When it’s done properly, there are few other marketing techniques that are quite so effective when it comes to reaching your target customers with personal messages as emails. People tend to keep their email addresses for many years, and you can continue to target them wherever they are and on whichever devices they are using for as long as they stay signed up to your list.
One of the best features of emails is the element of timing that they provide. And now that the summer is nearly upon us, you can use this to your advantage when you reach out to your subscribers over the warmer months. Here are some ways to use email marketing this summer to entertain your subscribers and boost your sales.
Plan for the Main Holidays
There are plenty of big dates for your diary during the summer, and you can schedule these into your email marketing plan to send out the right content at the right time.
Independence Day is the biggest one, so make sure you have something special planned for this. Design a different template to reference the day, or create a special sale. Or schedule in special emails for big sporting events, especially if your customers are local. Plan your campaigns in advance around these holidays so that you are not caught without something. And even if you don’t run a promotion, at least send a greeting to your subscribers to celebrate the day, which is a great way to build rapport.
Run Seasonal Promotions
Promotions are great at any time of the year, but try to make them more relevant to the season by basing them around the summer. So rather than just running a random promotion, think about how you could tie it into the hot weather or a holiday. For some types of products (e.g. clothing, flights, barbecues) this is easy to do. For others, you may have to get a bit more creative. Find a way to link your product or service to summer themes of getting out and about, or to items that can be used in the warm weather.
Even with a non-related promotion, you can highlight how your subscribers will save money so they have more to spend on their vacations. Once your seasonal promotion is in place, you could even run a PPC campaign to encourage email sign-ups and use this to build your email list.
Run a Summer Contest
You don’t have to try and sell more of your own products: Instead, you could increase engagement by running a contest. Ask your subscribers to fill in a survey or to send in their best summer snaps using your product, and then enter them into a competition. Pick a winner for a weekend break somewhere or another prize related to summer like a day out at a local attraction or a discount at a summer activity.
With all the possibilities, be careful to avoid trying to pack too much into one email, which is a classic email marketing mistake. Instead, stick to one goal and a simple CTA in each email.
Provide Summer Tips
In the run up to promotions and contests, make sure your emails are relevant to the season by packing them full of summer tips. Again, the types of tips you provide will depend on what you sell. If you have a product that can be used in the summer, provide tips on how to use it. If you sell vacations, suggest places to go this year or highlight news stories that could affect your subscribers over the summer period. If your business is related to food, summer recipes are a simple and effective option. If your customers are local, provide a list of local attractions for summer days out.
Plan in advance, and come up with creative ways to link your products and services to summer tips. You don’t always have to promote your own products, but make sure they are related in some way.
Sponsor Summer Events
If you have a local business, find some local events taking place in the summer and find out about sponsoring them. People love to get out and about to events throughout the summer months, so sponsor an event and then tell your subscribers all about it. Tie it in with an entry discount if they go along to the event, or ask them to find your stall at the event and to come and say hello to get a freebie. No matter how small the event, you are sure to find something that you can get involved in.
Partner with Other Businesses
As well as sponsoring events, you could partner up with other businesses, especially local businesses that you don’t compete with. This can be especially effective if you do not offer products or services that can easily be tied into the summer theme. For example, you could team up with a local restaurant and provide your customers with a 10% off voucher when they eat out this summer.
The business you team up with can also encourage more people to sign up to your list, helping you grow your list further. Perhaps you could include a link in your own emails so that your subscribers can sign up to the other business’s list, and vice versa.
Tweak Your Autoresponders
You can also make changes to your existing email autoresponder campaigns to reflect the season. For example, you may already run a cart abandonment series of emails to encourage customers to return to their carts and complete their orders. With a few tweaks, you can edit the copy to something like: “We know you’re busy enjoying the sun, but it would be a shame to miss out on your new …”
In the same way, you could change your welcome emails. Make a reference to the hot weather and consider throwing in a summer-related promotion as soon as people sign up to your list.
Adapt Your Email Campaign to Win Big this Summer
The flexibility of emails is one of the things that makes them so effective, so take advantage of this by changing your email campaigns according to the season. The summer is a great time to run promotions and prizes, as well as to provide useful tips. With a bit of creativity and a little bit of effort, you can use the season to your advantage and get more business this summer.