Six sure-fire ways to keep up your marketing momentum.
So you’ve boxed up the decorations and vacuumed up those last pesky bits of tinsel. It’s time to enjoy a breather and resume normal trading. Realistically, you can’t have a Christmas every month, but you can use the strong foot traffic of recent weeks to build momentum for the rest of the year.
1. Update your database. If you have been diligent over Christmas, you will have captured a good collection of new customer names to feed into your database—but some of that collecting may have been a little messy in the rush to wrap gifts. Now’s the time to check your records and make any amendments to duplicate records or incorrect information. If you have done a database mailing in December, you’ll need to update many return addresses.
2. Follow up with new customers. Every December presents opportunities to attract new clientele. These people are at their most impressionable now while you’re fresh in their minds. When starting with a new customer, try to make at least one immediate follow-up. We recommend a welcome offer for customers who make that first purchase in December. This could take the form of a voucher to get them back in the store immediately (something with an expiry date is good); with Valentine’s Day looming, the middle of February is an ideal time frame to end the offer. The Valentine’s opportunity notwithstanding, you have a 1 in 8 chance of a birthday falling into this period, and with some people still carrying around Christmas cash, it could be the perfect time to drum up business.
3. Use the exchange/sizing window as a chance for the add-on sale. Many of your customers will be back during those two weeks after Christmas to exchange gifts, redeem vouchers, alter sizes, and remove watch links. Don’t just treat this period as a hassle: These customers can be tempted with add-ons to their new Christmas buys, or sold up when the exchange is happening. Unfortunately, this period is often fallow for jewelers. Discuss these opportunities with your employees and make them aware of the potential.
4. Start on your Valentine’s Day promotion. It’ll be here before you know it. This is one of the most important buying dates of the year, but planning often falls by the wayside due to holiday time constraints. You need an effective promotion to get customers in the store before Feb. 14, and you need to have it under way by early January. If you have a marketing plan, you’ll have decided on a promotion well before now—leaving only the execution. If not, put on your thinking caps!
5. Clear your surplus inventory. Slightly more obvious—mainly because everyone is doing it—is the post-Christmas sale. The time between Christmas and New Year’s can offer some of the biggest trading days of the year—not to mention the chance to quit surplus inventory from the holidays. However, you can be successful during this period without huge reductions simply because everyone is in spending mode; other people’s sales help bring them to town. If you are planning on a clearance, avoid the “me too” appearance and try to find a point of difference. If you are planning a sale, make it a good one, not half-hearted. Big and infrequent is better than little and often if you want to protect your margins.
6. Follow up with your significant customers. These people may amount to fewer than 50 customers, but they could contribute 10 to 20 percent of your sales. Most will have added significantly to your coffers in December. Take the time to recognize them with a thank-you note or a complimentary coffee voucher from a nearby café. Don’t try to sell them. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and if they happen to call to express their thanks…well, who knows what might happen?