It’s been a strange year hasn’t it. If someone had told you back in January that you’d spend the next six months homeschooling your little ones, would you have believed them? But while it’s been a year like no other, that palpable end of summer feeling is in the air and parents and guardians around the world are gearing up for back-to-school season, whatever form that might take. And despite the uncertainty, there’s still shopping to be done. After all, even a home school needs snazzy stationery. A recent study shows average back-to-school spending in the UK has remained relatively unchanged compared to last year, down only 5% on a comparable category basis and up 2% when taking into account new COVID-19 categories, such as hygiene products and furniture for homeschooling. In the US, spending is expected to reach over $30 billion in the 2020 back-to-school shopping season.
With that in mind, it’s time to wow your customers with your back-to-school fare.
Here are 5 ways to get to the top of your email marketing class (with 5 back-to-school email examples to inspire you).
1) Reduce click to purchase with reviews and ratings
With more people turning from bricks to clicks for their shopping needs (90% of back-to-school shoppers in the UK are making their purchases online) and an influx of novice online shoppers, social proof cues are more important than ever. Show shoppers that your products have been given the green light by other parents and guardians by displaying reviews and ratings alongside products in your emails. Two in three consumers find detailed product reviews useful when making a purchase and over half look for star ratings when making a decision. So if your products are highly rated, make sure your shoppers know about it.
Sock Shop shows off their five star ratings and positive reviews to ease purchase anxiety and reduce click to purchase.
2) Help shoppers make a purchase decision with product recommendations
Speaking of social proof, help shoppers make a purchase decision by showing them crowd sourced product recommendations in the form of trending items and best sellers. For shoppers who are accustomed to getting recommendations from helpful sales clerks in store, offering recommendations in your marketing emails and on your website is sure to get you a gold star. Plus, product recommendations can generate sales uplifts of up to 11% (will link to anonymised Maplin case study), making them an essential tactic in your back-to-school marketing toolkit.
Rymans gives their shoppers a dose of inspiration by displaying best selling products in their emails.
3) Build trust with real people in your campaigns
With a plethora of products and content competing for your shoppers’ attention, brands that radiate authenticity stand out from the crowd. Using real people in your campaigns can help you foster trust and resonate with shoppers. And with a lack of school gate catch-ups over the last six months, shoppers might be craving stories, tips and tricks from other parents more than ever.
Etsy shows their human side by featuring four of their employees’ back-to-school stories and the products that help them make learning fun.
4) Create urgency with countdown timers
Countdown timers are an effective tool to build excitement and urgency, especially for important deadlines such as the end of a back-to-school promotion.
New Look have used a countdown timer to highlight their back-to-school sale, encouraging shoppers to make their purchases now by counting down the deadline.
5) Grab shoppers’ attention with your hero image
The hero image (also called a banner or header) is the first thing shoppers see when they open your email, which means getting your creative hat on with eye-catching designs and relevant content to ensure you make a good first impression.
Rip Curl adds interest to their email with an animated GIF, which helps bring their range of fun back-to-school backpacks to life.
For added impact and maximum relevance, use a dynamic hero image featuring the shopper’s most browsed brand or favorite color in the hero image to put them in buying mode.
You can get more back-to-school email inspiration on our dedicated Pinterest board.
Download your copy of Five Easy Ways to Make Your Emails Perform Better for more email marketing tips.