If you plan to celebrate Independence Day at your business — whether that’s with a sale or special products or an event — it’s important to let your customers know what’s up.
One of the most effective ways to do that is with email. The good news is that email is easy to craft and allows you to leverage your existing customers. If you haven’t done anything yet, don’t worry, there’s still time.
MailCharts and 250ok recently analyzed 1,000 emails sent by retailers for July 4th in 2017. Unlike other holidays where marketing starts long before the actual day, 71 percent of Independence Day email went out before the day (with most starting a week out), 22 percent were sent day-of, and seven percent were sent after the holiday.
If you want to reach an audience wider than your customers — and even find some new customers — then social media might be the right channel to use. Don’t worry if you don’t have any patriotic products to hawk or a sale to promote, you can still create fun or helpful content, or even run a contest to engage people.
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Here are some brands that have celebrated the holiday in style, and some tips on how to implement their strategies into your own Fourth of July marketing.
Fresh offers a special gift
Skin-care brand Fresh sent out this patriotic email promoting a free six-piece gift set for customers who spend $125 and use the code FIREWORKS.
There’s nothing about the gift with purchase that screams 4th of July. Instead Fresh has transformed its products into a patriotic message and put the visual front and center.
But you don’t have to give away something expensive or a large quantity to get people interested. Send out an email ahead of time that offers any shoppers who come to your store free Independence Day gear like sunglasses or temporary tattoos. Then snap some photos of your customers in the gear to increase your social media presence and drive more customers to the store that day.
Topshop shows off its American style
Retailer Topshop used email to provide inspiration for its customers’ 4th of July looks. Instead of just highlighting its products, it has snapshots of a model wearing red, white, and blue duds and walking on a quintessential American boardwalk. (Those snapshots were also used on Instagram and its blog.)
If you run a retail shop and have red, white, and blue or summer lines, a simple email highlighting those products or showing customers how to use them is an easy way to join in on the holiday fun.
Just don’t forget to include a CTA that directs your customers to a place where they can purchase your goods. Topshop’s CTA to shop “All American Style” pointed to a curated page with these and other patriotic items (and it was also a nice wink from a British company).
GoldBely delivers on American favs
GoldBely is an eCommerce business that delivers some of America’s most famous and well-loved foods anywhere in the country. That’s right, you can get treats from Magnolia Bakery in New York delivered to the midwest and muffalettas from Central Grocery in New Orleans delivered to California.
For 4th of July, Goldbely sent a series of email that highlighted holiday favorites (hot dogs, pies, etc.) and the vendors that deliver them to you ahead of your Independence Day party.
Think about how you might aggregate your offerings (in packages or in categories) and promote them over email. You might also test whether a series of email highlighting those offerings leads to more purchases than a single, one-off email.
Nordstrom promises big discounts
Like most national holidays, the 4th of July is a pretty big sale day. A lot of retailers participate, but there’s plenty of room for more businesses to join in. The key is to make sure that your most loyal customers know what you’re up to.
Nordstrom sent out an email to its customers with a big visual that clearly communicated its sale, which offered up to 50-percent off on some products. It also included CTAs that directed customers to the section of its site (women’s, men’s, etc.) that they might want to shop.
If you’re going to put on a sale, make sure your communication — whether it’s email or social or in-store signage — is clear as to what you’re offering and why customers should take advantage of it.
Uber extends its product offering
Uber is no stranger to offering things other than car rides on demand (remember when it delivered kittens to offices?). But for 4th of July it may have offered its most over-the-top service yet. Three days before the holiday, Uber announced a partnership with a helicopter company to fly people to the Hamptons for the weekend.
UBERChopper was pricey — asking customers to pay a cool $2,500 to climb aboard — but you can learn from the broader theme of using a special product to enhance your own regular offering for special events (and maybe get a little bit of buzz in the process).
Google provides tips for an easier Fourth
Google sent out a guide to celebrate Independence Day with Google Assistant. The email included helpful tips like how to make note of a parking spot during the big parade, or setting a reminder to buy food for your upcoming picnic. This is helpful for customers while also displaying the functionality of Google Assistant.
To reach an audience wider than its users, Google also promoted these tips via social media that linked to a blog post.
— Google (@Google) June 30, 2017
Providing valuable content like this helps build strong relationships with your customers.
So if you own a food and beverage business, you could share a recipe. If you run a salon, maybe offer tips on how to get the hottest summer look. If books are your gig, think about sharing a 4th of July reading list for those lounging by the pool.
Smirnoff Ice’s contest promises an extra-long holiday
In 2018, Independence Day falls on a Wednesday — inconvenient for anyone who wants to celebrate for longer than a day. So Smirnoff Ice is offering to pay for 100 people to take July 5 and 6 off work (as long as you’re over 21).
To enter, people just need to tell the brand what they would do with a five-day weekend via Facebook or Instagram. (The actual prize is $500 regardless of whether you work or how much you get paid.)
While the scale isn’t feasible for every business, the idea of asking consumers to engage on a topic and then rewarding the best content is something that’s fairly easy to execute. The key to a successful contest is making sure the reward is something that would appeal to your audience.
Airbnb wants to see how you’re celebrating
You don’t have to go patriotic to participate in the holiday. Airbnb’s Instagram post shows a fairly familiar summer scene at a pool and then asks people to tag how they’re spending their holiday weekend. It’s simple and still on brand.
And sometimes it’s enough just to acknowledge that a holiday is happening and try to engage followers with that message. If you are going to ask your customers to respond to you on social media or create content, just make sure that your ask is simple and supports whatever message you’re communicating.