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How to Turn Holiday Bargain Hunters Into Loyal Customers

Shae Henrie

Content Strategist @ AdRoll

During the holiday sales season, you probably ran discounts, promotions, and other offers to entice on-the-fence customers and bargain hunters to make a purchase. This likely generated new customers, but how do you prevent these discount-seekers from being one-off buyers?

Here are four strategies to help you convert bargain hunters into loyal customers. 

1. Retarget Engaged Visitors

Site visitors and one-time purchasers are a highly engaged audience. It’s their digital way of raising their hand and telling you, “I might be interested in buying (or buying again)!” Use these retargeting strategies to bring these customers back to your site: from just browsing to ultimately buying.

Browsers - bring back site visitors

The equivalent of real-life window shoppers, browsers are visitors who are more highly engaged than others because they visit product pages. However, they stop before they add anything to their cart

To draw the eye of these browsers, leverage personalized experiences to tell them that you’re paying attention to their interests. Product recommendation retargeting ads are a great way to remind them of what they might be missing out on.

By tailoring your marketing message to these browsers, you show attentiveness  to customer preference, and offer the ease of picking up where they left off. Customers who feel seen and heard are likely to come back again and again!

Buyers - abandoned cart strategies

So close, yet so far! These almost-buyers commit up until the very last step: checkout. To make these buyers’ journeys as smooth as possible, utilize personalized product recommendation retargeting ads paired with tailored emails to remind shoppers that there’s more to be had. To make it even easier, implement an automatic cart rebuilding function that will put their order back into place for them. This will allow these on-the-fence buyers to make a quick purchase and to be reminded of their previous interest in your products.

If there’s an out-of-stock item they’re waiting for, consider email sequences that let these shoppers know when it’s back in stock or referrals to similar products they could browse. In addition, bargain-hunting buyers always love a good deal. Leverage discounts as needed to bring buyers back to long-abandoned carts.

Investing in the Best - customer retention strategies

Once again, personalization is the name of the game. Invest in tools that allow you to serve your one-time buyers product recommendations that are based on their past browsing and purchases.

These types of strategies work best when you adopt an omnichannel approach. By placing personalized ads across the web as well as email, you have multiple opportunities to meet your customer throughout their buying journey and offer them the best experience. 

2. Nurture With Purpose

Not all brands have a permanent invitation to a customer’s inbox. Overloading customers with daily emails is a surefire way for them to hit the unsubscribe button. Every form of communication with your customers should serve a purpose and demonstrate value.  


Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: if you were browsing deals from a brand, what would compel you to open an email from them? The answer is, most likely, the mention of an additional offer.

Whether that’s an exclusive deal, discount code, or a first look at new products, ensure your offer is tailored to your customer’s shopping habits by utilizing dynamic product recommendations. Of course, be sure your subject line touts the offer! Customers are definitely more likely to click an email with a tempting “30% off” as the subject. 

If your holiday season discounts and deals didn’t compel potential customers already in your nurture stream to shop with you, consider what will. To give folks an extra push over the finish line, use your nurture emails to convince them why your product or service is a great fit for them. Tell this audience something they don’t know and show them what makes your product special. Then, show up in their inbox again with a new offer. Hitting these browsers with a 1-2 punch of proving your value AND and providing a special offer might just do the trick.


Like email, a person’s text messages are a protected space. Abuse of SMS communications can lead to being labeled as junk. Like with email sequences, you should keep these factors in mind:

  • Segmenting

Split up your audiences into segments for SMS just like you do for email lists. This ensures that the right messaging is sent to the right people. Doing so avoids overlaps in messaging, repeat offers, and irrelevant promotions.

  • Messaging

Hand in hand with segmentation, tailor your messaging to the audience. If your customer list isn’t new to your brand, don’t send out a new customer message. To nurture these bargain hunters, you can utilize the same offers and messaging that you do across other channels; in fact, consistent messaging across ads, emails, and your website can be even more effective. 

  • Frequency 

SMS should have its own frequency. Don’t just copy and paste your email schedule, set it and forget it. As will other channels, you’ll need to pay attention to your SMS engagement rate and adjust accordingly. 

3. Start Up a Customer Loyalty Program

Everyone loves to feel special. Customers who feel acknowledged by a brand are going to want to have a stronger connection to them vs. feeling like a nameless number.

If you’re going to set up a loyalty program, it has to feel genuine. While handing out discounts and first-peeks are intriguing and fun, a truly effective program creates connection between the brand and its customers. Here are two ways to supercharge your customer loyalty plans.

Involve the People

Let your customers' voices ring! As a part of your loyalty program, give participants the opportunity to weigh in. Whether it be feedback on a new product, testing new messaging, polling customers for research, finding brand ambassadors, etc. Customers who feel involved in a brand’s inner circle are likely to come back and engage with the unique opportunities given to them. 

Offers & Promos

Of course offers and promotions are a big part of loyalty programs. However, just sending out a coupon every week or so won’t cut it. Remember to tap into shopping trends from your customers and offer seasonal or timely discounts. You can also help shoppers save money and encourage repeat purchases by offering a rewards or points program. These types of systems allow customers to earn points or rewards when they shop. Think punch cards from your local coffee shop leveled up; the more they buy, the more incentives they’ll receive to buy again. 


Who doesn’t love to play a game of collecting points? Rewards systems are an engaging way for customers to purchase more products, while racking up points that could land them some fun discounts. Bonus points if your reward system has tiered memberships. Customers love to see a title under their name – “Platinum Member,” “Elite Customer,” or “Gold Star Member” – to help build their identity with your brand.

4. Use AdRoll to Step Up Your Customer Loyalty Strategy

With AdRoll, your end-of-year efforts can go further. Manage and report on ads across web, email, and social with one platform. From catching the eye of a new customer to retaining the customers you already have, you can do it all in one place. Quickly see all of your data across campaigns and quickly make optimizations to improve your ROI. 

Learn more about what you can do with AdRoll here.