Keeping Readers Engaged with Content throughout Summer – Email Thursday


“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”

Summertime is generally a slow month for brick-and-mortar stores as well as online retailers. People have their children at home, are taking weeks off at a time for vacation, and are generally in a different mood than the other nine months of the year. Their attention spans are shorter, they hang out more outside and they’re probably spending money on summer camps, ice cream cones and blockbuster movies, rather than shopping for themselves.

There are plenty of things you can do to tailor your email campaigns to meet the needs of your customers. I won’t cover the more technical ones here, but I will go over some basic techniques concerning content that will still help you capture the attention of your readers.

During the summer months, I tend to try and stay off my computer when I’m home, and in Boston, we only get a certain amount of warm days so I prefer to stay out and about. This doesn’t mean I lose connection with the world; it just means I open up a lot more emails on my phone.

You may notice that reading an email on your phone and reading one on a computer is a completely different experience. I know that when I’m on my phone, my attention span is a lot shorter, too. This is important to take into account when you’re crafting your summertime-friendly emails. As far as content goes, it’s vital to keep it interesting and even summer-oriented. Catchy subject lines and creative, punchy content will get you the farthest.

I know I prefer: Ciao Bella! Italian pencil skirt ON SALE.

To: Hey shopper, check out our new Italian pencil skirt that I’m sure you’ll fall in love with.

As far as sending out emails goes, e-commerce companies want to make sales on each email they send. Instead of just promoting your product offering endlessly in the body content, why not come up with some creative ways to tie your products or services to summer. For example, if you sell car parts, convertible parts might be a hot ticket item right now. Incorporate it into some helpful content for convertible drivers – like safety tips for summer convertible driving or even a best summer road trip tunes playlist. Both are helpful and you can use it tie your sales pitch in. You can even promote your social media. Ask customers to provide their best summer song or safety tip through Facebook or Twitter. You may even get some new ideas by asking them to participate in this.

Since it’s summer and people tend to be more social (real-life social; not online) during these months, it’s a great time to have a local event. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, send out email invites to in-store events, where you can do all sorts of promotions and entice customers into becoming longtime buyers. If you’re solely an online store, encourage people with giveaways that are tied to social media postings, ordering from your store, offering their email up for newsletters and promotions, etc.

Lastly, there are a lot of goings-on during these hot months like fun holidays you can take advantage of – 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, May Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Summer Solstice. The 2012 Olympics are also going on this summer in London giving you plenty of sports-related material to pull from. While natural disasters are no joke, hurricanes and nor’easters typically occur during the summer months adding to your list of catchy subject lines and content.

Always remember that content and subject lines are always important, but may need to be slightly tweaked in your summer email campaigns to better grab a reader’s attention and convert them to customer status.