The months of April, May, and June are full of email marketing possibilities centered on traditional retail events like April Fools’ Day, Mother’s Day, and the beginning of summer.
In the second quarter of 2016, retail ecommerce marketers can combine tried-and-tested retail sale days with email marketing’s power and potency.
Consider that many if not most retailers, online and offline, have some sort of special offering around holidays, events, and seasons. In fact, many organizations and companies even publish annual retail calendars to remind store marketers when sale opportunities will arrive.
Next, remember that email marketing works. Dozens of firms have been collecting statistics and study results for years showing that email is among the most effective marketing tools available. Here are a couple of examples.
- “Email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media — nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.” – McKinsey & Company, January 2014
- “The majority of recipients of emails containing personalization drawing from previous shopping behaviors and preferences would be more likely to increase their purchase as a result. In fact, 81 percent of respondents said there were somewhat likely.” – eMarketer, January 2014
Now it’s time to put your email marketing to work. While you will certainly not want to limit your Q2 2016 email marketing to these six opportunities, you will likely want to include a least of few of these.
1. April Fools’ Day
The origin of April Fools’ Day is something a mystery. It reaches back, possibly, to when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in 1582. But a marketer will tell you that April Fools’ Day is content marketing’s highest holiday.
On April 1, content marketers get to show off their most creative work. The best campaigns are almost believable.
A recent example comes from multichannel retailer, Unleashed by Petco. The company advertised that it was selling selfie sticks for dogs.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to distribute content from your April Fools’ Day marketing. Consider sending your store’s prank content to email subscribers first. You might even offer them “an exclusive preview.”
2. U.S. Tax Day
In the United States, the deadline for filing federal taxes falls on Monday, April 18, 2016. On this day, everyone should have either filed a tax return or applied for an extension.
For the past several years, retailers have taken one of two promotional approaches.
First, retailers of relatively expensive products will offer a tax-refund sale aimed at encouraging shoppers with tax return checks to make large purchases.
A second approach is the “tax relief” strategy, wherein retailers have a sale and offer a discount to offset tax payments. For this sale, the items are often consumables like household items. As an example, in 2015 Babies“R”Us gave shoppers $8 off of large boxes of Pampers or Huggies diapers at tax time.
To promote your tax-related sale, start sending emails the week prior — Monday, April 11, 2016. Follow up mid-week to recipients that did not open or did not click a link in the email. Finally, send an end-of-sale warning on Sunday, April 17.
3. Mother’s Day Sale
On May 8, 2016, shoppers nearly everywhere will be looking for ways to honor their moms. In the modern interpretation of this rather ancient holiday, we are each to give our moms a gift. VerticalResponse recommends four emails to send leading up to Mother’s Day.
- Gift-suggestion email. This email should inspire your subscribers with variety of gift ideas. Consider creating a landing page or, perhaps, a Pinterest board to send folks.
- Invitation email. Invite your best customers to a special or even an exclusive Mother’s Day sale.
- Last-minute sale email. Aim at helping your procrastinating customers. Offer Mother’s Day gift ideas that can easily be delivered overnight and just in time.
- Holiday celebration email. No sales push here, just acknowledge how important moms really are.
4. Memorial Day Sale
Observed on Monday, May 30, 2016 this year, Memorial Day honors folks who died whilst serving in the United States’ military. The day is at once somber and a celebration.
It is also a traditional sales day or event, with many retailers offering special prices throughout the Memorial Day weekend.
According to a Campaigner report (PDF), Americans will spend about $259 per household on shopping during the holiday. To earn your store’s share of that potential market, consider these email messages.
- Memorial Day sale preview. Starting not long after your Mother’s Day campaign, consider sending a sale preview message, showing a couple of select items.
- Use email to promote an online contest. Memorial Day may be a good time to run a contest. Have customers submit stories about what Memorial Day means. The winner gets a prize. But everyone who enters get a coupon code sent via email.
- The sincere holiday message. On Memorial Day, send a genuine message about the holiday. Consider featuring the winning story from your online contest.
5. Father’s Day Sale
Your Father’s Day email campaign and sale can follow a similar pattern as your Mother’s Day promotion. First, send a set of gift suggestions. Follow up with special or exclusive offers, reminding last-minute shoppers, and then offering a message meant simply to honor dads.
6. Summer Sale
June 20, 2016 is the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This seasonal change gives retail ecommerce businesses two opportunities for promotion.
- End of season clearance sales for remaining spring goods.
- The opportunity to introduce new summer items.