As the 2012 Christmas shopping season comes to a close, online retailers should take the time to sincerely thank customers and offer appropriate holiday greetings.
Email marketing often reaches its peak during the weeks leading up to December 25. Many, if not most, Internet retailers are quick to send special discounts, free shipping offers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials, and just about every other sort of holiday promotion conceivable. How refreshing is it then, when one of these retailers takes a moment to simply send a thank you email to shoppers, offering a holiday greeting.
The Power of 'Thank You'
Saying “thank you” is no small thing. A number of studies, including Adam M. Grant and Francesco Gino’s recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in June of 2010, indicate that gratitude can have a positive effect on the person you thank.
When a shopper, who has had an otherwise good experience, also gets a personalized thank you, that shopper may be more likely to purchase again. When that thank you is offered in the form of an attractive or interactive holiday greeting, the message might even get shown to friends or shared in social media.
Saying thank you might also transform an average (or a good) shopping experience into an excellent one.
Online shoppers have come to expect good product selection, safe and easy checkout, free or low-cost shipping, and speedy delivery so much so that getting all of these things just right, might still only result in meeting expectations — delivering what the customer believes is a standard shopper experience. Sending a thank you greeting, which may be unexpected, could put the shopping experience over the top. Conversely, thanking a customer and sending a holiday greeting will almost never upset them.
Have a Simple Message
In the context of sending a holiday greeting, be sure to keep the message simple of clear. Examples might include, “Happy holidays, we really appreciated your business this year,” or “Merry Christmas and thank you so very much for shopping with us.”
Some psychologists believe that thank you and holiday greetings may also be a good time to put a “human face” on your company, so that messages signed by the owner or manager or messages that include photographs of the retailer’s employees may be worth including.
Your Holiday Greeting Should be Sincere and Attractive
Looks matter in holiday greetings. Take the time to create an attractive card that relies on traditional motifs and recognizable themes, reflects your brand, and is worthy of being shared.
Often, it can be a good idea to mimic physical greeting cards in terms of content or layout.
Consider Including Interactivity
Messages that link to videos, interactive games, or even a micro-site are an especially good way to greet and thank shoppers. These videos or interactive games do not need to be extravagant, simply entertaining.
One retailer in the Northwest used some stock video to make a simple Christmas video last year and then linked to that video in an email greeting it sent out on Christmas Eve.