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24.11.20

Use microsites to max customer engagement during lockdown and beyond

We’re all aware of how busy transactional websites have become during the pandemic. Shoppers are now going online for almost anything – from weekly grocery deliveries to their annual ‘flu jabs.

Right now, it’s time to pay homage to the humble microsite – a website that stands apart from your main brand site; a small but mighty asset in its own right. A flexible promotional marketing tactic, a microsite can help you build engagement, customers and loyalty.

A microsite can (1) solve the problem of getting your samples out there. It can also be used as (2) a revenue channel for subscriptions, which have become incredibly popular in the last few months.

1. How are you handling free samples?

A microsite provides a route to getting your samples to customers. While it definitely complements the traditional method of handing them out in store – which is currently impossible anyway – it offers other opportunities too.

This is how it works: a promotional marketing campaign points customers to a microsite where they can quickly and easily order a sample to be sent directly to their door. ‘Quickly and easily’ is important – signing up should feel fluid and not intrusive.

(Microsites aside, one of the ways customers might order a sample is through Alexa. We also work with partners who arrange voice sample campaigns, like Send Me a Sample where customers can order samples by simply asking Alexa.)

At Granby, this sign-up information is captured and the order is sent to our fulfilment team for picking and prompt despatch. (The process is efficient because we build the sites and manage the triggered communications.)

Thanks to the GDPR-compliant data you’ve collected, you can remarket to the relevant sign-ups in the future.

  • Your microsite tactics form the basis of a new nurturing campaign or, alternatively, a rewards & loyalty campaign.
  • Unless linked to an in-store sale, traditional sample distribution doesn’t capture this critical information.
  • Neither does handing out free samples in-store guarantee you’re targeting your ideal customer.

The cost of sample promotional marketing

Online sample campaigns are often perceived to be more expensive than the traditional method of handing them out.

  • The cost of postage or delivery is the main culprit that will threaten to bust your budgets. You have to balance this cost against the value of the free sample.
  • For good measure, a forward-thinking marketeer will also balance it against the forecast value of future sales or engagement with campaigns you can deliver using personalisation, thanks to the data you captured at sign-up.

2. Can you offer subscriptions?

Subscription or sign-up services were becoming more popular before the COVID-19 lockdown but the pandedmic has undoubtedly accelerated their adoption.

Recent research from Barclaycard Payments shows:

  • Households spend an average of £552 a year (£46 a month) on sign-up services
  • 28% of UK retailers already offered subscription services before lockdown
  • 22% of UK retailers developed a subscription service or product during lockdown
  • The Top 10 subscriptions include beauty & grooming, health, alcohol, and arts & crafts
  • The subscription economy is currently worth around £323 million

While the Top 10 includes sign-up services like TV, movies and gaming, there are clear opportunities for brands across many sectors to claim their own territory. While TV might be considered an essential, your products might be thought of as treats – and consumers really love treats they can hold in their hands.

Microsites for subscriptions

E-commerce is all about making it easy for customers to do business with you and microsites for subscriptions allow you to hone this down to an art.

  • Your existing customers – and new ones too – will love the convenience of having your products arrive when they need them
  • It’s one less thing they need to think about because the ordering is already set up. And this also makes them less likely to shop with competitors
  • As well as delivering their regular products, you wrap some loyalty & reward treats into the service too, offering freebies, discounts or ‘be the first to try’ exclusives to make them feel like they are really being looked after
  • Same for partnership marketing, where you offer them brand treats or discounts from suitable partners

Quick to set up – and watch it fly

Microsites are undoubtedly a good investment to tackle the immediate landscape, as well as providing a solid foundation for future promotional marketing activities.

Working with a partner that has an experienced team of developers and a powerful fulfilment system, it’s well within your reach.

If you’d like to know how to get up and running quickly, plus more about maximising engagement and revenue through microsites, get in touch.


Photo by Halacious on Unsplash

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