“Winter is coming.”
What does this phrase mean to you? Is it conjuring memories of the Starks, white walkers and the Night King? “Game of Thrones” appreciation aside, the next thing a dedicated marketer might connect the incoming winter with is seasonal marketing. A new season heralds new opportunities for sales.
Nearly 40% of online sales are generated in the last three months of the year. Considering that, it’s just impossible to ignore the power of seasonal marketing. By definition, seasonal marketing is when your business targets its marketing activities around specific times of the year. The best part about this is that your activities are not only limited to one big day — it’s also about adjusting your marketing campaigns to, for example, summer vacations. In fact, seasonal marketing is an extended version of holiday marketing.
In a recent consumer study by Google and the Boston Consulting Group, 70% of surveyed participants reported that their shopping journey involved online touchpoints. Digital is a critical part of the customer journey today, whether it’s online or in-store. In such circumstances, customer communications come to the fore, and using the right channels becomes a game changer for increasing revenues. Wrong tool selection will not do your business any favours: why support your customers via emails when 82% of them prefer live chats, for instance?
In this article, we take a thorough look at specific messaging techniques and tools to discover how they can help develop an efficient seasonal marketing campaign. You’ll also receive exclusive access to our Seasonal Messaging Guide for November & December 2021!
First and foremost, you should weigh the pros and cons about the season you selected. Is it popular among my customers? Do I have something to offer? If yes, begin your research on key trends. Monitor where the sales spikes are coming from, and then link them back to specific keywords. If you’ve already set up Google Search Console for your website, you’re on the right path to searching query data. Otherwise, you can try SEO tools, such as Ahrefs or SEMRush. Explore last year’s seasonal patterns to better prepare your marketing strategy. Also, don’t forget to study your competitors.
The next step would be to figure out the date or time period for your seasonal marketing efforts – that’s the foundation from which the campaign will grow. It’s also about budgeting as every new round of advertisement costs some pennies, sometimes even an arm and a leg. Have you ever noticed how fast Christmas related special offers disappear from retail websites and physical stores immediately after the celebration?
Nailing down the strategy
1. Define the end goal
The ultimate goal of any seasonal marketing campaign is to increase profits by selling more to existing customers and attracting new ones. This goal should be clearly measurable: What income rise do you expect? How many goods do you plan to sell? How many new customers do you want to engage?
2. Don’t forget about emotions
According to Daniel Kahneman, who received a Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, people have two modes of thought: “System 1” is fast, instinctive and emotional; “System 2” is slower, more deliberative, and logical. In most situations, we like orienting towards emotions and avoid difficult choices. As marketers, you can significantly influence these thought processes but understanding your customers’ motivations. For example, seasonal shopping is often focused on indulgence but in reality, this is also a period where many customers want to stretch that dollar and appreciate good value and savings. So why not orientate your marketing message around that? Gestures such as small discounts, free gift wrapping, free delivery, or fuss-free exchanges can go a long way.
3. Craft a key message
Marketing is communication. And what does communication always include? Messages! True, there should be one key message — broad in scope to describe your point of view. For a delivery service’s Mother’s Day campaign, it can be, for instance, “We deliver your love and care for those who are miles away but always in your heart.”
Let the Party Begin!
When all the preparations are finished, it’s time to get the campaign going. Consider the following seasonal marketing campaign tips to boost your seasonal marketing to the maximum.
Start on time
Statista reports that 92% of shoppers use special offers and discount codes at some point during the year. Such coupons help create a feeling of urgency and perfectly suit seasonal sales. To send first offer messages before the season launch is a winning strategy — and, of course, they must be inconspicuous. Presales offers will surely work for the back-to-school period: parents just cannot omit it and will look for the most beneficial options. Give them what they want via an SMS that offers a 98% open rate.
Assist, not promote
Instead of sending promotions and ads, offer some help to your customers. Transform your brand into a virtual assistant for a limited period. Well, let’s suppose you’re a halal food reseller. The holy month of Ramadan is an exceptional period for Muslims — your target audience. Despite thorough preparations, for many people fasting every day for a month is not an easy task. Why not assist them and offer a unique seasonal messaging campaign with useful pieces of advice? You can use SMS, RCS or even launch a chatbot for that end. Remember 91% of consumers are more likely to choose brands providing tailored offers and recommendations.
Add fun colours
Stickers are a fancy way to get your business in front of consumers. On par with emojis, conveying complex emotions and concepts via a single sticker streamlines and even gamifies the communication. The most exciting thing is how viral they are. Your audience might appreciate some funny festive selection. As one of the biggest “fun providers”, Disney regularly release seasonal sticker packs. Even if you are having the most horrific day, this Halloween pack will be sure to make you smile.
Add seasonal Viber post-call ads. They are displayed on the user’s device screen immediately after a call or if the call recipient doesn’t respond within 40 seconds. This method guarantees excellent coverage as 45% of Viber application users do use voice and video calls every day. Thus, post-call ads are a good channel to share updates about seasonal goods and services.
Create targeted gift guides
Seeing a friend holding your present and smiling is an absolute pleasure. But selecting the perfect gift can often be challenging. A downloadable seasonal gift guide is a true helping hand for your customers. This way, you can inspire the shoppers with some creative ideas while moving them down the funnel towards a purchasing decision. Note, personalisation here may bring a lot to the table. The winning strategy is to design guides considering the audience’s particular needs. The Father’s Day Gift Guide, Gifts under $25, Gifts for her, Amazon Gifts, Gifts for Precious Family Moments… All of those are just tip of an iceberg. On top of that, a gift guide link can be sent literally via any channel: SMS, RCS, OTT, push notification, and with our business communication platform, you can find out how many people reached your guide — thanks to the click rate option.
Getting the timing right
Consider that different channels require differing lead times. Also, the messaging schedule will depend on your goals, industry, and customer habits. Here are some universally recognised timings:
- Between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. on weekdays. This is a popular time to check the notifications while the consumers are on public transport, have their morning coffee, or check their inboxes in the office.
- Between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays. Around this time, customers are once again on their phones on their way back home or busy with their chores and hobbies, yet still ready to receive your messages without considering them intrusive.
- Between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Send your campaign while the audience is nice and cosy, relaxing after a week of hard work. Reaching out to your consumer during this time of the day also makes it easier for people to jump on board with the offers that will not disrupt your customer’s plans, like an invitation to check out a new brunch menu.
- Between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays. Finally, early Sunday evenings are when most of us are done with our activities, chilling in preparation for the upcoming week. This is the time for relaxed browsing, which means consumers should be considerably more receptive to your communications.
All in All
A well-orchestrated seasonal marketing campaign is bound to boost sales and increase customer engagement. Proper communication is key. GMS Business Communications Suite will help you organise your seasonal messaging campaign to hit all the right notes. Contact our experts and find out more!