Very soon, all the gifts will be unwrapped. Some returned. The floor will have more pine needles than the tree. And those strange holiday cheese logs and fruit cakes will still be untouched (good riddance).
But what about your post-holiday marketing plans? What can you do to make sure you start the new year with renewed focus and relevance for your clients and prospects?
First and foremost: Keep in mind the number of touch points it takes before a prospect decides to make a purchase. Seven seems to be the magic marketing number.
This makes automation a vital tool in your marketing plans and the campaigns that come out of them. Here are five ways you can use automation to make the start of 2023 the best it can be for your small business:
1. Send customers a discount
By the end of the holiday season, consumers have been besieged by countless companies asking for their business. Avoid all the holiday white noise and leave them with a positive impression of your company by sending a post-holiday discount — maybe a promo code for a discount or a gift certificate to be used toward a future purchase.
With automation software like the one offered by Keap, you can segment your contact list to personalize the same offer for different groups of consumers. Those who haven’t yet purchased from you receive another chance to buy while existing customers are rewarded for their support and loyalty.
Offering discounts to customers is a fairly common practice for service-based small businesses, but it can often surprise and delight your audiences at an unexpected time. It can also ensure that your January doesn’t suffer from a slow start.
2. Bring them back to the shopping cart
During the season, people load so many shopping carts. While they return to some, many suffer from shopping cart abandonment. According to the Baymard Institute, just under 70% of all shopping carts filled online are abandoned.
However, sales and marketing automation software can put the shopping cart on a timer, so clients receive an email reminder to make their purchases. While it’s wise to follow up on a cart in the initial days after its abandonment, you can also set a timer that triggers an email with a post-holiday message: “Didn’t end up getting this during the holidays? Nothing says a fresh start like the new year, so take a second look at your cart.”
3. Gain new business by asking customers for referrals
If all goes to plan, your existing marketing efforts will result in new fans who would be happy to recommend your company to friends — if only you asked them to do so.
The holidays bring out the generosity in people, so don’t be afraid to ask. The first place to start is with your company’s most ardent advocates (and promoters, if you’re a fan of the NPS system). Then craft a personalized, automated message that requests a referral in a clear-yet-friendly way. Chances are, you’ll see even better results when you send it at a time that’s most convenient for them.
4. Ask clients for feedback on a purchase
All customers have opinions on the products and services they buy. How to get customer feedback online is another matter. That might be especially true when purchases are made at holiday time when some are too busy to provide feedback.
With the start of the new year, send an automated email to customers who made recent purchases asking them to share their thoughts or complete a survey. Positive or negative, the responses give you the information you need for your next steps with that client. This gives you the opportunity to call a dissatisfied client to see how you can help. At the same time, you can also recommend additional products to clients who are happy with their experience.
5. Improve your search rankings and automate Google reviews
So you have big plans for growth in the new year, right? You know who else does? Your competitors — and they are looking for every advantage in encouraging prospects to choose them over your company.
One of the crucial battlegrounds for small businesses are Google reviews, as they can dramatically improve your company’s search rankings and overall SEO health. By automating them in a sales and marketing automation platform like Keap, you can start collecting reviews, improving your company’s ranking, and making sales without a ton of busy work.
New year, new opportunities — all thanks to automation
According to a recent report commissioned by Keap, only 29% of small businesses are using automation to support their business operations and day-to-day marketing efforts. This gives you a huge advantage over your competitors in the new year, as automation can help you see more predictable income.
Still skeptical? Put it to the test for your small business. Try Keap absolutely free for 14 days and see how it can save you time, collect new leads, and covert prospects more efficiently.