By Simon Robinson, marketing and alliances director EMEA, Responsys
Just like Easter, Christmas and the recent royal wedding, summer can provide marketers with the perfect opportunity to engage customers with personalised email marketing. Marketers looking to stay ahead of the game should take inspiration from their surroundings to create this season’s relevant and engaging campaigns. For summer success, here are our top five tips for 2011.
1. Leveraging cross-channel subscribers can attract the masses
In today’s digital age, when email is the killer outbound channel and social media is the buzz word, marketers need to create campaigns that target customers at all points of the customer lifecycle. Marketers need to know the best channel to contact customers on and the right time. For example, recent research from Neilsen revealed that more and more over 50s are now flocking to Facebook, providing marketers with a new channel of engagement for this demographic. As a result, marketers should take advantage of this growth and use social networking connections to invite subscribers to shop in-store and attend brand events. Harnessing the power of social media within your cross-channel marketing campaign will increase the likelihood of your invites going viral. However, combining this knowledge with the interactive power channels, mobile, web and email will ensure that your marketing campaign is producing highly relevant and personalised content.
2. Be aware of subscribers’ summer budgets
Subscribers this summer will be looking for different ways to enjoy the sun. To ensure marketing success, marketers should implement a test and learn strategy to help monitor conversions and summer spending patterns. This will help to determine the best type of messaging for a particular audience. Some subscribers may respond best to "stay-at-home" spins on your services and products, or to fun tips for local activities.
3. Make a place for your brand in your subscribers' summer stories.
Marketers can use innovative copy to bring attention to the relevance of their company’s products and services for specific summer activities and experiences, such as Wimbledon or heat waves. The key is to figure out what’s on subscribers’ minds this time of the year and plan how your brand can fit seamlessly into it. This could be offering packing tips, summer recipes or activity recommendations that add extra personalisation to your messaging.
4. Breathe life into your campaign with subscribers’ personal summer stories
People love sharing their summer exploits with the people around them, especially through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. So why not create a venue for that sharing in your brand’s email programme? Consider inviting subscribers to share stories about their best and most memorable summer moments through your social channels and then highlight the best ones in your email. Think about running photo contests showcasing subscriber use of your products and then featuring favourites on your Facebook page or in your email.
5. Take the time to get inspired!
The best part of planning summer campaigns is the opportunity to get creative and take risks with colour, layout, images and copy. Experiment with the language you use, try different colours or use more pictures to help your audience visualise your message. Before you get into the thick of campaign planning though, make sure your creative team has time to draw inspiration from the summer surroundings. Don’t forget to take a look at last year’s summer campaign to see what you loved and what you can successfully build on.
The main thing to remember when targeting your customers this summer is that if you have fun with your email campaign, this will translate to your subscribers. The more engaged your audience is with your campaign, the more profitable the results.
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