7 lead nurturing strategies to beat the post-holiday sales slump. Your ears tingle when the cash register dings during the holiday rush. But once the frenzy subsides, profits dry up. How can this happen?
Seasonality is a frustrating trend. In January 2021, over half of SMBs around the world (55%) reported a decline in sales.
As a business owner, losing the holiday shopping high can be frustrating–but it doesn’t have to be that way. Understand the reason for the decline, so you can prepare necessary actions and start your year right.
Why do sales drastically drop after the holiday spike?
Blame holiday economics. People buy gifts, decorations, and other supplies to celebrate the holiday season. But once the calendar shifts, demand drops because of natural fluctuations, ineffective sales strategies, a waste of inbound leads, poor lead nurturing, and insufficient staff training.
Looking at these factors that contribute to this decline will help you identify post-holiday lead nurturing strategies:
- Natural fluctuations. Seasonal products fluctuate in demand throughout the year. A small business with seasonal products won’t sell anything unless they have strategic plans during off-peak.
- Ineffective sales strategies. Just because a post-holiday sales slump happens doesn’t mean you have no choice but to accept it. There’s a high number of reported post-holiday returns. If there’s no strategy to offload it, you’ll wind up with more stocks and have to refund customers’ money.
- Wasted inbound leads. About 70% of entrepreneurs have reported ending the campaign after sending one email—in short, they don’t follow up. If you send more emails, according to the same global survey, you’ve got a 25% chance of hearing from your customers. That’s something to consider for your post-holiday email campaigns to generate leads.
- Insufficient staff training. Regular and seasonal employees must undergo proper training before the holiday season. Otherwise, you might have to deal with complaints and returns during and after the holiday rush.
- Poor lead nurturing. In a US survey, 48% of consumers stated they were somewhat interested in post-holiday sales while 14% said that they were very interested. This is your chance to get your customers to patronize your business more.
Evaluate the current state of your business based on all these factors. Take note: Fill the holes in your leaky bucket first before filling more water. In short, only enforce the lead nurturing strategies after dealing with these factors.
7 lead nurturing strategies to prevent a post-holiday sales slump
Using different digital marketing strategies–such as email marketing, SMS marketing, content marketing–can help you stay top-of-mind all year round. But when sales drop after the holidays, you might need an extra push.
Embrace these 7 post-holiday lead nurturing strategies to win the battle against the first-quarter sales slump:
1. Nurture first-time holiday shoppers in the weeks following Christmas.
Use welcome campaigns to build relationships with customers. Track your customers’ holiday buying journey through automation. This way, you can personalize their shopping experience even after the Christmas sales season has ended.
Getting these insights will allow you to stay top-of-mind. For instance, if a shopper has bought long-sleeve shirts for the holidays, consider sending them sweater discounts and product recommendations.
Another way is to offer discounts and free returns to get customers to act now. Let’s look at an example of how EyeBuyDirect does it:
2. Start another post-holiday sales promo
One of the best post-holiday lead nurturing strategies is to extend your sales period. More than half of buyers are still interested in post-holiday sales, so leveraging this information will capture their attention.
Jumpstart your winter clearance sales and pre-Valentines deals the minute the holiday celebrations are over like Silverts.
The brand known for its Adaptive Clothing and Footwear has a dedicated page for products for winter sales.
3. Give your customers a reason to spend
Consider offering gift cards as holiday presents to your customers. This not only lifts away the stress of choosing a gift for their loved ones but also allows you to secure business for your store or website after Christmas.
In the same vein, you can extend your holiday sales strategies by offering after-Christmas sales coupons.
Here’s Always Faithful Coffee ensuring their customers don’t have to rack up their brains to figure out which kind of coffee they should give their coffee lover friends for Christmas.
4. Offer time-limited offers to qualified new leads
According to 51.1% of customers, free delivery is the top reason they shop online. Another 41% reported that their ultimate buying magnets are coupons and discounts. With these numbers in mind, you can invoke FOMO (fear of missing out) in your leads to prevent a post-holiday sales slump.
FOMO refers to a psychological phenomenon that makes people take action to avoid feeling left out. According to a formal study, FOMO tendencies affect impulse buying.
Looking for a way to use time-limited offers as a part of lead nurturing strategies? Look at Polarn O. Pyret, a baby and children’s clothing brand.
FOMO marketing strategies can be used all-year-round, but they offer a big boost to jumpstart your year on a high note and combat the post-holiday sales slump.
5. Post-purchase upsell and bundle holiday stocks
Product bundling involves putting relevant items together at a discounted price, while post-purchase upselling is pitching complementary products after the customer’s initial payment.
These lead nurturing strategies reduce the burden of creating a successful post-holiday campaign.
Mix and match your products and create an irresistible bundle or post-purchase upsell idea for your new leads.
This type of product upsell is often seen on the checkout page.
If you have a physical store, you can display a range of products near the counter to encourage shoppers to buy something complimentary to their recent purchase.
Here’s another good example from Dorai Home, a home essentials brand:
6. Turn seasonal shoppers into lifelong brand advocates
Sending your shoppers a welcome email and gradually letting them in on your brand story is a good way to establish rapport with your holiday shoppers. You can also offer them extra discounts for recurring orders made, especially on sales day after Christmas.
These lead nurturing strategies won’t just help you beat the post-holiday sales slump–they will help elevate your company’s reputation over the long term. Also, they help you grow your business by creating loyal customers who can generate leads through loyalty programs and referral programs.
7. Consider product line expansion and product improvements
The post-holiday season is the perfect time to expand your business because you have more free time and less hectic operating days. Market research can help determine your target customers and whether your plans are feasible.
During the unprofitable sales slump, it’s okay to divert your focus to non-monetary gains. Even if it’s the only one of the lead nurturing strategies that won’t bring cash flow immediately, it’s still a worthwhile investment.
Here’s how Australian sofa brand, Plush, decided to make their first quarter worthwhile, creating a new product and enticing shoppers with an early bird offer:
Nurture your post-holiday leads next year
In order to extend the peak of your holiday sales, plan ahead and invest.
Have you made the necessary preparations to stay competitive next year?
Author bio for this guest post:
Jul Domingo is a freelance writer for ecommerce and retail SaaS and marketing companies.
Find out more about her here: www.juldomingo.com.