Email marketing campaigns around holidays and seasons can help to drive ecommerce sales in the third quarter of 2016.
Email marketing remains one of the most potent tools available to online retailers. Email messages can be segmented, personalized, and optimized to reach a specific set of customers, with a relevant offer, at the right time, leading to conversions and, ultimately, profit.
What follows are six suggestions for email marketing campaigns in July, August, and September 2016.
1. Fourth of July Sales Event
Every retailer needs to decide if it will offer “sales” — discounted prices to attract shoppers — or, instead, use other means to boost purchases around an event. There are solid business arguments for each approach.
In either case, Independence Day in the United States could be a rallying point for an ecommerce sales event and an email marketing campaign can help drive that event.
Fourth of July marketing emails could:
- Promote discounted prices on relevant products;
- Promote Fourth of July product bundles;
- Promote holiday-specific items;
- Recast products in light of the holiday.
As an example, a retailer of sportswear might bundle a shirt, shorts, flip-flops, and sunglasses into a promotable Fourth of July package. In fact, an online retailer could build several of these Independence Day packages with specific customer groups in mind and send segmented email messages so that shoppers get the package most likely to interest them.
2. Personalized Birthday Offer
Consider sending customers a personalized birthday email, including a gift code, coupon code, or special birthday discount offer, such as a $25 digital gift card.
For this to work, the online retailer would need to know its customers’ birthdays. There are a couple of options to get this information.
It could run an online contest that required a birthdate. The contest rules would explain how the birthdate would be used. It will also be important to collect the entrant’s name and identifiable information since this promotion will work best if the store can associate an entry in the contest with a shopper’s purchase history.
A second approach may be to simply have a birthday club of some sort, wherein shoppers sign up knowing they will receive a birthday offer. This will certainly work, but it may be less impactful since the store will get shoppers who tend to be discount seekers and the personalized, email birthday greeting will not be a surprise.
3. Summer Closeout Sale
Seasons change and so does the product mix for some online retailers. Swimsuits and bikinis, as examples, may be hot sellers when the weather is warm, but somewhat less popular during winter months.
While it may make sense to keep a supply of core swimsuits and bikinis in stock year around, some retailers will want to close out less popular styles before demand dries up.
A summer closeout email campaign can be just the thing to clear out inventory and boost cash flow. To make this sale more effective, consider targeting shoppers who abandoned in a cart one of the now-closed-out items.
4. Back-to-school Sales Event
Back-to-school shopping lists might include everything from fall fashion apparel and backpacks to tablet computers and pencils. Many online retailers may therefore find a reason to send a back-to-school email promotion.
In fact, it might make sense to send it more than once. By some estimates, about 55 percent of shoppers will complete back-to-school shopping in August, while some 23 percent won’t be done until the end of September.
5. Labor Day Sale
Labor Day, which is devoted to American workers, is a traditional retail sale date. Shoppers expect retailers large and small to offer discounts. Labor Day sales events are so popular that many personal finance websites, magazines, and newspapers publish guides to help shoppers take advantage of the best offers.
Online retailers might consider a three-part email campaign for Labor Day, September 5, 2016.
First, send a Labor Day Sale preview on August 30, 2016. This preview email should show some of the items offered in the upcoming Labor Day Sale. But keep the prices a secret. If possible, point to a landing page featuring all of the Labor Day Sale items, but do not disclose the sale prices.
Second, send a Labor Day Sale email with prices on Sunday, September 4, 2016. Make the items available for purchase at the discounted prices and tell email recipients they are getting a special preview of the sale.
Third, send a last-chance Labor Day Sale email message on Labor Day. Try to segment the message so that recipients see featured items specifically for them.
6. New Products for Autumn
Near the end of Q3, the season will officially change. Summertime will give way to autumn. Use this natural transition to feature new seasonal products. Send an email campaign — perhaps a series of messages — to introduce shoppers to the best fall products from your store.