It’s no secret that small businesses use email marketing to communicate with customers, but what if you’re a seasonal business? Does email marketing have the same results? Are there differences in best practices? Do seasonal businesses need to be sending emails all year long? If you don’t use email marketing now, should you start?
The short answer is yes.
If you’re a seasonal business, you might be missing out on valuable communication opportunities or making some email marketing mistakes that could be costing you big time, resulting in lost sales, poor email analytics, annoyed customers, and even the risk of being forgotten.
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Are you making any of these common mistakes?
1. Going Quiet During the off Season
The biggest problem with not sending emails during the off season is that your customers forget who you are and how much they love you! This could lead to unsubscribes or poor email results with future emails.
Heidi’s Hill is a small scale ski slope in rural New Hampshire. Since they are only open and operating during winter months, that is the only time they are using email marketing. This seems to be working for them, however, the email they send out at the end of fall and beginning of their season does not perform well, and business is off to a slow start.
The reason their email performed poorly is because their contacts have not been thinking about them for about 6 months, or have even forgotten about Heidi’s altogether. If this business had been keeping in touch with customers during the off season, customers would be anticipating the start of the ski season and excited to see Heidi’s emails pop into their inbox.
Tip: Try sending at least one email each month to keep your business top of mind throughout the off season. This takes a very small effort and will ensure your customers stay familiar with your business.
2. Sending Too Many Emails Once the Season Kicks Off
Your re-opening should be a big event and be promoted with email marketing. However, if your customers haven’t heard from you at all during off season, all of a sudden seeing a ton of emails from you could be overwhelming. You risk annoying your contacts and even getting marked as spam.
Another issue that comes with only sending emails during the open season is that there is a shorter time frame to communicate all of your information. Emails end up getting stuffed to the brim with content that will most likely perform poorly due to lack of focus. Remember, email marketing should be like a marathon, not a sprint.
Tip: Easing into the beginning of your season by sending emails consistently, far in advance, is like greasing up the wheels before a big race. It’s a great way to prepare your customers for the promotions to come.
3. Overlooking the Value of Consistent Communication
As a best practice, consistency is very important in email marketing. Whether you send weekly, biweekly or monthly, be sure to keep it consistent. This will build momentum and your customers will come to not only anticipate, but genuinely enjoy seeing you in their inbox, solidifying your relationship with them.
This relationship with your customers will not only knock your email results out of the park, it will keep you top of mind when they are ready to buy.
Tip: Create a schedule and stick to it! If you have a busy time frame coming up, plan ahead so your email marketing consistency won’t suffer.
So what should you do with this information? Start thinking about how you can fix these common mistakes now. If you’re seeing that your business is making these same mistakes, don’t worry, fixing them is easy. Email marketing keeps the conversation going all year, engaging your customers and setting yourself up for more success once your season starts.