Every business has its slow months. What those months are can vary. For the average ecommerce store, the slowest period is usually during the summer. For SaaS businesses it could be later or earlier in the year, depending on what it is they sell or which service they provide.
When that happens, the profits made during busier times end up having to stretch to make up for the rest of the months, which can be a strain on any business.
Does that mean the slow months are just lost? Not at all, those are prime times to gussy up your email marketing campaign and even establish some new customers (or bring back old ones) along the way. You just need to put some plans into place.
Here are four ways you can make the slow months work for you and your email marketing engagement.
1. Create a New Database of Email Marketing Subscribers During Your Busy Season
This one isn’t put into motion during the slow season, but it is going to help you do the above tip. When you are at the peak of your customer conversion rates, use the opportunity to nudge customers into joining your subscriber list.
They are more likely to do so when they are already buying, because they are in a frame of mind that shows them how valuable your brand already is to them.
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you generate $38 on average. That figure hasn’t changed in modern day and email remains the single most effective form of outreach that you can engage in; more than social, more than paid advertising, more than sponsorships. Your marketing budget just spreads further and provides incredible results.
Once you have your subscribers, the slower period is also a good time to start segmenting them for more customized email campaigns.
PaykickStart supports a variety of email marketing platforms which you can use to set up your newsletter, including GetResponse, AWeber, MailChimp and many others. These can be found inside your “Integrations” section:
2. Work On Customer Loyalty By Winning Over Your Subscriber List
Brand loyalty is the ultimate goal for any business. Repeat customers are always preferable to new ones and retention factors into almost every decision we make. No surprises there, given the conversion rate to an existing customer is between 60 – 70% more than a new acquisition.
Those who have subscribed to your email list may or may not be customers. They could have just found you interesting enough to join your list but never spent a single cent at your store. That’s alright, you are already ahead of the game… they have told you they want to hear from you and that is a powerful step towards making them loyal to your brand.
During the slow months, it is a great time to start sending out regular emails targeted to towards building that loyalty. Let them know about new products, sales or just let them know you are thinking of them and are there to provide them with whatever your business has to offer.
It is a great time to resend any initial coupons they may have never redeemed, as well. Or some new ones, if you want to lure them with an initial offer.
3. Thoroughly Work On Your Content
You know the tagline here: content is king. Emails are a fantastic platform and your slow months are the perfect time to really exploit that method and keep engaged with your customers year round. Everyone wants to represent themselves as an authority and with high quality content you foster that sense of trust.
The trick here is to provide plenty of content that has nothing to do with selling something to the reader. Your emails should have a flavor of “newsletter” to them, even if they just provide a snippet and then link to a blog for the rest. You would be amazed at how effective these can be and they will even generate sales once the reader is on your website.
I have noticed this is an especially helpful tool for those who offer software as a service (SaaS). You have so many options, from giving advice on how to use certain features, to just keeping up with the industry as a whole.
Though that isn’t to say more traditional ecommerce sites can’t benefit from the same tactic, or even local brick and mortar store fronts.
4. Incentivize Referrals
Referral marketing as a whole is a must. Having a solid referral program can generate as much as 3 – 5 times the conversions than other marketing channels. When you stack that on top of email marketing, you have a steady conversion rate on top of a high engagement rate and will be sure to see results more quickly than with many other methods.
But while a good call to action is essential, it doesn’t guarantee compliance. What can make someone more likely to take the bait and refer you to a friend? Incentivizing the action with a well made, consistent referral program.
For example, let’s say you send an email saying that if someone they refer signs up using their code, it will give them 10% off their next order. That might work but it isn’t as enticing as it could be.
Now let’s say you tell them that they can get $10 for every referral that signs up, added to their static account, or maybe a month free of service for every referral. That is something they are more likely to take advantage of and one that they can track as they go along.
With PayKickstart you can set uo your own referral program (if you upgrade to our Growth (Professional) or Scale (Premium) plan). You have the full control over what you want to pay your customers for referrals or how you want to structure your program.
Make Your Slow Months Your Best Email Marketing Months
It is possible to take your slow months and make them work for you, both by increasing sales and also by encouraging sales to increase during your peaks.
Email marketing is efficient, effective and low cost, providing you a direct line that has been proven again and again to generate results. Best of all, you are securing a relationship with your audience that may have tapered off once the busy season did.
Do you have any tips for email marketing during the slow season? Let us know in the comments!
Ann Smarty is the Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas, as well as co-founder of Viral Content Bee. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for over a decade, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of a weekly Twitter chat #vcbuzz