In retail and e-commerce, promotions can often feel like you’re being rushed. “No time to waste!” they yell. “Don’t miss out on these hot deals,” they plead. Depending on your buying habits, it can turn into a cacophony of percentages and proclamations.
It’s a bad rap. And one that—since we’re all friends here—has a kernel of truth to it. Go ahead and look at the inbox you deemed worthy of receiving promotions. We’ll wait.
Much to our relief though, that kernel of truth is shrinking to a degree. Brands are increasingly focusing on providing value at the personal level, which means relevancy is paramount.
It’s less about strict selling and more about lifestyle improvement. The modern marketer faces an interesting creative challenge of finding ways to marry the “traditional” promotions with various other business offerings and make sure the messages resonate with each individual.
We’ve found three trends happening today that demonstrate how brands are taking the consumer’s time, preferences, and inbox into account. But first, what goes into building a solid promotional campaign?
In this short video, you’ll find the “who, what, where, when, why, and how’s” you have to consider each time you venture into sending a new promotional campaign.
Glad you’re back! Now that you understand where to start with your promotions, let’s dive right into the trends.
Don’t Miss Out! 3 Must-Have Promotional Campaign Trends
1. Consistency Is Key
Yes, it’s important to maintain a consistent frequency in your promotions, but this is not what we’re referring to here. The modern customer experience is about simplicity and personalization.
Marketers are coming up against numerous devices, countless distractions, and, after all that, competitors vying for the same attention. You can break through the noise by building connections that make the process easier for consumers.
A quick connection we’ve seen is to bring the buying process into the promotional campaign.
We’ve seen brands adopt this strategy in the last few years by designing their promotional emails to mimic the browsing and buying experience that comes from a desktop or mobile web browsing session.
Cosmetics leader Sephora combined personalization with product browsing in this message to us. In doing so, we—as the consumer—see items we had browsed laid out exactly as they would be as if we were in the midst of shopping. The layout drives a connection between reading the email and the experience of shopping.
Marketing is about feeling. If you are able to replicate that feeling of online shopping by just sending an email, that’s a great start in prompting a new shopping session. Better yet, modern tools like AMP for Email can help you actually bring the purchasing experience into the email as well.
2. Lots to Cover, So Little Time
Retailers and e-commerce companies often have many products across a wide range of categories.
Home decor provider AllModern, for example, sells furniture, rugs, and lighting as its top categories. Then within each of these categories, there are different product lines. Take a look at this email to see just how many lighting product lines they offer.
More and more brands are sending emails that look similar to this as it’s a brilliant opportunity to hone in on user preferences. This email engagement can fill out user profiles with valuable information to help tailor future promotions to an individual’s preferences.
While this trend is not as outwardly flashy, it is the type of trend that marketers need in their toolkit to shorten the time to hyper-personalization and accurate segmentation.
3. More Than Products
There’s so much more than just good products that make a brand these days—though good products sure do help. Beauty brands have budding YouTube channels with tips and tricks, and brands like Nike and Adidas have gone beyond athletic wear to also provide workout apps where consumers can put their clothes into action.
Efforts like these go beyond the product and turn the brand into a lifestyle expert and ecosystem. Great promotional campaigns bring these aspects of a brand’s offerings to the forefront.
We have seen increasingly more promotions that incorporate content assets to help drive home the idea that these brands are experts in their fields. Take this email from mattress provider Casper. They promoted a list of 70+ sleep statistics and trends.
It’s a trend towards highlighting value outside the product itself. It shows the brand has done its homework and become a subject matter expert—a go-to source when you have questions.
Promotions such as these bring up a point often missed: Your promotions don’t always have to be about immediate conversions and transactions. A deeper relationship with users comes from adding value in a way that shows the mission that drives your business—like Casper’s goal to give you a better sleep. Such a relationship then fosters longer-term loyalty and sustained conversions down the road.
Quick Wins to Level Up Your Promotions
As we’ve said, there are many ways you can engage your audience with marketing communications, but regardless of how your business uses promotional campaigns, here are three quick wins you can start using today to level up your strategy.
- Be Open With Your Intent: No matter the “why” or “what” of your promotion, you have to be open with users about what it is you’re promoting. Whether it’s a new product or seasonal sale, it’s important to help users identify the purpose of your promotion with ease. Show users you value their time by keeping the message short, simple, and sweet.
- Automate With Real-Time Dynamic Data: You likely won’t send each consumer their favorite items on the first try…or even the second or third. But you can make the process of drilling into an individual’s preferences by incorporating behavior as it happens through dynamic segmentation and content that updates in real time.
- Invest in Design: This one seems a little obvious. However, design can sometimes be overlooked for how important it truly is. Looks aren’t everything, but they do matter, so when planning out your promotional campaigns, identify a design element that will create a through-line for users while maintaining an air of professionalism and visual appeal. Brand recognition is integral to increasing customer lifetime value and loyalty.
The Road Slightly Less Traveled
Promotional campaigns are a tried-and-true marketing strategy. Everyone promotes their brand in some way, but as these trends show, you don’t have to send your promotions in the same way.
Your brand has value and your relationship with your customers is wholly your own. Try incorporating these trends into your promotional strategies and see how your users react. Consumers love a good discount, but they just might also enjoy seeing something a bit different from the daily deals.
Learn all about promotional campaigns—and a lot more—in our guide to giving your marketing a red carpet-worthy makeover. Download the guide today!