SWAG BOMB Surprise & Delight Strategy

WHY READ THIS BLOG POST?

In this post, you will learn how to ‘Surprise and Delight’ your best customers using a SWAG Bomb. You’ll learn what a SWAG Bomb is, how to create one and how to use it to get your customers to love you. This will increase your customer loyalty and get them coming back to buy from you again.

“Talk can be romantic. But talk alone is cheap.” 

Marc Eckō, Founder of Eckō Unlimited

A problem with many ecommerce businesses is that they often lack the personal touch with customers. They are so caught up in the day-to-day tasks that they only ever communicate over email or via social media. They forget the importance of one-to-one contact and they see their customers as just an email address. They forget to see them as ‘real people’.

This failure to show them attention can cause major issues with high customer churn rates and a real lack of loyalty. In a world of a million choices, customers can shop anywhere and loyalty is hard-earned and easily lost. This means we need to go the extra mile to keep our customers once we’ve won over their attention.

It’s actually far cheaper to convert a sale from an existing customer than keep chasing the new ones. An important point to remember.

Surprise and delight is one of my favourite ecommerce sales strategies because it’s effective, costs next to nothing and can deliver exceptional results. The most effective tool in this strategy is the SWAG Bomb.

NEVER forget your best customers

Surprise & Delight Loyal Customers

Whilst your main objective is to look after all of your customers, it’s important t recognise who your best ones are. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s your high spenders either. It could mean your most regular customers who return to make a smaller purchase more often or even those who buy every-so-often but sing your praises on social media.

You want to recognise and focus on the ones that add most value to your business.

I’ve spent a lot of my own money with companies and very few have really show me how much they care. Many just send a discount code to get me to come back because it’s cheap and easy. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t make me feel very special. I feel a little miffed that I didn’t get the discount first time around.

A couple of months ago, HSBC bank sent me a flyer through the post, thanking me for 25 years of business. Yes, 25 years with my bank. Nothing to be sniffed at.

Do you know what the flyer said?

Something along the lines of ‘thanks for being a valued customer, here’s a preferential loan rate’. A preferential loan rate? Seriously?

Did this make me feel valued?

Do I want to race back to do more business with them?

Did it bollocks! (Please excuse my French)

It angered me so much that I’ve decided to move my personal and business accounts away from HSBC. In my experience, they’ve not delivered anything above and beyond providing a basic bank account.

To me, this didn’t demonstrate appreciation for my loyalty. They are taking me and my business for granted and, as a customer, I feel used and insulted.

A little story…

A couple of months ago, HSBC bank sent me a flyer through the post, thanking me for 25 years of business. Yes, 25 years with my bank. Nothing to be sniffed at.

Do you know what the flyer said?

Something along the lines of ‘thanks for being a valued customer, here’s a preferential loan rate’. A preferential loan rate? Seriously?

Did this make me feel valued?

Do I want to race back to do more business with them?

Did it bollocks! (Please excuse my French)

It angered me so much that I’ve decided to move my personal and business accounts away from HSBC. In my experience, they’ve not delivered anything above and beyond providing a basic bank account.

To me, this didn’t demonstrate appreciation for my loyalty. They are taking me and my business for granted and, as a customer, I feel used and insulted.

Creating loyalty just takes some thought

It’s actually very easy to show your customers that you appreciate them and their business. It doesn’t cost much, it doesn’t take a lot of effort and it doesn’t take much time either.

It just takes some thought and a little planning. Done well, it will add serious growth to your ecommerce business like nothing else.

Enter the SWAG Bomb!

SWAG Bombs for Customer Loyalty

The ‘Swag bomb’ is the name coined by urban clothing entrepreneur Marc Ecko. Marc is now worth millions but he’s a raw individual who appreciates his customers and understands what makes them tick. He’s learned how to build a business by getting to know his customers inside-out and showing them true appreciation. The SWAG bomb is a key part of his arsenal (and I love it!).

In short, a SWAG bomb is a package of ‘swag’ or goodies, that lands randomly on the doorstep of a customer without them expecting it. It’s a way to ‘surprise and delight’ them for their loyalty.

You can select your customers based on whatever criteria you want. That could be high spenders, regular repeat visitors or, as mentioned, your most active social media fans. The idea is to use the free swag as a thank you without asking for anything in return. That’s the important part. Don’t ask for anything and don’t expect anything.

If executed in the right way and with the correct timing, your customer will remember you when they are ready to spend more money with you or when they have a gifting opportunity.

You are effectively ‘planting the seed’.

How do SWAG bombs work?

Surprise & Delight SWAG Bomb Thank you

SWAG bombs are a form of positive brand reinforcement but in the most targeted way possible. Instead of spending money on ads to try to disrupt people’s browsing experience, you are focusing on those customers who have already spent money with you. They have already overcome the toughest barrier (trust) and they already love what you sell and do. They are your fans and you want them to become advocates who will spread the word about your brand.

Whether you have a social media following or not, a SWAG bomb can kickstart something that becomes viral.

How to create the most awesome SWAG bomb?

Surprise and Delight SWAG Bomb

To create a surprise and delight SWAG bomb simply follow these steps.

  • Identify your target customer group (This could be 10, 25 or even 50 people)
  • Choose a product or group of products that your target customer will love
  • Add a couple of little touches that over-deliver and show thoughtfulness 
  • Write personal note to say thank you and to express how much you appreciate them
  • Include your contact details in case they need anything
  • Add an invite to join your social media channels (Don’t ask them to share anything)
  • Add a photo of you or your team (This adds a more personal feel)
  • Create some awesome packaging. Don’t let yourself down here. Make it special from the moment the package is open.
  • Surprise and Delight = Make it happen!

Mark Ecko’s SWAG Bomb Rules

Mark Ecko Surprise Bomb

Ecko clothing founder, Mark Ecko has his own set of rules when creating and sending SWAG Bombs. These are:

  1. Never expect your intended audience to even see it (It’s covert)
  2. Never send shitty stock (Send good stuff)
  3. Never have expectations, as it’s just a gift
  4. Never handwrite your marketing materials (I don’t necessarily agree with this one because I think it shows effort)
  5. Never use second-hand packaging materials
  6. Never stalk (Don’t asking people of they received it!)
  7. Never forget to include your name, email, and phone number
  8. Never send a picture of yourself fan-boying out (Again, I don’t agree with this one. I think a photo of you and your team tells a story and adds a personal touch)
  9. Never gush 

My extra rules are:

  1. Never send a discount offer – this is not a direct sale exercise so don’t ruin it.
  2. Never ask for any form of share on social media – What happens, happens!
  3. Never use any external marketing saying you’re going to send it (because it’s a bloody surprise!)

When to execute the SWAG bomb strategy?

Swag bombs can be delivered any time. They are most effective just before a large event like Christmas, Valentine’s, Mothers day or Father’s day because people are ready to spend. You could send them before an event you might be holding yourself so your customers are warmed and feel loved before they get there (nice touch).

They could also be used to kick-start a quieter trading period like July and August.

As I’ve already said, the key to any SWAG bomb is to plant the seed. It’s a slow burner but it’s all part of growing a brand that people trust and will buy from regularly. You are trying to make your company stand out from the rest by showing true appreciation to your customers (a.k.a your fans).

Who do you send your Surprise and Delight SWAG Bombs to?

Surprise and Delight Thank You Gift

Whilst you can’t care for every single customer on your email list in this personal way, you should be paying special attention to your top 10-20% of spenders or those who visit and buy little amounts regularly.

These customers are your VIPs. They have chosen to part with their hard-earned cash with you, possibly on more than one occasion and they trust you. They are your fans, your advocates and will spread your brand message if you show them some love.

You can also send SWAG bombs to the people who are most active on your social channels. This is a great strategy I’ve used before to surprise and delight before a big launch of a product. If you give these guys an unexpected sneak preview of a new product they will share the shit out of anything they receive!

How’s that as a great way to create buzz? 🙂

Now it’s your turn to plan, create and send your SWAG bombs. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below, on my Facebook page or hit me up on the Twittersphere. I’d love to hear what you’ve sent out and the results.

Have fun with it and make sure your customers are surprised and bloody delighted!

Extra Reading from Marc Ecko

Mark Ecko Book - Unlabel

Mark Ecko’s awesome book Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out is available to buy at Amazon here. In the book he explains his tips, tools and tactics for making an impact with your customers.

Written by Webshop Mechanic