Tips For Keeping Customers Engaged Over the Summer
Keeping your customers engaged over the summer can be a challenge. Between vacations, outdoor events, and school being out, the consumer’s buying habits and attention span change. People are in front of their computers less and use mobile devices more to check email in the summer months.
So how do you keep your customers engaged during the lazy, hazy days of summer?
Make sure your emails are mobile-ready. If at all possible, create a mobile version of your email. If you do not have the resources to do this, at the very least make the font bigger and keep the call to action closer to the top and more centered (so you don’t have to slide the email to the right).The same would be true with landing pages.
Try a time-of-day split test. A change in season can mean a change in your contacts’ behaviors. Parents are distracted by children now that school is out, children stay up later, there are more activities outside. If you usually send at the same time, try a different time or split-test one time with another and look for a difference in engagement. There is no magical time – it depends on your audience.
Be patient. In the lazy days of summer, it may take people longer to get to your email. Studies show that it can take 2 weeks for all of your interested contacts to interact with your email. Make sure your offer is still valid or, at the very least, make sure the landing page has an offer of some kind. It may be best to avoid “today only” specials in the summer, unless this is your business model.
Do a “summer tips” email. Retailers – do you have a product that can be used more/differently in the summer (hats, lotions, shoes, equipment)? Do you have information that is more relevant in the summer (healthy tips, travel destinations, children’s study tips while out of school, water safety)? Get creative and your audience will appreciate the tips.
Do a summer auto-responder series. Alternatively, set up an email calendar now and create the emails ahead of time. Schedule these emails in advance – especially if your email manager will be on vacation. An example of a “summer series” could be around deals each week, summer safety tips, motivating health tips related to the summer (skin care, pool exercises, healthy eating). Nonprofits could consider hosting a “summer challenge” fundraising goal and offer winners a prize at the end of the summer.
Express yourself. Summer is a more casual time, making it a good time to relate to your customers on a personal level. People like to feel they are buying from people, rather than companies. Take time this summer to stop selling and start building relationships. Take pictures of your staff at a company cook-out, share pictures from employee travels (this would be great on a blog or social media, too). Have a picture-caption contest – for example, use a picture of your CEO or owner doing something fun and ask your subscribers to write the caption with a small prize for the winning caption. Ask your customers what they did during the summer and ask them to post pictures to your website or Facebook page.
Get creative, find a reason to send to your list, and you’ll find your audience engaged with you through the summer and into fall. Read more about the importance of summer campaigns to small businesses here.
Written By: Penny Ashley-Lawrence, iContact Enterprise Account Manager
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