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A Strategy for Summer

May 3, 2011

Now that the Easter break and all the Bank Holidays are over; it’s a good time to start planning your summer email marketing strategy, as the longer holiday break will soon be here. You may wonder if you should scale down your email campaigns during the summer, but having the ability to reach out directly to your customers during this time can be the difference between survival and failure during the slow summer season, as long as you exercise caution with your content and frequency.

From June onwards, your subscribers can start to lose interest in reading your marketing emails in the wind down to summer; and so to help keep your audience engaged, we’ve come up with some ideas on how to inject some summer fun into your campaigns, so that your subscribers still look forward to your emails. 

Get creative

The best part of planning summer campaigns is the opportunity to loosen up your creative and to consider taking a few risks with colour, layout, images and copy. Before you get into the thick of campaign planning, make sure your creative design team has time to present you with some fresh ideas. Take a look at last year's summer email campaigns to see what you loved and what you could build on. Remember, if you have fun with your email marketing this summer, so will your subscribers.

Pick a summer theme

Relate the relevance of your products and services to summer activities. The key is to work out what is on your subscribers' minds during the summer months and then plan how your brand can fit seamlessly into this. From the title and subject line, through the offer, message, graphics, media, and calls to action – make it a total summer experience.

Be sensitive to summer budgets

With unemployment on the increase and petrol prices still on the up still, it's likely that this will be a summer when your subscribers look for ways to enjoy the season on a budget. Keep an eye on your customer spending habits and test your campaigns to determine the best type of messaging for your particular audience. Value-conscious consumers may respond best to "stay at home" spins on your services and products.
 

Don’t hide your Call to Action

Make sure you don’t over-do it and hide your CTA buttons, links, or offer with too many special effects. Remember, the key to good email design is balancing text, graphics and media without losing sight of your objectives. For more advice take a look at The Importance of Your Call To Action.

Multi-channel it!

Make sure you use a variety of channels to cover all the bases. For example, your recipients may not be working online while on holiday, but they could perhaps be on Twitter. And you know that a lot of them with have their phones with them. So here are few tips to make it easier to reach these audiences.
• Design your campaign for mobile
• Consider using short videos to grab attention and for social sharing.
• Increase your Twitter campaigns to keep the dialogue going
• Post photos and videos of your products and services in action during the summer on your social media channels and use in email campaigns

Encourage summer story sharing

People love sharing their summer exploits with others and so why not create a place for sharing as part of your email marketing strategy. Consider inviting subscribers to share stories about their best summer moments through your social channels, and then highlight the best ones in an email campaign. Think about running photo contests showcasing your customers using your products or services and then feature the best ones in your email campaigns and on your social media channels.

Frequency & Timing

Your target audiences are probably checking their email less frequently and so to stay engaged with your customers before the summer break, you may want to carry out a customer survey during May and June, when you can also find out how often they want to hear from you. 

An eMarketer survey revealed that 77%of people between the ages of 22-34 check their personal accounts whilst on holiday and 39% check their work accounts. For those aged 35-59, the numbers do drop, but the majority continues to monitor their inboxes. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 60% percent of people aged between 60-70 check their personal accounts.

Proceed with caution

It is important that you exercise caution with frequency and that you avoid too much sales-related content, as this same eMarketer study found that nearly 50% of people who received excessive amounts of email during the holiday period, simply deleted the emails. Many others reported the senders to their ISPs as spammers, or just unsubscribed.
 

Customer behaviour during the summer months is often hard to predict, but if you plan your content carefully and test everything, you’re sure to plug into exactly what your customers need and want. There's no need to take a major break with your email campaigns, but remember to hit that send button with care.

If you need any help planning your summer email marketing strategy, please call 0161 817 2929 or email [email protected]. We're here to help.

 

 

Posted by Rebecca McCormick
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