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The Email Marketer’s Guide to Seasonal Marketing

September 19 - 2023

E-book 5 min read

Jarrang 16 5 23 116

Seasonal marketing isn’t just about holiday cheer.

It’s a strategic process that requires impeccable timing and campaigns that pack a punch. 

But with every other brand jumping on the seasonal bandwagon, standing out in the inbox and battling for purchases is becoming increasingly difficult. Meaning that brands who want to excel need to pull out all the stops.

In our email marketer’s guide to seasonal marketing, we explore how businesses can seize the seasonal spirit to captivate their audience and encourage them to buy. Including a step-by-step process to getting your best seasonal campaigns up and running.

What is seasonal marketing?

Firstly, let’s dive into what seasonal marketing actually is.

Seasonal marketing focuses on campaigns and activity during specific times of the year, such as holidays, seasons, or events. Spending and purchasing interest tend to increase during these periods, providing brands and businesses with tonnes of potential promotional opportunities to capitalise on.

So, summer hits, and you’re pushing those floaty dresses, Halloween creeps in, and you’re the go-to for spooky decorations, and when December rolls around, it’s all about gifts galore. Consumers suddenly start shopping like it’s a race against time.

However, there is a catch. Everyone wants to get in on the seasonal marketing action. So to stand out from the crowd, brands need to plan ahead, creating campaigns that make people stop scrolling, and where possible utilising the latest marketing technology and tactics to get ahead of competitors. 

Why is email a good fit for seasonal marketing?

We hope we’ve piqued your interest in seasonal marketing. But why do we think email is such a good fit for seasonal marketing campaigns?

Cost-effective 

For businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, cost-effectiveness remains a key consideration in implementing any marketing strategy.

Fortunately, email is one of the most cost-effective channels available today, boasting an impressive ROI of $40 for every $1 spent.

Due to the regular – and let’s be honest, sometimes last minute – nature of seasonal campaigns, the low cost of email marketing enables brands to get their campaigns up and running quickly and regularly, with minimal spend required.

Mobile optimised

The proliferation of mobile shopping has reshaped consumer behaviour, in fact, mobile-commerce accounts for 54% of total eCommerce sales.

So, it’s no surprise that seasonal marketing campaigns need to reach customers where they are most active, and that often means in the palm of their hands. 

Email marketing’s adaptability to mobile screens provides a significant advantage, ensuring that the seasonal spirit and exclusive offers can be easily accessed by recipients regardless of the device they are using.

Measurability

One of email marketing’s standout features is its measurability. 

Analytics tools provide detailed insights into key performance metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and much more. This wealth of data empowers marketers to better understand the effectiveness of their seasonal campaigns. 

And this data-driven approach contributes not only to the success of the current campaign but also informs future marketing activity.

Instant buying options

Seasonal marketing is often punctuated by flash sales, limited-time offers, and other time-sensitive promotions. 

And email marketing seamlessly supports these campaigns with its ability to incorporate “Buy Now” buttons directly within communications. 

This instant buying option caters to modern consumers’ desire for immediate gratification, whilst also removing any unnecessary steps in the purchasing process that could lead to a bounce. 

Ability to personalise

Personalisation is paramount for engaging with consumers. And email marketing stands out as a channel that enables some seriously smart personalisation tactics.

This can be as simple as addressing the recipient by their first name. But can also become more advanced with the use of segmentation or dynamic content blocks to emulate a one-to-one conversation with each individual.

This is the perfect way to tailor the seasonal experience for recipients. Standing out from the crowd, and showcasing content that is truly relevant to them as an individual.

What are the benefits of seasonal email marketing?

We love email. But we love seasonal email marketing even more.

Let’s explore why:

Increased sales

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to make some sales!

During certain seasonal periods, purchases go through the roof. Furthermore, 59% of marketers report that email is their biggest source of ROI.

So, when combined to produce seasonal email campaigns, brands can boost their bottom line by putting the right products in front of the right customers when they’re keen to purchase. And if you offer discounts or coupons, you can sweeten the deal even more.

Increased brand awareness

Brands don’t want their voice to be lost in the shuffle during the holidays. 

Fortunately, seasonal email marketing provides a wealth of opportunities to keep your brand top of mind by sending out festive greetings, sales announcements, product recommendations, and other creative, relevant, and targeted content that consumers will appreciate.

Enhanced customer relationships

It’s not just about making money from new customers. Seasonal email marketing is also the perfect way to build relationships with your current customers by staying in touch, providing them with valuable information, and offering VIP perks.

After all, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. So, it’s important to keep your loyal customer base happy.

Cost-effectiveness 

Email campaigns boast a fantastic ROI. For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $40

So, due to the low cost of sending email campaigns, and the automation capabilities at many marketers’ fingertips, email provides a cost-effective way to reach a large number of customers during busy periods. 

Meaning you can get more bang for your buck without breaking the bank.

How to create a successful seasonal email marketing campaign

We can imagine by now you’re eager to get cracking with your seasonal email marketing campaigns. So, to get you started, here are the steps you can take to execute impactful emails:

Plan your campaigns ahead of time

A successful seasonal campaign is not a spur-of-the-moment affair. 

Begin by outlining your campaign well in advance, including the seasons, holidays, and events you would like to target, and the goals you would like to achieve.

Each holiday or season carries its unique vibe and audience expectations. So, focus your efforts on times when consumer interest and engagement are likely to be at their peak.

This planning phase will allow you to consider the finer details, align your strategy with your brand identity, and ensure that your message has a coherent and impactful narrative.

Write irresistible subject lines

The subject line is the threshold between the busy inbox and your message. 

Make it count. 

Personalised subject lines have a 50% higher open rate, so if your data is up to scratch, this is a no-brainer.

Due to the short-lived nature of seasonal campaigns, we’d also recommend utilising action-oriented words and relevant emojis to add a sense of urgency whilst grabbing attention.

Of course, you can also practise some A/B testing with your subject lines to identify what really resonates with your audience.

Segment your audience

Gone are the days of sending one-size-fits-all messages. 

Instead, segment your audience based on demographics, behaviour, and preferences. This allows you to tailor your content and offers, ensuring each recipient receives a message that resonates with their unique interests.

This could include sending different messages or product promotions to different audiences. Or even targeting specific seasons and holidays at different audience segments.

Personalise your messages

The age of impersonal spam emails is very much over. 

For marketers, personalisation is their secret weapon to highly targeted communications. In fact, personalised emails have 2.5 times higher click-through rates, and are 6 times more likely to drive a conversion. 

And personalisation can be achieved at different levels, it could be as simple as addressing recipients by their name or referencing other relevant personal details. 

Or, utilising behavioural data alongside segmentation or dynamic content to deliver highly personalised product recommendations and cross-sell automations. For example, for your romantic customers who have purchased a Valentine’s Day card, send a follow-up email promoting chocolates and champagne. 

Use eye-catching visuals

As humans, we’re visual creatures. And with the influx of emails during busy periods, yours needs to catch the customer’s eye.  

As well as ensuring your emails are highly relevant, incorporate high-quality visuals such as images, videos, and GIFs. 

These could be relatable banner images, glossy product photos, or eye-catching count down timers.

Visual elements not only make your emails more engaging but also contribute to conveying your message more effectively.

Track your results

When it comes to seasonal campaigns, tracking your email results isn’t just a numbers game. It offers essential insights to continuously improve and refine your marketing.

By tracking opens, clicks, conversions, and heatmaps, you can identify which strategies resonate during specific seasons. Utilising data-driven insights to optimise content, timing, and segmentation for better engagement.

By doing so you can elevate the impact of your seasonal (and non-seasonal!) email campaigns on a long-term basis. Continuously improving as you learn.

Next steps

With seasonal campaign opportunities cropping up throughout the year, now is as good a time as any to get stuck into your planning.

If you’d like a little inspiration or guidance on how to execute seasonal campaigns that benefit the bottom line without draining your resource and budget, then we can help.

At Jarrang, we have worked with big brands in a variety of industries to execute seasonal campaigns that make an impact. And with a wealth of email marketing expertise, we’re confident we can help you too.

Get in touch to find out more.

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