Start Planning Your Summer Email Campaigns

June 01, 2022
Written by
Julie Griffin
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own
Reviewed by
Ayanna Julien
Opinions expressed by Twilio contributors are their own

Start Planning Your Summer Email Campaigns

I don’t know about you, but I love summer. From flip-flops and shorts to barbecues, summer is my jam. But it’s also the time of year when a lot of consumers check out. Maybe they’re on vacation in the Caribbean, off the grid backpacking through the Sierra, or outside playing in a soccer league. Whatever they’re doing, it can be harder to reach your customers in the summer.

So when they return from their road trips or soccer matches and check their inboxes, how do you ensure that your emails stand out? We have a few ideas and examples of how you can shine the brightest in the inbox with your marketing campaigns.

Leverage summer holidays

Now this is where you say, “What holidays?” Outside of Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, there aren’t many widely celebrated US holidays over the summer, but there are a ton of lesser-known ones that brands can utilize for email campaigns. 

Here’s a list of a few fun holidays for each month of the summer season:

  • June 8 – National Best Friends Day
  • June 14 – Flag Day
  • June 15 – Nature Photography Day
  • June 18 – International Picnic Day
  • June 21 – Summer Solstice and National Selfie Day (a great chance to collect user-generated content!)
  • National Hot Dog Month
  • July 4 – Independence Day (Fourth of July)
  • July 7 – World Chocolate Day
  • July 10 – National Piña Colada Day
  • July 17 – National Ice Cream Day and World Emoji Day
  • August 1 – World Wide Web Day 
  • August 8 – International Cat Day
  • August 10 – National Spoil Your Dog Day 
  • August 11 – National Son and Daughter Day
  • August 15 – National Relaxation Day 
There are plenty more, but this gives you an idea of the holidays you can leverage to help you stand out. 

Keep reading for email examples around National Best Friends Day, National Hot Dog Month, and the Fourth of July and the elements that make them effective. 

Top-notch copy and images

In this summer campaign, Yelp uses National Hot Dog Month as a way to promote hot dog restaurants in the Denver area. This is a unique way to position the month of July rather than centering it around our patriotic holiday.

Plus, the copy is excellent: “It makes sense that July is National Hot Dog month, because summer, but can you honestly think of a bad time to eat one? (Don’t answer that.)” The cheeky, conversational copy feels like you’re chatting with a friend.

Finally, the images are evocative of summer and quite effective. Seriously, try not to crave a hot dog for the rest of the day after seeing this email.

Friendly referrals 

Rent the Runway uses National Best Friends Day to encourage subscribers to share its brand with a friend. In this promotion, when recipients get a friend to sign up for Rent the Runway, both get $30 to spend on the website. Now that’s a great reward for word-of-mouth marketing

Your customers are your biggest advocates, and a great way to grow your contact list is by asking them to spread the word about your awesome offerings. This also gives your customers a break from the promotional sales offers by asking them to do something other than “shop now.”

Here are a few other ideas to help grow your email contact list.

Subtle-yet-compelling subject lines 

For your Fourth of July email, try to step outside of the usual “Happy 4th of July!” subject line. For example, ThirdLove sent this email on July 4th with the intriguing subject line, “Spark something.” Plus, the email content delivers on the promise of sparks—inside is a GIF of a sparkler and simple copy promoting summer styles. 

I love that the whole email references the national holiday without ever explicitly mentioning it. Another aspect of the email that struck me is the color palette. The email isn’t red, white, and blue but rather has more muted tones. In a sea of stars and stripes, this stands out.

Themes for summer newsletters and promotional emails

From vacays to pool days, summer has many themes to experiment with for creative marketers. Here are a few summer newsletter ideas and promotional email examples from brands that seamlessly incorporate these themes into email marketing.

Wedding bells and vacations

While going through my inbox, I was surprised by The Muse’s timely communications. You may not immediately see the connection between summer, a job search company, and a career advice newsletter, but The Muse still uses the season to its advantage.

Notice how the email newsletter on the left utilizes the wedding theme, which is top of mind in the summer, by showcasing an interview with a wedding planner. It’s on brand, provides career insight, and feels relevant in the summer.

Meanwhile, the email on the right has the subject line, “You deserve a vacation.” And while you may wonder, “Why would a career site tell me to take time off?” the email answers that question with articles on why vacations are good for your career and mental health.

Surprise your recipients with statements that seem to go against the grain—this will pique subscribers’ interest and encourage them to open your emails. If you need help to elevate your emails, check out these 3 (and a half) tips.

Summer weather

When we think of summer, we often assume hot days and warm nights are a given. And while most might not typically think of cooler weather, summer can look a little different depending on the region. May in Colorado was particularly chilly this year, so when Chubbies Shorts sent me an email promoting gear for those cooler summers, I was all in.

Personalizing your emails by location is a great way to connect with consumers—and it’s easy to do. For example, you can incorporate timely information about the location, like a cold spell or heat wave, for more relevant and engaging email content. You could also segment your contact list by factors like location, gender, or age to hold the attention of your recipients.

Learn how you can harness customer data to personalize your emails and communications across channels with Twilio Segment

Back to school

While you might reserve this theme for later in the summer, it would be wise to start thinking about it sooner than later. Back to school is a great time for promotions as parents and students shop for clothes, shoes, school supplies, sports equipment, etc. But consider how you can differentiate your back-to-school campaign from the rest.

LOFT may not offer children’s apparel or school supplies, but teachers are an important target audience for the brand. It offers teachers a 15% discount for the back-to-school season in an email that’s bright, cheerful, and gets right to the point. After all, we give so much attention to kids and parents for the back-to-school season, so it’s refreshing to see an email focused on teachers.

Let your summer email campaigns fly with Twilio SendGrid

These summer email campaigns are proof that when it comes to seasonal marketing, the sky’s the limit. But you need the right tools to create engaging campaigns. 

Twilio SendGrid’s Marketing Campaigns has your back with email templates, intuitive design tools, automation, and analytics to help you make your summer email dreams a reality. Try it for free.

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