With BFCM 2021 approaching, every eCommerce company needs its recipe for improving customer acquisition and retention.

While most companies manage to attract one-time buyers around Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to increase retention rates from the BFCM cohort. 

It all starts with acquiring better customers and continues with creating a dedicated post-purchase flow for those new customers.

Acquisition and retention campaigns should never compete against each other in a marketer’s agenda. They can blend harmoniously in a successful BFCM recipe.

How to acquire better customers on BFCM?

Take a look at your business ad accounts. How much did the acquisition costs rise for your store since the last Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

According to Hunch, from the beginning of this year and until July 2021, advertising costs have increased across all major social media platforms: 

  • Facebook had an 89% increase, while the average CPM was $11;
  • Google and YouTube with up by 108%;
  • TikTok having a 92% increase;
  • Snapchat with “the lowest” 64% increase.

No surprise that your ads budgets and marketing teams can’t keep up with these trends while the competition is growing more fierce in the eCommerce world. 

Imagine how high the numbers will go in Q4, the busiest quarter, when all DTC stores are fighting against each other to increase orders from new and existing customers.

Have you thought about a way to reduce acquisition costs and attract the right customers during this year’s BFCM campaigns?

If you want to get more than a spike in sales numbers and you’re looking for acquiring better customers that have higher chances of becoming repeat customers, there are three types of campaigns you should focus on:

  • Retargeting current subscribers
  • Retargeting one time buyers
  • Attracting new clients based on lookalike audiences

Let’s talk a bit about each of these.

Retargeting current subscribers

When a visitor becomes a subscriber, you want to learn as much as possible about them as they wish to learn about the good changes your products or services can bring to their lives.

You probably already have a nurturing campaign that helps you offer value through educational content and advice personalized around their interests. The data around subscribers’ behavior can turn into gold when you design your BFCM campaign. It will allow you to segment your subscriber list and create custom campaigns around their preferences or interests.

The trust you have built around your brand and the personalized messages will increase the chances of generating the first purchase from your subscribers. These leads are already warmed up, so you’re not shooting in the dark. Retargeting subscribers will help you spend less and concentrate on quality, not quantity.

Retargeting first-time buyers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns can represent an opportunity to generate a second purchase into first-time buyers regardless of how much they spent on their first purchase.

Our real-time benchmark report shows that eCommerce brands lose 70-85% of their new customers after only one purchase. Part of this percentage is the natural customer churn; the rest represents customers with high chances of becoming repeat customers if they were included in an onboarding workflow and had a positive customer experience.

Onboarding campaigns are probably one of the most important marketing efforts that will dictate how likely it is to retain new customers attracted during BFCM in the long term. So, it seems like the perfect time to evaluate your flows and prepare in advance to maximize the outcomes of the BFCM cohort.

Now back to your existing one-time buyers. Before you rush into retargeting them with sales-oriented messages, you must ensure that these first-time buyers are properly onboarded and nurtured. You can use NPS surveys to measure their customer experience and fix anything you should fix before reaching out with an invitation for a new purchase. 

Your chances to obtain better ROAS can only increase if you’re building on a healthy foundation. 

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Attracting new clients based on lookalike audiences

One of the best ways to reduce acquisition costs when reaching out to cold audiences is to create lookalike audiences around your existing customers. Although you’re reaching out to people who might have never heard about you before BFCM, you have higher chances to capture their attention if they are similar to your loyal and happy customers.

The best way to do this is to create a list of valuable customers, including those with high Customer Lifetime Value and Net Promoter Score. You can do this either automatically, using an audience builder software like REVEAL’s Dynamic Audience Builder, or manually, by exporting the needed customer data from your store’s eCommerce platform. 

When creating campaigns for lookalike audiences, customer data is your best friend. You can dig into past successful campaigns among your valuable customers and identify the products, channels, or approaches that worked best for your target audience. Once you spot the winning mix, you can replicate or adapt that campaign to win more new customers like your best customers.

Acquiring better customers means spending budgets wisely on customers that are more likely to become repeat customers. To increase your chances of generating repeat purchases after BFCM, you need to nail the customer experience from the first order. 

The first impression sets the tone for your future relationships. With BFCM approaching, now it’s the perfect time to set up a post-purchase flow.   

> See how you can create better audiences for this year’s BFCM paid ads with the Dynamic Audience Builder.

How to retain more customers after BFCM?

We talk a lot about what happens after that first purchase. Well, mostly, what doesn’t happen.

The lack of valuable educational content, post-purchase personalization, and unethical use of data cause most DTC brands to churn 75-80% of their customers after just one order.

Direct-to-consumer brands acquire low and high-value customers every BFCM. Industry-wise, the chances for new customers to buy again are pretty steep – ​​around 24%. 

It takes time to win customers’ trust and can only happen through positive experiences at each new purchase.

chances to place another order 2021 BFCM

Chances to place the next order – aggregated data from the Real-time eCommerce Benchmark Report

Around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we all go wild with online shopping. Buyers’ remorse is high whenever they order something from a new brand, but you can prevent it with a post-purchase flow built around collecting and increasing customer satisfaction.

You need automated and integrated NPS and email marketing tools to set the post-purchase email flow for success. This way, you can address complaints right away and customize email sequences based on your score.

The BFCM post-purchase email flow 

Our suggested structure for this post-purchase email flow will help you transform email marketing into an engagement channel with a customer-centric approach, not sales-oriented messages. Don’t worry about revenue. Repeated purchases will follow if you’re doing an excellent job with the overall experience you deliver to your first-time buyers.

post purchase journey using NPS

click on the image to zoom in

The BFCM post-purchase email flow using NPS

The email flow will help you erase any trace of doubt from your new customers’ minds and gain their trust through a flow built around their needs and wants.

Based on our experience with hundreds of DTC customers, the first thing you need to do is to unassign new customers from all sales-oriented flows until they receive their first order. You will have enough time to prepare the field for the second purchase.

Email 1: Sent instantly – Thank-you and order confirmation

You have to send this type of email immediately after the customer places his first order. Your mission is to build trust from the beginning, so you need to include a recap of their order and the estimated delivery time in this email. Thank-you and order confirmation emails have the highest open rates, so use this opportunity to remind them of your shared values. 

Email 2: After a couple of hours – welcome to the community

You can send the second email a couple of hours after the order confirmation email. The second email allows you to offer them a warm welcome to the community built around your brand and thank them personally for their order. 

In this email, you can include all company contact information a customer needs. To eliminate remorse, you should also tell them they will receive a tracking number for their order. If you feel like there’s too much info to squeeze in one email, you can send the shipping and delivery information in a separate email.

Email 3: Educational content around their pain points

Design these emails around educational content that increases enthusiasm to make the waiting period more pleasant for your first-time buyers. Content built around your products and services is an integral part of the customer experience, so you want to deliver valuable content.

You can include a quiz to find more about them and create a hook for a series of materials created around their pain points. Their answers become customer attributes that will also help you build better UVP in the future for remarketing campaigns.

Email 4: Shipping Confirmation Email

After BFCM, delivery times go crazy, but your customers shouldn’t. You know the most frequently asked question in the pre-delivery phase: “Where is my order?” Shipping confirmation is mandatory. Transparency and consistency in communicating the shipping status have a positive impact on customer satisfaction. Regardless of their place in the post-purchase flow, customers will want constant updates about their order, so you should offer them a delivery tracking solution.

Email 5: A couple of days after delivery – Post-delivery NPS

Sending a post-delivery NPS survey shortly after the customers get the case to experiment with their first order is essential for your retention strategy.

The NPS score indicates how you are going to approach first-time buyers. You’ll have different flows for detractors and promoters.

  • Detractors

If the NPS is between 0 and 7, you’re communicating with detractors. In this case, you want to concentrate on finding more about the causes of their poor experience and resolve complaints. Their detailed answers will help you avoid repeating those mistakes in the future.

  • Promoters

Customers that gave you an NPS above 8 are your promoters. The first email you can send is an invitation to your loyalty or referral program. A couple of days after their NPS response, you can send a follow-up email that invites them to leave a review for the products and services they got to use. You can start upselling based on the purchase frequency and average days between transactions. You want to bring value to those first-time buyers, not be perceived as pushy.

Extra tip: Customer Profiling/ Quiz

Customer profiling is another essential part of the post-purchase journey that can boost your post-BFCM email efforts. To collect more data points about your customers, send them quizzes and pop-ups that help you create a customer profile. Based on those, you’ll be able to build personalized journeys for your customers.

Adapt the BFCM post-purchase recipe to your business model

Our recipe will allow you to attract better customers while keeping advertising costs as low as possible and generate a better retention rate from the customers in the BFCM cohort.

Feel free to adapt the flow to your business needs. Use what worked well in the past years around BFCM but also during other acquisition and retargeting campaigns. Mix those insights with our suggested flow, and you’ll see that post-purchase email flows created around customer satisfaction are the best thing you can do for your long-term business growth.

Don’t forget: the success of your BFCM campaigns starts with acquiring better customers and using custom audiences for your retargeting efforts. 

This BFCM, give your team a boost by using the Audience Builder to create custom and lookalike audiences for your Facebook and Instagram campaigns.