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By: Ben Bauks
Many businesses believe that the best time to create marketing campaigns for their business is during the holidays--or perhaps at seasonal high points. Clothing companies, for example, might kick their campaigns into high gear during back-to-school season, while sporting goods companies know that the summer months are an excellent time to market many of their best-selling products. The reality, however, is that year-round marketing and engagement with your customers is critical to that seasonal success.
Create Content All Year (And Share It!)
Your company doesn't stop producing content or selling items to your customers throughout the year. That means that your email list shouldn't find you completely absent, either! It's critical that you keep producing content throughout the year to keep your search engine ranking high. Why not send that content to your email list as you produce it? You never know when a relevant piece of content will interest a customer in purchasing a birthday gift, selecting a little something for themselves, or simply putting an idea on the back burner for when the holidays arrive.
The Holiday Shopping Season
Many people now choose to start their holiday planning early. As many as 15% of consumers start their holiday shopping in September--which means that if you're waiting until October or November to start sending out seasonal emails, you're already too late! Not only does shopping start early, savvy shoppers start putting together their shopping lists long before holiday fare appears in stores. If you want your products to make those critical holiday lists, make sure that you're keeping your brand in front of your customers, ensuring they'll think about you when they're putting those lists together. This is particularly useful if you offer products, services, or gift certificates that are of use for those hard-to-shop-for people on every list.
Christmas is coming. So is Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year's. While people are aware that they need to start preparing for those important holidays, they might not remember exactly what it is that they need in order to make the most of it. From sending out recipes that will entice your customers into creating a shopping list as they eagerly anticipate a seasonal favorite, to offering a special discount to customers who take care of their shopping early, issuing pre-season reminders is a great way to keep your business at the forefront of customers' thoughts as they prepare for the coming season.
Increase Customer Engagement
Engaged customers are customers who think of your business first when they have needs in your industry. Not only that, when you supply them with useful information that allows them to make critical decisions, take care of the items they need to accomplish for the season, or laugh a little in the middle of a busy time of year, you also raise your customers' trust in your company. That means when they need a last-minute addition to their seasonal plans, they'll trust you to take care of them--and you'll get the business to prove it!
Whether you're a "feast or famine" business that takes care of the majority of your business for the year in a particular seasons or around a specific holiday or you're simply anticipating increased sales for the holiday, make sure you aren't waiting until the last minute to increase customer engagement. By creating year-round emails for your mailing lists, supplying your customers with useful, relevant content that will speak specifically to their needs, you'll discover that it's easier to bring in business during the season when you need it most. Whether you're gearing down after a busy back-to-school season or gearing up for the holidays, find out how Act! emarketing can help in creating a year-round email marketing campaign that will increase your sales when you need them most.