current-eventsIt’s common practice in email marketing to run major campaigns around Christmas and Easter; open rates are often much higher in the lead up to these events. However, it’s not just major holidays that you can use to inject some life into your email marketing campaigns. Almost any current event (be it a sporting event, an unusual weather pattern or even something that’s happening in your local area) can be used in your marketing campaign. It can be particularly useful if you’re stumped for ideas!

As long as you can tie the event in some way to what your business does, it’s likely that you’ll see that your customers take more interest in your marketing emails and that your open rates are higher. The more creative you can be the better. Here are a few examples to give you some ideas:

Thinking Outside the Box

There are some events that lend themselves to certain types of businesses. For example, many sporting goods shops based campaigns around the recent World Cup in Brazil. However, you can often achieve greater success if you choose an event that people may not necessarily associate with you business. It will immediately make your campaign of interest to a much wider range of people.

House of Fraser used this campaign recently during Wimbledon:


It’s highly unlikely that House of Fraser is the first retailer you think of when you think of Wimbledon, but they’ve manage to use the excitement from the lead up to the event to their advantage.

This is the subject line they used:

HOF subject line

While it doesn’t mention Wimbledon specifically, the email was sent at a time when the tournament was at the forefront of people’s minds. While quite simple, it offers enough information to explain exactly what the email contains. It’s enough to persuade both tennis fans and fashion lovers to take a look inside.

The body of the email shows how House of Fraser have managed to think outside the box:

 HOF clothes

Rather than showing a range of sports clothes, they have instead chosen items that have been inspired by tennis (specifically that they are white). This is an example of how even a tenuous link to an event can work for a campaign. While your average tennis fan might not be interested in these fashionable items, there are likely to be a few who are. People who would usually ignore a fashion mailing may end up clicking through just because of the Wimbledon link.

After the Event

It’s usually best to run a marketing campaign in the run up to the event, just when the excitement surrounding it has piqued. However, if you leave it too late, you need not despair. You can run a campaign after an event has happened. Vukee ran this campaign after the World Cup, offering all customers a discount in celebrate of the great job Brazil did with the event:


If you choose to run a campaign like this, do it as soon as you possibly can after the event (this email was sent the day after the World Cup final). You won’t achieve any success if people have already started to forget about it.

Not every notable event will be suitable for an email marketing campaign, but keeping thinking creatively and you’ll soon find out what works for your business. Use event that your customers are familiar with, and it’s likely that you’ll see great results.