The offseason is a reality that all seasonal businesses face every year. For businesses that don’t make adequate preparations beforehand, it can be a particularly harsh reality. Pool maintenance businesses have poor client turnout, ice cream shops experience a sharp downturn in sales, and ski lodges all but close during their lean months.
This downturn may be unavoidable if you own a seasonal business, but there’s still a lot of good that can come out of it. With sufficient planning and proper execution, you can leverage the offseason to market your business and potentially increase your revenue for the next peak season.
Why Offseason Marketing Is a Must
When you market your business during the offseason, you keep your brand top-of-mind until the peak season starts again. If your offseason marketing campaigns are especially successful, you can count on potential customers considering your business once the offseason comes to an end.
However, creating long-term memorability takes significant time and effort. This is why taking advantage of your lean months is a perfect branding opportunity. Since you are not as busy in the offseason, you can use the time you have to devise marketing campaigns that can boost awareness for your brand, improve your relationships with customers, and of course, increase your revenue.
Offseason Marketing Strategies for Your Seasonal Business
In this post, we’ll walk through three ways to effectively market your business during the offseason.
- Attract attention.
Your lean period is the perfect chance to grab people’s attention and grow your base of potential customers. Email marketing is the best and most cost-effective tool you can use to achieve this. If your website contains various email signup forms, now is the time to take a second look at them. You’re looking to expand your subscriber list, so optimize your signup forms based on this objective.When it comes to email signup forms, remember that simplicity is your best friend. To increase the likelihood of website visitors signing up to your list, your signup form needs to be as simple as possible.
On your signup, ask only for two to three key pieces of information, which can include the person’s email address, name, and date of birth. Avoid making your email signup form scrollable and remove any details or fields that might distract visitors from the purpose of the signup form, which is to subscribe to your newsletter.
- Gather feedback.
Nowadays, people tend to go online and read reviews before deciding to purchase a product. In fact, consumers trust online reviews about as much as they do recommendations from friends and family members.A recent survey indicated that 84% of consumers trust online reviews in the same way they trust peer recommendations.Collect reviews from existing customers during your peak season and use them to spread the good word about your brand in the offseason. The best way to efficiently gather reviews is by sending feedback emails to your customers.
You can ask your customers a wide range of questions—it all depends on what products or services you offer. You can ask your customers what they liked (and didn’t like) about their purchase, what they thought of your checkout process, or if the product was delivered in a speedy manner.
Make it a point to incentivize customers so that they’re more inclined to answer your feedback emails. In the example above, the company offers people who complete their email survey the chance to win a $200 gift card. In exchange for responding to your feedback email, you can offer your customers a hefty discount on their next purchase, free shipping, or even a complimentary item.
Once you’ve collected an ample number of reviews, you can share them on your website and your social media pages. Potential customers visiting your site or social media page during the offseason will see these reviews and think of your brand as one that can be trusted.
When the next peak season rolls in, they’ll remember these reviews and likely do business with your brand.
- Hype up your brand.
The products or services you provide may be seasonal in nature, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get people excited about them in the offseason. Through fun, attention-grabbing, unique, and high-quality content on your website, social media pages, and newsletter, you can generate hype for your business. This way, you make your audience look forward to the things that will come in the next peak season.Send your subscribers emails that promote things like early-bird specials and discounts on upcoming products and services. Include social media buttons in these emails to encourage subscribers to share your email content on their social media.Don’t just sell, though.You should also continue posting meaningful and educational content on your website. Write articles that are aimed at assisting your audience in solving specific problems and pain points. Potential customers will trust you more if they see that you are genuinely trying to help and are not simply out to make a quick buck.
The offseason doesn’t have to be a complete slump for your business. Don’t think of it as a time of abysmal sales or low customer turnout. Consider it, instead, as the ideal opportunity to create new and exciting marketing campaigns that will keep your audience interested and engaged.
Make sure you try out the strategies mentioned in this post. Not only will you increase your brand’s visibility for the next peak season, you’ll also develop better relationships with those who matter most—your customers.
Want more information on offseason marketing? Feel free to check out Campaign Monitor’s guide on offseason marketing strategies for seasonal businesses.