Summer holidays, sunshine and relaxation are good for the soul, but bad for many businesses. The summer slump affects a wide range of industries, from TV sales to stock brokers. For many small and medium enterprises, seasonal peaks and troughs seem inevitable. However, a sensible online marketing strategy can help you reduce the effects of the summer slump or avoid it altogether.
1. Stay in Touch
It’s not just your customers who’ve gone on holiday – so have your team! Many businesses find themselves short staffed during the summer, and choose to dial back customer communications and marketing efforts. Instead, plan ahead and stay in touch throughout the summer. Email marketing campaigns can be particularly effective as they can be set in place ahead of time, and then launched at the push of a button. Even when customers don’t buy, simply staying in touch can put you at the head of the queue when they’re ready to shop.
2. Tell Them, Why Now is the Time to Buy
It’s easier, quicker and simpler to replace a gutter on a sunny July afternoon than on a rainy day in January, but it’s a harder sell. A truthful online marketing campaign that explains why your customers shouldn’t delay can provide an excellent midsummer boost to your sales. Even Christmas tree sellers take orders in the summer, encouraging customers by offering early bird discounts, and first choice when the trees come in.
3. Time Shift your Customers
Why do shops start stocking Christmas cards in August? By bringing out seasonal products early, they not only spread the Christmas revenue peak to fill the August trough, but also encourage customers to start thinking about upcoming celebration and acting on it. Pre-order, delayed delivery and gift voucher campaigns are all ways to draw income in now for a service you’ll provide later.
4. Create Summery Visions
On the hottest day in summer, Starbucks still sells coffee. The enticing visions of their iced drinks and the in-store air conditioning bring in people who then stick to their regular order. Entice customers to your e-commerce or physical store, by making it a summery haven. Online marketing campaigns can support the theme, encouraging customers to get a task done before their holiday or suggesting they book an appointment for when they get back. Industry-related summer or travel tips add value to an email newsletter or social media post.
5. Give them your Time
Fewer customers walking through the door? Then give each one more time. A marketing campaign built around this strategy is particularly appealing in industries where customers make complex and expensive decisions. As industry outsiders, buyers often feel at sea and unable to make the best choice. Offer them more of your time, and give them the extra attention they need to confidently make a purchase. Personalized invitations are the best way to start, either as a mail shot or part of an online marketing campaign.