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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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    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.

    Start free trial

     

    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.
    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

     

    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 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.
    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.

    Start free trial



    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.

    Start free trial

     

    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

          Marsello-Tik-Tok-post-and-revenue

    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

                                                                                                                           

    Social Media Planning for BFCM: 7 Best Practices to Implement

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    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.

     

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    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.

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

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    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.

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    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

                                                                                                                         

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