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How to build loyalty with offers like Black Friday

Posted by Sara Napier Burkhard on Nov 24, 2016

Black Friday has quickly become one of the most well-known promotion terms across a variety of industries. The day historically marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, serving customers and businesses alike.

While it's been a November tradition in the U.S. for some time, it's officially solidified as an international trend in recent years. So, how can a promotion like this benefit your business?

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First of all, it's trendy. Since most businesses are running a sale during this time, potential customers know to look for them. It's seasonal, so it's easy to remember. But perhaps the greatest benefit you can get from a promotion like this is the loyalty of your customers.

You may have noticed that most of the brands you can easily identify and remember have seasonal promotions or even a loyalty program. Research shows that it's not a coincidence. And as it can cost between 5-10 times more to gain a new customer than to sell to an existing one, reaching out to past customers is vital for most businesses. 

But you don't have to wait until the end of November or a holiday to benefit from a successful sale like this. By creating similar promotions throughout the year, you can experience greater outreach and ultimately the loyalty of repeat customers

1. It brings new customers in the door

A promotion is always a good chance to engage with a new audience. During these offers, you'll receive traffic that might not have been looking for your company but stumbled upon it in the search of a good deal.

These customers are often excited to try a new opportunity and happy about the discount they've received to do so. This is where you can build your first impressions and set the stage for return business. Afterall, when a customer has a good experience, they will tell their loved ones and coworkers about it. With a single discount, the word of mouth advertising that comes from happy customers can bring in waves of even more.   

For Black Friday, advertising through an online marketplace can be useful but it doesn't get eyes on your content the rest of the year. Your best bet is to direct traffic to your social media accounts and website. This is where the use of good keywords come in handy.

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Many people search directly for outdoor adventures, tours and activities at an affordable price. The use of good keywords can draw traffic to your website, that's why it's important to optimize it with relevant content. In the case of a promotion, focus on search terms that would be attractive to this customer base.

Read more about the values of SEO here:

2. Seasonal promotions are easy to remember

Anyone who's benefited from a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale knows to look for it again. Most customers will remember it's coming up and actively look for the dates of a promotion they enjoyed before.

In this case, it's the season that drives the search and the same can be achieved at different times throughout the year. Many companies opt for a year-end sale, as a way to increase revenue during the end of a business cycle. This is especially helpful going into the low season.

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As a bonus, you could offer special promotions for customers who are willing to subscribe to your email list. They'll be the first to hear about similar sales but it's also a great way to update them on any news related to your business. By using your seasonal promotions, you can build a strong email list which will also help bring in repeat customers. 

3. It creates a sense of urgency

Perhaps the best known perk of a limited promotion is that it creates a sense of urgency for the customer. In this article from DealNews, consumer psychologist Laura Brannon says the reason is clear:

"'A major focus of Black Friday is having shoppers focus on a particular, very limited sale opportunity,' says Laura Brannon, a social psychologist who researches consumer psychology and a professor in the department of psychological sciences at Kansas State University.

According to the economic scarcity principle, 'opportunities are more desirable the more restricted they are,' Brannon notes. 'Limiting the opportunity to purchase things at a large discount makes people desire the opportunity more.' The language used in advertisements — such as 'supplies are limited' and 'going fast' — emphasizes this."

Basically, by closing the window of opportunity you create an illusive feeling for the product or activity. Almost as though the customer won't be able to access it again after a certain point in time. This is best known during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but seasonal promotions work in a similar way. 

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This year, take the time to create a seasonal marketing calendar. Whether it's an annual Black Friday promotion or a summer sale, it's a great way to entice people. You could gain return business, build up your word of mouth network, and in the long run, become more profitable.

Looking for new ideas to spruce up your business during the end-of-year low season? We've got you covered.

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Happy holidays and to our American readers, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! 

 
Sara Napier Burkhard

Written by Sara Napier Burkhard

Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.

Topics: Marketing tips

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