Our Social & Content Marketing lead, Ash, takes a look at some of the more interesting seasonal digital marketing campaigns from across the UK. Are brands making the most of the channels that are open to them?
The Easter online marketing window is in full frenzy, with email marketers taking full advantage of the seasonal opportunity to drive traffic, sales and loyalty. But who’s getting inbox cut through? Whose Easter digital campaigns are really standing out, and just how long can I resist including an Easter pun in this intro?
You know the drill: ensure that your email campaign is optimized for mobile (or even built mobile-first!); write strong Calls to Action; and make sure they take full advantage of advanced segmentation to deliver targeted, personalized and relevant content.
However, developments in both mobile and desktop have allowed for more and more creativity in content. This year I want to look at a couple of creative brand executions which I really enjoyed.
2013 was the year of the GIF renaissance. B&Q have used them to great effect in creating a paneled, dynamic creative which cycles between product, copy, offers and a strong call-to-action. Motion graphics offer a new dimension in telling the stories of your product.
You’ll run into a few problems if your recipient is using Outlook, or a similar mail client, as these don’t render animated GIFs. However, the fallback for this – as B&Q demonstrate – is to ensure that the first frame in your GIF image contains all the necessary copy and creative.
There are a wide variety of tools you can use to create GIFs:
Photoshop CS – There are a number of ways to create GIFs in CS. Here’s a great YouTube tutorial to get you started.
LICEcap – This is great for capturing product demos and desktop activity, as well as being a quick and cheap way to GIF video content.
Giffing Tool – Just what it says on the tin! It’s certainly one of the most powerful GIF-creators on the web, and it’s available on a ‘Pay What You Want’ basis.
Fleur of England
This is a very graphics-heavy, 3-part email campaign from luxury lingerie brand, Fleur of England. The creative is simple, yet elegant and bold. The concept is a step above that, however. Fleur are not just looking to push for a sale, but looking to boost search and browse traffic across the site. The voucher code has been chopped up and distributed around the website, encouraging you to browse more products until you’ve found them all.
This is a great concept, and definitely one to target to big spenders. It was a little challenging for the dotdigital team to begin with, but the reward in itself of actually finding ‘sexy’ eggs drove us on. Reaching the end of the trail, you almost feel obligated to convert.
Our only problem is that while both the website and email are optimized for mobile, the mechanism for this hunt isn’t comfortably native to a mobile environment. With any kind of hunt, you’re always going to be referring back to what you need to be looking for. Multi-tasking is (currently) a little hard on mobile, and this specific user experience seems designed primarily for desktop.
Overall, however, it’s a great execution and one that the brand should definitely consider doing again next year.
Once again, UK retailer Asda teamed up with digital creative agency, Zappar to create an augmented reality user experience, in a selection of stores across the country. In short, Asda invited its users to download its app, and to attend a nationwide hunt in its stores on Easter Saturday. By ‘zapping’ one of the many eggs hidden around the store, users activated different animations. Augmented reality animations were also encoded on bunny masks, and Asda also ran an Instagram sweepstake contest for customers who engaged with them socially.
This is a great example of a fully integrated digital campaign that was designed to drive footfall and physical engagement with the brand. Asda created a marketing experience nested inside a family activity. Yes, I know it’s not specifically email-based – but email cannot and should not exist in isolation to your other channels.
Beyond the design considerations, marketers should think about how their digital strategies are feeding back into their bricks-and-mortar outlets – and visa-versa. How can your email not just drive revenue, but help turn your physical stores into activity hubs, and places for great brand experiences? Email can often act as missing link between the different eco-systems of your brand, bridging on-app behavior, social, web and physical.