Email Marketing strategies to face the slow sales months

25 March 2021Reading time: 6 min.

Taking full advantage of the most profitable occasions of the year, including Black Friday, Christmas holidays, and seasonal sales, is a hot topic. But what can we do to keep selling, even during the months of stagnation? Here are 5 practical tips!

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Epiphany, and winter sales—November to February are companies’ top hustle and bustle period. These months have been considered the most profitable for years now, so companies rush to take full advantage of them and grab first place in consumer shopping preferences. The $789 billion record reached by the U.S. market alone during this crucial period last year—about 30% of the overall profits of 2020—was no coincidence. 

After this exhausting race, it’s time for companies and consumers to catch their breath and return to a slower trend. However, to stay limber and not undermine the achievements, it’s important to take advantage of this quiet period and make the most of even those stagnant months. And here you are with 5 Email Marketing strategies for keeping sales constant during the so-called slow months.

1. Capitalize on untraditional events and holidays with themed email campaigns

The Christmas season, occasions like Black Friday, and seasonal sales represent a great opportunity for two reasons. First, they give companies a valid reason to send themed email and SMS campaigns. Second, they give recipients a reason to open the messages that pour into their inboxes, because they know that discount codes and limited-time promotions are in there. Let’s not forget that the feel of urgency and the charm of the unmissable opportunity leverage the cognitive biases that guide most of our purchasing choices, as we’ve already outlined in this article

So the first tip to boost sales throughout the year is to spot and take advantage of untraditional holidays, world days, and lesser-known events that can fit your type of business. Build themed email campaigns and promote initiatives and discounts to increase the interest and responsiveness of your contacts, as well as facilitate conversions. 

Example

If your company belongs to the Food & Beverage sector, then why not take advantage of less traditional recurrences like internationally themed food days? These are now very frequent and so varied that they can adapt to any business. Promote special menus, design emails with an attractive graphic to go with the occasion, and offer discount codes or launch initiatives, like in the following case: 

chipotle national avocado day

There’s no need to wait for your business’ perfect fit to take advantage of certain happenings. Give free rein to creativity and create an intelligent, not-too-far-fetched association with your products

Raymour & Flanigan are a furniture brand. However, their campaign below succeeded in taking advantage of International Coffee Day. It promotes the houses they furnish as the best to enjoy this popular drink: 

raymour & flanigan happy coffee day

This second example encourages the sale of bags. Baggu did it by taking advantage of an untraditional occasion: a month dedicated to the soil and the environment. Their campaign aimed not just at increasing purchases but also at strengthening brand reputation, leveraging on the ethical choices of the company and on the initiative to allocate part of the revenues to a higher purpose. 

BAGGU happy earth month

World days dedicated to a particular theme are just one example. Mother’s and Father’s days, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Pride Month, Halloween, Valentine’s Day… the list of opportunities to grab via themed email campaigns and specific promotions is long. It’s easy to find the event that best suits your business and your purposes. 

dunkin donuts happy mother's day
pulp press st. patrick's day

2. Re-engagement campaigns

The most profitable and hectic months are the golden opportunity to focus on potential customers by attracting them with offers and discounts. On the other hand, the so-called slow months are perfect for shifting the focus to inactive users in the database. 

Capitalize on the stagnation to take stock of your database engagement levels and analyze the statistics related to the engagement rates of your users to identify the inactive ones to awaken. 

The MailUp platform’s new Statistics area features and the new Engagement Reports let you examine the composition of your database in terms of engagement through the two graphs: Snapshot of the engagement of recipients and  Engagement of recipients in a selected period.

Detect your audience’s degree of engagement and easily identify the less active and inactive users of the database with these tools. 

You can start creating your re-engagement campaign once you’ve established which segment of users must be reactivated. Start with an effective subject line to stimulate users’ curiosity and encourage openings like “We miss you”, “Let’s reconnect”, “What have you been up to?”, or “It’s been a while”. These subjects are often used for this type of campaign to restart a conversation. Be careful, though! Don’t use words that might sound like an accusation or a complaint against the user. The goal is to give a feeling of relevance to your contacts and make them understand how much they matter to you. 

Your reactivation campaigns should also offer something to the user, for example discount codes, information on new products and services, or even a roundup of products that may be of interest based on past purchases. 

animoto re-engagement email

3. Reminder email for product repurchase

Leverage your customers’ recurring purchases by sending reminder emails and incentivize a new purchase when the product or service in question is about to end or expire. 

Whether it’s an expiring subscription service or a product that the user purchases with a certain frequency, you’ll find out easily by monitoring the order history of your contacts. This will let you build customized campaigns that remind the user to carry out a new purchase, maybe even adding a special discount to facilitate the conversion.

sephora restock email

Set up a campaign based on a series of emails: send the first one when the product or service is about to end, and a second message just before that term. You can also schedule a third and final delivery if the user hasn’t yet placed his/her order after a while.

H2 4. Focus on referral marketing

What better time than a stagnation to activate referral marketing campaigns? About 2.3% of all sales come from this type of strategy, and the odds of making a purchase are 4 times higher when recommended by a friend. 

What is referral marketing?

It’s a sales strategy based on reports or recommendations from customers who, knowing it, suggest third parties to contact the company and purchase its products or services. Usually, programs and initiatives of this type rely on a form of reward that is advantageous for both the regular customer and the third person involved.

Recommendations are the primary factor behind roughly half of consumer purchasing decisions, according to McKinsey. Therefore, leveraging this type of strategy is a great way to increase sales even in the slow months. Try email campaigns like these:

saje give wellness get wellness
maude give some get some

5. You don’t always need to sell something. Create value and focus on brand reputation and brand loyalty instead.

The months with no product launch and no initiative to promote can be the perfect opportunity for all those email campaigns you had to overlook during the busiest times of the year. These include messages which don’t involve traditional direct sales but are just as useful and strategic for increasing profits in an indirect and less explicit way. By leveraging brand reputation and quality and value, the bond of trust with users can be strengthened and conversions can be facilitated, even without selling. 

Messages focusing on brand mission and values, informative campaigns that show the backstage of your production processes, or emails that present collaborators, the company culture, and the working environment are just some examples. This content doesn’t concern direct sales, but certainly creates value and improves your reputation. This, in turn, increases the public’s trust in you and the likelihood of future purchases. 

jacobsen salt mission of the brand email
lush out values are in our products

Conclusions

Email Marketing isn’t just about email campaigns to sell products during the year’s strategic months. Reactivation campaigns, email reminders, and messages on corporate values and ethics are among the many possible strategies out there to deal with the aftermath of the most profitable periods of the year. In this article, we’ve given you some ideas. Experiment with them and integrate them with tips from the MailUp team of experts! Easily reach your goals: request a consultation and get support from our specialists. 

This article was written by

Paola Bergamini

Paola Bergamini

I was born in 1993 in Como and I escaped from this little town to study in Milan, where I graduated in 2017 in philosophy. I've always been interested in marketing and communication and I love writing and reading. As Content Editor at MailUp, I try to keep up to date with Email and Digital Marketing news, in order to share trends, theories and tools about this constantly evolving sector.

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