Email Engagement by Using Unconventional Themes
For more than ten years now, email marketing has brought in the largest ROI than any other marketing tool. One of the many reasons why email marketing is so effective is that it is easy to customize and integrate into various marketing tactics.
However, email marketing is not effective all year round. There are seasons when marketing via email is extremely lucrative, and then there are seasons where email performance and business sale decreases. And using your standard campaigns will not cut it. You will require some unique, exciting, and engaging campaigns that your target audience has not seen already. Remember your audience is already receiving emails from several other competitors.
So, how can you increase email engagement rate during those off-seasons? By using unconventional themes in your email marketing, that’s how. Wondering what that is all about? Let’s take a look at what it entails.
What are unconventional themes?
Unconventional themes entail the use of themes from a season changing, a national event, or a small holiday. It could also include your brand’s milestones like birthday, reaching 500k followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc. These themes go beyond the usual holidays: Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc.
Research shows that most brands find higher engagement from sending themed email newsletters with themes like Groundhog Day or Pie Day than from sending traditional themed newsletters. For example, an unconventional themed email such as the Groundhog Day generated five times the average conversion rate of 3.8%.
Additionally, leveraging on unconventional email themes can lead to an increase in subscriber email open and click rates. For instance, Tax Day brought about impressive click-to-open rates at 14.3%, compared to the 9.25 average.
There are several other top-performing unconventional theme emails most brands see results with. And these include:
- Festivals:Any festival themed email like Coachella, Summerfest, or famous carnivals like Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil, New Orleans Mardi Gras, USA, Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, Notting Hill Carnival, UK, etc.
- Tax Day:Sending out Tax Day themed email newsletters. This is a day observed in April every year. The government expects all Americans to pay their income tax returns to the government. While it is not an enjoyable day for most people, your brand can get creative with this holiday.
- Earth Day:Another unconventional themed holiday to send out is Earth day themed holidays. Some reports show that this kind of email brings a 4.3% conversion rate for marketers. This leads above the 3.7% conversion rate for business as usual emails.
- Spring season:Many marketers have seen a 15.1% open rate in spring season-themed emails. This is compared to the 13.8% open rate from business as usual emails.
- Oktoberfest:This is one of the world’s largest beer festival and traveling funfair. Observed initially in Germany, the holiday has gone on to be celebrated in countries like Munich, America, and Oceania every year. Companies gear up from the middle of September to the first Sunday of October to celebrate this holiday. Marketers have seen an up to 22.2% open rate from Oktoberfest themed emails.
- National Dog Day:they say a dog is a man’s best friend. It probably explains how National Dog Day-themed emails drive conversion of up to 18.6%.
- World Chocolate Day: Create urgency with World Chocolate Day-themed emails. Many brands have seen an increase in sales by adding a sense of urgencyto their marketing.
- National Coffee Day:Sending out emails with a National Coffee Day theme can also drive CTO rates as much as 23.9%.
- Black Friday in July:Last, but certainly not least, Black Friday in July themed emails. This holiday might generate maximum sales for your business, as it gives customers another chance to celebrate black Friday. For this reason, July Black Friday emails could generate up to a 16.6% open rate.
While these are just a few unconventional themed holidays, you can leverage on celebrating brand-specific holidays to increase your email engagement.
How can you use unconventional themes to improve email engagement?
Although unconventional themed emails have high email engagement, that’s not enough. You need to know how to utilize them to achieve the kind of success you are looking for. Here are a few best practices you can apply when creating emails using unconventional themes.
- Determine the Relevance of The Theme in Your Industry:
First, although unconventional themed emails see a higher open rate than business as usual emails, they have to be relevant to your brand. Not only that, but they have to apply to the products or services your brand deals in. So, for example, if your brand is a coffee brand or is in that industry, celebrating National coffee day will not only bring a smile to your subscribers’ face; it will also increase your sales.
A few other things to consider when determining the relevance of an unconventional theme to your email marketing campaign is:
- Does it help solve a problem?Consider your niche market and audience and see how you can address their needs and challenges using the theme.
- Does it accomplish a win?The theme needs to deliver on your email subscribers’ expectations by helping them achieve a win.
- Does it focus on one topic?The theme you pick should never be general. When it is more specific to your market segment you have a better chance of increasing your leads and conversion rates.
- Does it develop relevant and readable content?Having a theme designed with clear and readable content has a higher chance of a conversion. Such content should not leave your readers feeling overwhelmed; rather it should provide them with digestible and relevant information.
- Does it highlight your authority?When using any unconventional theme in your emails, it should be designed with your brand credibility and expertise in mind. It gives the reader confidence in your brand if they can tell you know your onions. And it also increases leads generation.
- Develop an Early Communication Strategy:
Another important best practice is to create a marketing calendar and mark the dates in. Then, create a communication strategy around them. Creating one will help you build anticipation in your email marketing well ahead of the event date.
Running your communication strategy and campaigns early provides you with some vital insights on factors that can improve your unconventional theme campaign. Waiting up until the event day to test these factors leaves more room for competition, risks, and a decrease in profit.
Thus, some insights you can gain from early campaign and communication include:
- Inventory:you get to know if you have enough. If you will beat projections, and if you need to make plans for more.
- Offer:early communication highlights if the offer was a valuable one. Also, it lets you know if the theme resonates with your target audience and the rates of conversion.
- Send times:you can schedule different email campaign sending times. This way, you test and see what times drive the highest engagements?
- Website:lets you know how well your site handled the increase in traffic. How good was your page loading speed and uptime?
Also, early communication will help you create awareness of these dates since they aren’t always well known. However, if creating copy for your content isn’t your forte, you can leverage on writing services review websites like Best Writers Online and Online Writers Rating. They can help to generate engaging content using the unconventional themed email.
- Think Beyond Offers:
When experimenting with unconventional themed emails, please don’t make it all about an offer (discounts, free shipping, etc.). A lot of marketers have seen great results by sending these kinds of emails to their subscribers to:
1) Build their brand awareness.
2) Surprise their mailing list subscribers. Send out a greeting email as a surprise.
3) Evoke emotions by sending out these emails. You can send out emails to spread joy and happiness.
Showing your subscribers that you have a sense of humor or goodwill can condition them to engage with your brand with no restrictions. Instead of trying to drive sales through discounts, you can let customers know that a percentage from each purchase goes towards helping charity. Such corporate social responsibility can help propel better company culture and help build brand awareness. In turn, it builds customer confidence, trust, and loyalty in your brand. And of course, it will translate into more conversions for your business or referrals.
Yes, holiday sales are excellent for business, but you need a well thought out a strategy for it to work. So, when running a holiday campaign rather than sending a batch-and-blast email, you should consider a different approach. Short term sales are good, but it is more important that you create an approach that focuses on your brand development for the long term.
- Create a Campaign that is An Interactive and Ongoing
To engage your email recipients, you need to have a campaign more interactive than a standard campaign. To stand out ditch the cookie-cutter templates and create campaigns that build up excitement leading to the day of the event. Send out a series of interactive emails to help build hype for the sales to come. Such emails can include, quizzes, clues, scratcher-style games, etc. that will be linked to the main event to be celebrated.
Having an interactive and ongoing campaign gives your audience a feeling of commitment. They follow through the string of clues in the hopes that they will win the prize, thus unlocking more leads.
- Bring It Back to Your Brand:
Next, make sure you can tie any unconventional theme you send out to your brand. By tying the message of the theme to your brand, the theme won’t overpower the message. A notable example was when
H&M sent out themed emails on National Coffee Day. Instead of sending out a generic offering, they used this holiday to promote their lesser-known household items like coffee mugs. Needless to say, they saw an increase in sales of these particular items.
- Design Custom Audience Landing Pages Around Unconventional Themes
Custom landing pages are excellent for conversion rates, which is at over 200%. A custom landing page is a sales page you design to target a particular product segment, a specific target audience, or both. Doing so enables you to better customize your features such as your call to action buttons. It also enables you to send the right landing page link to the right target audience. You don’t want to send customers to a more general page and run the risk of getting fewer leads and conversions.
Customers love it when you personalize a theme. So, designing your content to address their pain points and specific needs do not go unnoticed. You don’t have to break the bank to create a new design template for each of the landing pages. With cheap website building tools, you can design a landing page for a product or customer segment and then duplicate it, and then customize and scale it for other individual segments.
If you decide to send unconventional themed emails to your subscribers, make sure you follow the best practices outlined in this article. Also, if you don’t know where to start, you can start small. Sending out brand-specific themed emails like your brand’s birthday or a milestone could make a difference.
Step away from the standard strategies and create custom unconventional theme content that is relevant to your industry and audience. Of course, you should not just jump on a theme that does not fit your niche market. Thus, rather than improve leads and conversion, your sales will more likely decline. Remember to start your campaigns early that way you get more insights that can help make your use of conventional themes more effective.
It is all about promoting your brand in the best light to your target audience and likewise solving their needs. And you can increase email engagement open rate and leads, all by sending the right unconventional themed emails.