Seasonal Marketing for Etailers Means More than Halloween and Christmas

Happy Halloween 2013

Today’s the annual celebration of pumpkins and free candy. It’s a favorite with party and costume stores, supermarkets, kids and dentists.

It’s also another seasonal marketing opportunity for etailers. If you subscribe to any newsletters from your favorite etailers, or you visited a retailer’s site in the past month, you probably found yourself staring at more than one carved pumpkin or witch’s hat.(Or a scary black cat!)

Did adding orange and black to the emails and newsletters increase traffic and conversion for their furniture, gift baskets, chinos, and <insert product here>? Perhaps? Depends on the retailer, of course.

Seasonal marketing for etailers
Nothing says Halloween like saving 25% during Petco’s Black Cat promotion

Seasonal marketing has been around since the earliest etailing days. Here are some seasonal marketing for etailers tips and reminders to help you improve your bottom line.

The Season and Event Calendar is Much Larger Than You Think

There are way more seasons, celebrations and events than you know. So, don’t limit yourself to the obvious; Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Back to School, Halloween, and Christmas.

There are numerous ethnic and cultural celebrations, events restricted by geography (Boston’s 2013 World Series victory last night, for example), as well as thousands of seasons, events and celebrations associated with vocations, hobbies, beliefs, tasks, and interests. (Think of these as non-holiday, calendar-based events).

Of course, many of the narrower, more targeted promotions really require a firm understanding of which content, offers, and promotions will resonate. Segmentation begets targeting. So know thy list.

Seasonal Marketing Should Begin with Segmentation

Seasonal marketing through segmentation is key. Personalizing the experience will really increase your ROI. Geo-segmentation is just one example. Segmentation and personalization only work if you’re asking questions about your list. What information do you need, or would like to collect? Can you harvest valuable information without offending customers? Perhaps you’ll need to give something in return (the Theory of Reciprocity in communication studies) to get it? How are you going to collect the information? Fields, forms, on-site  or affiliate registration? Finally, how can you use it once collected?

It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got that Social Thing….

Seasonal marketing is ideally suited to social content and conversations. While commerce is its longterm focus, your messaging and offers can encompass a variety of professional and personal approaches. And if done right, the gods of virality may also favor you.

Seasonal Marketing and Overall Marketing Strategy

Seasonal marketing shouldn’t be a one-off, though. Your seasonal branding and messaging before, during, and after the event need to complement your overall marketing strategy. Don’t stray from what you already represent in the marketplace. Remain within the brand parameters of what you’ve already developed in the minds of your list.

Halloween will soon be over, but follow these guidelines and you can boost the returns of your next seasonal marketing project.

<Note to self: hide a few of the mini-Snickers bars before the first kids arrive)>

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