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10 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty Without a Points Program

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Francesca Nicasio

Content Strategy Manager

Loyalty is everything. In an increasingly competitive ecommerce market, brands are constantly vying for customer loyalty, for good reason: loyal customers are often the most profitable. 

Plus, one of the best ways to tap into earned media (like word-of-mouth advertising, which most consumers trust above other advertising methods) is through—you guessed it—stronger customer loyalty. 

Perhaps the most common way businesses try to foster brand loyalty is through a points program. However, if companies simply provide a cut-and-dry rewards program and call it a day (as opposed to a spend-based loyalty program or VIP program), it can make customers feel unvalued or not like VIPs. 

In addition, if a program is solely about the points, it may fail to differentiate itself from other more competitive programs in the market. 

Industry data shows that just 18% of rewards program members actively engage with all the programs they're a member of, showing how some rewards programs may offer too little value to the customer. Oof. 

If you want to level up your customer loyalty initiatives beyond a points program, we've put together ten tips that can help.

Let's get started!

 


 

1. Set up email and SMS automations focused on bringing customers back

Email and SMS marketing are great ways to increase customer loyalty, as you can reach customers directly through their inboxes and mobile devices.

For best results, send triggered messages based on certain behaviors or actions your customers take. For example, you could send a message to a customer who hasn't made a purchase in a set amount of time or provide a voucher or discount as a way to say thank you after someone has made their first purchase. 

Pinjarra Bakery is an excellent example of a business putting email and SMS marketing to good use. The company uses Marsello to power various campaigns that entice people to come in.

“We send out an SMS blast to our loyal customers first or our loyalty customers first giving them first access to come in and try the product before we release it to the public,” Daniel explains. “And of course, we conveniently time the blast to go out around lunchtime so people are probably getting hungry that time of the day and so far the results have been great.”

Limited-Time-Pinjarra-Bakery-SMS-next-to-man-eating-a-pie-1

Another idea is to reward your customers' birthdays. You could track birthday purchases and the rate of redemption—all of which is valuable data that can be leveraged for more tailored marketing down the road.

Easy-to-implement options include sending a one-time special discount or a freebie via text or email. Just make sure to use unique codes to track the effectiveness of your automations.

2. Setting up targeted segments

Did you know that the average email open rate is just 21.5%? To make your emails more relevant, segment subscribers into different groups or categories based on criteria like location, age, or behavior. By doing so, you can better cater to each segment through the content and deals you offer, intrinsically creating more value for your customers. 

Oh, and as a pro tip, consider using your subject lines to gauge interest in new products and themes you're considering offering.

3. Foster a strong community incidental to your brand

A brand community, when done right, is a way to rally together your most loyal customers or people who are the most interested in what you have to offer. Communities bring people together, which drives loyalty through shared experiences, meaningful connections, and a sense of belonging.

Marsello customer Pace Athletic is a master at community-building. The company has a run club that includes social jogs for all fitness levels. These run events end at local pubs where members can socialize, relax, and build friendships over a meal or drinks.

See if you can implement similar initiatives in your business. If you run a game shop, you could consider running a monthly board game night at your location. Brewery? Maybe a recurring beer tasting event or a pub quiz. Whether you want to keep it casual or more formal, brand communities are a great way to tap into brand loyalty and customer advocacy.

4. Offer exclusive access and early releases

Never underestimate the power of exclusivity. By fostering a sense of unique value or desirability—either by offering limited availability or exclusive access—brands can tap into the age-old desire of customers wanting to get something that's hard-to-get. 

You can use this to your advantage by targeting your top spenders or frequent purchasers and creating a segmented campaign. Reward them with access to exclusive events, pre-sale access to limited edition items, or other similar events. 

Take, for instance, Nordstrom, which gives members of The Nordy Club (the company's loyalty program) early access and extra discounts at sales events.

the nordy club - loyalty example

5. Start a referral program

To start things off, assign each consumer a unique referral code. Then, when they share your business with their friends, you can see if a purchase or subscription was made through the code and offer the customer (and maybe even the referred person) a reward. We recommend offering rewards that aren't point-based, like a free product or exclusive discount.

Also, make it easy to refer others: consider including a template with their unique code that customers can copy and paste. By reducing the friction around referrals, you'll make it easier for your brand to harness the power of earned media.

6. Provide valuable content and resources

Another great way to build customer loyalty is by creating content that's both informative and helpful for your customers: all with your own branding, of course. 

Let's say you run a makeup or beauty company: you could do TikTok or Instagram user-generated reviews of your products, do tutorials on how to apply certain products, or make a Q&A video about frequently asked questions. 

When you offer tips, guides, and tutorials on topics your audience cares about, you position your company as an expert and drive brand awareness by playing the long game.

7. Collect customer feedback

The best way to improve and understand customer satisfaction is through feedback, and what better moment to get feedback than right after a purchase? You can consider offering a small perk like free shipping on their next order as a small incentive, but what's crucial is to make it easy for your customers to provide feedback and to ensure they don't feel pressured into doing so. 

Marsello's customer feedback capabilities allow shoppers to provide input with just a few clicks, so the experience is effortless.

Check out this example from Madame Fancy Pants, which uses Marsello's customer feedback capabilities to create a simple, visually appealing survey so customers can quickly rate their shopping experience.

Marsello-Madame-Fancy-Pants-Customizable-Feedback-Survey

Already have customer feedback? Be sure to act on it to improve your retention strategies. And don't forget to proactively inform your customers about any changes and updates you've made so they feel heard and seen.

8. Create a customer-centric culture

Improving customer loyalty isn't just about what you put out there—it's very much an inside job. The people in your business play a crucial role in fostering customer loyalty, so you need to instill the value of customer-centricity in your teams. 

You can do this by providing ongoing training and development focused on customer service to keep folks at the top of their customer support game. 

A great example of this in action comes from Zappos, which has built a reputation for exceptional customer service. The company provides extensive training for their employees, including a four-week program that emphasizes the importance of customer satisfaction. This commitment to training has helped Zappos achieve a high level of customer loyalty and a strong brand reputation.

Another example is Pace Athletic, who run a regular running club for their community. Why we love it? Pace Athletic live and breathe what they do - a running club is a natural extension of their brand, and a way to connect on a deeper level with their customers and followers. 

The Pace team don't organize a running club to generate sales (at least not directly). But it does drive brand awareness and sales as a result. When their community build deeper relationships with the Pace team, they want to come in-store and ask for the staff's recommendations, suggestions and pointers. They want to support their local business, and the people behind it.

If you are passionate about what your business sells and what you represent, building community will come relatively easily. But it does take time and requires a commitment, so don't be disheartened if you don't see the revenue impact right away.

 

9. Invest in unique products and services

People stick with retailers and restaurants that consistently provide products and services they won't find elsewhere. So, strive to deliver unique and high-quality offerings to all of your guests. 

If you're in retail, this can come in the form of trendy fashion or homeware products that enhance your customers' lives. If you're a restaurant, this could mean offering exclusive and innovative dishes, sourcing locally grown and fresh ingredients, or creating a unique dining experience with exceptional ambiance.

When you do this consistently, you build a loyal customer base and differentiate yourself from the competition.

10. Implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives

Doing good is good for business. Industry data shows that consumers are more likely to choose brands that promote CSR aspects like sustainability. According to Neilsen, "a whopping 81% of respondents said that it's extremely or very important that companies implement programs to improve the environment. When it comes to action, 73% said they would either definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment."

To that end, it may make sense for your business to develop sustainability programs that focus on reducing environmental impact. This could include minimizing waste, using renewable energy, and sourcing sustainable materials.

Of course, CSR isn't just about sustainability. Social responsibility also encompasses societal issues like fair labor and community. So if these values align more with your brand, start exploring ways to support social causes. For instance, the brand TOMS partners with non-profit organizations that work on various societal issues, including access to mental health resources, community rehabilitation, and education.

TOMS initiatives - loyalty examples

Before you begin...

To ensure that your customer loyalty approaches are paying off, you must track key metrics regularly. Otherwise, you run the risk of investing significant time and money for no result. While you may not need to track all of the data points below, familiarize yourself with them and check in with your marketing team to determine which ones are the best for your organization. 

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This measures customer satisfaction and loyalty based on how likely customers would recommend a product/service to others on a scale of 1-10. Detractors are 0-6, while Promoters are 9-10. A score over 50 is generally good, while above 70 is great.
  • Customer Retention Rate: The rate at which your customers stay with you over a specific period, which reflects the effectiveness of your loyalty-building efforts. Make sure you balance this with customer acquisition strategies.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This is an indication of the total revenue expected from a customer over their entire relationship with a brand. It's a great way to identify more valuable customers and assess the long-term value of customer loyalty programs.
  • Repeat Purchase Rate: The proportion of customers who make repeat purchases, which indicates ongoing customer engagement and loyalty. Customers with a high RPR should be targeted when launching new products or services.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This provides immediate feedback on customer experience and loyalty; it's the average score given when you ask customers how happy/satisfied they were with an experience.

While this isn't an exhaustive list, tracking some (or all!) of the above metrics will put you well on your way to quantitatively understanding how your brand loyalty efforts are paying off.

Final words

We've covered a lot of ground looking at the top ways your business can foster customer loyalty without needing a points-based program.

While you don't need to implement all of these at the same time, we recommend trialing out at least a couple of these methods and seeing what sticks. Most importantly, this shouldn't be a "set it and forget it" approach. You need to stay attuned to the feedback received and stay in the know on industry best practices. This way, you'll be ahead of the curve and continually improve customer loyalty. 

If you're looking to create an omnichannel loyalty program that offers real value, Marsello has you covered.  From SMS and email marketing to loyalty and referral programs, Marsello can help you from start to finish.

Speak to an expert today.

 


 

Need help? Get advice from a loyalty expert and start driving repeat sales.

Speak to an expert

 


 

Read more: 7 Steps To Building A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

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    7 Steps To A Profitable Loyalty & Rewards Program

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    As a retailer, a loyalty program can be one of your most important marketing tools. Here's how to build a profitable loyalty and rewards program.

    In an analysis of over 60 million purchases, Marsello found that 25% of orders come from the top 2% of customers (2022).

    While it can be tempting to focus on getting new customers, marketing to your database can be much more profitable. We call this customer marketing or loyalty marketing because it focuses on bringing back customers who already know you.

    💡 Did you know? According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your profits come from the top 20% of your customer base.

    Loyalty programs are one of the most popular customer marketing tactics for several reasons.

    • They only reward high-value customers. Unlike discounting, loyalty programs only offer discounts and rewards to your best customers.
    • They give you valuable data and insights. Loyalty programs build a profile of your customer’s shopping behavior, in-store and online. To earn points on a purchase, customers have to identify themselves. That means you can track each sale against their unique loyalty identifier. This then adds to their profile in your database and helps you engage them with marketing.

    Done correctly, a loyalty program can be one of your most important marketing tools.

    Build loyalty. Drive sales.
    Marsello gives you all the loyalty functionality you need to keep customers coming back. Easily set up a loyalty program, capture important customer insights, and do smarter marketing.

    Start free trial

     

     

    7 steps to make your loyalty program profitable.

     

    While most loyalty apps work out of the box (with some setup time), the reality is the best results come with a bit more effort.

    To ensure you’re getting the most out of your loyalty program, follow these simple steps. Trust us, a small amount of planning and reporting each month or quarter will go a long way.

    1. Know your customer.

    Before setting up your loyalty program, look through the data and customer records you already have. What do you know about your customers? What resonates with them? Do they have any common preferences, qualities or identifiers?

    Putting in a bit of work upfront to understand your customer will help you design and structure a loyalty program that resonates with them. After all, you want the program to be enticing and engaging, and ultimately, to incentivize repeat purchases.

    Things you could consider:

    • What age bracket are your customers in? What are their interests?
    • Are they in-person shoppers, or more likely to buy online?
    • What emails worked best with your database? Did any particular imagery or copy work well?
    • What sales or offers generated the most sales? Can any of these past campaigns provide insights into what rewards might be most enticing?

    2. Make it easy to use.

    Make sure your loyalty program is user-friendly and easy to navigate so that customers will be motivated to participate. Barriers like long load times, delays in points balance updates, or a poor mobile experience will deter customers.

    We know, as consumers ourselves, that if something isn’t easy, we won’t bother!

    Before you invest in any particular software, do a bit of research. Read reviews, sign up for a few free trials, shop around. Make sure the app you go for has all the integrations you need as well (if you’re omnichannel, integrations with both your POS and eCommerce software is a must)!

    3. Promote the program.


    promote your loyalty program with a campaign

    Once you’ve designed your program, prepare a launch campaign. Whether it’s a ‘soft’ launch or a full-scale event—make sure your customers know about it.

    • Teaser campaign: Pre-launch, let people know something’s coming. Get people curious and excited for the launch date. For example, you could run contests or giveaways to generate hype.
    • Soft launch: It’s okay to do a soft launch to start off, just to test everything is working. But once you’re confident, prepare a launch campaign.
    • In-store promotion: Let your customers know about it in-store. Make sure staff are trained on your loyalty app and can answer basic questions about how to get set up, the tier structure, and what the benefits are for the customer.
    • Full marketing launch: add a pop-up to your website, send out email campaigns to your database, and promote the program on social media. You can even run a limited-time launch offer—for example, 200 extra points for signing up in the first week.

    Remember, promotion doesn’t end after launch week. Encourage new loyalty signups in-store and online on an ongoing basis (see Step 6 below).

    Marsello. Smart loyalty and marketing.
    Do all your loyalty and marketing in one place, and track the results in a single dashboard. See what drives sales, and do more of the marketing that counts.

    Start free trial

     

    4. Personalize the program.

    <First name> merge fields in a blast email campaign are old news. Now we’re all about unique customer journeys—using triggers, automations, and even AI for targeted messaging.

    To offer more tailored experiences and increase customer engagement, add some automated workflows to your loyalty program setup checklist. Birthdays, loyalty points updates, and sign-up anniversaries are all super simple to create and give a personal touch to the customer’s experience.

    5. Offer exclusive rewards.

    Provide exclusive rewards for higher-tier members to incentivize them to remain loyal and engage more frequently with your brand.

    Be clear about your tiers and what they mean, and let people know how far away they are from advancing up the ranks.

    You can also send surprise awards to delight your most loyal customers and make them feel valued.

    6. Keep it fresh.

    The promotion doesn’t stop after you launch the campaign! There are lots of light-touch, low-maintenance campaigns you can run to keep your loyalty program interesting.

    Plus, you can talk about all the cool campaigns you’re running to non-loyalty subscribers to get that FOMO going.

    run double points campaigns loyalty program

    The bCode launched this ‘double points’ campaign. This email had a 20% open rate and saw a 94% increase in customer’s average loyalty points spent.

    Need inspiration? Here are some ideas to get you started:

    • Run points campaigns: For example, you could have a double points week. These are great to run in slower sales seasons, as they incentivize loyal customers to accelerate their points growth.
    • Hype the program on social media: Use social media to promote the loyalty program and engage with customers through interactive content and contests.
    • Run limited-time offers: Offer special rewards for a short period of time to incentivize customers to participate in the loyalty program.
    • Build up a community: Foster a sense of community among loyalty program members through events, forums, or social media groups.
    • Collaborate with partners: Partner with other brands to offer joint rewards and increase the value of the loyalty program.
    • Build your mobile experience: Encourage customers to save your loyalty portal to their mobile home screen, so they can access their points balance and engage with your brand on the go.

    Build loyalty. Drive sales.
    Marsello gives you all the loyalty functionality you need to keep customers coming back. Easily set up a tiered loyalty program, run points campaigns, and more.

    Start free trial

     

    7. Track success metrics.

    Remember, the purpose of loyalty programs is to increase repeat sales, average basket size, and the average value of a customer to your business.

    So, what should you be tracking? Here are a few metrics you can use to see how well your loyalty program is performing over time:

    If you’re using a loyalty program app that integrates with your sales channels, you can also directly attribute sales to your loyalty program activities.

    Marsello made the most sense as it offers a single loyalty program that extends to customers online and in-store.
    - Hayley Greenstein, LEGO® certified stores

    Marsello’s dashboard also allows you to see how your loyalty program is performing compared to all your other marketing efforts.

    Don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed, but make sure you test how these impact your results.

    Are loyalty programs worth it?


    Yes! Loyalty programs can boost important metrics in your business. For example, the average amount customers spend per order, the total amount they spend over time, and how often they make purchases.

    But that's not all! When done right and in line with your brand, loyalty programs can also give your customers a better experience and make them feel valued.

    To make sure the benefits of the program outweigh any costs, connect your loyalty program to both your physical and online stores. This way, you can see the direct impact your loyalty program has on revenue. 

    Read next: A complete guide to creating effective tiered loyalty programs

    Loretta

    Marsello: All your marketing, in one place.

    • Drive repeat sales with a loyalty and rewards program
    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Track the direct impact of all your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

    Start free trial

                                                                                                                           

    Top Trends For Hospitality & Retail Businesses in 2023

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    Marketing to your most loyal customers, innovating with your products, and building your brand could be your most important investments in 2023.

    It’s no secret that the retail and hospitality sectors are in for a challenging year. The EY Future Consumer Index (November 2022) found that:

    • 62% of consumers don’t expect the economy to recover within the next 12 months
    • 58% expect their living costs to increase over the next six months

    So let’s tackle this head-on, rather than letting it become the elephant in the room. We talked to Victoria University Economics Lecturer Nathaniel Robson about economic trends, and where retail and hospitality merchants can focus their energy in order to keep business pumping. 

    We also want to take a look at how this might affect your marketing plan, and give you tips and resources you can use to inform your campaigns in coming months.

    💡 Marketing to your most loyal customers, innovating with your products, and building your brand could be your most important investments in 2023.


    What's Happening For Hospitality & Retail Businesses in 2023:


     

    1. Pressure to offer more competitive wages will continue


    Pressure on wages is driven by two main factors: a tight labor market and higher inflation expectations.

    “Because the skills of the primary workforce in hospitality and retail are highly transferable, businesses in those sectors will be competing with a range of alternative potential employers,” says Robson.

    “​​At the same time, higher costs of the materials used in hospitality and retail service provision will squeeze profit margins.”

    Both of these factors will make it harder for hospitality and retail businesses to find and retain staff.

    2. Demand from lower-income consumers will drop


    Consumers are seeing cost-of-living going up. But this doesn’t affect everyone in the same way.

    Robson explains that lower-income households will be hit the worst by inflation. Basic costs of living (rent, groceries, power, internet, etc) will use up an increasing portion of their weekly income unless minimum wages and benefits increase proportionately.

    Brands that serve higher-income households (boutique hotels, for example) might not see a significant decline in business. However, many retail and hospitality businesses serve customers in a younger, lower-income market. These customers will start looking for cheaper alternatives (looking to retail giants for cost-effective, mass-produced products).

    3. Prices will increase to pass on some costs to consumers


    Inflation expectations are also driving up costs of ingredients and materials, meaning tighter profit margins and pressure to pass on extra costs to consumers (i.e. to increase prices).

    Robson notes that this also presents an opportunity to innovate with your product line and attract higher-income, generally older, consumers.

    “New products may attract a new market of early-30s customers as the early 20s market has drifted away due to living cost rises pushing them towards more mass-produced and cheaper alternatives.”

    4. Customer loyalty and a strong brand will pay off


    Businesses that have invested in customer loyalty initiatives and brand experiences over the pandemic may be rewarded. Through the pandemic, consumers’ purchasing habits changed, with loyalty decreasing as people worked and shopped from home.

    Browsing stores and shopping on a lunch break in town was no longer a convenient option, and consumers opted to compare prices online and have goods delivered to their front door. 

    Brands that focused on customer loyalty and established a unique market position over this time will see these efforts pay off as consumer wallets tighten.

    "The opportunity ... can be met by striving for a unique market position – having a strong brand and established customer loyalty."

    Nathaniel Robson, Economics Lecturer

     

    How a make-up retailer grew a loyal database & doubled sales with Marsello


    scottys store image
    For years, Scotty’s Makeup & Beauty customers had been asking about discounts for students or industry professionals. “With the Scotty’s Rewards Program, we now have a solution that suits a lot of our customers,” says Hollie, Sales Manager. “The fact that we can run the program both online and in-store is great for building our customer database and turning one-time customers into repeat customers.”

    With the loyalty program, Scotty’s Makeup & Beauty has seen expansion beyond the industry it initially sought to serve. Now, they’re building a whole new audience of customers who come to them with all their dress-up and costume needs. Since unlocking these audiences with Marsello, they've seen EOFY sales double.

    Turn first-time shoppers into repeat customers.
    Create rewards that are designed to motivate your customers to shop, strengthen customer relationships and grow your business.

    Learn more



    5. Innovative, flexible brands may see the most success

    “Trying to hibernate until the crisis is over is not a safe strategy; it may actually involve less risk to try something bold.”

    — Nathaniel Robson, Economics Lecturer

    Learning from past recessions and economic downturns, a pattern emerges. Those brands and businesses that take a proactive approach to innovation can emerge stronger and more successful than before. We see this across every sector—just look at brands like Lego, Netflix, and Walmart, which all grew during the 2008 recession because of new products and investments.

    Yes, there may be upfront costs, Robson says, but “there is some potential long-term benefit to come from the associated innovation.”

    What does all this mean for your 2023 marketing plan?

    When budgets are tight, it’s more important than ever to stick close to your strategy. That doesn’t mean stop innovating and go back to 1950s marketing tactics — quite the opposite.

    What it does mean is being focused, considered, and clever about the way you reach your target audience, the key message, and the call to action. Planning your marketing campaigns shouldn’t be rocket science. If you stick to what’s important, it can be both simple and effective.

    To keep your campaigns focused, try our 5-Minute Campaign Plan activity. In this template, you’ll strip everything down to the strategic essentials, and you can flesh out the details later.

    Let’s run through an example, with all of the above in mind.

    Free Download: The 5-Minute Campaign Plan
    Strategy can be daunting, but it does not need to be rocket science! If you stick to what’s important, your campaign can be both simple and effective.

    Download now

     

    Question 1. What is the key insight?

    Any good campaign strategy starts with the “why”. We find that business owners have marketing ideas in spades (which is great!), but this is the time to turn on the filter. Which ideas have a sound reason for action? What is the driving insight that makes this specific idea a good one? 

    Example: Consumers are tightening their budgets as inflationary pressures hit. 

    Question 2. What campaign idea works best with your insight?

    Test your idea(s) against your “why”. Be ruthless. You might have an idea to design and launch a new luxury product, but realize that if you’re being honest with yourself, it doesn’t align with the insight at all.

    Example: A loyalty campaign, like a double points week, that drives repeat orders.

    Question 3. Who will be your campaign audience?

    Now you have your “why” and “what”, it’s time to figure out the “who”. Think about who the insight impacts, and what they have in common.

    Example: For your double points campaign, you might have a couple of audiences. First, you’ve got customers who are already in your loyalty program. They are aware of your brand, and actively engage with you. Second, you’ve got customers in your who aren’t in your loyalty program (and who may or may not be in your database).

    Question 4: How will you reach your audience with your campaign?

    Sketch out a rough plan of channels and activities. Think about where your campaign audiences are, and how you can engage with them.

    Example:

    • Loyalty members – SMS, email
    • Non-members in database – SMS, email (use double points as an incentive to purchase & join the program)
    • Other shoppers – Ask to join in-store and include in welcome pop-up online (use double points as an incentive to join the program)
    • Social followers – Instagram, TikTok ads & posts


    Read next:
    4 Simple Marketing Automations For Easy Revenue Wins [With Examples]

    Free Download: The 5-Minute Campaign Plan
    Strategy can be daunting, but it does not need to be rocket science! If you stick to what’s important, your campaign can be both simple and effective.

    Download now

     

    Manage your 2023 marketing campaigns with Marsello



    All your marketing, in one place.

    • Turn one-time shoppers into loyal customers with loyalty and rewards
    • Send email and SMS campaigns to your customer database
    • Create, schedule and publish social posts across Instagram, TikTok and Facebook
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Plan all your campaigns in one simple marketing calendar
    • Track the direct impact of all your marketing on revenue

    Start free trial

                                                                                                                           

    Why Patagonia & Other Retailers Are Canceling Black Friday in 2023

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    While Black Friday works well for some retailers it's not right for everyone. Some risk cutting into margins, alienating customers or their diluting brand.

    The most hyped sales day of the year is just around the corner. But not everyone embraces Black Friday.

    While Black Friday undeniably works well for some retailers, others partake because they feel they have to. In these cases, they risk cutting into margins, alienating loyal customers or diluting brand equity.

    Since 2011, retail brand Patagonia has been subverting traditional Black Friday messaging. Now many others are following suit, symptomatic of a major shift in consumer culture. Retailers the world over are finding new ways to break consumerist cycles: promoting recycled materials, fair trade and the repair and re-use of old goods.

     

     


    Quick Links:


     

    3 Reasons Retailers Are Opting Out Of Black Friday This Year


    1. They can’t compete with big-box retail brands

    Retail giants have the purchasing power to bulk buy loss-leaders and attract Black Friday shoppers by the masses. Smaller retail brands don’t have the deep pockets to compete, so many find that running Black Friday sales just cuts into margins.

    2. Their audience is made up of conscious consumers

    The kinds of people who shop at smaller retailers are both more loyal and more conscious consumers than those that flock to the likes of Amazon. They’re more suspicious of broad-stroke sales and promotions such as Black Friday, and could be turned off or confused by hyperconsumerist marketing.

    3. Their brand values simply aren’t aligned

    Running Black Friday sales just feel antithetical to their brand. Brands with strong social or environmental purpose and values don’t feel comfortable participating in a sales day that promotes unnecessary consumption and waste.

    We’ve worked with an increasingly large number of brands who don’t want to participate in Black Friday. But you can take an anti-Black Friday position, or subvert the normal marketing messages, and still leverage the hype. 

    Our advice? Use that position to your advantage. Take the hype of Black Friday, participate in trending conversations, and build your brand and marketing strategy around it.

     

    Take a position on Black Friday


    You know your customer best. So take the time to think about what approach works best. By choosing the position that’s right for your brand, you’ll engage your customer base and build brand equity. 

    Remember: Whichever position you take, you can leverage the hype around the sales season. Even if you’re taking an avoidant or subversive position, you can leverage Black Friday keywords and trending social hashtags to get your message out to a wider audience.

    1. Avoid it: If your target market is predominantly comprised of conscious consumers, are traditional Black Friday campaigns the right fit? Some brands opt out of Black Friday altogether. Some businesses even close their stores, asking their customers to just go outside and enjoy the day rather than spending their time chasing the sales.
    2. Subvert it: Do Black Friday, but with a self-aware twist. Or leverage the hype around Black Friday to promote your purpose—for example, brands running Blue Friday campaigns to raise money for ocean clean up projects.
    3. Lean into it: If Black Friday works for you, then that’s okay too. You can still go all in for Black Friday, and use creative, unique campaigns to stand out from all the noise.

    Once you’re steadfast in your position, be consistent. Otherwise, the campaign will feel inauthentic and confused. Craft all your hooks around your core campaign message. You can use these across your social posts, email subject lines and ads.

     

    All your Black Friday marketing. In one place.
    Manage all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns in Marsello. Schedule social posts, emails, SMS campaigns and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

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    Position 1: Avoid It


    Last year, the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) reported the highest number of smaller brands boycotting Black Friday they’d ever seen—a whopping 85%. This shows a growing movement against the likes of Amazon, who dominate the market and can offer huge discounts, bundles, deals and free shipping.

    Here are some ways you can express your anti-Black Friday position:

    • Encourage your customers to reduce waste and think about what they really need on Black Friday. 
    • Volunteer time or money to plant trees, or donate to offset some of the carbon emissions generated by Black Friday consumption.
    • You can even close your stores, like sustainable underwear brand Pantee.

    True to their vision and values, Ecolateral never runs Black Friday sales or events promoting hyperconsumerism.

    "We're about helping people to make genuine and sustainable changes in their life for the benefit of the planet. And if we're true to our vision, people respect that."

    — Jamie Stott, Ecolateral


    jamie-at-ecolateralSource: Ecolateral Instagram

    Position 2: Subvert It


    Patagonia’s “Don’t buy this jacket” campaign famously subverted traditional sales messaging around Black Friday.

    The conscious retailer is known for its clever use of marketing around sales season to boost its brand profile, PR and social media engagement. In 2016, they used Black Friday promotions to raise money for charities with environmental purpose.

    If your audience doesn’t resonate with hyper-consumerism, taking a subversive position can be an extremely clever approach.

    You might not see the same revenue success as those leaning into Black Friday, but the objective (the bet) is to build brand awareness and customer loyalty that will last longer than one day in the retail calendar.

    patagonia-dont-buy-this-jacket-1Source: Patagonia

    Here are some ways you can subvert traditional Black Friday messaging:

    • Use Black Friday to promote upcycling, repairing and reusing. Patagonia has an online store, Worn Wear, dedicated to resales of pre-loved clothing. Hoopla Kids does the same.
    • Take part in Blue Friday, an initiative pioneered by a group of small businesses as an alternative to Black Friday. All participating businesses pledge to donate a percentage of sales from Blue Friday to support ocean conservation projects.
    • Donate a percentage of sales made over Black Friday weekend to a good cause. Out of the Box Gifts donated 10% of all their 2021 Black Friday sales to a local food bank.

     

    “It’s time for us as a company to address the issue of consumerism and do it head on. The most challenging, and important, element of [Worn Wear] is this: to lighten our environmental footprint, everyone needs to consume less. Businesses need to make fewer things but of higher quality. Customers need to think twice before they buy.”
    —Patagonia

     

    Position 3: Lean Into It


    If you are leaning into Black Friday this year, here are some marketing tips to help you hit your revenue targets.

    Tip #1. At peak sales season, the normal marketing guidelines don’t apply.

    Don’t send emails on the weekend? Don’t schedule social posts after 8pm? Don’t send more than 3 emails for week? Forget it.

    Consumers are receiving more emails, SMS messages and targeted ads than ever around this time. Don’t be afraid to dial up the frequency of your marketing messages. Be prepared to get some unsubscribes, but the resulting sales will more than outweigh that.

    Tip #2. Get personal with segmentation.

    This tactic has helped our retailers get more Black Friday sales, and higher average order value. 

    Slice up your database by type of products purchased. For example, if you’re a technology retailer, you could create segments for “Photographers”—people who most frequently buy photography equipment.

    Send targeted Black Friday or Cyber Monday campaign emails and SMS messages to those segments, adding only products from their preferred category. Of course, you can add a “See All Deals” call-to-action below your product blocks to pull in more general interest to the broader sale categories.

    For higher impact, start strong with a personalized subject line:

    “Alice, get 60% off everything photography! 🤑📸”

    Tip #3. Black Friday is about more than just revenue targets.

    Did you know sales season is bigger than just hitting holiday revenue targets???

    Collect customer details over these heavy traffic periods to build your list of re-marketable customers.

    According to the Pareto principle, around 80% of a business’s profits come from just 20% of its customers. That means regular customers, who buy from you again and again, are worth A LOT to your business.

    It’s more expensive to acquire new customers to retain them, so make the most of your campaign spend and continue selling to Black Friday participants long after November has been and gone.

     

    All your Black Friday marketing. In one place.
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    How To Use Sales Season To Acquire Lifelong Customers

    In the current economic climate, consumers are much more price-sensitive, so they’re more willing to switch brands on a whim. That’s especially true around peak sales season. Any new customers you’ve acquired over the holiday season have more than likely found you through a sale or promotion.

    So how do you keep new customers in your orbit year-round?? With a value-packed and engaging loyalty program they won’t want to leave!

    After the holiday rush, run double points days, VIP sales, personalized deals and creative in-store shopping experiences. Regularly deliver value to your loyal customers with birthday gifts, loyalty rewards and freebies—they’ll love you for it.

    As a consumer, what are your favorite loyalty programs you’re part of? There are always a few standouts you can learn from!

    Read next: Top 8 Marketing Hacks For Black Friday/Cyber Monday Campaigns

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    Marsello: All your marketing, in one place.

    • Schedule social posts
    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Track the direct impact of all your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

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    5 Social Media Tips For A Scary Good Halloween 2023 Campaign

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    Halloween is the perfect opportunity for retailers to prime their audience for the upcoming sale season. Here are 5 social media tips for Halloween 2022.

    For retailers, Halloween is the perfect opportunity to prime your audience for the upcoming sale and holiday season (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas).

    Here are 5 social media tips for Halloween 2023 that can help you get more conversions.


    Quick Links:


     

    1. Encourage User-Generated Content


    User-generated content (or UGC) is one of the most powerful tools that marketers can use to drive engagement. Not only is it more authentic and relatable, but it’s also more efficient—it’s free and can generate more engagement than your own branded content.

    You can encourage people to share their photos or videos, and tagging your brand. For example, competitions or challenges. Ask them open questions and play around with their answers. Feature the best or funniest answers. 

    Looking for an even simpler competition? Ask your followers to tag their friends and share your contest post on their Instagram or Facebook story.

     

     

    Make the most out of your social media marketing; you can use marketing automation to schedule your content strategy ahead of time. Set posts across several platforms in a single calendar or even repost good user-generated content across different platforms.

     

    2. Get creative with social media posts


    Think about your brand and what kind of content and campaigns might work best. You could include Halloween-related images with your product, or it might just make sense to offer your audience a holiday discount without adding spooky flair to your brand creative.

    Halloween is the perfect holiday for Scotty’s Makeup & Beauty—who supply makeup and beauty products to the TV, film, and theatre industries.

     

     

    Every year, they make the most of the promotional period with a carefully planned calendar of social posts, email campaigns, and automations. Their in-store artists are also available to guide and advise on Halloween costume make-up and products.

     

    "Halloween is a huge selling month for us. Since using Marsello, our online sales over this period have increased dramatically as have our in-store sales – a lot of these purchases are from an average customer, not a student or pro makeup artist as well."

    Hollie, Scotty’s Makeup & Beauty

     

    If your brand is not so closely Halloween-related, you can still run photo contests on your Facebook page and encourage users to upload images. Encourage your followers to share pictures of themselves dressed up, or their kids’ trick-or-treat costumes. In exchange for their contribution, you can share their content on your page, reward them with a discount, and ask them to share the contest on their blogs.

     

    All your Halloween marketing. In one place.
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    Start free trial

     

    3. Give discounts or promo codes


    A Halloween sale or discount code can be a great way to draw in new customers ahead of Black Friday / Cyber Monday. You can host a Halloween sale on your website and promote it across your email campaigns, social accounts and even SMS.

    Remember: You don’t have to alter your brand to fit with Halloween theme! You can simply run promotions and add emojis in your captions for holiday flair.

     

     

    4. Use UTMs to track sales and run retargeting

     

    Track sales made across your Halloween social media posts and campaigns. The sales data you gather through UTM codes can also be used for retargeting. 

    Insert UTM parameters on your sale URLs and include them in your social media bios or link in bio pages. This allows you to create custom audiences for your retargeting efforts.  

    Using ads, you can retarget your website and visitors on social media. You can also see whether they make a purchase or not. In this case, the focus should be on communicating the right message to your audience and experimenting with different approaches. For example, you can vary your copy and imagery.

     

    5. Use TikToks and Reels


    Video marketing (for example, on Instagram Reels or TikTok) is a powerful social media marketing medium. It’s a great way to attract attention and engage with your target audience.  

    Videos can also be an excellent medium to authentically and genuinely connect with your audience. Break down your brand’s key messages, describe individual products, add value by creating how-to content and reviews.

    Your Halloween-themed videos don’t have to be complex. For example, create a how-to video that shares a fun technique for Halloween decorating. You can present your audience with several possibilities for decorating their homes or offices.

    Remember: UGC content works best, so if you’re creating TikToks or Reels, keep this in mind. Create videos and ads that look like they’re made by a user, not by a brand.

     

    All your Halloween marketing. In one place.
    Manage all your Halloween campaigns in Marsello. Drive repeat sales with loyalty, send email & SMS campaigns, set up automations, and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

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    Final words

    Halloween is a time that allows business owners to promote products and services. You can use user-generated content, discounts, and promo codes to generate engagement. You can also generate sales from social media by using UTM codes and retargeting. 

    Have you tried any of these tactics? Let us know!

    Read next: Social media planning for BFCM - 7 Best Practices to Implement

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    Marsello: All your marketing, in one place.

    • Schedule social posts
    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Track the direct impact of your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

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    5 TikTok Trends Retailers Should Be Using This Black Friday

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    Need inspiration for your Black Friday TikTok posts? We have put together a list of 5 tried-and-tested TikTok formats that we see working over and over...

    The opportunity for sales through TikTok is colossal. 67% of TikTok users say they feel an impulse to shop while scrolling through their feed. 20.6% of consumers who have bought products through social media say they frequently purchase on TikTok.

    In addition, TikTokers use the platform as a search engine; TikTok crawls comments, tags, and captions for keywords to provide highly relevant search results.

    This illustrates a rapidly growing preference for organic, user-generated content over keyword-stuffed blog posts in traditional search engine results.

     

    black-friday-tiktok-search-trends

     

    As Black Friday approaches, users jump on the app to find deals and see what their favorite TikTokers are buying. It’s no wonder TikTok is the place every retailer wants to be this Black Friday…


    Quick Links:


     

    Why User-Generated Content Works Best


    TikTok is all about authenticity.

    TikTokers are more discerning than any other social media user. They’re social natives, raised by influencer culture and reality TV, so they know when someone’s there to sell them something.

    On the other end of the authenticity spectrum… you’ve got traditional, big-box, branded Black Friday campaigns.

    But that doesn’t mean you can’t harness the power and influence of the For You page to stand out from the crowd this sale season.

    The key? User-generated content, or UGC.  That’s right, you want to make content that looks like it was made by one of your customers, NOT by your marketing team.

    Let’s dive in!

     

    Top 5 TikTok Trends To Use This Black Friday


    These are not new or fleeting trends. (Nope, we’re not going to make you edit corn into your next collection promo video).

    TikTok moves fast, so trying to plan out content ahead of time can be a headache. You don’t want to awkwardly miss the beat on a trend, it’ll be very obvious. For quick, hot-and-fast trends, you want to jump on them right away.

    Once you’ve spent a bit of time on the platform, you will get a pretty clear idea about what kinds of trends will last a few days or weeks, and what will stand the test of time. 

    If you aren’t super au fait with TikTok just yet, never fear. We have put together some tried-and-tested successful formulae that we see working over and over again. With these trends, it’s all about creating a hook that entices the user and gets them to stop scrolling.

    1. Black Friday Hauls


    Create a video of someone shopping online or in your physical stores, then cut to them showing all their new products. Walk the viewer through the discounts, bundles, and deals.

    Example of a Black Friday haul:

     


    Some hashtags to add: 

    #blackfridaydeals #blackfriday #haul #christmashaul #shoppinghaul

     

    2. Deals You Need To Know About


    Create a video showcasing your brand’s deals. To level up the authenticity, promote some complementary deals from brands you collaborate with too. It’s all about community!

    Example of a deal finder:

     

    Some hashtags to add: 

    #cybermonday2022 #blackfriday2022 #blackfridaydeals #christmasgiftideas #giftguide2022

     

    3. Unboxing Experiences

    These work particularly well if they’re ‘oddly satisfying’ or ASMR inspired. You can add a mention that the product was on sale on a Black Friday deal.

    Example of an unboxing:

    @dermalogica Our limited-edition holiday kits just hit the site and they won't last long. 💙 #dermalogica #skintok #unboxing ♬ The Lost Stray Dog - Official Sound Studio

     

    Some hashtags to add: 

     #unboxing #blackfriday #ASMR (if applicable)

     

    All your Black Friday marketing, in one place.
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    4. Get Ready With Me (GRWM)


    Make this trend Black Friday relevant with a “GRWM: Black Friday edition” showcasing all your Black Friday deals. Mix and match with non-sale items, or do a full ‘on sale’ promotion. This works for clothes, make-up, beauty, accessories… get creative!

    Example of a GRWM:

    @merrell Take yourself out on a cute lil park date with your hydro mocs like @The Halliday Twins #hydromoc #merrell ♬ original sound - merrell

     

    Some hashtags to add:

    #outfit #winter (or any applicable season) #grwm

     

    5. Come shopping with me


    If you have a bricks and mortar store, bring the viewer "shopping" with you. Take a timelapse of walking into your store from the street, looking around, then slow down to pick up products and deals. Show the viewer you’re adding it to your basket, all while showcasing your in-store experience candidly.

    Example of a shop with me:

     

    Some hashtags to add:

    #comeshopwithme #mallshopping #shoppingaddict

     

    Dos and Don’ts for Black Friday TikTok success

     

    Don’t brand your videos.


    Use TikTok’s native fonts, instead of your own branded fonts. This will give your content a much more organic feel, and won’t stick out as “marketing” content on TikTok’s For You page.

    TikTok’s native fonts include Proxima Nova Semi Bold, Kaufmann Bold Script and Georgia Bold. You can mix and match fonts and styles.

    Do make sure your videos are well lit.


    Good lighting is essential for creating high-quality content. Every successful TikToker has this down. If you can, film in good natural light (but not direct sunlight). Golden hour (when the sun is setting) will give your content a warm, radiant glow.

    As a second-best alternative, invest in quality artificial lighting, such as a ring light. 

    Do get creative with transitions.


    If you’re feeling confident, try some creative transitions between shots. TikTokers are known for using manual camera tricks to enhance the overall feel of their videos.

     

     

    Do get familiar with editing apps.


    If you’re creating content in advance, TikTok’s native editor is not ideal. Use an editing tool like CapCut to get a cleaner final result. You can download it for your phone, tablet or desktop.

    Don’t try and tell your whole brand story.

    While it can be tempting to start talking about how great all your products are and listing all the benefits, stick to the short, hook-based formats above.

    All your Black Friday marketing, in one place.
    Manage all your Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns in Marsello. Drive repeat sales with loyalty, send email & SMS campaigns, set up automations, and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

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    Don’t use muffled audio.


    If you’re doing voice-over style videos, it’s important to get crisp, clear sound. Invest in a small microphone you can clip to your clothing, like a lapel mic, that plugs into your recording device (i.e., your phone). These are affordable and easy to find online. 

    Most TikTokers find it’s simple and effective to record straight into Voice Memos or similar. Your phone’s inbuilt voice recording app serves the purpose just fine.

    Don’t spend thousands on equipment.


    I can’t iterate this enough. Even the best quality user-generated content doesn’t need anything more than good lighting, good audio, your smartphone (as long as it has a decent camera), and a tripod.

    Do have fun with it!

    Express your personality, and have fun—otherwise, it will become just another marketing chore, and that won’t produce good content. Making TikToks is a creative process, so enjoy it!

    Read next: Social media planning for BFCM - 7 Best Practices to Implement

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    Marsello: All your Black Friday marketing, in one place.

    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Schedule social posts
    • Track the direct impact of your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

    Start free trial

                                                                                                                           

    Top Marketing Statistics For Retail & Hospitality 2022

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    We've compiled this handy reference list of retail and hospitality marketing statistics. This list will be updated on a regular basis.

    Top marketing statistics for retail and hospitality businesses 👇

    We've compiled this handy reference list of retail and hospitality marketing statistics. This list will be updated on a regular basis.

     


     


    Quick Links:


     


     


    Sales & shopping habits


    Here are some of the top trends and insights into consumer behavior in 2022.

    • The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.23% (Baymard Institute, 2022).

    • In an analysis of over 60 million consumer purchases, Marsello found that 25% of all orders come from the top 2% of customers (Marsello, forthcoming).

    • According to research by BIA/Kelsey and Manta, regular customers spend 67% more per order than one-off or infrequent customers (BIA/Kelsey & Manta)

     

    Social media statistics


    • Customers report spending 20%–40% more money on brands that have interacted with them on social media (OptinMonster, 2022).

    • Industry data shows that 55% of social media users ages 18 to 24 have purchased something through a social channel (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2022).

    • There were 4.26 billion active social media users across the globe in 2021. This is forecast to increase to 5.85 billion by 2027 (Statista, 2022).

    • 77% of Millennials report making a purchase either online or in-store after seeing a product on Facebook (OptinMonster, 2022).

     

    Loyalty statistics


    Loyalty marketing is a marketing strategy that retailers of all sizes use to increase the lifetime value of their customers through incentivizing and rewarding repeat purchasing.

    Watch: Loyalty Marketing Masterclass

    • According to Marketing Metrics (2011), the probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.

    • When your customers feel rewarded for their purchases, they can spend more, more frequently, and even purchase products at a slightly higher price than they might be at a competitor (KPMG, 2019).

    • 60% of consumers will buy from a store with slightly higher prices if they will earn a loyalty program reward (KPMG, 2017).

    • More than 65% of customers admitted making special trip to redeem a free gift from a loyalty program (KPMG, 2017).

    • 75% of consumers would give “rave reviews” to a loyalty program they’re involved in (KPMG, 2017).

    • Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, on average, compared to new customers (Crazyegg/Neil Patel, 2018).

    • Retailers can also send more frequent messages to those who are loyal brand followers (although you’ll see your best engagement if you don’t send more than five emails per week) (GetResponse, 2021).

    • According to the 2018 Bond Brand Loyalty Report:
      • 77% of consumers say they are likely to stay with a brand that has a loyalty program.
      • 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty program.
      • 63% of consumers say they're prepared to modify their spending habits in order to maximize the benefits of a loyalty program.

     

    All your marketing, in one place.
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    Segmentation statistics


    Customer segmentation is the process of dividing customers into groups, allowing retailers to do more targeted and effective marketing. Segmentation is an antidote to low database engagement and declining email open rates. 

    • 78% of marketers reported segmentation as their most effective email marketing strategy (Hubspot, 2022).

    • In retail, automated emails see a 326.1% higher click rate than manually-sent emails, indicating 4x higher engagement and purchase intent (Epsilon, 2019).

    SMS marketing statistics


    When used in the right context, SMS remains one of the most powerful marketing tactics on the block.

    example-of-a-black-friday-sms-campaign

    Pro-tip: Get even more personalized and use merge tags in your SMS campaigns—include loyalty points balance, first name and more.

    Marketing automation statistics


    With marketing automation, you can reach the right customers, with the right message at the right time.

    • Automated emails, triggered by a customer action, get 8 times more opens than manual, bulk emails (Experian)

    Read more: 4 simple marketing automations for easy revenue wins 

     

    All your marketing, in one place.
    Manage all your marketing campaigns in Marsello. Drive repeat sales with loyalty, send email & SMS campaigns, set up automations, and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

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    Customer experience statistics


    Send exclusive Black Friday deals and offers to your existing customers. Rubber Monkey sent customers an extra $10 voucher to use over and above their Black Friday purchases.

    Referral & word-of-mouth statistics


    Referral programs reward existing customers for introducing friends, family or colleagues to your brand. They work by offering incentives such as points, discounts, or other rewards in return.

    • People are as much as 4x more likely to buy when referred by a friend.

    Read more: Ways to provide incentives for customer referrals


                    

    Marsello: All your marketing, in one place.

    • Send email and SMS campaigns 
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Schedule social posts 
    • Track the impact of your campaigns on revenue
    • Build and grow your customer database

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    5 Tips for Tracking Social Media Sales

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    In this post, we’ll shed light on the key steps and best practices you must take to effectively track and measure sales you’ve generated via social media.

    Fact: social media is a major part of the lives of today’s consumers. No matter what type of business you run or who your target market is, chances are you have customers using various social apps and platforms.

    Social networks are so embedded in our daily lives that people are increasingly using apps like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to discover — and ultimately purchase — products. This is particularly true among younger consumers. Industry data shows that 55% of social media users ages 18 to 24 have purchased something through a social channel. 

    Social media is clearly a solid vehicle for sales, and if you’re active on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, then you’re likely attracting customers and sales through these channels.

    The question is, how many of your sales are actually coming from social media?

    If you find yourself shrugging your shoulders to that question, keep reading. In this post, we’ll shed light on the key steps and best practices you must take to effectively track and measure sales you’ve generated via social media

    By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of the different ways to track sales on social, and you’ll walk away with tips and tools to do it right. 

    Let’s dive in.

     


     


    Quick Links:



     


    Why should you implement sales tracking on social media?


    As the saying goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Actively implementing sales tracking on social media enables you to improve in the following ways.

    You can allocate resources more effectively


    Running social media accounts can take a significant amount of resources. Even if you aren’t actively spending money on ads, you and your team likely devote quite a bit of time and energy planning your posts, creating content, and publishing said content on social platforms. 

    Tracking your sales enables you to hone in on activities that are driving a positive ROI, so you can focus on doing more of what works. 

    That way, you can ensure you’re spending more time (and money) on sales-generating activities.

    It helps you refine your strategy


    In addition to enabling you budget resources more effectively, tracking your sales on social media helps improve your overall marketing strategy. 

    Let’s say you post a mix of Reels, Stories, and static photos on Instagram and notice that certain types of posts are better than others at generating sales. You can use that insight to create more content that resonates with your audience. 

    Measuring your social media sales can also tell you which channels are effective at generating revenue. If you find that you’re getting better results on Instagram versus TikTok, for example, then you can start prioritizing Instagram in your sales campaigns.

    You’ll grow your social media presence


    All of the above benefits lead to a stronger social media presence overall. When you’re able to focus your efforts on the platforms and tactics that matter, you’ll naturally connect better with your audience and gain more fans and followers.

     

    5 tips for tracking sales on social media


    Now that we’ve covered the why behind social media sales tracking, let’s look at how you can go about it. Here are a handful of tips to ensure your sales tracking efforts are successful.

    1. Start with a plan


    It can be tempting to just start posting straight away and seeing if any sales come through, but a haphazard approach to social media tracking could lead to missed opportunities, inaccurate data, and wasted time. 

    If you want to get the most out of your efforts, you need to lay the groundwork and plan accordingly. 

    Here are some of the details you need to iron out before launching your social media campaigns. 

    Time period. Map out the dates and times you’ll be running your campaign. This will make it easier to attribute sales that come through via social media. 

    Products and assets involved in the sale. What items will you be promoting? Do you have photos and videos of those products? Make sure you have the necessary assets ready beforehand so you can launch you campaign without a hitch. 

    Type of activities. Identify the specific activities or campaigns you’ll be running. Will you be working with influencers? Are you running an exclusive sale? Is it a “new arrival” type of campaign? The right method for tracking your sales will depend on the type of initiative that you’re running. 

    Social networks involved. Get clear on the social network (or networks) that you’ll be using. If you’re leveraging multiple platforms, you’ll need to tailor your efforts accordingly. 

    Resources spent. It also helps to track the time and money you’ve spent on your campaigns. Doing so will enable you to measure your social media ROI and determine whether or not the campaign is worth the effort and resources spent.

    All your marketing, in one place.
    Manage all your marketing campaigns in Marsello. Drive repeat sales with loyalty, send email & SMS campaigns, schedule social posts, set up automations, and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

    Start free trial

     

    2.Track social media sales using a special promo code


    A good way to measure social media sales is to use a dedicated promo code. This tactic is best used when you’re running a sale or partnering with an influencer to promote your products. 

    To implement this tactic, come up with a promo code that’s unique to a particular campaign or influencer and make sure the code isn’t used on other channels. These codes should be fairly easy to generate and track if you have the right ecommerce platform or marketing solution. 

    Once you launch your campaign, start looking out for transactions that contain the promo codes you created and use that data to track your sales. 

    We can see this in action in Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener, a company that makes sugar-free sweets. Lakanto teams up with influencers like Nicole Cogan (@nobread on Instagram) to promote its products. 

    To attribute sales generated through this partnership, a specific promo code (i.e., “NOBREAD”) is used, and Nicole’s followers will get a discount when they enter the code at checkout. Meanwhile, Lakanto can track sales that resulted from the campaign by taking note of how many people entered the promo code on its website.

    no bread instagram post


    Promo codes are simple and easy to use (both for customers and the merchant). Just bear in mind that these codes also have some shortcomings. 

    For starters, promo codes may not always paint an accurate picture of sales. 

    If someone sees your product on social media but doesn’t use the code at checkout, then your system won’t be able to properly attribute that transaction. 

    In addition, if one of your brand partners decides to share their promo code outside of social media (e.g., their blog or during an in-person interaction) then this may distort the data around social media attribution. 

    Also, you can only use promo codes as a tracking tool if you’re running a sales or promotion. Customers typically expect discounts when entering a code at checkout, so if you aren’t running a sale, then you can’t really use promo codes as a tracking tool.

    💡 Pro-tip: Add promo codes to your social media posts in Marsello as one way to track sales and measure the dollar impact of your posts.

     

    3.Use special links and UTMs


    If you’re using Google Analytics to measure your web traffic, then UTMs (Urchin Traffic Monitor) can help you see which sources or campaigns are driving traffic to your site. 

    UTMs make use of parameters like website source, medium, and campaign to pinpoint where your visitors are coming from. These UTMs come in the form of special tracking codes that you attach at the end of a URL.

    They look something like this:

    https://www.example.com?utm_source=social-media&utm_medium=instagram&utm_campaign=holiday-products

    In the example above, the source of traffic is social media, the medium is Instagram, and the campaign is holiday products. 

    When you log into Google Analytics, you’ll be able to drill down on how many visitors are attributed to these parameters. 

    You can generate a UTM by heading to Google’s Campaign URL Builder. Just fill out the required fields and the tool will generate the link for you. You can then use that special URL in your corresponding campaigns and then start tracking.

     

    utms for sales tracking in social media


    If you aren’t using Google Analytics, you can opt for personalized social links instead. 

    Marsello enables you to create a custom “link in bio” page that you can include in your social media profiles. You can then track the number of people who clicked on the link to determine how many followers visited your site.

    link in bio marsello

    Links and UTMs allow you to measure page visits without the use of a promo code, so they can be helpful tracking tools when you’re not running a promotion. 

    However, one limitation of UTMs and links is they only track page visits, not sales or conversions. They can tell you how many people landed on a page and where they came from, but they won’t show you how many users completed a purchase — unless you’re using a tool like Marsello to track the entire buying journey.

     

    4. Ask your customers


    You can glean social media sales intel simply by asking your customers. At the checkout page, add a form field asking shoppers where they heard about you, and then have them select from a range of options. 

    From there, tally up the number of people who selected social media (or a specific social network — i.e., Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.) and use that information to track your sales.

    This tactic is easy to implement, but it also has some downsides. For one thing, having an extra form field on the checkout page adds friction to the buying experience and may turn off some customers. 

    Additionally, some shoppers may opt to skip the question, so won’t be able to capture all the data you need.

    All your marketing, in one place.
    Manage all your marketing campaigns in Marsello. Drive repeat sales with loyalty, send email & SMS campaigns, schedule social posts, set up automations, and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

    Start free trial

     

    5. Use sales tracking tools


    While you can certainly track sales manually — i.e., by counting promo codes or tallying survey results by hand — these processes are cumbersome and can lead to human error and inaccurate data. 

    You’re far better off measuring social media sales with tools that can automate the process. Marsello, for example, streamlines social media sales tracking by connecting your POS and ecommerce sales data with your social media accounts. 

    From there, Marsello attributes a percentage of your revenue to a social media post containing a tagged product, UTM, or promo code.

    sales tracking marsello

    Here’s how it works:

    • Connect your social media accounts to your POS or ecommerce platform.
    • Create posts across Instagram, Facebook and TikTok then tag your products.
    • Use Marsello track and measure sales for a given time period.

     

    💡 Pro-tip: Measure revenue, orders, and average spend in Marsello to give you a clear picture of what social activities are actually contributing to your bottom line. This, in turn, helps you make smarter decisions that lead to more sales, profit, and followers.

     

    Bringing it all together


    You and your team likely spend a great deal of time and energy on social media, so you must ensure your efforts are put to good use. The best way to do that is to actively track your social media sales, so you can refine your efforts accordingly. 

    Need help doing just that? Marsello Social provides you with tools to easily publish social media content and track sales.

     

                

    Marsello: All your marketing, in one place.

    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Schedule social posts 
    • Track the impact of your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

    Start free trial

                                                                                                                                     

    How To Turn Social Media Engagement Into Sales

    ClockIcon  READ
    Here are three strategies you can use to take that engagement and convert followers into paying customers.

    Does your engagement convert? Learn how to find out 👇

    Social media engagement is a great metric for measuring the buzz around your brand. The average Instagram engagement rate across all businesses is around 1-2% per post (depending on where you look).

    So, if you’ve got 5,000 followers, the average business could expect around 50-100 likes on any given post. Video content generally sees a much higher engagement rate—that same business could be seeing around 300 likes on a video post. Carousels also receive higher engagement, as Instagram’s algorithm will show the same post more than once to the same follower.

    But engagement is not revenue, and it doesn’t necessarily even convert to revenue in the long run. If your posts don’t drive action, generate exclusivity, or create urgency, your audience may engage with you without ever making a purchase.

    So your next question should be: how do I turn engagement into dollars and cents?

     


     


    Quick Links:



     


    How do I turn engagement into revenue?


    When I talk to merchants, there's one thing I hear a lot: "My posts get lots of comments, good reach, and heaps of likes, but I just don't know if I'm seeing sales from them." It's a common concern—you're putting all this time and effort into creating content, but it's really hard to make that content sell.

    Here are three strategies you can use to take that engagement and convert followers into paying customers.

    1. Use Product Tagging to drive social sales


    To convert followers into customers, you want to take away every possible barrier to purchase. Don’t make your followers Google your website, then manually type a product into the search bar. Every time there’s an extra step, a percentage of followers will drop off the buying journey.

    Product Tagging is perfect for this. It doesn’t have to be on a “product launch” type post either, you can tag products on lifestyle imagery, competition posts, and more. You can even use “product” stickers to tag products in your Instagram stories too.

    Take advantage of every opportunity to tag a product.

    marsello-social-launch-tiles

     

    💡 Pro-tip: Using Product Tagging means you can measure the direct impact of your social posts on sales. To see it in action, connect your social accounts, POS and/or eCommerce platforms to Marsello and instantly see how your last 100 posts have contributed to sales.

    Learn more

     

    2. Create a custom link in bio landing page


    When you only get one link, make it count. Drive followers to your store with a branded link and customizable landing page for Instagram and TikTok.

    Having a centralized landing page means you can drive all your traffic to one page with multiple products, promotions and calls-to-action. There are lots of tools out there, from free, basic products to tools with advanced features and customization. The most sophisticated tools have the ability for merchants to add forms, buttons, media and more to a fully branded page.

    link in bio marsello

    Premium link in bio features.
    Marsello’s very own link in bio feature brings all the advanced customization you’re looking for to keep brand experience seamless.

    Learn more

     

    3. Plan campaigns and posts ahead of time


    Sometimes, even the best post with the most amazing offer and relevant call-to-action just won’t work. 

    Imagine this. You’re a retailer selling mountain bikes. You’ve also got a workshop and you sell replacement parts and accessories. It’s the middle of winter and things are quiet, but you know come spring all your customers will be wanting to replace their knackered bearings to hit the trails as soon as possible.

    You make a post offering half price bearings in-store hoping to see some service bookings off the back of it (thinking that you’ll be able to upsell when people are in the right frame of mind). But you don’t see any uptake so you assume you were wrong, and that the idea was a flop.

    Here’s how you could do it differently:

    You want to target existing customers, but also other riders in your local community. You know the large portion of your social followers are local mountain bike riders. So plan and schedule a series of posts each with different creative, and do a candid video post on your stories too. 

    You could build the hype by sending out an email or two as well to your local database. 

    Create a discount code people need to use in-store so you can track the impact of the campaign (I’ll get to that shortly). It might even make sense to send an SMS out as well, driving people to one of your social media posts for more info.

    social-email-announcement-tile-graphics


    All this planning can be on the back of an envelope:

    • Insight: There’s always a spring rush for parts and servicing because people leave it til the last minute, and the workshop is really busy
    • Objective: Sell bearings, drive foot traffic, and get people thinking about booking in a service early
    • Offer: 50% off all bearings (put a time limit on this for urgency-for example, “This month only”)
    • Target audience: Customers and other local riders
    • Channels: Social media, email and SMS
    • Success measure(s): In-store bearing sales, foot traffic increase, service bookings

    Once you’ve got your basic campaign plan, spend a couple of hours getting everything set up.

    • Create a discount code and/or UTM to track bookings from your campaign.
    • Use a social media scheduling tool to schedule campaign posts over your campaign time period.
    • Schedule an email blast to customers, and maybe a reminder email or two.
    • Schedule an SMS to reach people directly to their mobile (around 98% of SMS messages are opened, so it’s a great channel for a short, snappy and time-sensitive campaign).

    Taking a step back to plan means you can get your channels working together to increase the impact of your social media posts, and drive more sales.

    How do I know what posts generate sales?


    To understand how your engagement converts, you need a way to track sales that come from your social posts. This can be a bit tricky, so I've pulled together a handy list of ways to measure your results.

    Get a social media analytics tool to track sales


    The easiest and most effective way to track sales made from organic social media is to use analytics software that connects your POS, eCommerce, and social media data (you can do this all in Marsello).

    This doesn’t just track when someone clicks on a tagged product, it also tracks if someone likes, comments on or shares a post with a product tagged in it, and buys it later. This is called organic social media sales tracking.


    sales tracking marsello

    Using a tool like this, you can see:

    • What posts have generated the most revenue
    • Which creative type (images, videos, etc) leads to more sales
    • How many orders you get from social media over a certain period of time
    • Which social media platform works best for your business
    • What percentage of revenue comes from organic social media

    By tracking sales and revenue, and seeing what kinds of social posts and which channels work best, you can improve the performance of your accounts over time.

    Convert social followers into customers.
    Schedule, tag, post, sell. Start a free trial today and see it in action—Marsello automatically syncs your last 100 posts. Simply tag products in your posts, and see how many sales came directly from social.

    Learn more



    Include discount codes in social posts


    Discount codes are one of the simplest ways to see where traffic and sales are coming from. These have become popular for tracking sales from organic social media posts and campaigns, as merchants struggled to see the impact of their efforts in Facebook, Instagram, TikTok etc.

    Simply create a unique discount or offer code for each channel, and you’ll be able to track how many sales you generated from those posts.

     

    Use UTMs to track links back to your online store

     

    What is a UTM? UTMs (Urchin Tracking Modules) are short bits of code you can use to track how effective a campaign is. UTMs can track up to five parameters (aspects): campaign, source, medium, content and term.

    That might sound complex, but UTMs are actually incredibly easy to use. And unless you’re drilling into deep testing and measuring, you really only the first three parameters.

    The easiest way to show you how to build a UTM is by using an example.

    Say we are running a campaign that goes to http://marsello.com. We are using Facebook ads, and the campaign is to get sign ups for our social media scheduler.

    Let’s put that in simple terms:

    Campaign: Social Media
    Source: Facebook
    Medium: Paid Ads

    When you build your link, make sure you don’t use spaces. Instead, replace your space with a dash symbol (-). Aside from that, use only plain text for labeling (avoid hashtags, ampersands, percentage symbols or anything else that could break the link).

    Campaign: Social-Media-Sign-Ups
    Source: Facebook
    Medium: Paid-Ads

    Now, we want to add these to the link in UTM format.

    1. First, add a question mark (?). This indicates that the body of the link is complete, and Google Analytics, or your tracking tool, should read the following part as tracking information.
    2. Add “utm_campaign=” then your campaign name.
    3. Add an ampersand symbol (&). This tells your tracking tool that your campaign name is complete.
    4. Add “utm_source=” then your source. 
    5. Add another ampersand symbol (&).
    6. Finally, add “utm_medium=” then your medium. 

    It’s that easy! Here’s how ours would look:

    http://marsello.com?utm_campaign=Social-Media-Sign-Ups&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Paid-Ads 

    For each different source or medium you want to differentiate, change the UTM parameters. For example, you might differentiate visitors coming from a Facebook source by medium. You could state “utm_medium=organic-post” or “utm_medium=story-video” to separate traffic coming from different parts of the platform.

    The more specific you go, the more you know what particular channel, content and post type works best. But it’s always good to have broader parameters too, for example, you will still want to be able to compare all Facebook traffic from all Instagram traffic.

    Final words


    If you're putting a lot of resource into social media, but aren't sure if all the likes and comments are actually growing your business, you're not alone.

    Start making your social media work harder by taking away barriers to purchase (product tagging, using a link in bio, etc) and track the results directly using UTMs, promo codes and sales tracking.

    It's also important to have a clear plan, while leaving some wiggle room in your calendar for jumping on trends as they come up.

    Looking for an all-in-one social planning, scheduling and sales tracking tool? Marsello provides you with tools to easily create, schedule and publish social media content.

     

                      

    Marsello: All your marketing, in one place.

    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Schedule social posts and track the impact on sales
    • Track the direct impact of all your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

    Start free trial

                                                                                                                                     

    Social Media Planning for BFCM: 7 Best Practices to Implement

    ClockIcon  READ
    We’ve put together a list of the top social media planning practices your brand should follow to attract and retain customers in the 2022 holiday season.

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend is coming up fast (just where did 2022 go?) It’s high time for brands to begin planning for this massive, revenue-generating shopping event.

    179.8 million unique shoppers shopped in-store and online during the BFCM holiday weekend in 2021, despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    With 2022 seeing record rates of inflation and more cautious consumer spending, brands will need to pull out all the stops to wow customers this holiday season.

    Although still associated with shoppers streaming into store locations, BFCM weekend is becoming increasingly digital and mobile-first. According to Nosto, mobile outperformed desktop at 69% versus 31% when it came to product discovery and browsing, where social media emerges as a key channel. In fact, 54% of Gen Z shoppers and 58% of Millennials say that social platforms are better than online search for finding products and brands.

    In sum, a robust social media strategy is now essential for a profitable BFCM weekend.

    We’ve put together a list of the top social media planning practices your brand should follow to attract and retain customers this holiday season — and how Marsello’s brand-new social media toolkit can help.

     


     


    Quick Links:



     


    1. Use data to inform your BFCM initiatives and planning


    Not sure where to begin with your social media planning? A good place to start is to look into what strategies worked for your brand last year — and what didn’t. 

    Social media metrics such as engagement, impressions, click-through rate, website traffic, and conversion rate will help you to gauge the performance of previous initiatives and where you can build on this success. Likewise, learning from past mistakes, such as posting at the wrong time of day for your audience, is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a profitable BFCM period.

    social-launch-email-campaign-marsell-app-functionality-screenshotsArtboard 2 copy 2

    Using Marsello, look back on what kinds of posts generated the most sales over past campaigns.

    In addition to using your own data, don’t ignore the power of industry trends. Knowing what’s hot with social media users is a great way to stay innovative and serve up the content consumers want to see. 

    For example, short-form video is gaining traction across all social platforms in 2022, with 26% of social media marketers investing more in short-form video than any other content format. If your target customer belongs to the Gen Z demographic, this should definitely be in your BFCM toolkit.

     

    2. Iron out the BFCM promotions you’ll be running


    Running seasonal promotions is an essential part of BFCM, and your followers will expect you offer some compelling deals and discounts throughout the weekend. To maximize engagement with your social content, make sure you’ve planned out all the core details of your promotions, such as:

    The type of content. Are you using a single image, carousel, or video to publicize your promotion?

    The type of promotion. The size of the discount/offer, what products are included/excluded, etc.

    Length/timing of the promotion. How long the promotion is valid and whether you might extend it to increase conversions

    However, be careful not to make your social media feeds too promotion-heavy. Constantly pushing discounts over BFCM weekend can become boring and repetitive for your followers. Consider mixing up your feed with other types of content and putting aside some time to plan out your content streams. This includes promotional offers, gift inspo, and user-generated content.

    examples of holiday instagram posts

    Starbucks is a great example of a brand that posts a careful mix of content during and in the lead-up to BFCM. In addition to posting about their seasonal drinks range and limited-edition holiday cup promotions, its social media feeds also include user-generated content and question prompts designed to encourage engagement.

     

    All your Black Friday marketing. In one place.
    Add Marsello to your store now, and kickstart your Black Friday Cyber Monday campaigns with email campaigns, SMS, automations and more. Track the impact of all your marketing on sales, and measure your return on investment.

    Start free trial



    3. Create compelling images


    Consumers’ newsfeeds and inboxes are being inundated by promotions and discounts during BFCM weekend, trying to persuade them to drop everything and shop right now. But don’t join the race to the bottom by choosing the steepest discount possible; focus on creating eye-catching visuals that entice consumers to stop scrolling and check out your offer.

    To tap into those short attention spans, your images need to have a “wow factor” that’s pleasing to look at and primes people to explore what you have to offer.

    anthropologie example of a beautiful holiday post

    Known for its stunning social media feeds, Anthropologie does a great job at putting its followers in the mindset of holiday shopping ahead of BFCM. This fun visual swipe post allows Anthropologie fans to “turn on” the Christmas lights at one of their flagship stores — a clear sign of more holiday-themed content to come.

    💡 Pro-tip: You can crop and edit images right inside Marsello to create compelling, attractive content for your social media campaigns.

     

    4. Use a calendar to track and schedule your BFCM content


    It can be tempting to post all your social media content on the fly. But while there’s room for spontaneity in your content (for example, jumping on a trend while it’s still viral) you don’t want to leave your BFCM content to chance. 

    Peak season is a busy time for brands, and it’s time-consuming and stressful to plan and post content as you go. More importantly, a scattergun approach also runs the risk of missing key promotional opportunities during Thanksgiving weekend.

    Using a calendar tool is a great way to maintain control over your BCFM social media planning. Marsello allows you to add individual social posts to your calendar and add relevant information such as launch dates, copy, or associated promotions, ensuring that your team always knows what’s in the pipeline.

    marsello-social-launch-tiles-3

     

    5. Keep your marketing collateral organized


    BFCM is one of the biggest revenue-producing periods of the year for retailers, so your business is likely to be using more social media collateral in the form of graphics, videos, and product photography during this period to increase engagement. 

    With so much revenue on the line, it’s vital to make sure your marketing team has a system to store and organize these assets. After all, nobody wants to lose a vital photo or video right before posting!

    social-launch-email-campaign-marsell-app-functionality-screenshotsArtboard 2 copy 3-1

    The Marsello media library is an excellent way to keep all of your BFCM collateral in one place where it’s easily accessible to your team. The media library connects seamlessly with all major storage systems, including Google Drive and Dropbox, so you can retrieve your assets as you need them for emails, social media, and other campaigns being run by Marsello.

    All your Black Friday marketing. In one place.
    Add Marsello to your store now, and kickstart your Black Friday Cyber Monday campaigns with email campaigns, SMS, automations and more. Track the impact of all your marketing on sales, and measure your return on investment.

    Start free trial

     

    6. Keep your BFCM initiatives consistent across all platforms


    If you’re planning on running a big promotion (or several) over BFCM weekend, it makes little sense to only publicize your offer on a single platform. To drive as much traffic as possible to your website and storefronts, all of your marketing channels — including social media, email, and even your store signage — need to be working together in harmony. 

    It’s easy to say that the more channels you use, the stronger your promotional strategy will be. But it’s not quite that simple; more channels also means more time spent making sure that your messaging stays consistent. 

    Here is a great example from Sephora, which successfully reinforced last year’s Cyber Monday sale across email and social media by using the same graphic and messaging:

    sephora cyber monday sale post

    sephora cyber monday sale campaign

    Marsello’s campaign calendar makes it easy to achieve coordinated campaigns like Sephora’s. Social media, SMS, and email can be planned within a single dashboard to streamline your social planning and ensure consistency across channels.

    7. Optimize your BFCM social media accounts for sales by leveraging built-in social selling features


    Social media is no longer simply a marketing channel designed to direct shoppers to where the action takes place. Thanks to the birth of social commerce, many platforms now boast a range of tools that enable users to purchase products directly within the app.

    Social commerce has a range of benefits for both shoppers and brands during BFCM. If prospective customers see a great holiday gift option, they’re going to want to move fast. By shopping directly within an app, consumers only have to tap the product tag to be taken directly to the product page and checkout. Redirecting shoppers to your ecommerce website, where they’ll need to find the product themselves and place it in their cart, takes extra time and effort and may result in them abandoning the purchase.

    In addition to speeding up the checkout process, social selling makes your product catalog easy and seamless to navigate. For example, Walmart has created a range of collections in its Instagram store to address different shopper needs:.

    walmart instagram store collections

    Collections have a ton of applications for BFCM weekend. Consider catalogs such as “‘Top holiday picks for under $30”’ or “‘red-hot Black Friday deals” to optimize your sales strategy and drive consumers toward high-value merchandise.

    💡 Pro-tip: Tag products and collections in your social posts in Marsello to see potential generated sales.

     

    Final words


    Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among one the most important holiday shopping weekends on the calendar, and brands need to begin their social media planning early to maximize the promotional opportunities available. By following the social media planning tips above and utilizing Marsello’s social media tools, you’ll be well-placed to make your BFCM 2022 the best yet.

     

        

    Marsello: All your Black Friday marketing, in one place.

    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Schedule social posts
    • Track the direct impact of all your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

    Start free trial

                                                                                                                           

    Top 8 Marketing Hacks For Black Friday/Cyber Monday Campaigns

    ClockIcon  READ
    Here are the Top 8 Black Friday & Cyber Monday marketing strategies that big-box retailers use — and don’t want you to know.

    BFCM marketing hacks big-box retailers don’t want you to know 👇

    Black Friday is creeping up fast. But while we’re still a decent way out, here are 8 of the best marketing tips you should be considering in your campaign planning.

    These strategies are used by some of the world’s biggest and most successful retailers; however, they’re all actually incredibly simple. Some of these tactics can even wait until the last minute (if you’re “deadline driven” like I am!) and they’ll still be high impact.

     


     


    Quick Links:



     


    Run pre-Black Friday sales


    Black Friday is BIG. It has global awareness, with merchants participating in countries in and outside of Canada and the US (even those that don’t recognize Thanksgiving). Needless to say, it’s on everyone’s minds for months in the lead up.

    So—why not run sales before the actual day? Savvy retailers are using this strategy to capitalize on the hype without shouting in the crowd at peak time.

    For example, Rubber Monkey, a technology retailer, runs a VIP Black Friday “Countdown Campaign” with several pre-Black Friday sales ahead of the big date.

    Blog-Graphics-BCFM-Rubber-Monkey-3-waves

    Rubber Monkey’s lead-up campaign emails included dates for not one, not two but THREE separate Black Friday sale dates.

    Alternatively, in lieu of running a multi-stage sale, simply send Black Friday / Cyber Monday previews. Tease your database, give them a sneak peek of what’s around the corner, and build hype.

    You can also include a Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar invite, so your subscribers have your sale top of mind and receive automated reminders directly from their calendar app.

     

    Segment your database for personalized deals


    A blast to all customers is not always an effective marketing strategy. Instead, segment your database by type of products purchased. For example, if you’re a technology retailer, you could create segments for “Photographers”—people who most frequently buy photography equipment.

    Send targeted Black Friday or Cyber Monday campaign emails and SMS messages to those segments, adding only products from their preferred category. Of course, you can add a “See All Deals” call-to-action below your product blocks to pull in more general interest to the broader sale categories.

    For higher impact, start strong with a personalized subject line:
    “Alice, get 60% off everything photography! 🤑📸”

    cyber-monday-technology-campaign

    I love how this Cyber Monday email jumps straight into product collections from the category I’m most interested in: photography.

     

    All your Black Friday marketing. In one place.
    Manage all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns in Marsello. Schedule social posts, emails, SMS campaigns and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

    Start free trial



    Add urgency with a countdown timer


    Ah, the old FOMO trick. Let your subscribers know when your sales start, so they don’t miss a deal. Using a dynamic, live countdown timer in your emails will capture visual interest, and drive urgent action.

    black-friday-email-countdown

    Drag-and-drop the countdown timer into your campaigns with Marsello’s email builder. You can customize your timer to match your brand and campaign specs. I also love how this email uses a ‘Wishlist’ call-to-action—getting subscribers engaged with the sale in advance.

    Leverage the 98% deliverability of SMS


    Did you know…

    • 75% of consumers want to receive text messages with special offers
    • 90% of SMS messages opened within three minutes of being received

    Scott Home Delivery uses SMS for their Black Friday campaigns, with incredible results. Some of their campaigns see up to a 26% click rate—much higher than the average email click rate (around 3%).

    example-of-a-black-friday-sms-campaign

    When used in the right context, SMS remains one of the most powerful marketing tactics on the block. The key? It’s really not rocket science: it all comes down to following the tried-and-true recipe for success:

    • There’s one clear offer (50% off)
    • Urgency (Only a few days left!)
    • A CTA and link to drive conversions
    • And there are instructions for how to opt out (a necessary inclusion)

    Pro-tip: Get even more personalized and use merge tags in your SMS campaigns—include loyalty points balance, first name and more.

    Send product recommendations with a discount code


    You don’t have to discount specific products, but you could offer a discount code. That way, you can send an email with product recommendations to your customer database, and offer a discount code so they can go and spend it on the products you know they’ll love. 

    Marsello’s product recommendation algorithm uses the same model as Amazon. We use customer purchase data to determine which products they’re most likely to be interested in buying next.

    You can drag-and-drop this pre-built block into any of your Black Friday campaign emails. Beyond that, we recommend using this feature in all kinds of email campaigns!

    drag_drop_recommend_products

    Here, we show how you can drop the block into an automated Happy Birthday email using Marsello’s super easy email campaign builder.

    All your Black Friday marketing. In one place.
    Manage all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns in Marsello. Schedule social posts, emails, SMS campaigns and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

    Start free trial

     

    Run VIP offers to your existing customers


    Send exclusive Black Friday deals and offers to your existing customers. Rubber Monkey sent customers an extra $10 voucher to use over and above their Black Friday purchases.

    Black-Friday-Cyber-Monday-Rubber-Monkey-VIP-voucher

    Rubber Monkey’s additional VIP Black Friday offer to their email subscribers.

    Set up automated Abandoned Cart reminders


    Don’t let those Black Friday deals sit idly in customer carts. Use marketing automation to set up automatic abandoned cart reminders. Use triggers to set up a delay—around one hour is usually about right for a one-day sale, but you can test what works best with your customer database.

    automated-abandoned-cart-reminders-black-friday-cyber-monday

    Take a look at Ozzie Collectables’ Abandoned Cart campaign, for example. This series of three emails has an overall conversion rate of 28%. In fact, automated email flows alone are generating 38% of their total revenue.

    Ozzie-Collectables-Recover-My-Cart-Email-Automation-Flow-1

    Marsello has a collection of pre-built email templates you can add to your Abandoned Cart flows. You can even tweak your flows in the days around Black Friday / Cyber Monday to include more relevant, urgent messages.

     

    All your Black Friday marketing. In one place.
    Manage all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns in Marsello. Schedule social posts, emails, SMS campaigns and more. Then track the impact of your marketing on sales.

    Start free trial

     

    Last but not least, build your customer database!


    Think bigger than Black Friday. Collect customer details over these heavy traffic periods to build your list of re-marketable customers.

    According to the Pareto principle, around 80% of a business’s profits come from just 20% of its customers. That means regular customers, who buy from you again and again, are worth A LOT to your business. And they’re cheaper to market to as well.

    The other 80% of your customers only make up the remaining 20% of your profits. These customers include your one-time shoppers, infrequent visitors, and any other more casual consumers.

    It’s more expensive to acquire new customers to retain them, so make the most of your campaign spend and continue selling to Black Friday participants long after November has been and gone.

    Read next: Social media planning for BFCM - 7 Best Practices to Implement

        

    Marsello: All your Black Friday marketing, in one place.

    • Send email and SMS campaigns to customers
    • Create set-and-forget marketing automations
    • Schedule social posts and track sales
    • Track the direct impact of all your marketing on revenue
    • Build a customer database

    Start free trial

                                                                                                                         

    SMS Product Update: 50% Reduced Rates, Automations, Merge Tags, and Emojis

    ClockIcon  READ
    We've introduced new features to make SMS marketing smarter and improve ROI, including SMS automation templates, automation library, merge tags and emojis

    “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one” - Mark Twain

    Apparently, Mark Twain hadn’t heard of pre-built SMS templates, something we’ve just added to Marsello alongside the automations template library, emojis, merge tags for SMS, and to make your SMS marketing go even further cut SMS rates by up to 50% on some pricing plans.  

    Here's what's new in SMS:

    We’ve cut SMS rates by 50%*, doubling SMS credits across some plans

    We’ve cut SMS rates by up to 50%* on some pricing plans, starting from our base $25/month plan. That means some plans will receive more than double the SMS credits per dollar.

    Previous pricing  New Pricing 

    Cost

    Credits

    Cost

    Credits

    $25.00

    700

    $25.00

    1,500

    $50.00

    1,500

    $50.00

    3,500

    $100.00

    3,100

    $100.00

    8,500

    $200.00

    6,500

    $200.00

    18,000

    $300.00

    10,000

    $300.00

    30,000

    $400.00

    13,700

    $400.00

    41,000

    $500.00

    17,500

    $500.00

    52,000

    $600.00

    21,000

    $600.00

    63,000

    $800.00

    29,500

    $800.00

    84,000

    $1,000.00

    38,000

    $1,000.00

    105,000

    $1,250.00

    49,000

    $1,250.00

    132,000

    $1,500.00

    60,000

    $1,500.00

    158,500

    $1,750.00

    71,500

    $1,750.00

    185,500

    $2,000.00

    83,000

    $2,000.00

    212,000

    SMS credits can be added to your Marsello Pro Plan from your account and will be added to your monthly subscription from the date you select your monthly SMS plan. 

    New SMS plans are available now, and existing plans will be updated as your monthly plan rolls over.

    Add SMS


    Pre-built SMS automation templates

    Sometimes you need to get a message to your customers that is short, sharp, and to the point. That’s where SMS comes in, the perfect communication tactic to drive action quickly. But saying less isn't always that easy, so we’ve introduced over 20 new pre-built SMS templates, including loyalty program messages, refer friend requests, Google Review requests, and more.

    Automation Template Library 

    You can now access all your email and SMS templates in the Automation Template Library. You can search the Template Library by communication channel, campaign type, industry and more. As you build out your SMS automation templates, and we add more, you’ll be able to deploy any SMS automation in just a few clicks. 

    SMS Automations

    Oh, and by the way, we’ve already added 10+ SMS automation templates to the library which you can access now. 

    Loyalty Notifications now in Automations Library

    We’ve added automated loyalty points notifications for SMS, and migrated all loyalty points notification templates to Marsello’s Automations Library. This allows you to track all sends, opens, and clicks.

    Plus, enjoy the new emojis and merge tags! 

    Even short messages should be personalized, so we’ve introduced merge tags in SMS automations and campaigns. Merge tags enable you to include the recipient's own details in the messages you send them, including first name, last name, loyalty points balance and VIP tier. We’ve also added emojis, so you can set the tone of your message without saying a word. 

    Want to get started with SMS, but not sure how? Take a look at the Marsello help center for practical step-by-step guides for setting up automations and campaigns. 

    *Note: 50% discounted rate is based on a regional send to the United States and priced in USD.

     

    Cutting Costs? 3 Marketing Strategies You Can’t Afford To Drop In A Recession

    ClockIcon  READ
    Marsello CEO Brent Spicer discusses the state of the global economy, and how a market slowdown presents opportunities for independent businesses.

    We talked to Marsello CEO Brent Spicer about the state of the global economy, and how a market slowdown presents opportunities for independent businesses.

    Merchants, particularly small business owners, want to know: what will a recession mean for my business?

    There’s no doubt about it—the economy is very volatile at the moment. We’re feeling the effects of this through high inflation.

    The rise has been in large part driven by pent-up consumer demand after the pandemic and supply chain issues caused by China’s lockdowns and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    “These events have caused global inflation rates to spike,” Marsello CEO Brent Spicer explains. “Central banks worldwide have a singular objective at the moment: to control and limit inflation. This reduces market liquidity. As interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing goes up. Before, capital was effectively free. Now, it is very expensive.”

    Spicer believes the global economy will continue to slow, but the question is—how much and for how long?

    This slowdown is only just starting to cut through to the general economy and consumers. As we are all aware, this will have a big impact on consumer spending and, in turn, retail and hospitality businesses.

    Adding to this, low unemployment is making it really difficult for these businesses to attract staff. “We’re seeing signs of this already,” says Spicer. “Hospitality businesses and retailers offering well above minimum wage, but still struggling to get job applicants. The problem we’re seeing is not the pay, it’s a labor shortage.”

    All this means small businesses are in for some challenging times.



     


    Quick Links:



     


    How can my business thrive through a recession?

     

    Put simply, brick-and-mortar businesses have been through a lot in the past few years. Lockdowns and staff illness have forced shop closures and put pressure on margins.

    To make it through, businesses had to adapt, pivot, and try new sales and marketing tactics—fast.

    We saw so many different innovative approaches come out of the pandemic. 

    Hospitality businesses took the opportunity to expand to e-commerce, subscriptions, and home deliveries. Retailers pivoted to create new products (such as masks!), run virtual product demos, and set up processes for contactless pick-up and delivery. Others focused on buckling down and building their brand’s community, looking ahead at the long-term game.

    We’ve learned a few things from past recessions too. We know for certain that there will be business who come through stronger than ever. 

    So what will it be that sets them apart from the rest? How will they not just survive, but thrive?

    1. Future-proof with technology

    Independent retailers and hospitality businesses taking advantage of technology will be the ones who thrive.

    Back in 2008, the Global Financial Crisis accelerated the growth of e-commerce. As e-commerce platforms became more accessible, smaller businesses were able to leverage online ordering—rather than needing huge budgets to build custom websites.

    E-commerce gave consumers a way to find better deals further from home, and have them delivered within a few days. So it was the perfect storm for e-commerce, and those consumer habits just took off.

    “The Global Financial Crisis hugely impacted the mindset of consumers,” says Spicer.
    “Consumers were extremely price-sensitive, substituting premium goods for cheaper-name brands. Luxury goods were out of the question for the average household. Shoppers wanted value, and they started shifting online to find the best prices available.”

    From the GFC, a whole new breed of small business was born: small business that was tech-forward, even tech-led. This quickly became the norm—Shopify (e-commerce), Lightspeed Retail (point-of-sale), and Xero (accounting software) were among some of the tech companies that helped these businesses thrive. 

    And those who saw the opportunity in software for small business and leaped on it were in a better position to recover and grow as consumer confidence improved.

    Looking ahead, we predict a massive opportunity for businesses to lean on AI and algorithmic learning. For example, ​​algorithimically-determined product recommendations make up around 35% of Amazon’s total revenue.

    Even the simplest AI tactics can be very effective at generating revenue. In Marsello, we have a template product recommendation block merchants can drop into email campaigns and automations. If you’re paying to send emails, text messages or ads, you want to be delivering the most targeted, personalized content to make every dollar count.

    We’re also seeing massive opportunities for businesses to get a full overview of their data. That means streamlined, consolidated tech stacks, that house data in one, central place. This reduces the risk of creating “data silos”. A data silo is created every time you introduce a new tool that takes time and resource to export data and re-upload it somewhere else. For example, if you have to manually export your sales data and upload it to your email.

    2. Double down on smart marketing

    Most companies cut costs during a recession and marketing is usually the first chop. But now is not the time to ditch the marketing efforts.

    According to Harvard Business Review, businesses who spent more on marketing actually did better through the GFC

    It makes sense—if you can maintain your marketing budget (or even increase it) while others are cutting back, your comparative marketing impact will increase by default.

    However, your marketing does need to get smarter.

    There’s a term that merchants, entrepreneurs, and business owners need to get familiar with: capital efficiency. That is, any activity you’re putting dollars into needs to generate a return on investment. 

    Measuring your activity is extremely important—it will help you reallocate budget to get the best results from your dollar. If you can’t measure the direct impact of marketing on sales, you risk cutting marketing spend on channels or tactics that are actually delivering return.

    The problem is that revenue generated from marketing is notoriously difficult to track and measure. Merchants often have to rely on vanity metrics to prove their marketing works—metrics like the number of Instagram followers, email open rates, or Facebook engagement. 

    Smart marketing, on the other hand, is directly attributable to sales. It means your marketing tools and sales platforms (point-of-sale and e-commerce) are all sharing data with one another.

    It also means collecting details from every person who makes a purchase, so those sales and marketing data points can be connected to a customer profile. At every opportunity, you should be adding customers to your database.

    “This was proven to be particularly important through COVID. Our top-performing retailers through the height of the pandemic were those that had the biggest databases that they could re-market to, especially when stores were closed consumers could only buy online,” says Spicer.

    3. Build relationships with your customers

    Independent businesses who prioritize customer relationships will fare better through a recession, and will see much faster recovery down the line.

    Brands competing on price to survive a recession will lock themselves into a dangerous loop. 

    First, they’ll struggle with tight margins as they cut prices to be competitive with retail giants. Second, they will attract customers who make purchasing decisions solely on low prices—these customers will not be interested in building a loyal, long-lasting relationship with them. This will make post-downturn recovery hard too (price-sensitive consumers are fickle and will happily shop elsewhere, rather than sticking around to help small businesses grow).

    “Businesses who are able to maintain and nurture their customer relationships through a recession generally have less debt going into the downturn,” explains Spicer. “Merchants who are highly indebted will be hit too hard with interest rates and will have to make concessions in customer experience—simply because they need to cut costs.”

    But those merchants who can strike a balance between strategic investment and servicing their debt will see faster recovery as the economic conditions settle.

    Here are a few ways you can invest in your customer relationships:

    • Keep your focus on knowing exactly who your customers are, why they chose your brand. Asking for feedback is a really important part of this. Feedback gives you insight into your overall customer sentiment, and shows you how that’s tracking over time.
    • Be true to your business’s core values and mission—conscious consumers will stretch budgets for a greater cause if they can afford it, even if times are tough.
    • Reward customers who keep coming back. Did you know that around 80% of a business’s revenue comes from the top 20% of their customers? All the more reason to start a loyalty program, leverage the value of your existing database, and offer incentives for repeat purchasing. 
    • Engage your customers and wider community on social media. Keep activity consistent by posting regularly, running polls or competitions, and sharing more candid video content on TikTok or Instagram stories.

    Key takeaways:


    • Invest in technology to future-proof your business. Find ways to streamline, personalize and automate marketing with technology. For example, consolidate all your marketing tools, or leverage technology such as AI for advanced product recommendations.
    • Double down on smart marketing. Make sure you can track and report on sales generated by every marketing activity as much as you can. This will help you work out where you can cut costs. If you don’t have visibility on results, you might be cutting a key lead generator that could cost you in sales down the line.
    • Keep your focus customer-centric. Don’t lose sight of what’s most important—building a database of loyal customers who come back again and again. Action points might include: implementing a loyalty program to reward your top customers, asking for feedback after a purchase, and leveraging social media to engage with your community.                                                                                                        

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