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Seasonal online retail campaigns for SMEs: Spring

4 minute read

In this series, we’re looking at how online retailers can adapt their marketing to the seasons, to create relevant campaigns that fit with customers lifestyles and shopping habits.

This time, we’ll look at how retailers can create campaigns around Spring, as well as using key events during this time of year to attract customers.

Spring runs (roughly) from March to June 2019, though exact dates will vary according to which source you check.

Unlike perhaps winter and summers, there’s no overriding theme during Spring, but this season contains plenty of different events and themes that online retailers can use as inspiration to work campaigns around.

We’ll look at some of the events that marketers can hang campaigns around during this season, some of the general themes, and some examples of Spring marketing from online retailers.

Key themes for Spring marketing campaigns

Marketers have a range of weather conditions to take account of during Spring. The season may start in March with very cold and even freezing weather (if 2018 is anything to go by) and end with fine weather and sunshine in May and June.

The biggest event from a retail perspective is Easter, which we’ll cover in detail in another article.

There are plenty of other themes and events which can provide opportunities for marketers though, including:

  • Spring cleaning – there’s a sense of renewal in Spring and marketers can tap into this in various ways. This could be clearances of products, or renewal in the form of new product launches, new looks for your website and more.
  • April Fool’s Day – this offers a chance for marketers to be creative and have a bit of fun with customers.
  • Mother’s Day (31 March) – plenty to work with here, with gifts, cards and flowers the most obvious product associations.
  • Other events in this period include St Patrick’s Day (17 March), Earth Day (22 April), St George’s Day (23 April) and Star Wars Day (4 May).
  • Sporting events – there are a few sporting events taking place during Spring, including the Grand National (6 April), the end of the football season, the FA Cup final (18 May), while this year the UK hosts the Cricket World Cup (30 May).

Spring marketing campaign strategies and ideas

Some best practices for Spring marketing campaigns and ideas for content themes around this season.

SEO strategy

Spring SEO strategy will very much depend on the products you are selling, and how relevant various events during this season are to you.

If your products are likely to be searched for at this time, then it’s a case of optimising as normal. If, however, you’re targeting key events like Mother’s Day, then it’s a long-term game.

In this case, interest builds from a few weeks out, but only really peaks in the week or so before the event. If your site is ranking for key terms around this time, it can deliver lots of extra traffic and sales.

The key here is to create landing pages and content around the target theme.

If it works well, it’s a repeatable strategy as these pages can be reused the next year, with fresh content.

Content for Spring

With Spring bridging winter and summer and encompassing several events, there’ll be some sort of angle for content for most retailers.

For events like Mother’s Day, gift guides and gift ideas make great content. It’s useful for shoppers, helps retailers to target key search terms, and helps promote key products.

Events during this season can also provide inspiration for content. Here are some other seasonal content ideas:

  • Spring cleaning – if it fits the brand and products, then providing useful tips for spring cleaning is great content at this time of year. This could be a landing page, a blog post, or video. It’s even worked for Nationwide.
  • Sports content with plenty of sporting events during Spring, there’s plenty of scope for marketing around big events. 

  • April Fool’s Day – this is one that plenty of brands take part in each year, with varying success. If you have a good idea which fits your brand, then it’s a great way to get customer’s attention, and show a different side to your brand.
  • Flowers and gardening – Spring is a time of renewal for the gardener, and the point where they are clearing up their gardens after the winter and planting for the summer. 

Promotional ideas for Spring 

If you’re looking to tempt customers with discounts, or just to offload some excess stock from winter, then here are some ideas for promotions.

Winter stock sales

If you’re making way for new stock in Spring, then flash sales are a great way to do this and grab customers attention.

Spring sales

Spring often brings new product lines for retailers, and retailers can create a buzz around this new inventory with email marketing.

For example, if you’re selling food, you can talk about the new ingredients available at this time of year. The same principle applies to new fashion lines, new DIY products, and so on.

Contests and giveaways

Competitions are another great way to start Spring campaigns. Giveaways can drive traffic to your site or social platforms and generate useful content, and drive interest on social media.

Woobox has some useful ideas for social giveaway campaigns.

Email marketing

Spring can provide lots of inspiration for email campaigns. For fashion retailers, it’s a new season, and a good chance to highlight new looks.

Spring can work well in email subject lines. Indeed, Ominsend found that emails with this in the subject line performed better than average.

Some of the highest performing Spring subject lines were:

  • Spring featured item!
  • Spring has arrived!
  • Spring cleaning

For fashion retailers, new Spring looks are an obvious idea for email campaigns:

Mother’s Day email subject lines perform well in terms of open rates, though click through rates are lower than other topics (Spring for one).

This could be due to the competition for attention in the run up to Mother’s Day, but a good subject line can always give you the edge.

Here are some of the best performing, according to Omnisend:

  • Mother’s Day GIVEAWAY Winners!
  • Free with Mother’s Day Special
  • Reminder: Mothers Love [Brand Name]
  • Mother’s Day Weekend! @ [Brand Name]

The best approach is to test and see which subject line performs best with your subscribers, but it’s useful to have an idea of what might work well.

Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at behavioural marketing company SaleCycle. He has previously worked for Econsultancy and Search Engine Watch, and has written several best practice guides on e-commerce and digital marketing. Follow him on Twitter

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