Holiday Sales Mistake #4: No Way to Connect

Today is the fourth post in our series of Holiday Sales Mistakes you might be making. Today is the fourth post as part of the 6 Days of Handmade Business Holiday Giveaway. That means you'll be getting blog posts like this one for six days (until Saturday), PLUS a chance to win a Maker Business Tool Bundle (scroll to the bottom to enter!). Hey, your business deserves a gift too! ;)

The focus the holidays for retail businesses is understandable. I think the statistic is something like 80% of the money a retail business earns in a year is earned during the holidays. THAT IS KIND OF BANANAS!

I know for makers those numbers are not the same, but I know for many the holidays are very significant. So it is no wonder that so much goes into getting all you can during the holidays.

But it can be easily forgotten how to keep these customers coming back to you AFTER the holidays. And we all know it's better/easier/cheaper to have a repeat customer than to try to acquire new customers.

And yet in most marketing, we are OVERLY focused on attaining new customers instead of keeping existing ones.

It is very likely you will be getting a whole crop of new people added to your customer base this season. And do you have a plan for connecting with them after the holidays and for the rest of the year? Here are a few things you can do:

Everyone on Your Mailing List

I'm sure you've heard this enough in your business, but a mailing list is super key. Even if you don't yet have an active newsletter you send out regular, getting the emails is still very crucial for future contact.

Email is still one of the best and direct ways to keep connecting with customers after their purchase.

So find a piece of paper and tell people to write their emails down or get an ipad and have a way for people to fill out your Mailchimp or other email form. If your customers are coming from your Etsy shop, you can still encourage them to sign up for your emails (#ahasmember Danielle of The Merriweather Council tells you why you need a newsletter AND why you totally can link to a newsletter sign-up page from Etsy).

Give Them a Reason to Come Back

Some new customers might be instant raving fans. For others, you were just one of many egg-nog-induced purchases and they might not even remember you. Except for the fact that you are giving them a reason to come back! For instance, you could include in your emails with them and in the order, a "Save the Date" note that lets them know of a not-too-distant launch.

Are you releasing new product before Valentine's Day? Tell them!

Or have the prefect kinds of products that they need to come back for Valentine's? Tell them.

Or specially marking down certain items soon? Tell them.

Giving a small discount for them to come back? In an ideal world you can tell them that they will receive this discount by signing up for your newsletter so you will win on two fronts!

Having a sale that encourages extra buying (like buy three get one free)? Tell them.

Marking down a bunch of stuff for clearance after the holidays? Tell them.

I'm sure there are lots of other smart, clever and genius things to get them coming back. Just have your brain in that mentality and you'll find something that will work for you.

Get Social and Strategic

Well, of course, you know that you want to get these new customers connected to you on social media. So you have all your social media listed on your website, your cards and everywhere else. That's nice. But have you told people that they need to connect with you and WHY?

I recommend picking the one social media platform you find the most useful for you and giving customers a reason to connect with you there.

For instance, #ahasmember Tiffany of Shifting Status Kuo passes out a card with her Instagram at shows and TELLS people to follow her on Instagram and tag photos of her products in use using a particular hashtag and that she tries to feature these things. And you don't have to be at a show, you can have prewritten notes go out in all your orders.

What about you? How do you encourage people to connect with you? Share in the comments!