It’s that time of year when I struggle to get meetings on the calendar because of summer vacations among my colleagues and clients. The “summer slump” seems to hit everyone. But now is the time to get your program ready for a strong back-to-school and holiday season.
One of the biggest opportunities in July and August is putting some focus on acquisition tactics. Sure, acquisition is important year-round, but there should be a heavier focus right now to ensure you have “all systems go” to build up your database with more consumer activity as we head into the fall season. Here are some ideas to help you plan:
Capitalize on summer fun through contests and referrals. If your brand has a heavy social presence, run a clever contest that not only speaks to your customers, but can also be shared to net new email subscribers. You can also use social authentication tied to a contest to gather profile information in addition to the email address. Try punching up an existing referral program with an extra-special offer for a limited time to generate higher than average referral activity.
Think outside the box to create new acquisition sources.
-- If you have a mobile app, ask for email address as part of registration or even as a push notification once you see activity from a user on the app.
-- Custom Audiences are a great way to find valuable look-alikes to your existing customers. Drive clicks to an email registration page, so you can immediately start getting a return on your paid media investment through the more cost-effective email channel.
-- Many brands are already putting a modal or email gate on the homepage of their website to collect email addresses. Why not also put a gate on sale sections or other site areas with exclusive content? I recommend you only show this to unknown site visitors and also provide an option to bypass the gate. You don’t want to force people to sign up, as those who don’t want email will only unsubscribe and possibly cause deliverability issues for your email program.
-- If your brand hosts special events or has brick and mortar locations, leverage geofencing with your app or signage to drive a special offer for email sign-up. For example, if a user enters one of your stores and is using your app, push a message asking for email registration in exchange for an offer that can be redeemed on that visit. You can also use store signage to get a user to send a SMS message to opt in to email. Again, provide an offer that can be redeemed that day and immediately start getting a return on the effort.
Audit existing acquisition sources. I sign up for a number of brand emails each week, and you’d be surprised by how many never send me a welcome email or put me into their promotional streams. Broken acquisition sources are more common that you’d imagine. Approach all of your acquisition sources as an outsider, signing up with new email addresses, and monitor what happens. Make sure you approach these sources on desktop, tablet and mobile. If there is an issue, you’ll notice it right away and will be able to remedy the problem.
What are some ways you plan to address acquisition this year? Let me know in the comments.