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Why You Shouldn’t Bombard Your Customers with Holiday Discounts

Contradictory messages, anyone? Even though I’ve already written about how to do the BOGO deals, here are some reasons why you shouldn’t go nutso on the coupons this holiday season.

One of the first things businesses do during the holiday season is come up with all kinds of discounts, then repeatedly mail their customers. What’s the usual response? A spike in unsubscribe rates. BOO! We don’t want that!

This is a very common mistake. Merchants often think that they’ve built up enough goodwill by mailing regularly (but not too often) the rest of the year to allow them to bombard their users with discounts during the holidays. In reality, however, during the holiday season your customers are receiving 5 to 30 emails a day that are exactly like the emails you’re sending. If you keep sending holiday discount emails, they’ll lump your emails in with the rest of them and simply hit “delete.” Think about all the emails YOU get. You don’t want to be the retailer doing that to your customers!

Value the Long-Term Relationship
The long-term relationship you have with your customer has to come first. Instead of trying to maximize your gains from your holiday sales in the short term, aim to maximize your long-term customer value. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to sell your products during the holidays. You should. But don’t do it at the expense of your relationship with your customers.

Mail only two or three times maximum during the holiday season. Mail enough that you let your customer base know about your offers, but don’t try to pressure them into buying.

Making Your Products Stand Out
If everyone is getting mailed 5 to 30 times a day, the answer is not to mail them even more often to try and get sales. Instead, the best approach is to try to make your offer stand out.

Ask yourself why they signed up for your email list or purchased your products in the first place.

If you’re selling jeans, they might have signed up because they want to look sexy. If you sell a DVD product about making money, they might have signed up because they want to quit their jobs.

Identify what the core desire of your market is, then try to tailor your offers to that core desire. Instead of just straight discounting, try to comeup with more creative offers that stand out.

For instance, give away old interviews that aren’t available any other way, or sell a “Holidays Only” back pocket patch along with a discount on a pair of jeans.

Tailor Offers Based on Past Behaviors
Instead of just mailing all your customers with the same offer, segregate your list based on products they’ve purchased in the past. Then mail offers based on what people have bought in the past. How can you this? Send them a survey with the resulting answers segregating them in your email client. It will really help you nail down and target interests. This will result in a higher conversion rate as well as a lower unsubscribe rate.

The bottom line is this: don’t burn bridges with your customers just because it’s the holidays. There are a lot of ways you can capitalize on the holidays without damaging your customer relationship.