Summer tips for keeping fun-loving subscribers engaged.


Summer’s almost here! Everyone’s getting ready to take a break and have some “fun in the sun”.  But sometimes that means NOT reading marketing emails from you. To help keep your audiences engaged, we came up with some tips and best practices on bringing summer fun INTO your campaigns so subscribers look forward to your emails − even when they’re at the beach!

Come to think of it, GetResponse is so easy to use, YOU could create your summer campaigns at the beach! Just decide what types of campaigns and contests to run, choose your themes, and you’re off! And don’t forget to start recording and collecting the videos and testimonials, graphics, and pics NOW you want to use. After all, you have a ton of storage in your Getrepsonse Multimedia Studio, so why not use it! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Let’s begin with how to use summer themes, then we’ll talk about the types of campaigns and contests you could run to generate interest in what your brand is doing to contribute to the summer fun!

* Summer themes

* BBQs
* Beach fun
* Eating out
* Fishing, boating
* Fairs, festivals
* Hiking
* Games
* Travel
* Water sports
* and… feel free to add your own!

Pick a summer theme and create a multimedia experience around it − From the title and subject line, through the offer, message, graphics, media, and calls to action – make it a total experience! Include one link or media file solely for entertainment value, like a link to an online game, puzzle, music or “cool” summer video.  Need video content? Attend as many local fairs and festivals as possible, not just to get your brand noticed and to network, but to record the event and share it with your readers.  And why not let your customers be creative with a video testimonial recorded at the amusement park or the pool?! Finally, make your campaigns even more fun and convenient with Email-to-Speech! They can listen while they’re at the “barbie”!

•    Choose the perfect design from 300+ GetResponse templates, then customize with your pics, videos, music, summer recipes, jokes, whatever you think will make the email engaging AND relevant.  Wrap it all up in sunny summer colors, with attention to your brand image, and it’s like a “party in an email”!

* Just make sure not to over-do it and hide your CTA buttons, links, or offer with too many special effects. Remember, the key to good email design is balancing text, graphics and media without losing sight of your goal – sales and sign-ups!

Contests & Giveaways
•    Wow, more than half of all Americans participated in a sweepstakes in the past year.(1) Almost everyone loves a contest… and everyone loves something for free, right?  So let your creativity run wild and plan at least one contest per month per target audience. In other words, try using a different contest theme and prizes for each unique segment to increase response rates.

Now we’re pretty sure you’re pros at contests, but please take care to follow these basic rules:
­ * Identify your business clearly and provide your contact information.
­ * Be crystal clear about the contest rules, terms and conditions
­ * Offer customers an obvious and easy way to stop further solicitation (opt out).
­ * No “pay to play”, in other words, no one has to purchase anything to participate.

•    Contests and giveaways offer the perfect opportunity to use your summer themes to have some fun!  Here are a few ideas to get the creativity flowing:

* Best BBQ recipe
* Best summer cocktail
* Funniest beach video
* Backyard antics video
* Best games for long car rides
* Silliest “fish story”
* Most amazing view photo contest
* Any summer-related “best use of product” video (ask a customer to record it!)

Really, the list is endless. But don’t forget to make the grand prize part of your summer theme, like the winner of Best BBQ recipe would get dinner for 2 at a famous local BBQ restaurant. Or tickets to a local festival featuring a BBQ competition, and so forth.  Throw in a gift certificate for your products or services, so they’ll come back for more… or send their friends! And of course, you KNOW you need to follow up with autoresponders every step of the way. Remember, your audience is focused on having fun, not responding to email campaigns!!

Multi-channel it!
Because your target audiences are often on the road, literally, make sure you use a variety of channels to cover all the bases. For example, they may not be working online while sunbathing, but could be tweeting, right? And you know they’ll ALL have their cell phones with them! So here are few tips to make it easier to reach these audiences – and for them to reach you!
* Design your campaign for small mobile phone screens.
* Use short videos to grab attention and for social sharing.
* Ratchet up your tweet campaigns to keep the conversation going.
* Post outdoor pics and videos on social media sites of your product in action.
* Run your contests and giveaways on every popular social media site.
* Use Email-to-Speech for the beach! Seriously, what better way to reach mobile, fun-loving, multi-tasking families while they’re on the go. It’s safe and easy − and you can put it on speakerphone!

Frequency & Timing!
This is better left to your discretion, as you know your audience better than anyone. However, there are major factors that come into play in the summer that you need to consider, mainly:

* Target audiences are probably checking their email LESS frequently, so you may want to survey in early summer to find out how often they want to hear from you.
* Subscribers aren’t thinking about spending MORE money, so proceed with caution! No “hard sell” tactics!
* Families and singles are usually off early Friday afternoon, so not a good day for your marketing messages. But what about Sundays?! It’s always been a good performer, and in the summer, it could be the perfect day of the week to launch your latest “fun” campaign. So stay on track with your newsletters, etc. Tuesday – Thursday, but save the Big Fun for  the weekends.
* As always, test, test, test. Consumer behavior during the vacation months is hard to predict, but if you split test everything, you’re sure to plug into exactly what they need and want!

So happy sailing, or hiking, or whatever you’re doing, but most of all, “happy emailing”! This is where we ask for your comments, but seriously, we REALLY would like to hear what kind of fun you’re planning for your subscribers this summer. Write and tell us!

1(FTC, 2009).

Become a marketing PRO!

Join more than 15,000 SMB marketers who get our top marketing articles straight into their inbox