Practical Ecommerce

4 Summertime Email-marketing Tactics, to Spur Sales

For many ecommerce businesses, summer can be a challenging time for sales. Consumers are preoccupied with vacation plans and traveling, which can decrease online purchasing.

In this post, I’ll explore four email-marketing tactics in the summer months to help spur sales.

Use Relevant Subject Lines

To get the attention of your consumers during times in which they may not otherwise shop, use subject lines that grab their attention, to increase open rates.

  • Make local and regional references. In my experience, anytime a local or regional area is referenced in the subject line, there is an increase in open rates. If you can segment your file geographically, it may make sense to add some geographic references. Example: Summer in [Insert City Name] Fashions – Now 20% off.
  • Make behavioral references. With children home from school and families heading on vacations, mentioning lifestyle changes during the summer can be more relatable to recipients. Example: Need a Break from The Kids this Summer?

Here are other examples of summertime subject lines.

These subject lines from three separate companies all emphasize summer-related themes.

These subject lines from three separate companies all emphasize summer-related themes.

Create a Sense of Urgency

The end of summer tends to sneak up on all of us, with vacations complete and kids going back to school. Many online merchants see sales start to increase in the early fall. But try to entice consumers to shop earlier, before fall, with some well-planned email promotions.

Here are some ideas.

  • “Christmas in July Sale.” Encourage consumers to start their Christmas shopping now.
This "Christmas in July" email comes with a promotion code.

This “Christmas in July” email comes with a promotion code.

This email offering from Teacher's Notebook, a retailer of teaching supplies, offers double reward dollars in July.

This email offering from Teacher’s Notebook, a retailer of teaching supplies, offers double reward dollars in July.

  • “Beat the Back-to-school Rush.” Have customers shop early for back to school.
  • “Last Chance for Summer Prices.” Create a promotion specifically for summer only.

Help Solve a Problem

Helping to solve the problems of your customers, especially when they are preoccupied with summer activities, can secure loyalty and future business. Here are some problem-solving email-marketing ideas.

  • Order-anniversary reminders. Review sales that happened in late summer or early fall last year. Send a reminder email to these customers about the purchases they placed last year. They could need the same or similar products from you this year. Including a link to the previous order might help — to remind them of the products they purchased.
  • Abandon-cart reminders. Most abandoned-cart emails are sent close to the time in which the cart was abandoned. Consider a follow-up email with a longer time period – such as three weeks — as a last reminder to those who had abandoned but have not come back to purchase due to traveling or busy summer activities.

Plan for Mobile

With consumers traveling during the summer, mobile-optimized email is an opportunity. Email opens and clicks on mobile devices will likely increase during summer months, so plan a strategy that caters to increased mobility of shoppers during the summer, such as:

  • Confirm that the email renders appropriately on tablets and smartphones.
  • Make calls-to-action simple.
  • Ensure the purchase path from a mobile device is streamlined and easy to follow.
Carolyn Nye

Carolyn Nye

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  1. Elizabeth Hollingsworth June 25, 2015 Reply

    Great article, Carolyn and very timely, too. It’s worth checking that your website search function is up to scratch for people searching for keywords like this.
    I just tested the word “outdoor” (in relation to summer weddings) on my Shopify search app and it resulted in 11 products, however the internal product search function indicates 17, so this is a good area to test and correct!