Seasonal tie-ins are a must for brands and marketers. Using the trigger of a festive occasion is an important engagement opportunity in email marketing strategies. However, if not done well they can be a missed opportunity and a damaging turn-off for customers.
It is important to use festive dates such as Easter, Christmas or Valentine’s Day to get your customers’ attention, but if your messaging is lazy, bland or doesn’t bring anything new to the table then it can leave customers frustrated. Poor content increases the likelihood of low click-through-rates and could lead to a decrease in open rates going forward, as customer trust wanes.
Keep content relevant
A little fun wordplay based around a festive occasion is a good way to get users interested in reading the content of your email, but the content must be relevant and beneficial for customers to encourage repeat engagements in future seasonal interactions.
Don’t raise the expectations of your customer then let them down with the quality of your content. If you have a Valentine’s Day theatre offer, say, don’t just give money off one ticket rather than a pair (something I have seen before), especially if you are claiming to be offering customers a “Fantastic Valentine’s Day Deal”.
Even though email is still such a powerful tool for engagement with customers, a 2015 report by Dr. Dave Chaffey found 51% of marketers rated email marketing as their most effective channel – selective viewing of emails is becoming a modern necessity for users. As email marketing content floods their inboxes, customers (mobile users especially) will cast off a percentage of marketing emails as quickly as scrolling past marketing content on social media channel timelines. So your messaging must be smart and your content must be engaging in order to keep your relationship with your customers strong.
Think outside the box
This is particularly important when it comes to seasonal content. You will require extensive planning for the Christmas and New Year period in particular to make sure your content converts. Enchant wrote a guide to email marketing activity during the crucial Christmas holiday period that sets out the key things to consider in your approach. As it is time-sensitive content, you will be vying for engagement with a host of different brands. So your content needs to be savvy to cut through the wave of repetition. An “Egg-cellent Offer” around Easter time, for example, may not be enough to perk the interest of your average punter.
Make sure your headline is smarter than your typical pun-filled header. If you are going to go down the playful pun route, try to think outside of the box. Keep your content fresh and make any call-to-actions clear and succinct. Give your content vibrancy too, using appealing imagery or infographics.
It is critical you take full advantage of seasonal marketing engagement opportunities. For example, Black Friday has become a real marketing phenomenon, with UK sales figures for 2015’s Black Friday pushing through the £1bn mark (£1.1bn). Not only that, some retailers have extended campaigns to a “Black Friday Week”. And don’t forget Cyber Monday, which wasn’t far behind Black Friday for sales (£968m), according to this report from City AM.
It is not for everyone though and marketers need to sure that what they can offer is what their customers want. Black Friday is typically successful for technological goods, whilst Cyber Monday has become big business for fashion brands.
Supermarket chains Aldi and Asda have famously not participated in Black Friday, the former expressing that their offers are more sustainable. They announced in a statement that “every day is a Black Friday at Aldi”.
Asda similarly stated that, having listened to their customers, it chose not to be part of the #BlackFriday rush and instead gave customers a host of offers in the build up to Christmas and the festive period.
This is a powerful statement and demonstrates a commitment to the needs of the customers and an intention to give value for money over a longer period, instead of gimmicks or flash sales.
A bunny is not just for Easter
If your seasonal interaction fails to engage your customers and doesn’t make them feel valued, you’ll have a tough job getting them back on side during the rest of your campaign – and certainly when it comes to your next festive engagement opportunity. Seasonal email marketing is just another touchpoint in your customer lifecycle and your relationship with customers is important to maintain. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
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Enchant is a leading UK digital marketing agency, based in London. We specialise in email marketing, whilst offering consulting services for CRM, inbound marketing and paid social advertising. If you want to create more impact from your marketing campaigns, contact our marketing consultants and see how we can help you improve your performance fast!