marketing advicePardon me for being a bit off key but I just have to start humming my favorite summertime songs.  After one of the coldest winters in recorded history followed by one of the rainiest springs, summer has arrived none too soon.  Although summer doesn’t officially begin for another few weeks, for many of us Memorial Day is the start of the summer season.  Traditionally the picnic gear comes out and, as any woman knows, white shoes are now socially acceptable.

Unfortunately, the summertime can also mean the start of the slow season for many businesses as families everywhere pack up the SUV and head out for vacation.  As the song goes, See You in September.

If spring represents the time to clean-up your database, then summer should represent the time for the smart e-marketer to ramp up their marketing efforts.   Take advantage of the slow time to plot your future marketing efforts.

Here are a few ideas for those Lazy Hazy Days of Summer.

  • Start segmenting your database. As tempting as it is to simply send out marketing pieces to your entire database, you’ll achieve much better results if you send out to a targeted audience.  For example, you might offer existing customers of one product a discount for another product, or offer new prospects a discount on their first orders.
  • Fill in the holes in your database. Sometimes it’s not what you know but what you don’t know that can make a difference.  Create a query of all your existing customers for whom you are missing e-mail addresses and get to work tracking them down.
  • Reach out to your clients through the social networking sites. I absolutely love ACT 2010’s Web Info tab because I can send an invitation to any of my contacts for Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the social sites at the click of a button.
  • Develop a drip marketing campaign. Take advantage of the slow time to sit down and develop a good marketing campaign.  Create at least two campaigns:  one for new inquiries and another for new customers.  Design the templates, decide on the intervals between the pieces, and then “set it and forget it.”
  • Write some blog articles. Like a little squirrel stock piling food for the winter, start writing articles now that can be posted later so that your blog will have a continuous flow of fresh articles throughout the year.
  • Create some newsletters. Write ‘em now and avoid the holiday rush.  Once written you’ll want to add them into a drip marketing campaign.  As silly as it may seem to be writing holiday newsletters in June, you’ll thank yourself when you find yourself with one less thing to do in December!
  • Relax and enjoy the slow time. After all, even the best marketers deserve a little time off!

Who knows?  Maybe you can write some of those articles while relaxing on the beach or floating in the pool.  Singing a few “summer-themed” songs is optional.

Do you have other ideas for summertime marketing?  I’d love to hear from you!