Seven Tips to Reach Previous Customers this Holiday Season

Stores devote generous amounts of time and effort to acquiring new customers. During the holiday season, new prospects and leads get even more attention. And that’s mostly fine. But remember — it’s far easier to generate new revenue from existing and previous customers.

Here are seven marketing strategies to help you earn repeat business during the holiday season.


1. Reach previous customers with targeted marketing

You can target previous customers using several different methods.

On social media, you can send posts and ads just to your previous buyers. You can also re-market to people who have been to your site with social media or search engine advertising.

You can email only people who have made prior purchases. This allows you to create special offers and use very specific messaging. Depending on the quality of your data, you may want to narrow it down just to people who purchased from you last year at this time. Or, a segment of  customers who have not purchased during the holiday season, but have only done so at other times of year. See a full list of our email marketing extensions.

You can also send print media like postcards or letters reaching out to current and previous customers.

Any time you market to subsets of customers, you have the opportunity to use language that’s super specific to the audience you’re reaching. This can increase your chances of success and allows you to spend your marketing budget more wisely.

2. Reach previous customers with personalized marketing

Personalization is powerful.

It’s one thing to receive special coupons via email, or on a postcard, from a company you’ve bought from before. It’s quite another to get those same coupons with your name on them!

AutomateWoo allows you to do exactly this by emailing personalized coupons to your previous customers. With coupons like these, you can even write personalized subject lines to your customers, increasing the chances that they read your email and act on your offer.

AutomateWoo create email screen

AutomateWoo also helps you send out wishlist reminders. So, if you notice a couple of products that show up on the wishlists of many customers, put those items on sale. Then send out a wishlist reminder that tells customers the item they want is now available at a special low price.

See what else AutomateWoo can do for your business

3. Use multiple forms of media

If you want to generate maximum revenue this holiday season, you want to market beyond your existing customers. You will do so through multiple forms of media. Don’t rely just on email, or just on social media, or just on print ads. Use them all.

Postcards are particularly effective at reaching previous customers. Why? Because you’ve already earned their trust. They know you. That same barrier that increases their likelihood of opening your emails will also increase the chance that they won’t just toss your postcard in the trash. They’ll look at it and consider your offer, much more than someone new would.

And if that postcard contains a personalized offer, the response could be even higher.

But what should you offer them?

4. Make special offers exclusive to previous customers

The key to reaching previous customers is exclusivity. Show them that they’re special.

You can do much more here than just offer blanket 20% discounts. We already discussed personalized coupons. But the coupon doesn’t have to be for a discount. It could be for a special gift. You could offer a free gift to all previous customers who spend at least $40 in your store. Only previous customers can get the free gift. That shows them that they’re special.

Bloomscape home page with an add for a free gift with certain orders
Photo ©

You can offer them some form of VIP status. This can include discounted gift cards, free shipping, free delivery, one-day or super-fast shipping for local customers, access to special deals, entry into contests, and so much more.

5. Run giveaways and contests

Another special offer is a giveaway, drawing, or other type of contest. You can make these available only to previous customers. Be sure to let them know that their odds of winning will be higher!

For example: “Every previous customer who spends $100 or more will be entered to win $250 in hotel vouchers.” Or, make the prize a new product you’re offering that everyone wants to try.

Contests tied to purchases are a terrific way to generate excitement, and previous customers will want to be part of it.

6. Send helpful content they can use

Another great way to earn new business from previous customers is simply to remind them you exist, but in a helpful way.

A restaurant could send holiday cooking tips, including a few items from their menu. A retail store could send out holiday decoration tips, ideas to try for this year’s family gathering, or heartfelt ways to thank relatives for gifts.

Photo ©

Every business can come up with helpful advice, tips, ideas, and strategies their customers can use. And you can send out this content using all the same media already discussed. Here’s the process:

  1. Create your content. This could be a blog post, PDF, how-to video, gift guide, etc.
  2. Write a good title and headline for the content you’re offering.
  3. Push that headline out on social media and email, and link back to the page.
  4. Send the content to previous customers and thank them for their business.

That’s it! These customers will see your content, and some will use it. Some of those will make purchases, and you didn’t offer them a single discount. You just helped them.

7. Stand out with video and user-generated content

Lastly, break through the holiday clutter with eye-catching visuals. This could be video that you make, or other creative imagery. But it can also be user-generated content, like happy customers using your product.

You can incentivize customer-generated content by offering rewards for anyone who sends something in.

Tie in the magic of the season

In all of your marketing to customers during the holiday season, remember to appeal to emotions. Connect your products to the emotional payoff that happens when they’re given as gifts. And next year, the joy (and sales) will continue to spread as an even larger group of previous customers will share that same feeling with others they love.

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