In case you hadn't noticed yet, this year's holiday shopping season just took a definitive turn towards an 'extended dance version' of Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday appears to have just become the '12 Days of Commerce' right under our noses.

Clearly, the word is out that the battleground for e-commerce share of wallet is no longer a one day event. Data-driven marketers now know that a) Purchase Intent is greatly improved by dropping a nice little reminder in your email box, and when this lines up with b) Purchase Consideration (i.e. Do you by chance intend to by one of THESE soon?), it is literally open season. The probability for e-tailers successfully re-kindling a customer relationship during this period often increases by more than 10X.

Once we make purchases at our favorite sites online, e-tailers know - to a certain extent - what makes us tick. They have a data point which gives them a strong indication for our preferences, price points; providing strong statistical indicators pointing to future purchasing decisions. So while Cyber Monday creates a nice psychological urgency to make a purchase decision NOW, marketers are also realizing that if they follow up with other attractive deals over the coming weeks, they stand more to gain with incremental purchases than the potential loss of losing their credibility around Cyber Monday urgency next year. After all, who remembers an entire year ahead, when smoking deals abound now.

Here are a some nice examples of this trend from my inbox just this morning:

The 12 Days of Pop Chart Lab Facebook coupon for Ledbury Petco sale banner Starbucks Planet Shoes sale banner

So what's the point?

This is where subscription models have a leg up:

The reason why these e-tailers go absolutely haywire with their marketing efforts during this period, is that they suddenly have your attention, and they don't risk burning you out. You are likely to even appreciate these email promotional deals because they give you shopping inspiration during the dreaded shopping period. If these e-tailers were to continue this feverish pace of email marketing throughout the year, they would likely burn out the list and certainly risk being flagged as an overzealous spammer.

Subscription businesses have this same permission - all year long

Subscription-based businesses get a 'hall pass' of sorts. Presuming that the subscription service being delivered is providing good value, permission exists to deliver marketing emails to customers with greater frequency than traditional e-tailers could ever hope for. The reason is that there is an implicit and often explicit permission provided by customers who pay for access to your service.

The responsibility of the marketer is to provide relevant, and high-value offers to improve the overall experience with your service. If a retailer over does their marketing, they churn you out without much economic impact…while overzealous marketing to paying subscribers can have a negative value if you inspire your paying customers to leave your service prematurely.

How to get this going

Recurly provides you with an easy way to set up promotional coupon codes which can be used to apply towards upgraded plan changes. These emails can be targeted to a segmented list by using either MailChimp or Salesforce. Coupons can be designed to only apply to plans which would require an upgrade from your customers’ existing subscription plan level.

We now provide a CSV export to track the specific number and dollar amount of redemptions for each specific offer created.

The best news of all is that you have way more than 12 days until Christmas to get this done. You’ve got permission from your customers to do this all year long.

Happy Holidays

Dan Burkhart