Summertime Is Perfect For Growing Your Customer Database. But How?

June 14, 2016 1:35:08 PM | By Matt Benati

It’s not technically summer yet, but you may have already noticed a drop in your engagement and sales. Not surprising. Kids are out of school, and many families wait the whole year for the extended vacations and long weekends that summer brings

It’s summertime and life seems to slow down … so your email marketing should too, right? Not so fast! Don’t pull back on your marketing just because you assume your leads are in vacation mode. By following a few quick tips and being committed to your plan, you can actually leverage summer travel schedules and keep your content marketing strategy intact, leads engaged, and even identify and engage new leads!

Here are some tips:

Optimize For Mobile

Your leads will be on the go this summer. Schedules are modified and work-weeks shortened as people enjoy making the most of the long days, warm nights and the ability to travel as a family. Meet them where they are with an optimized mobile marketing strategy that:

  • Is responsive. Make sure your email template and images scale to optimally fit any screen (especially smartphones and tablets). Also, your email should display correctly when forwarded. While on vacation, many people will quickly check email on their phones and forward important information to staff members back in the office.
  • Is easy. Increase the size of links, buttons and fields to make it easy for people to take whatever action you want them to.

Have A Little Summer Fun

Summer is fun – your emails should be, too! Keep in mind that people are naturally happier and more active this season. Play to that with creative seasonal content like Summer Sales, Summer Tips and Summer Trends, and don’t be afraid to interject some fun with offbeat topics and interactive content like quizzes or info-graphics.

Senior Vice President of Marketing at SnapApp, Aaron Dun says, “It’s really easy to get sucked into thinking that holidays are off limits, but if you get creative, you can really generate some outsized returns. At SnapApp, we’re launching “Summer School” to really lean in to the fact that summer is the perfect opportunity for some light learning about incorporating interactive content into demand gen campaigns. We’ve previously run a number of holiday promos, and they usually create great engagement and sales opportunities in a typically slow season or month.”

Shorter Is Sweeter

With added travel and increased activity, people simply have less time to read emails. It’s critical that your summer messages be as focused as possible. Highlight important information and keep in mind that your audience is reading on the go. A strong image and call to action will make it easier for readers to take the next step.

Because your audience is slightly distracted in the summer, it’s also the perfect time to sweeten the deal by offering an incentive for those who participate — like a small American Express card for vacation spending. Or, better yet, provide them with a Summer Flight Pack: a branded neck pillow, eye mask and an easy PDF download of your last five blogs for a little travel reading (no wi-fi required, so PDF is perfect for plane rides)!

Summer’s Secret Weapon: Auto-Reply Emails

If you’ve been wondering about the earlier mention of acquiring NEW leads over the summer, the wait is over. Yes, you really can identify and engage brand new leads in the summer! Actually, it’s probably one of the best times of year to do so (winter holidays also rock).

Here’s why.

When your regular lead is out of the office, they likely set an Out Of Office (OOO) auto-responder in their absence. In most cases, this OOO reply will contain the name, email and phone number of who to contact while they’re away. This person may be a peer, a lieutenant, or a manager – a decision maker or influencer – any of which were previously unknown to you. Considering it takes an average of 5.4 people to make a buying decision these days, adding new contacts to your key accounts over summer is a huge benefit! Additionally, the OOO reply often contains the date your primary contact will return, allowing you to personalize your follow-up message and time it perfectly.

While most campaigns average a 3% reply rate, we’ve found this number can be much higher in the summer due to increased travel schedules. While it can feel daunting, if you’re ignoring these replies, you might be surprised to learn just how much Account Based Intelligence (ABI) you can mine from them. This newly acquired information can help broaden your reach within key accounts, personalize messaging, and set the stage for fall sales activity.

Just because you plan to keep your email marketing strategy alive this summer doesn’t mean you can’t travel and sip margaritas yourself! Plan ahead, create personalized content, and schedule your campaigns as usual. Then, just sit back and let LeadGnome automatically mine your replies for valuable ABI that will help keep your leads engaged all summer long!

You can be up and running with LeadGnome in a matter of minutes with zero changes to your campaigns! See for yourself how it can improve your summer email marketing strategy by signing up for a FREE trial today.

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