Last week I looked at some of the World Cup emails I’d been sent over the last month or so and this got me thinking: what’s the best way to use email marketing to piggyback off popular events or seasons?

From the British Grand Prix and the Ashes to Christmas and Valentine’s Day, these landmark events and seasons provide a great opportunity for marketers to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Here’s my list of top tips for getting making the most of them:

  1.  Launch a competition

Competitions are great for data capture. Come up with a fantastic prize (a Vuvuzuela for example!) and encourage your recipients to give you certain details when they enter. This data can then be used to better segment and target your emails in the future.

  1.  Remember your audience

Before just launching into it, think very carefully about whether the event or season you are using is actually likely to be of interest to your recipients. If your list is made up of young teenage boys, running a campaign around the new Sex and the City movie won’t be particularly effective.

  1.  Don’t be too contrived

Don’t just email for the sake of it. Make sure you have something relevant and valuable to say. For example, we were particularly impressed that Figleaves came up with a special range of ‘England’ knickers to celebrate the World Cup. This gives them a reason to email.

  1.  Plan well in advance

It is important to think about what you are going to do far enough in advance to really make the most of the opportunity, rather than just a kneejerk response that isn’t well thought through.

  1.  Don’t forget the basics

It’s tempting just to let the event or season speak for itself, but don’t forget some of the basics of good email marketing, from split-testing to segmentation and targeting.

  1.  Run time-based offers

Why not run a special discount or offer to coincide with the event or season? For example, my company offered a special discount while England were still in the World Cup (granted, this wasn’t actually a very long offer!)

  1.  Have something for everyone

Remember that not everyone is a football or cricket fan. Try and offer something for everyone or, even better, segment your list based on responses to previous campaigns. If a batch of recipients responded well to a football-related email in the past, then send them more of the same next time round.

  1.  Build a campaign specific landing page

Maximise conversions once your recipients have clicked-through by putting together a campaign-specific landing page on your website. You could even go one step further and create a targeted microsite.

Have you tried any of these? Are there other tactics you find work well? Let us know in the comments!