The holiday season is one of the busiest shopping times of the year, with 91 percent of consumers planning to celebrate the winter holidays. And according to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season drives 19 percent of annual sales across industries.
It’s safe to say that the holiday season is the ideal time to capture the attention of new customers. But you don’t want them to make just one purchase.
In this post, we’ll share four surefire ways to capture the attention of new customers during the busy holiday season and turn them into brand loyalists that drive repeat purchases for years to come.
Let’s dive in.
What is brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty is the secret weapon for long-term business success.
When customers are loyal to your brand and remain faithful, they’re more willing to pay a higher price for your products and won’t waiver on their preferences.
Brand loyalty keeps customers returning to your brand repeatedly, even if there are other options available—and let’s face it, there usually are.
Few companies (if any) trump Apple’s brand loyalty. People have a deep, abiding love for Apple. Why? Because their products are reliable and easy to use while also being cutting-edge and cool. Oh, and let’s not forget about iMessage—that perfect blue message.
There are plenty of cheaper smartphone options, yet Apple still holds the top spot in the United States. Plus, iPhone users are more likely to stay with Apple and less likely to switch to their competitors.
The strong brand loyalty that Apple has built over the past fifteen years is astonishing. Customers are lined up at the door every time a new iPhone is released, even if they don’t need a new one.
So how do you turn the holiday shopper into a loyal customer? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Write content that aligns with the buyer’s journey
The holidays are a crucial time for businesses. Consumers are out shopping for gifts and are more likely to try new things and spend money on products and services they usually wouldn’t.
To get your brand in front of the right people at the right time, you must ensure your content strategy aligns with the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey has three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.
Luckily, plenty of resources are available to improve the content creation process in time for the holidays. For example, GrowthBar, an AI copywriting tool, can help you create long-form SEO content that Google loves five times faster than a human writer.
Consumers are just beginning to realize they have a problem in the awareness stage. They’re not sure what they need yet, but they know they are looking for a potential solution.
That is where your content comes in. You need to create content that educates the consumer about their problem and offers solutions about how they can fix it.
You want to position yourself as an expert in your industry so that they come to you when they’re ready to make a purchase. Content in the awareness stage isn’t overly spammy, and you aren’t trying to directly sell your product here.
For example, if your company sells TV packages, you can write educational blog content about how satellite TV works or how to watch Sunday night football.
Consumers compare their options and determine which product or service is the best fit for them during the consolidation stage. They’re looking for more information about features, benefits, and prices.
Your content should highlight your product or service’s unique features and benefits. You want to make sure you stand out from your competitors and show why you’re the best choice, like this guide on how DISH TV compares to cable.
Finally, in the decision stage, consumers are ready to buy. They’ve compared their options and decided which product or service they want. Now, they just need to know how to purchase it.
Your content should focus on helping them make a smooth and easy purchase. You can include things like product demos, coupons, and special offers. For instance, DISH offers a $100 prepaid card to sweeten the pot and push people over the edge in finalizing their purchase.
One last thing to remember, don’t wait too long to publish your holiday content. The earlier, the better.
The sooner you hit publish, the better chances you have of Google and other search engines indexing and ranking your content on their SERPs. So when October rolls around and the surge in search volume hits, your content is already indexed and can quickly pick up valuable traffic.
You’ll surely miss this opportunity if you wait to publish in October. Think of it like investing in stocks. You want to buy low and sell high.
The writing process is tedious and time-consuming.
If you are short on time and want to update evergreen posts with fresh content, you can use a blog generator to create new, compelling paragraphs for your holiday content at the click of a button.
Don’t underestimate the power of valuable content. 93 percent of online sessions begin with a search engine, so don’t let those experiences go to waste.
2. Create compelling lead magnets
One of the best ways to attract new customers during the holiday season is to share an offer that consumers can’t resist.
Lead magnets are pieces of content that offer value in exchange for an email address. They’re a great way to grow your email list and turn website visitors into leads.
Use an online collage maker or photo editor to add eye-catching visual content to draw the attention of potential leads and get them to sign up for your offer.
Some examples of holiday lead magnets include:
- A free holiday gift guide
- A coupon for a discount on holiday purchases
- A free festive e-book
Ambitious Kitchen uses a free pumpkin recipe e-book to capture autumn lovers’ hearts.
And then, when the time comes, they’ll swap that lead magnet and replace it with a holiday gift guide.
By offering something of value, you can attract new leads and open the door to building lasting relationships with them.
3. Send personalized email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is one of the most lucrative marketing strategies with the highest return on investment. For every $1 you spend sending emails, you can generate an average return of $36.
Personalized email campaigns are more likely to be opened and read than generic email blasts. They show that you care about your customers and want to give them a tailored experience.
To personalize your email marketing campaigns, you can:
- Segment your email list by interests, demographics, or past purchase history.
- Send targeted email campaigns to different stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Personalize each email campaign’s subject line, email content, and call to action.
The festive season is the best time to convert leads into loyal customers with exciting email offers, especially if your offer includes a discount on popular products or services.
For example, imagine a Black Friday email from a healthcare brand that sells Viagra online, offering a coupon code for 50 percent off for the remainder of the year. Or a software company that guarantees lifetime access to your favorite SaaS tools.
These offers are too good to turn down and your customers will fold. But don’t stop there.
You should also create and send emails that turn existing customers into brand loyalists. Here are some examples of emails that help build brand loyalty:
- Gratitude emails
- Early access emails
- Special occasion emails
- Milestone emails
- Customer referral emails
Research shows that 52 percent of customers will join a loyalty program if one is offered to them. The process of earning loyalty points toward future purchases motivates buyers to return. Timing these for the holiday season makes sure your business is the one they visit to purchase their holiday gifts.
OpenTable uses milestone email to show diners how close they are to achieving a goal. It also has a points program to encourage frequent diners to earn more points by booking reservations at the highest-rated restaurants on the platform.
Email marketing kills two birds with one stone.
You can target and convert new customers with discounts and offers. And you can also keep existing customers coming back for more.
4. Provide a stellar customer experience
One of the most important things you can do to build brand loyalty during the holiday season is to provide a stellar customer experience.
Your customers should feel valued and appreciated at every interaction.
There are a few key things you can do to provide a great customer experience, such as:
- Offer free shipping for holiday purchases.
- Provide customer service and support 24/7.
- Send a thank you email or gift.
- Streamline the path to purchase.
- Avoid hidden fees and contracts.
Free shipping is a significant selling point for online shoppers. Research shows that almost 80% of Amazon Prime customers in the United States have signed up for the program because it offers free shipping.
Follow Amazon’s lead by aligning with a courier service to offer free same day delivery this holiday season. You’ll be surprised at how this simple gesture can vastly improve the customer experience during this chaotic time of year.
Let’s look at another example of providing top-notch customer service by focusing on the small things that matter.
A recent survey found that 85 percent of Americans have encountered a hidden or unexpected charge for a service they used, and as you’d expect, 96 percent find these hidden fees annoying.
The key to building a loyal customer base is to avoid charging them unnecessary fees or making them sign unwanted contracts. Transparency is the name of the game.
HelloRache, a provider of virtual receptionists for medical offices, is a role model that every B2B service business should follow. They offer transparent pricing with no hidden fees or contracts.
Customers love this approach because they know exactly what they’ll get when they hire a receptionist through their service.
By providing a great customer experience, you’ll keep your customers coming back for more. And to top it all off, they’re more likely to recommend your products or services to their friends and family.
There are many ways to attract new customers and even more ways to build brand loyalty during the holiday season.
The key is knowing who your customers are and what they want and creating content that adds value during every stage of the purchase process.
Once you have leads in the door, it’s about providing a personalized experience they won’t forget. And they’re thrilled to tell their friends and family about it.
If you get these things down pat, you can sit back, relax and watch the sales roll in.