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#70. Black Friday Cyber Monday: The Bounce Back Strategy to Hook Holiday Shoppers

Written by Vira and Alissa
3 min read

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So you’ve run a successful Black Friday Cyber Monday campaign, and you’ve gained a ton of new, one-time customers. But what now? Studies show that customers acquired during sale seasons have significantly lower lifetime value than customers gained during the rest of the year.

On this episode of Email Einsteins, we break down our proven techniques to keep all those new customers engaged and coming back for more! The secret? A post-purchase bounce-back flow that incentivizes that second purchase immediately.

We will run through the specific offers you should implement, when to send re-engagement emails, and which buyers to target with your post-purchase offers. Black Friday Cyber Monday is your chance to expand your base of loyal return customers. Let’s get started.

You’ll learn

  • What is a bounce-back offer, and how to use them effectively. 
  • How to turn one-time sale customers into repeat buyers. 
  • The specific content & delivery of your bounce-back email flow.

Links mentioned in this episode

Andriy: Hi, thank you for listening to Email Einstein. This is Andriy, the founder of Flowium. I have a quick announcement to make. We've got great news for you. Now, listening to our podcast comes not only with practical advice from our hosts and valuable insights from our guests, but also prizes. If you enjoy our podcast, take a moment to leave us a review you on Apple Podcast, and we will send you a pair of coolest Flowium socks. And since we know you may be busy later, pause this episode now, go to Apple Podcast, and share your review with our community. After you do, go to flowium.com/socks to request the prize.

Vira: Today, we will be talking more about what happened to customers who have placed an order with you, during the Black Friday Cyber Monday season, and how to retain those holiday shoppers with your post-purchase, bounce-back offers.

Alissa: Welcome to Email Einstein, a podcast by Flowium. It's time to start honing your inner marketing Einstein. Tune in for the data-driven tips that'll make you a marketing genius. Here, you'll find email marketing formulas and tips straight from the brilliant mad scientists at Flowium. It's time for your emails to start earning more money. It's time to unleash your Einstein.

Alissa: Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Email Einstein. Vira and Alissa here. We are two email marketers at an email marketing agency called Flowium. We are so passionate about email marketing, and because we love what we do, we want to share our insights with you.

Alissa: Flowium is one of the fastest growing email marketing agencies in the world. We specialize in providing a premium, full service e-commerce email marketing experience for all of our clients. Our service is tailored specifically for your business, and is designed to help you increase your online retail revenue. We deliver the right message to the right person, at the right moment. That's what we're all about here at Flowium. And we have, this feels like part 100, but it's really just, I think part three or four of our Black Friday Cyber Monday saga. Vira, take us away.

Vira: Saga. I love how you call it. And I feel like our episodes are getting shorter and shorter, not because we have nothing to say, but because Alissa started recording these episodes while Henry's having a nap. And Henry is her nine months old... Nine months?

Alissa: Yes, yes. Nine months on Tuesday. Crazy.

Vira: Nine months on Tuesday. He's nine months old, so his nap time is getting shorter and shorter. So very soon, it's going to be 10-minute episodes. Yay. Gosh, I wish he could be with us here today, honestly. He's such a sweet little baby boy. And his middle name is Bear too, right?

Alissa: Yeah. Yeah. Bear. Dov in Hebrew.

Vira: Such a beautiful middle name.

Alissa: He's a cutie. Maybe when he actually starts talking about email marketing, which I would guess is around the age of three, then we can have him on.

Vira: I think it's sooner, Alissa.

Alissa: We can have him on to give us a fun fact about email marketing.

Vira: Can you imagine? We should do that.

Alissa: It'd be wild. It'd be very wild. The children of Flowium. Yeah. I love it.

Vira: I think it's going to be sooner than three years, because he's basically been with you on all of the calls since day one.

Alissa: Yep, yep. And records the trainee videos with me and everything. He knows more about email marketing than most of us. So yeah, watch out. Stay tuned, world. Henry Taggart is coming at you.

Vira: Awesome, so let's continue our Black Friday Cyber Monday saga. I love how you called it saga, because it is. So in 2019, nearly 187 million consumers shopped in stores and online in the States during Thanksgiving holiday weekend. However, in 2020, this number was even higher, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2020, 44% more consumers shopped online over the holiday weekend, compared to 2019. And this year, it's going to be even bigger.

Vira: We're not trying to scare you, maybe we do a little bit, but this year it's going to be bigger than ever. And it gets bigger and bigger every freaking year. So we talked a lot about preparation, how to prepare for the Black Friday itself. But today, we will be talking more about what happened to customers who have placed an order with you during the Black Friday Cyber Monday season, and how to retain those holiday shoppers with your post-purchase, bounce-back offers.

Andriy: Are you ready for Black Friday Cyber Monday and other holidays? Is your marketing strategy set and up-to-speed with new trends? I'm excited to announce that we released our first Flowium book, which covers the latest email marketing strategies for Black Friday Cyber Monday and holidays. You can grab your own copy today at flowium.com/holiday. This book will help you to maximize customer growth and revenue throughout the busiest season of the year.

Vira: So here are some fun numbers that I found when we were preparing for this podcast. So basically, 37% of all online shoppers shop with more brands around the holidays than they did one year ago. So also, 54% of those people make purchases online from brands that are new to them. So there's basically more chances that you will buy something from new brand around the holidays than around a normal time. So expect to have a lot of first-time buyers around the holidays.

Vira: And also, 75% of Americans, and this number was very interesting to me to see, 75% of Americans have actually changed brands during the pandemic. So because of pandemic, they started shopping around and started shopping with different brands.

Alissa: Interesting.

Vira: Yeah, and we saw this study where they compared actually the lifetime value. They took 50 e-commerce retailers from different industry, and they compared those non-holiday customers, so business-as-usual customers, to new customers who specifically shop around Black Friday/Cyber Monday, holidays and gifting period. And it turned out that while we actually see growth in both of those groups, in your normal customers and holiday customers, you can expect to generate more revenue from customers acquired before the holidays.

Vira: So customers acquired over the holidays have significantly lower lifetime value than non-holiday buyers, which was really interesting to me to see. I suspected this number will be lower, but I just didn't realize that it would be that much lower.

Alissa: That low, yeah.

Vira: Yeah, so there's a whole group of customers who come to your store, specifically around the holidays, who are gift givers and window shoppers and holiday buyers. And this statistic is even more frustrating when you know that the margins for holiday shoppers is usually even farther crunched, because of all of those huge discounts that sellers are offering to attract those customers at the first place.

Vira: I mean, it is what it is. We're not complaining. It's just interesting to understand this, to understand how this entire ecosystem works. So the good news is that actually a well-executed post-purchase flow, or bounce-back flow, can help you to drive those customers back to your store to continue shopping with you, and to drive some excitement, to increase the likelihood of repeat purchase.

Vira: So Alissa, I know you have an opinion about what's better, pre-purchase holiday offer versus post-purchase, and which one you should have, or maybe you should have both. So what do you think? Post-purchase offer, pre-purchase offer?

Alissa: Yeah, so it's interesting, because there are different ways to look at that question. So most retailers, so online brands who are wanting to actually boost their average order value and lifetime value, tend to focus more on pre-purchase offers. And for sure, these kinds of offer can work. We actually mentioned these in our previous episodes. One being the, I think this was part one in our Black Friday saga. So in episode 68, we talked about this. So definitely check that episode out, because we did talk about specifically an early bird strategy.

Alissa: So it's definitely workable and it does work, these pre-purchase offers. But one of the most tried and true methods that will always... Not always, sorry. Always is very absolute. That is very, very, very, very likely to boost your AOV, your average order value, is to build a post-purchase cross-sell and upsell sequence. And that's why in the past, actually very, very early days of when we started out this podcast, we talked about the post-purchase sequence and what that looks like.

Alissa: And within that post-purchase sequence, we incorporate cross-selling and upselling opportunities within there, because usually after a customer makes their first purchase, they're pretty excited about your brand. And actually, there's a statistic out there where someone is more likely to purchase again the same day that they've made their first purchase, than they are as time goes on.

Vira: Yeah, that's crazy.

Alissa: Yeah, it is very, very bizarre. But if you think about it, the amount of times where you go in, you buy something at a store, and then you leave and you're thinking about that item that you wish you had bought, it's a lot more likely that you'll go back into the store and buy that item that you had thought about, versus leaving the store, leaving the mall, getting in your car, going home and thinking like, "Oh, I wish I bought that item." You're not going to go back and buy that same item, unless you need to place a return, unless you have a physical reason to be in the store. And the same applies in the digital world.

Alissa: So there is one particular offer, however, that we like to talk about. We have talked about this in the past, but this is super applicable for holiday, is a bounce-back offer. And this is something that Vira will go into what specifically it is. But the reason why we find it so effective is shoppers are in peak buying mode, so your post-purchase funnels are essentially an untapped gold mine of dollars, revenue, money that you can be making as a brand, that a lot of other brands actually overlook.

Alissa: So a lot of brands think, "I made the conversion, I made the sale. Whatever. It's over. It's a one and done thing." But it's not. You can actually milk a lot more out of that one individual customer than you can, getting one individual purchase from multiple different people. And recency, so how recently you've performed an action, and in this case, placed an order, is one of the top factors that we look at that help predict what future behavior is going to look like.

Alissa: So the more recently a customer has purchased from you, the more likely they are to buy again. Which again, like I mentioned, if I just made a purchase, I'm more likely to make that purchase again in five minutes, than I am in five days. And post-purchase offers, just as a reminder, should only be served to qualified buyers. And that's why these offers convert a lot better. So a qualified buyer, meaning someone who's purchased and they're not going through buyer's remorse, and are in the process of canceling or trying to refund their order. Someone who's purchased is happy with their order and are willing to buy again, because they had such a great experience.

Vira: Yep. That's a good one. And yeah, it's basically people who have purchased from you, they are your warm or your hot leads, because they have converted once. It's much easier to convert someone who's a one-time purchaser into two-time buyers, than it is to convert someone who has never purchased from you into first-time buyers. So the cost of acquisition is usually much by higher for that first-time buyer. Right?

Alissa: Yeah. Yeah. And the cost of acquisition is something that I think a lot of more novice brands don't really think about.

Vira: They don't. Yeah.

Alissa: It's hardcore. Even for us as an agency, to acquire a new lead or to acquire a brand new customer from scratch, costs way more money than it does for us to get a referral from someone, or to work with someone who owns more than one brand. That is a lot less time and cost heavy on our company.

Vira: For sure.

Alissa: Yeah, for sure. For sure.

Vira: So we have briefly started talking about those bounce-back offers. So what is a bounce-back offer? Basically, brick-and-mortar retailers, they invented the bounce-back offers. Bounce-back offer is an offer that's often given to customers immediately after they have made the purchase. And those offers, they are designed to bring them back. It's those gap cash. I don't know if you have them in the States. Probably, you do.

Alissa: Yep.

Vira: It's basically when you buy something, they give you $5 coupon for the next order, or something like that. And that order has to be made within the next month or so. So this is how they make you come back for more. But unfortunately, these bounce-back offers aren't used much in online retail, in online world. But we really do think that they should be, because they help to solve that one-time buyer problem a lot.

Vira: And just like you, Alissa, said, customer acquisition cost is very, very high. I remember, I saw this study where they showed that finding new customers on paid channels, like Google ads or Facebook or Instagram ads, they are actually targeting a three times return on ad spend. That basically means that the cost of acquiring your lead is typically one third of the sale price.

Vira: Obviously, this number is different for different industries and for different products. But if you add to those costs, if you add huge, huge discounts that we are offering around the holidays, if you add the cost of handling the goods, sending the goods, and if your margins are low, you are not actually making money. In some cases, you are actually unfortunately losing money. So unless you're lucky enough to have very low acquisition cost, or massive, massive margins, you probably are facing these challenges.

Vira: That's why having some sort of bounce-back flow in place is a must around the holidays. Yes, it is a problem. But it's also an opportunity. Think about it. You probably have a lot of first-time buyers around the holidays. And one of the quickest ways to turn them into a positive cash flow is to figure out how to turn them into two-times buyers. And the easiest way to do it is through that post-purchase or bounce-back flow. So I know, Alissa, you have a good example of a bounce-back offer sequence, specifically for the holiday buyer. So tell us about it.

Alissa: So we would recommend putting this in place across the board, no matter what brand you are. Well, okay. That's a sweeping statement.

Vira: Except if you are a mattress brand.

Alissa: Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you're a mattress brand, maybe a little hard, unless you're selling fitted sheets, that's a different story. So your customer purchased a product during your Black Friday Cyber Monday promo period, and let's just say, for the sake of this example, your Black Friday Cyber Monday offer was a 20% site-wide discount. So once the customer gets into the post-purchase part of the funnel or their journey, they will be added to a bounce-back automation only once. This can only happen one time where you, the brand, will actually offer them an even better personalized deal, based on the fact that they just made a purchase and what they've purchased.

Alissa: So you would basically send them an email. And typically, we see bounce-back offers going out anywhere between one to 15 minutes after the fact. And it would say something along the lines of, "Hey, customer, thank you for buying whatever products during this holiday season. And you used our 20% off site-wide discount, which is awesome. Hope you had a great time using that discount. We are actually currently running another secret promotion with an even higher discount for those who have already made a purchase this Black Friday holiday period. You can get 30% off towards another purchase at our store for the next 48 hours." And if you wanted to, you could send another email that follows up.

Alissa: But what is going on here in this situation and why is this beneficial? So first things first is you're actually letting the customer know that you're aware of what just took place, and you're also giving them thanks and showing gratitude for the fact that they made a purchase. You are sharing that there is exclusivity behind this offer. And because it's a private email, it's not open to the public and you make them feel special, which is important for our customers. And they are also receiving a greater financial incentive to come back and become a repeat customer with you, which helps. It always sweetens the deal when there's a little bit of a discount, or there's in it for one of your customer customers.

Alissa: So this is definitely something that you can implement very, very easily. It's just a one-off automation, one email. And if you wanted to, you could add another email as well, just to remind them that they still have that 30% off, or whatever it is that they can use over the course of the next day, if it's a two day promo period.

Vira: That's a good one. That's a good one. And yeah, just like you said, I like the post-purchase flows and bounce-back flows. Because compared to campaigns, you can make them very customer-specific and very timely too, which make them very, very successful.

Vira: So here are, guys, a few things to consider when you are thinking about your bounce-back offer. First of all, and that's just something that we've tested internally, we recommend to have only one offer or one product for this bounce-back offer. It's a paradox choice. When people have too many choices, they are less likely to buy something. But when they have one choice, they're more likely to buy. It's a simple yes or no decision for them. So don't make your customer think. This bounce-back flow, it's very timely. Don't make them think twice. That's the first thing to consider. Also, make sure that your item is always in stock. I know it's silly to say that, but-

Alissa: No, but it's awkward. It's awkward.

Vira: We've seen it happen before. So remember that your bounce-back offer is automated. It's not like your campaign, where you are checking everything before you are sending it. It is automated. So make sure you give a discount on something that is always, always in stock. The last thing you want to happen is to annoy your customer with email, by offering them something that is not available, it sucks.

Alissa: That's the worst.

Vira: And we've seen it happen. Been there, done that. Don't do this mistake. But also something that you can do, and it's a bit more advanced, but it's totally worth experimenting with it, you can consider a different product category than the product being purchased. Say, if someone purchased jeans, maybe you can offer them discounts for tops, and vice versa. You know your products, you know what is the typical customer journey. So most e-commerce funnels are very, very simple, but you can be a bit more adventurous with it, and you can actually do custom offers based on what your customer have purchased.

Alissa: Adventurous. I love it.

Vira: Yes. And also, free gifts with a purchase, or buy one, get one free, or buy one, get one 50% off is another offer you can experiment with. It works really well all for this holiday flow. And even doing something simple, like you might also like this, product recommendation, to bounce that customer back. And to have that monetary incentives in the email, it can work really, really well. So say, "Yeah, you've purchased this top. These jeans go really well with your top. Here's the $10 off, extra $10 off," or something like that. So be creative, be adventurous with your bounce-back offer. And definitely, definitely have something like this in place for your holidays automations.

Alissa: I love it.

Vira: That's a big deal. Yeah.

Alissa: You said, "Be adventurous," and I'm like, be aggress, be aggressive.

Vira: What is this?

Alissa: It's a cheerleader chant from... I think that's a US thing.

Vira: Rally?

Alissa: Yeah. Do you guys have cheerleading and stuff in Ukraine?

Vira: I mean, in Ukraine, it's not a popular thing. They just started doing it because of American movies. It's not a cultural thing. I think they do have them in Canada. I'm sure they do. Were you a cheerleader?

Alissa: No, no, no.

Vira: No, you weren't?

Alissa: I was not a cheerleader. I played field hockey and I played lacrosse. But you were saying, "Be adventurous," and I'm thinking, be aggressive, be, be aggressive.

Vira: That's hilarious

Alissa: That's just a silly cheerleading chant.

Vira: Oh, that's a good one.

Alissa: It's like, "What are you doing?"

Vira: Yeah, so be aggressive around the holidays, you guys. Alissa just gave you permission.

Alissa: Be aggressive, because sometimes you think that the bounce-back offer is aggressive, but then you put it in place and you're like, "Wow. There's a lot of revenue that's being generated here." The thing is, is you're giving your customer, you're giving them an additional opportunity. You're almost giving them more permission to come back and purchase with you sooner, rather than later.

Vira: Right. And it feels very exclusive too, right?

Alissa: Yeah.

Vira: It feels like you did something extra, you did something behind the scenes almost. I don't know. It just feels special. I like it.

Alissa: Yeah. No, for sure. For sure. So there you have it, you all. Another Black Friday/Cyber Monday little strategy in there. So use the bounce-back whenever you can. Even outside of holiday, it's still very, very applicable. So guys, as always, thank you for listening on today's episode. Don't forget to subscribe and share this podcast with your friends. As always, if you have any questions that you want us to feature on our podcast episodes, please send them in at flowium.com/ask.

Alissa: As always, if you like what we do, please leave us a review. And if you do leave us a review, make sure that you go to flowium.com/socks. When you go there, you will be entered into a type form. All you have to do is plug in your name, your address, a screenshot of your review, and then we will send you some socks. I just got mine in the mail last Friday.

Vira: You got yours.

Alissa: And they are the best. 10 out of 10, very high quality socks. I love Flowium, obviously, because I work here, but they're so fun. They're so awesome. I actually posted a little boomerang of them to our Flowium Instagram.

Vira: Oh, so it was your feet. Okay.

Alissa: Those were my feet.

Vira: That explains everything, because I thought it was Andriy's. But I was like, "Does he have such tiny feet? I don't think he does." They were so teeny-tiny. They were so cute. No, the socks look amazing.

Alissa: Yeah. The socks are a lot of fun. So make sure that you leave a review, send us over some proof that you left a review, and you'll get your very own socks. They're amazing, amazing, amazing. I love them.

Vira: That's awesome. And next Tuesday, we will be talking about those really good Black Friday Cyber Monday subject lines, and how to write your perfect Black Friday email subject lines. And we will consult with our rockstar copywriters. Maybe they can help us with some research for this podcast. It's going to be a good one. Come back next week.

Alissa: Yeah. I love it. Thank you guys so much.

Vira: Thank you for listening. Bye.

Alissa: Thanks for listening to Email Einstein. Can you feel that? Your marketing brain just got a little bit bigger. We ask that you please use it wisely. You've got all the theory you need to get out there and start boosting your sales, because great emails equals revenue squared.

Andriy: You just listened to an episode of Email Einstein. If you enjoy it and want to continue getting valuable insights from our hosts, let us know. Go to Apple Podcast. Find our podcast by searching email marketing. Leave us a review, and we'll send you a pair of Flowium socks. We know you may be busy later, so take a few minutes to pause this episode now. Go to Apple Podcast, and share how you are enjoying this podcast with our community. After you do, go to flowium.com/socks to request the prize. Thanks, and come back for more e-commerce, email marketing knowledge next Tuesday.

Meet your hosts

Vira Sadlak​

Vira Sadlak​

Podcast host, marketer, traveller and a life lover from Vancouver, Canada

When she’s not at her computer, conquering the world of e-commerce email-marketing, you can find her climbing one of the Pacific Northwest Ranges.

Alternatively, try her email at vira@flowium.com, and she’ll probably shoot you back a list of her favorite cat videos.

Alissa Horta

Alissa Taggart

Alissa is an email marketer that is passionate about relevance!

Her main goal with all clients is to create a strategy and campaigns that are unique to the customer-base. Her favorite part of her role as an account manager with Flowium is to meet with her clients as she loves people. She lives with her husband and growing family in Boca Raton, FL.

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