It’s 2020. Consumers are inundated with marketing content every time they turn on a screen these days. That means they’ve become more and more discerning. Gimmicks and flashy campaigns with no substance don’t cut it like they used to.

Now more than ever, consumers are looking to have authentic, unique experiences with a brand before they commit to buy. That’s why, to build a following of loyal customers who will bring your ecommerce business to success, your marketing content should follow a few rules. To be effective, it must:

👀Grab attention. You’ve got to delight, surprise, astonish, or otherwise provoke an authentic response from consumers. Get creative and stand out from the noise.

💡Add value. Show prospects you understand their needs and pain points, then help solve them! Don’t just push your products at every opportunity. Create other types of helpful content too, intended to educate or inspire.

🤝 Build trust. Consistently tick these two boxes, and you’ll be well on your way to building a strong, trustworthy brand that loyal customers will stand behind.
We’ve rounded up a few ways to do all of the above with your marketing content this spring!

Grab attention: Use any excuse to celebrate. 🎊

Why do many ecommerce retailers have spring holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and Easter on their calendars? After all, they’re not generally considered to be gift-giving holidays. (You probably won’t see many “St. Patrick’s Day Gift Guides” out there.)

It’s because holidays—big and small, official and unofficial, widely observed and super-niche—are excuses to celebrate. That means they’re also excuses to run creative, eye-catching campaigns via social media, video, email, or chatbot. They’re opportunities to get people’s attention and encourage them to take notice of and interact with your brand.

You can run campaigns for major holidays (Mother’s Day Sale) and obscure ones too (Celebrate National Denim Day: 30% Off All Jeans!). But don’t limit your brand to sales-focused campaigns only. Take T-Mobile, for example. They’ve been releasing April Fool’s Day videos for the past few years, each one more laughable than the next. Even though they’re not promoting real products, these videos are unique, engaging, and attention grabbing.

Consider what kind of campaigns your brand can run for spring holidays, even if they’re not directly pushing sales. Do some investigating into more obscure springtime holidays, too. If you can relate your brand to National Unicorn Day (April 9) 🦄 or Pi Day (March 14) π 🥧, do it! Take advantage of the opportunity to stand out and get people’s attention.

You don’t have to go just for the silly ones, either. Women’s Day (March 8) and Earth Day (April 22) are two spring holidays with deeper meanings. You could use celebrations like these as opportunities to share your brand’s values and identify with your target customers. (Did you know? 75% of respondents in a survey said they’re likely to start shopping with a brand that supports an issue they agree with.) This Women’s Day campaign by Barbie is a great example. 👇

💥Bonus tip: And speaking of holidays, how about April 15th? 💰While the average shopper considers Tax Day the very antithesis of a holiday, they’re usually pretty excited when that refund check arrives a few weeks later. Do you sell big-ticket items? Or any products that some shoppers might think of as special or a splurge? If so, you might consider running a late-April sale that encourages prospects to treat themselves. 😉

Add value: Prove you belong in their inbox. 📧

Ever heard of “digital spring cleaning”? It’s when people apply the spring-cleaning mindset to their cyber life. It can mean updating passwords, sorting documents into folders, or unsubscribing from marketing emails that are no longer bringing them value. 👀

That means spring is a great time of year to focus up on email marketing for your brand or clients’ brands. Use these few months to get creative, to surprise and delight your subscribers. Show them why you still deserve that coveted spot in their inbox. Remember though, that overtly pushing sales without teaching, entertaining, or otherwise adding value is a tactic that gets less effective by the day. Instead, try to:

  • Focus on a key pain point in the first sentence. If you don’t immediately explain what’s in it for your audience if they read your entire email, they probably won’t. Focus on their needs from the get-go, and share how your brand (or your client’s brand) can help.
Daily Harvest, a smoothie-pack delivery brand, points out their audience’s key pain point plus how they can solve it, right away in their first email.
  • Introduce your community. Does your brand have an active Instagram audience? Maybe a Reddit thread where they’re talking about your products? Or maybe you have testimonials or user-generated content that highlight your brand in a unique way. Whatever it is, use email to introduce these members of your community enjoying what you sell. It’ll help build trust and credibility, setting the stage for conversions and long-term retention. (Plus: 90% of buyers who read positive customer success content claimed it influenced their purchasing decisions!)
  • Show what else you have to offer. Again, not every email you send has to push products. Focus on the long game: Building trust and relationships with your customers by adding value.
Home Depot emails are rich in value-adding content, including how-to videos and local listings for free, in-store workshops.

Grab attention, add value: Move old inventory creatively. 📦

If your brand sells seasonal products, or is releasing new lines this spring, you’ll need to clear out as much old inventory as you can. Simple clearance sales can be effective, but there’s room for lots more creativity than that alone. For example, you could:

  • Gamify product clearance. Electronics retailer Woot is famous for this. They ran campaigns to drum up excitement for their periodic sales of BOCs, or “Bags o’ Crap.” They would sell limited quantities of these mystery grab bags, full of random leftover items from Woot warehouse. While many weren’t worth much, some included relatively expensive items, from Roomba vacuums to brand-name sunglasses. A Woot employee reported that, during one event where all 8,000 BOCs were sold, there were over 7 million attempts to buy. It wasn’t uncommon for the site to crash when BOCs went on sale. How’s that for an effective way to clean out old inventory?
Ecommerce site Woot got rid of old inventory with a hugely popular mystery grab-bag campaign.
  • Sell product bundles, so you can pair top-selling items with older stock to move dated inventory more quickly. Sell Mother’s Day gift bundles, for example, to make shopping for mom easier. A spa brand could sell last season’s hand creams in a gift pack with their new line of bubble baths, for instance. Customers will appreciate the help finding a complete gift in one stop, so you’ll be adding value and moving old inventory.
  • Offer old inventory as discounted add-ons to more expensive items. A skateboard brand, for example, could offer last season’s helmets at a hard-to-resist price to anyone buying a board from their spring line. The shopper will already be spending a significant amount of money on the board, and the helmet is a necessary accessory. That means they’ll be more likely to take you up on the offer. Add-ons, bundling, and other upsells are tried-and-true ways to clear out dated inventory.

Build trust: Boost your credibility ➡️ boost your sales.

Want an even more direct way to build customer trust, so you can boost sales? Look into trust badges (also known as trust seals). If your brand earns a trust badge, it shows customers you’ve been verified as legitimate by a third-party. These badges are displayed on your site to let shoppers know that they can trust you with their personal information and their business.

Apparel site Rocker Rags has two well-known trust badges, both of which are clearly visible to shoppers browsing their products.

A 2017 survey asked online shoppers which of six elements made them most likely to trust an ecommerce website, from site design to load time. More respondents chose trust badges than any of the other options. Earning a trust badge is a small factor that can make a big difference. Some recognizable badges include those from Trusted Shops, McAfee, Verisign, and the Better Business Bureau. Start by earning one well-known seal, and A/B test versions of your site with and without it to see how much it improves conversions.

💥Bonus tip: Don’t miss out on easy ways to get more revenue. 🛒

After putting all that work into engaging campaigns and strategies, don’t lose out on sales at the last minute! In just three clicks, you can set up a “safety net” to capture revenue that would otherwise fall through the cracks. Use our Cart Reminders app for Shopify to notify prospects via Messenger bot that they left an item behind, and invite them back. You can recover up to 7x more abandoned-cart revenue this way!

(P.S. A Messenger bot can also attract new customers, automatically answer questions about products and policies, and lots more. Start building a simple bot for your brand for free, or check out the business-boosting perks of our Pro plan. Part of an agency? Take a look the Premium Agency plan we offer.)