Back to School, Back to Spending: Get Your Piece of the Pie

For many marketers the true beginning of the high-traffic, high-revenue season is back to school. In fact, consumers are on track to spend $18.4 billion this year on apparel, electronics, books, supplies and more. Like Christmas, this makes the back-to-school season a great time to implement email and online lead generation as part of your acquisition marketing mix. These tactics offer reach, frequency and branding. They are also great ways to uncover latent needs (I didn’t know I needed that!) and drive higher website traffic (Let me check out this cool stuff!). Here are some ideas for how you can use both email list rental and online lead generation to get those cash registers ringing:

  1. Targeting: Know thy audience. Are you marketing to kids or to their parents or to both? Each audience requires very different messages. Consider the new HP campaign “The Society for Parental Mind Control.” It’s fresh, fun and clever and clearly aimed at teens. If you are trying to reach both segments make sure you vary the content. Kids, especially teens, are going to tune out anything that doesn’t speak to them directly. Having said that, you could coordinate such an effort. Consider a “one day, one offer” approach that uses wildly different themes to capture each audience. Also, don’t forget to target parents of young children separate from parents of teens – pre-school and grade school parents have different needs and timing.
  2. Offer: Consider using content to entice new prospects into engaging with you. How about using a downloadable checklist with all the back-to-school must-haves. Or, how about a “First Day Survival Guide” aimed at kids making the transition into middle school or high school. Of course, MP3s and ringtones are also very popular with young audiences. For Mom consider content that helps her make the transition to fall. This might include downloadable schedule trackers or quick and easy ideas for weeknight dinners. Associate your brand with solutions to common problems and you’ll be top of mind when it’s time to hit the mall.
  3. Frequency: Use acquisition channels to get prospects to sign up for a series of back-to-school themed emails that will keep you in front of them throughout the end of the summer. Any of the ideas in #2 could work as a quick series of emails. Also, it’s always a good idea to consider a re-touch campaign on email list rental to be sure to reach the full audience potential.
  4. Timing: Back to school is in full swing now, so get going. But consider that this season can actually extend into September as kids head back to school and realize they are missing key elements or hip products. The offer ideas above could easily extend throughout the fall to keep both kids and parents engaged with your brand.

Need some help crafting a killer back-to-school acquisition campaign? Email me and I’ll hook you up with one of our in-house strategists.

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