How Retailers Can Personalize Emails With Local Weather Data

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Weather is a lot more than what’s happening outside your window. It can impact your life, moods, and, yes, even your buying decisions. 

There have been a few studies over the last decade or so that have dug into weather, and its impact on consumer behavior. 

As retailers, that means you have a unique ability to harness the power of the weather (insert evil laugh here) and drive more traffic to your online shops. 

One way to do that is by using weather in your email marketing campaigns. 

In this post, we’re going to tap into a few of the ways retailers can use weather to personalize email marketing. 

Ready to dig into it?

Improved personalization

Consumers today don’t just want more personalized content; they demand it. The world is now full of niches, channels, and subscriptions that play to a tiny fraction of society, and consumers pick and choose what products they buy based on their personal needs and interests.

So it shouldn’t come as a big shock that retailers can make some moves that improve personalization — especially when it comes to emails. You can start by tapping into the data that’s already at your fingertips, namely geolocation.

Knowing where your customers are is a great way to start segmenting your list. You can drop it down even beyond the region of the country or state to zip code and get hyper-localized. 

That’s going to enable you to send out specific personalized emails to segments of your list that can line up with the weather they are currently experiencing. 

Here are a few ways to do it.

Use fear of missing out

Fear of missing out, also known as FOMO is a term used to describe when people feel actual anxiety because they might be missing out on something fun or exciting. 

It’s a powerful psychological trigger and motivator to get people to take action. Brands have been using this tactic for a while, especially in reveal marketing circles. 

Retailers can use FOMO too with local weather. 

One example for retailers is around a special event. Let’s say you have a beer garden pop-up you’re trialing for only one week. Use weather, especially a great forecast, in the area to tell your customers that if they skip out, they might be missing on an awesome happy hour. 

Even something tiny like that can be enough motivation for an email subscriber to pop into their group chat and suggest your beer garden as the place to meet that week.

Highlight a sale

When do a lot of people think about those summer outdoor activities that they love?

During the cold winter or rainy spring when they are trapped inside because of bad weather. So use that longing that your customers might have to be outside and build a weather-based email campaign around it. 

Let’s say you’re a sporting goods retailer. During the dour winter months, why not launch a sale campaign that highlights a bunch of your summer sporting equipment and camping gear? 

Here’s where you can bring in some of your past customer data too. Targeting the customers who have already purchased some summer sport and camping (or related) supplies means they’re already primed for interest. 

So use bad weather to your advantage and create an email that sparks longing for the warm and sunny summer months and encourages these customers to grab a great deal and buy now.

Forecast based notifications

Here’s another way to tap into the weather. When you know what the forecast is likely to be seven or ten days out, thanks technology, you can send out helpful emails that serve as reminders to your customers too.

Here’s an example.

It’s late October in New England, which means snow is likely just around the corner. For a local or regional tire store, the first indication of snow arriving in the forecast is the perfect time to send out an email to the customers in these locations that it’s winter tire season. 

For current customers, an email that reminds them to book an appointment to get their snow tires put on serves as a friendly reminder that you care.

And for potential customers, an email like this is a great way to drive traffic and purchases from those who don’t want to get stuck, literally, in the first snow of the season.

Embrace the weather

As a retailer, you can really dive into personalization and use the weather to your advantage. The key is to be strategic about your approach.

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