Thinking Holidays? Think List Growth

 Bonnie Malone 

As retailers begin to gear up their marketing plans for the holidays, driving store traffic is a concern for many. Fierce competition, lower consumer spending, and budget cuts are making it more difficult than ever to get customers through the door. And, while it certainly is necessary to focus on the best way in this economic environment to attract a crowd, it’s just as important to have a plan for maximizing the impact that crowd can have once they are in store. More than the immediate satisfaction of meeting Q4 revenue goals, a well thought-out and executed strategy for list growth can compel the year-end revenue stream forward into 2010.

Think about the checkout process in your stores and consider weaving a few of these ideas into your Q4 plans to make the most of this year’s holiday traffic:

Maximize checkout: Use the point-of-sale to gather customer email addresses. Both integrated cash-register collection and a manual collection form can work effectively to grow your file.

Bounce back: Offer customers an in-store coupon (via email) for their next purchase when they subscribe to your email program. This gives the new subscriber immediate gratification and primes their next purchase.

Be smart: Track new names by collection channel (i.e. stores) and use the data to customize your mailstream accordingly. Messaging the way subscribers shop cultivates brand value.

Think viral: Give customers something to talk about by integrating a unique game or fun element to drive brand engagement and return visits. Happy customers = enthusiastic referrals.

With these tactics, everyone wins: you get more email addresses, stores get repeat purchases, and customers get the deals they are looking for.

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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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