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How to increase engagement after the festive break

There's nothing quite like the excitement of the build up to Christmas. The glistening lights in the streets, the sweet smell of mince pies, the radio blaring out Mariah Carey and of course, time off work to spend with your friends and family. Switching off, relaxing and putting your feet up - absolute perfection!

However, all good things must come to an end. Many of us will experience the dreaded January blues. The lights are unplugged, the mince pies are all gone and we say goodbye to Mariah Carey for another year. It's understandable that we might feel a little gloomy and a little less motivated! Unfortunately, that includes your customers and employees too.

Businesses need to go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction and employee engagement levels are high during the start of the year as this will set the tone for the rest of the year. So let's discuss some ways you can do this.

1) Personalised regular communication

74% of marketers say targeted personalisation increases customer engagement rates. 

Sure it's nice to receive an email with your name in the subject line, but that's not exactly hard work or additional effort. Although that being said, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened so it's still worth doing!

When we're talking about personal communication we're talking about unique messages specific to an individual or segment. Using data that you've collected from your CRM system or customer loyalty or employee engagement programme means you can get really targeted with the messaging you send. For example, if you have data on regular purchases from your customers, then you can send them related or add-on products to their existing purchases. Or if you have data that shows a group of your employees smashed their targets this year, you could send them a "congratulations" gift. The data you have access to will really help you segment your audience and tailor the messaging to be personal to them

BUT.... you can't always rely on data! Your CRM, customer loyalty programme or employee engagement programme might not capture those personal conversations you have on a 1:1 basis. Those conversations where you really get to know the individual on a personal level. Their birthday, what their plans are at the weekend, their favourite wine, their dogs name. Knowing things like this mean you can create WOW moments! For example, if you know they're reading a particular book at the moment, you could send them the sequel or a similar book. Small gestures like this really do make a big difference and increase engagement.

However, all of this needs to be consistent... consistency builds connection! You need to regularly check-in and communicate with them to keep you fresh in their minds. Especially after the festive break, you'll need to relight that emotional connection they had with your brand before they switched off for Christmas. 

2) Incentivise desired behaviours with exciting promotions

If you notice a decrease in performance and motivation levels in January, you'll need to think about how you can change this. Incentivising and rewarding the behaviours you want to see using a customer loyalty or employee engagement is a great way to do this. However, if you already have a programme in place that rewards behaviours you need to think about how you can shake things up to increase engagement. Running a promotion will do just this. For example, offering double points on qualified purchases or for submitting a new idea to the business will encourage individuals to go the extra mile. But remember, promotions should be fun so you'll need to ensure you promote it and shout about it from the rooftops. Which takes us nicely on to the next point...

3) Keep it fun!

As all the Christmas excitement has fizzled out come January, it's the perfect month to add a bit of fun to your business to get the motivation flowing!

As we mentioned before, giving away extra points is a great way to encourage desired behaviours... but it doesn't just need to be extra points that you give away. Think about offering some exciting prizes such as a new gadget or even a short break. These fantastic prizes will capture attention and encourage users to engage as they'll want to be in for a chance of winning.

You could run a giveaway where users have to log in for a chance to win or answer a quiz to be entered into a prize draw. There are so many fun ways you can use your customer loyalty or employee engagement programme. It doesn't just have to be about earning points!

We know that increasing engagement after the festive break may be a challenge but by following these tips, you'll be well on your way to beating the January blues!

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