Black Friday may seem like a marketing and advertising ploy for B2C companies looking to hook new customers. But over the years we've seen more and more companies playing it smart in using this spend-happy time of year to not only boost new sales but to hone in on customer retention as well. If your current strategy focuses more on pleasing your existing customers, you can - and should - still be getting in on what this promotional period has to offer.
Why SaaS companies should take advantage of Black Friday
While some SaaS businesses can feel like Black Friday is meant for big retailers and department stores, it's actually a great opportunity for all types of businesses. This is because consumers' awareness and willingness to purchase may be higher at this time of year. Also, for the B2B industries, this is typically when yearly results are being calculated, and new budgets are being drafted.
These days, consumer expectations are that a brand should have a Black Friday or early christmas promotion, and that can apply to any type of products or services. In order to be competitive across all markets these days, you need to meet - and exceed - customer expectations.
Black Friday can also be a great time to show existing customers your appreciation. In fact, companies that have specials, deals, and promotions to garner new customers, but neglect their existing ones, may run into some trouble. If your existing customers see or realize that someone else is getting a better deal on your products than them, (especially if they have been a long-time brand loyalist), they may feel a bit bitter or frustrated. Instead, prioritize extending a promotion to your existing customers first to ensure that they stay happy and feel appreciated.
What does a SaaS Black Friday promotion look like?
A common promotion that SaaS companies can deploy for customer retention during the Black Friday season is offering reduced rates, various discounts, or access to new/extra features. These are fairly straightforward offerings, and should be sold on exclusivity for existing customers. It's important that you don't have one blanket offering, especially since SaaS customers are becoming more likely to desire personalization and customization to their products.
So, perhaps make your Black Friday promotion similar to loyalty program tiers. Existing customers who have a certain level of subscription, or those who have termed versus evergreen contracts, can be presented with options during the holiday season. For example, basic customers may receive access to a premium feature for six months or a year, while enterprise customers can be given a reduced monthly rate if they renew their contract for an extra 12 months. Think about what would be of value to your customers, but also what will make most sense for your own bottom line. Also, by having customer commit now to an extended contract, can ensure the stability of your future monthly recurring revenue.
How to get the word out about your Black Friday promotion
You can easily use your existing customer service methods for promoting your Black Friday specials. If you have already deployed a loyalty or membership program, or use automation to continually engage your existing customers, it takes little effort to utilize these channels for Black Friday.
Use email automation to promote your campaign, and make sure you give your customers several options for registering or signing up. You can also use announcements when customers log into their SaaS products, such as a banner across their typical dashboard, or even a redirection to a landing page after log-in.
When you share the promotion with your customers, be sure to emphasize that you are partaking in the opportunity to use Black Friday as a way to show your appreciation for them. This should be the foundation of your messaging around your promotion, otherwise it can have the opposite effect. You wouldn't want you customers to think you're just looking to exploit your relationship with them to boost sales before the end of the year!
When it comes to annual sales and Black Friday seasonal promotions, SaaS companies should definitely be making the most of the opportunity to bolster customer retention. Use this time when consumers are most likely to be spending money and looking for a good deal to encourage a continued future relationship, and foster customer appreciation.
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