The Myth of No-Marketing Holiday Seasons

This is what we have learned from our ancestors. That’s what they said.

They said that people are taking long breaks in holiday seasons. Hence, it wouldn’t make sense to plan and perform e-mail campaigns, product launches, anything big in the summer season or any other season alike. These activities would have low open rates, wouldn’t get enough reaction from the target audience, and generate no social buzz.

Well, what can I say?

This was a reality, my reality. The marketing world is not being very active in holiday seasons. Summertime is the most relieving season for spam e-mails – less marketing e-mails, less social noise, fewer ads; which made me believe in and go on with this fact.

But then in LinkedIn, I saw a video of Drift‘s Dave Gerhardt shouting that Drift will be marketing in the week of 4th of July.

Well, Dave was mentioning the first rule of being noticed. Actually, a solid marketing rule. If everybody goes right, you have to go left.

Also, there is a piece of reality here – compared with B2C marketing, in B2B marketing you can literally take everything into your advantage if you play with your channels smartly. Even though it has though areas, you can differentiate from your competitors by being authentic and remarkable in your marketing.

Of course, jumping into everything that sounds interesting is not very smart. In addition to that, the market we are operating in, Turkey, is a bit different than the US. The reason is, people are taking their holiday breaks in different timeframes than each other, and we had two special holidays including Ramadan Feast and Sacrifice Feast. This brings something interesting into the table. Considering people have at least one week of holiday break that they can use, and there are 9 days of holidays for everybody, we only have 51 days that people can work on out of 66 total working days.

We had some things we have achieved in the past months in Twentify. We were doing great on our Account-based Marketing activities (converted super big leads and we even went forward and received a legal warning from one of the companies we were targeting – which makes me believe that it worked), our content marketing activities and our digital PR activities. And what made our activities work was that we were going to the left, not right while our competitors were still going to the right as a horde. The change is hard for big corporates, so no comments here.

Anyway, we listed some observations that can make us believe about the potential of the summer season;

  • Not everybody is taking breaks at the same time – some people need to stay in the office while the others are taking a break to keep the department running. Lower time spent on real work.
  • Since people are taking breaks, there are fewer internal e-mails, fewer inbox traumas, less anxiety on our target audience. Lower focus on noise.
  • Many brands are not focusing on their marketing activities in this timeframe. Lower focus on distractions.

So we thought that we can test our hypothesizes, put awesome marketing activities in place, and also invest our time in September and October launches at the same time.

Before moving forward, I’d like to share something that happened during the holiday season. Kaan Terzioğlu is the CEO of Turkcell (largest operator in Turkey – and I find them the most innovative mobile operator in the world) and he quoted one of our marketing reports in his social media. 🙌

👉 Read the full article on LinkedIn.

TL;DR Holiday seasons work for B2B marketers – until everybody does it. Sshhhh.

Yes, the holiday season went great for us. In this timeframe which is between the start of June to the end of August, we have conducted 30 e-mail campaigns (16 of them are automated e-mail campaigns), 1 product launch, 4 big research reports, and 8 blog posts. In addition to those, we have worked with press & influencers for all our research reports.

This timeframe was great for us.
Our e-mail open rates were high, we have generated hundreds of new B2B leads, mentioned in Bloomberg Businessweek, did customer demos, closed a deal in 5 days for the new product after the launch, and gave 2 proposals. Received many quotes and citations in the press which helped us increase our awareness. Now, let’s talk with data.

E-mail Campaigns

In the chart below, you can see the overall results of our e-mail campaigns.

In the pre-summer season (includes Feb ’18 to Jun ’18) where everybody was in their seats in the offices, our open rate was 31.79% and our CTR was 36.66%. In the summer season, even though our open rate had a small drop to 29.41%, our CTR increased to 53.85%. Considering the increase in average # of people our e-mails are sent to, I think these numbers are showing a strong positive indication for some of our hypothesizes.

Lead Performance

Let’s take a look at the lead performance.

As it can be seen, there is a huge drop going from March to April. In March, we had a great report launch that allowed us to touch people from a wide range of industries, and it enabled us to generate hundreds of new leads. But when we take a look at the summer season, we see an increase, and even though the metrics show a similar trendline between June to August, considering we have shared a new research report each month targeting different audiences – it’s understandable.

This doesn’t tell that summer is great for generating leads. Rather, this shows that summer is as bad as other timeframes in terms of lead generation activities.

Press and Social Media

When we look at the social activity (includes data from LinkedIn and Twitter accounts), we don’t see a specific pattern that reflects a change in social metrics. But, we see that even though the RT rate is not dramatically higher in the summer season, total clicks and clicks per post metrics are higher than April and May.

This doesn’t tell that social is great in summer, but we can say that if you are not putting something that will affect how people will work (just like we did in March and September), summer might be a better time to invest in social compared with other seasons.

Summer shows a great opportunity…

…to the people who can leverage it.
I’m not saying that in summer everything is great. Rather, there are natural and positive ways we can look at it. Our outcomes at Twentify are as follows;

  • People have more time to spend on their e-mail. Hence, e-mail CTRs are higher – and will be higher until the volume of e-mail traffic reaches to its peak.
  • Social is still active – and it’s more active than pre-summer or post-summer. Therefore, generating content that will create engagements will still work – and it never dies.
  • There are no peaks in lead generation that I saw in our data. Hence, no comments on this topic.

Long story short, there is no season as a dead season when there are people actually working and doing activities with their smartphones. Your B2B audience is active in LinkedIn all the time and checking their mail clients whenever they have a new e-mail. This only tells us that if the content is engaging and worth spending time on, there will be no dead seasons for marketers. Dead seasons will only be there for bad content and bad messaging.

Thanks for reading! 🙌
Have questions? Comment below, DM me at @ThisIsCaglar, or e-mail to me at What I’m writing about? I’m planning to write about start-ups, product design, tech-related observations, and marketing.






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