Holiday marketing

How Brands Can Boost Their Personalization Strategies This Holiday Season

The holidays are fast approaching, but they unofficially began months ago. A RetailMeNot survey found that 70% of shoppers were already buying holiday gifts on Prime Day – in July. Sales are on the rise, which is promising for retailers. At the same time, they’re facing more challenges than ever. For one, ecommerce giants like Amazon have trained customers to expect fast (and free) shipping and personalization. How can brands increase sales and acquire more loyal customers in the face of these new table stakes? Streamlining their personalization strategies is a must.

Here are some effective personalization strategies to implement this holiday season:

Revamp Your Recommendations

Highly relevant recommendations are a must. They’re more challenging during the holidays, when many shoppers change up their buying behaviors as they are purchase gifts. That said, there are some recommendation strategies retailers can incorporate into their personalization strategies, regardless of who they’re shopping for or on what channel.

  • Best Sellers: These recommendations give shoppers confidence they’re buying a good product. Retailers can use these recommendations during the holidays to feature products that effectively convert first-time buyers.
  • Trending: Retailers can use trending recommendations year-round, but they are often very useful during the holidays when customers are buying gifts. These recommendations can help shoppers choose a gift that is popular this season.
  • Gift Guides: Is your brand developing a gift guide? Showcase the products you feature.
  • What’s New: Use a what’s new recommendation to bring customers up-to-date on special holiday or seasonal items.

Use Triggered Messaging Tactics

During the holiday season, brands can benefit from upping their triggered messaging tactics, an effective way to make sure personalization strategies and email marketing align. Set up your triggered messaging so customers receive a series of relevant communications after meeting a specific milestone. The milestone might be that your customer signed up for your email list, or that the customer left some items in their cart for two weeks.

  • Cart Abandonment: These reminders encourage action. One way to ensure that is to offer discounts for abandoned items in the days leading up to a sale. Brands can also use customer data to rank the items in the customer’s shopping cart and feature the item that the customer is most interested in.
  • Welcome Series: During the holidays, you will likely have lots of new shoppers browsing your offerings. Make sure your onboarding series is updated and ready to go. Remember to segment your welcome emails as needed. For example, you’ll want to have one series for customers who signed up for your list before buying from you, and another series for those who signed up after making a purchase.
  • Post-Purchase Messaging: There’s so much more to post-purchase messaging than thanking your customer. Brands commonly use these messages to ask customers to review their items or share them on social media. You can also offer your customers some kind of discount or incentive for their next purchase, or share video content on how to use or care for the items they purchased. Used well, post-purchase messaging is a great way to begin nurturing first-time buyers into loyal customers.

Say Yes To Advanced Personalization Strategies

Messaging fatigue is real, especially during the holidays. Investing in advanced personalization strategies that utilize artificial intelligence is another way to win over customers and stand out.

  • Up Your Email Personalization: The importance of email personalization can’t be stressed enough, and it’s even more essential during the holidays. Make sure your subject line contains the recipient’s first name and a product or category of interest to them. You can also segment emails based on engagement. For example, you can send a regular customer emails encouraging them to join your loyalty program. Or if a customer hasn’t purchased from you in a long time, re-engagement emails can win them back.
  • Opt for Personalized Send Time: When is your customer most likely to open and engage with your email? Implementing personalized send times is one strategy you can use to increase the likelihood of being seen. This is especially useful during the holidays, when customer are inundated with marketing messages.
  • Showcase Likely to Purchase Items: With predictive analytics, your company can get a sense of what items a customer is likely to purchase next. After identifying these items, feature them in your communications — which should be personalized, of course.

Looking for more inspiration this holiday season? Check out our 2019 Holiday Marketing Playbook here.

Sailthru's 2019 Holiday Marketing Playbook

There’s plenty of time before “the holidays,” right? Not exactly. Holiday sales are perpetually on the rise, while consumers are starting their shopping earlier and earlier. This means retailers must get a head start before the holidays, especially since the most wonderful time of the year is also the most lucrative.