4 Easy Tricks to Improve your BFCM Retention and CX

Hi Friends!

Busy week. I’ve made a monstrous career announcement. It’s a huge transition, and I explained exactly why I chose to make the move.

Check it out here:

As I get onboarded and transition into my new role, I'm eager to share some last-minute, practical BFCM tips and tricks that can still make a big difference. 

No massive playbooks or strategies that will take months or weeks to implement; these are all quick moves you can do in a few minutes or hours that will massively help CX and Retention this holiday season. 

Let's dive in.

This week's newsie is brought to you by the legendary Sharma Brands — The best growth marketing partner for brands doing $30M to $300M in revenue.

 Let me give you a high-level overview of what they are really good at. They are a company founded by the DTC Guy, Nik Sharma. They are based out of New York (Flatiron, to be specific), with a team of ~32 full-time people. 

Many of your favorite brands (Hexclad, Jolie, Feastables, Chamberlain Coffee, Everlane, Crocs, and more) have worked with Sharma Brands.

Websites: The SB team takes a new approach to building out websites. They have an 8-person design team that fully oversees your website from site strategy, customer journey, product merchandising, sitemap, wireframes, copywriting, UI design, and development. 

On average, their websites convert at 4%. Check out The Skinny Confidential, Love Wellness, or Halfdays.

 What’s the difference between Sharma Brands and other Shopify agencies? Their sites focus on customer education and conversion, not just looking pretty.

Ad Creative: Usually coupled with media buying, our ad creative is second to none. Instead of just filming with “content creators” and testing 47 hooks, they think of your creative from the ground up. 

Their team helps you plan brand shoots to ensure you have all the shots. Then, they can produce statics or videos, including animation-heavy ads, remix studio-shot content, enhance customer-generated content, and optimize the creative on a weekly basis on the performance. 

SB does more: For brands, they can help with websites and ad creative, but SB also handles retention marketing, media buying, conversion rate optimization, and brand launches. 

If you’re interested in working with a partner that takes headaches off your plate, submit your information on this link to set up a time to chat. 

Okay, pull out a pen and paper (your notes app). Start taking notes:

Part 1: Personalized Engagement Through RFM Analysis

RFM stands for Recency, Frequency, and Monetary. Let's break down RFM analysis in simple terms. 

In layman's terms, RFM analysis is about segmenting your customers based on how recently they've purchased (Recency), how often they buy (Frequency), and how much they spend (Monetary).

This isn't just slicing and dicing data for the fun of it. It's about understanding your customers at a granular level.

Why RFM Matters Now More Than Ever

During BFCM, everyone's vying for attention. But not all customers are equal. Some need a gentle nudge; others a VIP treatment. RFM helps you tailor your approach.

For instance, those who last purchased a while ago or haven't spent much might feel forgotten. Here's where a personal touch can make a world of difference.

The Magic of Personalization

Imagine receiving a plain text email from a brand's founder, giving you the inside scoop on exclusive products or offers.

This approach can be particularly effective for the 'sleepers’ of your customer base – those who haven’t engaged recently. If anything can reignite their interest in your brand and make them feel valued, it’d probably be a personal email. 

Catering to Your VIPs

On the other end of the spectrum are your VIPs - the top 1% in terms of recency, frequency, and spend. These are your brand evangelists, and they deserve the red carpet treatment. 

Think about exclusive offers crafted just for them. This could be early access to your BFCM deals, a special discount, or a personalized product recommendation based on their purchase history.

Subscriptions and Frustrations

If your business model includes subscriptions, unique messaging becomes even more crucial. You need to identify which subscribers are eligible for BFCM offers and preemptively address any potential frustration.

This is about making every customer feel seen and taken care of, especially during the busiest shopping period of the year.

If your subscribers generally get 15% off, and now they are watching discounts slung around for 25% off, that’s an easy way to see a ton of unsubscribes…

Plain Text Emails - The Undersung Hero

In a world where everyone's bombarding customers with flashy emails, the simplicity of a plain text email can be surprisingly effective. It's personal, direct, and cuts through the noise. And the best part? It takes just a few minutes to craft and send. 

It’s not about grand gestures; it’s about genuine connection.

RFM in Action

So, how do you put this into action? Start by segmenting your customer base using RFM criteria. Then, tailor your communication for each segment.

For the less engaged, a heartfelt email from the founder. For your VIPs, exclusive offers. And for everyone in between, acknowledge their past interactions and make them feel appreciated.

Remember, BFCM is not just about the mad dash for sales; it's about building lasting customer relationships. It’s about turning a transaction into a connection and a one-time buyer into a loyal fan.

Practical Summary: 

  • Segment customers based on their purchase history (Recency, Frequency, Monetary value).

  • Send personalized emails: heartwarming for less engaged, exclusive offers for VIPs.

  • Use plain text emails for a direct, personal touch.

Part 2: Navigating BFCM Logistics with Your 3PL Partner

Moving from the nuances of customer communication to logistics, let’s tackle the next critical aspect for a successful BFCM – working effectively with your third-party logistics provider (3PL). This might seem like back-end Ops stuff, but trust me, it's as front-and-center to customer experience as your marketing efforts.

Understanding Holiday Cutoff Dates

The first order of business? Nail down the holiday cutoff dates. Your 3PL will give you the last possible shipping dates for guaranteed delivery before the holidays. But here's a pro tip: don't just take these dates at face value. 

Add a buffer – I recommend an extra 2-3 business days. Why? Because life happens. Weather delays, carrier issues, and unexpected surges in orders and the warehouse can’t fulfill fast enough. I’ve seen it all.

With all the stress during the next few weeks, you don’t need to add anything extra. This buffer isn't just for your peace of mind; it's a critical step in managing customer expectations.

Communicating Early and Often

Once you have these dates, blast them everywhere – on your website, emails, and social channels. Make it crystal clear: "Order by [Date] to get your stuff in time for the holidays." 

As you approach the cutoff for standard shipping, pivot to highlighting expedited shipping options if you offer it. It’s a great way to provide great CX by helping to guide customers through their purchasing decisions.

Practical Summary:

  • Confirm holiday shipping cutoff dates and add a 2-3 day buffer.

  • Promote early orders and expedited shipping options.

  • Keep customers informed about order status and potential delays.

Part 3: Cohesive Messaging Across All Channels

As we round the corner into the final stretch before BFCM, let's zoom out and look at the bigger picture - the overall coherence of your messaging across all platforms. Consistency across your messaging is a MUST in the thick of the busiest shopping season.

Syncing Your Team for a Unified Front

First, get everyone on the same page – your social team, the retention marketing team, the folks managing ads, and your customer experience squad. 

The goal? Every customer touchpoint should tell the same story about your BFCM offers. This alignment is super helpful in creating a seamless narrative that guides your customers through their buying journey.

Why Consistency is Key

Imagine a customer sees an offer with one message on Instagram, then different messaging on an email, and something else entirely when they visit your site. Confusing, right? 

Instead, make sure every channel reiterates and reinforces the same message; just feels slightly different based on the channel.

Jab, Jab, Jab – The Rhythm of Repetition

Think of your messaging as a series of jabs – each touchpoint is a gentle reminder of your BFCM offers. It takes seeing a message multiple times for it to truly register and prompt action. The more cohesive the messages, the stronger the impact.

Preparing for Customer Inquiries

Ensure your CX team is well-versed in all BFCM promotions. They should be ready to answer questions, clarify doubts, and guide customers, making the purchase decision as smooth as possible.

The best success is when BFCM sales are up, but the inbox is eerily quiet. I’ve experienced this the last two years, and it was magical. 😀

Practical Summary:

  • Align messages on social media, email, and your website.

  • Use repetitive, reinforcing messaging for a more substantial impact.

  • Prepare your customer service team to handle inquiries seamlessly.

Part 4: The Crucial Role of Education in Customer Retention

In this flood of BFCM discounts and deals, the real game-changer is how you educate your newbies and seasoned customers alike. It's about transforming a simple purchase into an enlightening experience that binds them to your brand. 

The Newcomers: A Special Focus

BFCM inevitably brings in a wave of first-time customers. They might need to become more familiar with your brand and products, and this is your golden opportunity to turn them from one-time buyers into brand enthusiasts by focusing on educating them. 

Whether through detailed product descriptions, engaging how-to guides, or insightful blog posts, ensure they have all the information they need to appreciate the full value of what they're purchasing.

I went into this last piece with tremendous detail last week, explaining how to educate your customers along every part of the customer journey. To learn more, check out last week’s newsie here

Remember, it's not just about the sale today; it's about creating relationships that last long after the holiday buzz has faded. Implement these strategies, and you're setting the stage for a customer experience that resonates and retains.

That’s it for this week!

Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?

Just shoot me a DM or an email!


Eli 💛