Let’s spark some ideas on email marketing seasonal trends in your business you may not realise actually exist. It can be easy to dismiss the idea that certain times of year can be more profitable for business outside of Christmas and maybe Easter (in the UK).
Whatever industry you work in, no matter the business, your success is tied to seasonal trends, but that isn’t always clear. So let’s see if we can find the tools to identify seasonal trend in email marketing together and improve your email marketing.
B2B Seasonal Email Trends
B2B seasonal trends exist. Let’s start there and acknowledge it. Seasonal business trends don’t just mean the Christmas holidays where you might try and flog a bunch of toys to B2C customers or Easter when chocolate sales could go through the roof. Seasonal trends are a part of B2B also and even in B2C, it’s important to think beyond really huge seasonal events and go deeper into what drives your customers to buy across the year.
Whatever business you operate, there will be times your customers or prospects are more likely to buy from you. Often, their reasons will be linked to the major seasonal trends in their own business, stimulating their interest in your services to help them prepare to support their customers.
If you have an engineering company with a segment of customers who operate printing presses, there will be seasonal opportunities for you to contact them. Your customer’s printing presses might have their maintenance scheduled a month before or just after their busy period(s) to make sure their machines are in tip-top condition. Understanding the time they start thinking about securing the maintenance services would be the best time to highlight the ways you can support them.
When I worked with IMI Truflo Marine, I designed email campaigns coordinated with repair and maintenance schedules as well as sending emails regarding new or improved products. Ball valves (and/or their associated parts) often need to be replaced at set times and touching base with customers around those times was a great way to increase sales. Segmenting the audience, we could send the right message to the right people at just the right time.
B2C Seasonal Email Trends
For B2C seasonal marketing trends, I have an example from hospitality on the B2C side of the hotel industry. Generally, people only book one or two holidays per year and often book their holidays at around the same time every year. An easy example for the travel industry are school summer holidays. This is a common time because parents can’t just take their kids out of school willy-nilly. The key is to understand when parents are making decisions related to summer holidays and reach them at that key time of year.
Running email marketing campaigns at a hotel like The Prince Akatoki London, I used Revinate email marketing software to generate new purchases based on past behaviour and budgets. I could analyse past behaviour and target customers for promotions or special deals who had previously spent similar amounts of money or chosen to visit the hotel at specific times for specific durations.
Seasonal B2C trends could be as simple as the season changing form summer to autumn, when sales of those hot spiced pumpkin lattés skyrocket. They can also be more specific. For a sportswear manufacturer, you might see spikes (pun very much intended) just before the start of the athletics, cricket, rugby or football seasons. For tennis in the UK, you’ll definitely see an increase in business around Wimbledon. These are all times when interest in your product and sales can go up and they’re not even related to generic holiday periods.
Specific Customer Profiles
Your biggest challenge is to segment your marketing database into specific customer profiles and understand what motivates them. As mentioned above, we could use email marketing software that tracks hotel bookings to see who visits and when. Also touched on previously, a sportswear manufacturer could split customers into segments based on the sports they play.
In every situation, it’s about understanding who your customers are, what they want and when they want it. If you have historical data, even if you only have a year or two, you can have a lot of success. A relatively easy thing you can do right now is look for the times of year enquiries or sales went up in your business.
From simple sales data, branch out to think about why people buy from you and the kind of message you need to put in front of them. The right message for each individual customer profile you’ve identified. Segment them to make sure you’re going to send the right message to the right people at the right time.
Working for a local software developer, I recognised one of the biggest weaknesses in their email marketing strategy was a lack of specificity. That is to say, there wasn’t really a strategy; it was just spray and pray. Spray exactly the same message out to as many people as possible, praying someone would bite.
Recognising this, I worked to split their database of contacts by industry and ensured data like business location and industry body affiliation was gathered and added to their database. This allowed marketing campaigns to be targeted properly by industry, location and other important factors.
Create A Seasonal Plan
The time has come to get out your pen and paper to create a seasonal plan. Now you have a better idea of seasonal trends you can take advantage of in your email marketing, what practical steps are you going to make?
- – Identify your busiest times of year
- – Segment your audience
- – Create messaging that resonates
The first bullet point becomes easier now you have an idea what to look for in your sales data. The second point could take some time to work out as customer segments can sometimes overlap each other, so you may need to be strict about them.
The most challenging part of creating your seasonal plan is thinking of the type of messaging that will resonate with your audience. In the end, bringing together the reason for the seasonal spike in demand and the needs of each segment will be the driver here.
This is hard work and takes time, but in the end is very rewarding.
Looking for help boosting your email marketing? Get in touch for a quick chat to see how we can work together.
Identify Email Marketing Goals
Now you’ve identified your seasonal trends, you know when your email marketing campaigns can have the greatest impact. We now have to think about the outcomes you can expect. Each campaign should have a goal attached so you can gauge success. That marketing campaign goal must be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound AKA SMART.
Your goal can be a simple as a statement that you want to increase website visitors from email by x% in six months. Even better would be to increase average order value by x% in three months. Even better, set a SMART goal of growing sales from a specific audience segment by a prescribed amount over the course of your campaign.
Running campaigns that take advantage of seasonal trends throughout the year are a great way to hit and exceed your targets. How are you going to set your plan and put it into action?