump than this. January is and can be a month of big sales. However, when starting a sale, be smart with pricing as there are often some pitfalls. When offering post-holiday discounts and announcing a clearance sale, it's important to keep your customers in mind. By all means, try to avoid triggering buyer's remorse from those who have purchased something from you at full price and now see it with a 50% discount.
This can cause a big amount of customer complaints, returns and refunds. To avoid that, you will want to carefully analyze your December sales stats and segment your database accordingly. If you see that some of your items were sold in a big amount, don't put them on sale or try to remove these customers from your sale altogether. In addition, you can also make this a non-purchasers push. Maybe your leads are the only ones that are going to get these great discounts in January because your customers are already on their way.
Instead, you could also think about offering discounts on complementary products and exclusive deals for return customers. For example, if you sold a huge amount of silver bangles before the New Year, offer big discounts on products that will complement it. That could be silver hoop earrings or a silver necklace. That's another way you can still leverage the customers who paid full price but give them something in addition instead of discounting the item they already bought.
Remember that one email per week is better than one email per month.
Also, you can offer a huge discount on the same item for those who purchased it in December, but you could do it in a way like a second iPhone may come with a 20% discount for those who purchased the first one a month ago. This is a good tactic for folks who did purchase a bigger-priced item. Let's say you bought a bicycle in December at full price. You could slash that in half and then say, “Why don't you gift this to a partner or a friend to ride with you? Buy a second bike for a partner.”
Try to avoid these price wars, get all of these complaints, and try not to discount desperately. Make sure that you're thinking through what you're doing here and it makes sense. You will get a big month of sales in January if you do. Lastly, do you remember all those new emails you collected in the last year? Let's make good use of those. You've harvested a long list of new email addresses during the holidays.
Now is the right time to try to convert them into customers. Time is a critical factor here. On average, new leads coming in from a pop-up box have about a 45-day attention span with your email. By that, I mean they're at their most engaged in that window. To keep your new leads interested, you must act while their memories of holiday purchases are still fresh. Intrigue your new subscribers with the upcoming product release, share useful content, and spread valuable information about hot offers.
This is what you need to do to keep their interests alive. Bonus, if you're running Facebook ads, get some retargeting campaigns going for these lead lists so that your brand can immerse them. Also, here's one tip for content. If you have some deals that are working well on Facebook or Instagram, try taking them and making them into an email.
Take a deep breath because it is going to be a great year. Who said that it's impossible to boost sales in January? Surprise your customers, keep them interested and provide top-in-class support. That will help you keep your sales and profits high and rest assured, you've got this. Send any and all questions my way to Conversations@EmailGrowthSociety.com. Until next time, happy emailing, everyone.