You’ve made it to the other side of the BFCM hustle and the holiday gifting season. As we roll into 2024, how do you architect a marketing strategy to help your business grow? It’s time to decipher the secrets of success for the upcoming year.
This article will shed light on best practices that are most relevant now and help you identify what levers will be most impactful for your brand so you can grow profitably and sustainably. Brands that succeed in 2024 will focus on customer retention, co-marketing with partners, and integrating people and numbers.
It Starts With an Audit
Take stock of your marketing successes and failures in 2023. Pay close attention to stress points like BFCM and other special promotions. Where did your marketing endeavors throw curveballs at your customer service team? Find out when they had a high volume of customer complaints, requests for help, and returns.
Those signals should inform your marketing. When things “break down” for the customer, that’s a telltale sign there’s a gap in the customer journey that needs to be addressed. This is where flows automating email and SMS messages are beneficial.
When you approach flows as a system of automations that can function like the foundation of a house, that unlocks growth capacity in your business. Each system of flows corresponds to a distinct part of the customer journey, and there will eventually be different systems for different types of customers.
Optimizing these systems by refining existing flows and building new flows as needed should lead to fewer customers needing help from your support team. This is one of the ways that you can integrate the people within your business with the numbers (KPIs) that guide your marketing strategy.
A lower volume of customer support requests means your CX team can spend more time resolving the highest-impact issues with those most sensitive customers. That improves your customer retention, which in turn will improve your customer LTV. Both are essential factors in the profitability of your business.
Your marketing becomes more efficient when customers feel supported in their buying journey. The right message sent at the right time makes it easier for your customers to identify their next best purchase, and the next, and so on.
Flows that teach customers about your brand ethos, your products, and how to use them are one way of giving a concierge-style experience at scale. Your team doesn’t need to personally reach out to walk each customer through their shopping journey because you’ve built a system of automated emails and SMS messages that does that on their behalf.
This frees up capacity to focus on other things like co-marketing with trusted brand partners and sending personalized campaign emails to specific segments of your list rather than sending generic campaigns to all.
Powering Up Co-Marketing with Partnerships
Seek out collaborative opportunities with like-minded partners for co-marketing initiatives. Multi-brand giveaways aren’t just for show; they’re a powerhouse for list growth.
When you can develop a compelling package of prizes for a multi-brand giveaway, existing subscribers on each brand’s list will often participate, and net new subscribers from social media who want a chance to win the giveaway. This cross-pollination of subscribers benefits each brand partner.
But here’s the kicker – onboarding those new subscribers with finesse is your ticket to retention success. Taking the time to design a specific onboarding journey with a Giveaway Welcome Series tailored to these giveaway optins will make the difference between retaining < 30% or 80% of these people, and keeping them engaged with your brand in the following months.
Focus on nurturing these new leads into customers without relying on discounts. The giveaway prize was a compelling incentive to join your list, so use this Giveaway Welcome Series to help them understand the value of your products and brand. When you demonstrate why they can feel proud to be part of your “tribe” – that will convert them into customers without you promising a discount on their first order.
Leverage Your Tech Stack for Profitable Scaling
Discounts have their place in every marketer’s playbook, but consider their use carefully. What you condition your customers to expect will set the tone for the relationship that customer develops with your brand. Some people get so accustomed to discounts they will not purchase without one.
That’s why it’s important to prioritize the new customers who purchase without a discount. In the long term, they’ll be the most likely segment to buy again without discounting, and their LTV will be higher. You’ll generate more loyal customers because they’re not focused on finding products with the “best deal” – instead, they buy because they believe in your products.
And remember, in the pursuit of increased sales, profitability should be your unwavering co-pilot.
This is where leveraging your data and tools in your tech stack makes all the difference. Identifying which of your products is most effective at creating a repeat customer and what prospects are most likely to convert into customers will make it crystal clear what kinds of flows you need to build, and what kinds of campaign messages will be most profitable.
Prioritizing Customer Value Optimization (CVO) in this way enhances your customer retention. It also improves your customer acquisition process. When you get clear on the best entry point for a new customer, your ads can become more targeted around that product or collection of products. Think of it as a strategic dance, where the intentional curation of products becomes your secret weapon.
It also comes back to building infrastructure that can support your marketing so you can scale your business sustainably. For example, ambassador programs play an important role in generating UGC, but they tend to take a lot of manual work. Gatsby is a high-impact tool because it enables automating at least 70% of the work required for an ambassador program with a system of email and SMS flows.
This saves time and resources and ensures consistency and effectiveness in your marketing efforts. It’s not magic; it’s smart infrastructure design.
Navigating the Strategic Dance to Success
As you embark on a new year in the ever-evolving landscape of ecommerce, implementing these best practices will set the foundation for success in 2024. By prioritizing customer experience, strategically nurturing customer LTV, collaborating with partners, and leveraging automation, your business can navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Many of these priorities are tied to integrating the people and numbers within your business. That integration supports collaboration amongst your team, grounded in the knowledge of how your marketing choices impact KPIs. This will help you design a strategy that positions your brand for sustained growth and prosperity.
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