3 Ways We Banished the Summer Sales Slump on Our Way to $100 Million

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We all look forward to taking a dip in the pool during the summer when the sun is shining, but the inevitable dip in sales from June to August can leave business owners in a bind.

According to one 2023 study, two-thirds of B2B businesses experience a sales slump over the summer, and of the businesses affected, nearly 75% reported a drop in sales of 20% or more. Also, one in five claimed dips of 40% or more.

If you are in one of the industries that anticipate a summer sales slump, there are ways to confront it head-on and walk out of August victorious. These three tactics have been tested by my team over the years and have resulted in us reaching $100 million in annual revenue.

Related: 3 Great Ways to Beat the Summer Slowdown and Get More Clients

1. Mail postcards every week; they achieve 600% more revenue per lead

I’ve built my business on the pure fact that direct mail marketing works. Postcards may not seem as enticing as a flashy social media ad, but they leave a lasting impression nonetheless. Individuals can hold a tangible card in their hands and save it for a rainy day. Research shows direct mail has an average engagement rate of 95% and is interacted with at least four times at home.

But the efficacy of postcards really is no surprise due to rising digital fatigue. One study that surveyed 10,250 consumers found that 49% said they spend too much time online and want to reduce that time.

The very nature of direct mail forces an individual to stop and take time to read the advertisement. This gives you a bigger opportunity to hook your prospect and close a sale. Business owners also have far more targeting options with direct mail than digital advertisements, so the campaign will be more effective and deliver better results.

Sixty-five percent of households with incomes of $100,000 or more made a purchase in the past 30 days because of direct mail advertising, research shows. So not only do prospects pay more attention to mailers, but they also are more likely to purchase a product or service from you as a result.

My company mails 232,000 postcards a week exclusively promoting our own products and services like clockwork. Last year, we analyzed 114,373 leads that converted to sales in 2023 and found that we achieve 600% more revenue per lead from postcards than digital ads. Specifically, $229.41 in revenue for every postcard lead versus $37.09 in revenue per lead from pay-per-click. You may receive more leads from other marketing channels, but they won’t be as high quality as the ones you get from mailers.

2. Increase your marketing budget in the 4-6 weeks leading up to summer to have more leads in the pipeline

My most effective marketing principle is to market like crazy — market more than you think is sane. The reason for this is because the amount of effort you put into your marketing will determine your results. The more you invest into your advertising, the more revenue you’ll generate.

So right before summer starts, about 4-6 weeks before, increase your marketing budget to increase leads. Whether that means you mail thousands of more postcards, create more video advertisements for Instagram or YouTube, or hire another sales professional to do outbound phone calls, text messages and follow-ups, just give it 1,000%. We hire five high school students on summer break to help make additional phone calls to past prospects and customers every summer.

Even if you don’t have the additional money to do this, come up with low-cost or no-cost ways to reach out to prospects more and spread awareness of your brand. This could be public relations, more posts on social media, email blasts or higher phone call quotas for sales reps if business is slower and they have more free time.

By the time summer is in full swing, you should have loads of leads to pursue and even more sales to close. This will get you through the lull until October comes along with the normal flow of purchases.

Related: The Growth Hack My Clients Hate the Most Is the One That Promises the Biggest Financial Rewards — Here’s What You Should Know

3. Re-ignite past customers and old leads with new offers and retargeting

Obtaining new leads to get you through the summer slump is important, but don’t forget about other opportunities to increase revenue, like bringing back customers for a second purchase and revisiting old leads that never purchased from you.

For the contacts who have been sitting in your CRM for years and have still never bought a service or product, create a list and send them a special offer in the mail to encourage a response. These mailings can be automated through a direct mail API connection. Whether you use SalesForce, Zoho or other CRM platform, an API connection that automates these mailings will save you time and money.

Don’t assume these old contacts are a waste of resources. I’ve had prospects in my database that didn’t respond to our postcards and emails for years and then they finally made the decision to reach out and start marketing services with us. I’m glad we never gave up!

For the customers who haven’t bought anything in a while, segment them into separate lists, such as: haven’t bought in one month, six months or a year. Then, add them to specific email funnels and mail them postcards with an exclusive discount code only available to current customers. If you are an ecommerce business, do another marketing campaign that targets people who abandoned their online shopping carts. A QR code on the mailer will make it easy for them to hop back into your website and complete the purchase.

Related: How to Boost Your Business With Direct Mail Automation and Retargeting — a Detailed Beginner’s Guide

Besides implementing all of these tactics, you can also use the extra time during the summer slowdown to plan out the marketing for the rest of the year. The last quarter, much like a football game, is always the most intense, so invest some attention on how to end the year strong. With all that extra cash coming in, you may just end up rewarding yourself with a margarita poolside.

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