Give a Boost to Your Business This Summer with These Email Marketing Strategies
There are times of the year when people are absolutely busy with work, deadlines, and deliverables, and then comes summer! It is that time of the year which brings with itself a lease of fresh air, a break from the daily chores and the mundane morning-to-night routine. Summer is the season of fun and vacations.
So, if you are into selling fans and air-coolers and ice-creams, you shall be very busy during the season. Those running smaller businesses will have to work little harder to gain momentum because most consumers would be away on trips and leisurely getaways.
This would that mean that your email marketing strategies should not be devised actively or your promotional emails should take a break? The answer to that would be, no.
Should you bother investing efforts in pushing your emails about your products and services at a time when most of your consumers could be vacationing? The answer to that would be a resounding yes.
Every email that is sent out to an existing customer or potential customer, discussing new product offerings or deals or advertising anything in general, could be considered as an email marketing initiative. Summer could therefore be the perfect time for you to employ email marketing, the art of using emails to send commercial messages to your audience directly. You never know, your emails may reach out to a bigger audience at a time when they are relaxed. How many people actually go through the mails that bombard their inboxes on a busy working day or week or month? While you think of an answer to that question, here are some tips for you to utilize email marketing during the US summer.
Rise above the clutter
Every day, billions of emails are sent out by thousands of companies. How will you gain attention? One trick would be to time your communication well and the summer season could be a great time to differentiate yourself from competing companies and connect with your subscribers. Also, consider this — not everyone will be away on vacation. So those who would be at home and are your loyal customers could be waiting for your email and happy to receive them, contrary to popular belief.
Mercedes-Benz, for instance, invests time and effort in email marketing to promote the unique attributes of their cars and drive sales. Interestingly, manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz often get a 3800% ROI from email marketing initiatives.
Your email should subtly say, “You are special to me”
Stay relevant in your emails. Customize your communication to suit each recipient individually or at least, divide your target audience into segments and send them personalized communication. It would be good to give your customers a feeling that you know what they need or wish for.
For example, if you are a travel agent, the summer holidays could be a great time for you to promote destinations which are extremely popular and those that are for travel enthusiasts only. In a season where your business would probably be doing well already, you can build a pipeline for the months to come. Also, not everyone goes travelling during summer because of the crowd and high costs. A lot of people like to travel when the summer holiday frenzy has died out and that’s the time when you can get business in spite of the apparently dull season. So promote those summery dresses and fiction novels and candle-light dinners because summer would be the best time.
Re-engage with your consumers
Summer is the time when most customers are at leisure and have lot of time at their disposal. Utilize their time to your benefit. Connect back with customers who have been dormant for quite some time and incentivize them to give you an opportunity to serve them again. This exercise will also give you an opportunity to gauge whether your lost consumer base will make its way back to you or not. Consequently, decide if you want to remove the email ids of those (who did not show any interest at all) from your mailing list. You may wish to add them back later on but this would help you streamline your targeting efforts.
Stay in sight
It would be prudent to utilize summer to remind your consumers that you are around, irrespective of season. In an environment characterized by intense competition, absence would encourage consumers to opt for alternatives and in all possibility, your business will be consumed by your competitor.
To stay at the top of their game, BuzzFeed, for example, uses email marketing to route traffic to its website, irrespective of season. Email marketing is, in fact, one of the top five sources of routing traffic to their website. Also, the visitor who reached their website via emails, spent three minutes longer on it than others. In 2013, BuzzFeed’s traffic was up by 23% (month on month) and in 2014, it was up by 20% (monthly).
Strategies — promotions could attract attention
During the holiday season, offer special summer promotions during weekdays to allure more consumers. Devise promotional activities keeping your target audience in mind and divide them into groups if you deem it fit — that could help you push products and services based on consumer profiles and demographics, bettering their chances of getting sold.
Employ variety and use interesting subject lines
Newsletters work well in email marketing but avoid using the word ‘newsletter’ in the subject line because research shows that there was an 18.7% decrease in open rates as a consequence. Interestingly, emails with ‘tomorrow’ in the subject line fare well and are opened 10% more than the others. Even words like ‘daily’ or ‘weekly’ instil interest.
The word count of the perfect subject line is a matter which has been researched about. A subject line of 60–70 characters is often referred to by marketers as the ‘dead zone’ because that length does not encourage open-rates or click-throughs. If the length of the subject line is more than 70 characters, readers seem to click through. On the other hand, subject lines of less than 49 characters seem to appeal to readers. In a lot of cases, subject lines of less than 10 characters have enjoyed a phenomenal open rate. Interestingly, emails to promote President Barack Obama’s fundraising campaign had subject lines like ‘Hey’ and ‘Wow’ and they worked wonderfully!
This is an excellent tool to encourage interaction and engagement, and ensure continued customer loyalty. If you can invest in some back-end research and analysis to study the behavior patterns of your consumers, you can track the messages which interested your target groups and garnered significant attention. It would be effective therefore to make use of that data to send out similar emails and encourage participation.
Use emails to introduce something new
If you have any new product or service to offer, summer would be a good time. This is the time when people are free and would want to try out new things. In the process, you can test your product, ask for feedback and alter it accordingly.
Use social media to your advantage
Provide links to your social media pages in your email. It is a good way to engage your audience and in the process, give them information about your company. Irrespective of season, everyone visits social media and during a vacation, your consumers would not mind visiting some social media pages if they want to know more about your organization. Therefore, it would be ideal to keep all your social media channels updated. Your company’s LinkedIn profile should be concise and reflect your knowledge and expertise. Share business articles of LinkedIn and link them to your other accounts like Facebook and Twitter. Ensure that the ‘About’ section of the social media pages have the most recent information. However, regardless of the fact that summer is a season of vacations, you should be able to reply to all comments on social media within a span of a day.
The basic trick to engage your audience employing email marketing is to find the perfect balance between simple, clean design and, crisp, smart and clever copy. For example, Poncho, a weather and travel reports app, does an excellent job with their emails. Their copy is clever, images are delightful and most importantly, the email communication is always aligned perfectly with the brand identity.
Presently, our world is more social than ever before and that increases the need to invest time and serious effort in building relationships and developing trust. So, do not give your summer email marketing strategies a break. Quite on the contrary, use them to attract attention and get an upper hand over your competitors. Email marketing is highly measurable as a channel of mass communication and you can easily track the engagement metrics in the form of opens, clicks, shares, conversations, and customer value.
Ultimately, needless to say, even though it is summer, business cannot and should not take a back seat.