Resources

Money-Making Email Subject Lines for Small Business Season

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

There are just a few days left before Christmas, and it’s one of the busiest shopping weeks all year. Sure, Black Friday and the Saturday before Christmas are the busiest days (spots 1 and 2 according to Sensormatic), but many of the other top 10 busiest shopping days in the U.S. are still on the horizon such as:

• #3 – Thursday, December 23 – Thursday before Christmas
• #5 – Sunday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day”
• #6 – Wednesday, December 22 – Wednesday before Christmas
• #9 – Tuesday, December 21 – Tuesday before Christmas

If your small business is ramping up for those last-minute shoppers, don’t forget email. Email marketing is an effective way to reach your ideal audience and help them come up with ideas for last-minute and/or hostess gifts. This can be a frantic time of year so any assistance you can give those struggling for the perfect gift will likely result in more sales.

Email recipients can’t respond to your call to action if they don’t open the email. The easiest ways to get them to do that is by creating subject lines that inspire action.

Here are a few tips on how to write effective subject lines to win over last-minute shoppers. The examples below are all basic ideas. Add your own flair to fit the tone of your business.

Free
If you’re giving something away for free with a certain purchase, make sure your audience knows about it. Lead with the item in your subject line. For instance:

Free Dessert with Meal Purchase

Or use a discount instead like:

40% off perfect last-minute gifts

The word free (or mention of the discount) will get their attention, while the rest of the subject line tells them what’s required to receive the free item or discount. You don’t want them to assume they can walk in and demand a free dessert or think the entire store is discounted. Always be as clear as possible.

Sound Like a Friend
You’re not the only one using email to drive business this holiday. People are receiving tons of deals via email right now. You want to stand out. Using congenial language can help you do that. For instance:

Pizza sounds awesome tonight, right?

This could easily be an email from a friend. It’s warm and casual and puts an idea in their mind that is hard to shake. Mmm, pizza.

Solve a Problem
Busy times call for easy solutions. If there’s a way your business can make someone’s life easier, tell them. For instance:

Less mess, less stress. Order in.

Not only does this subject line provide a solution it lures the reader in. After all, most people would love less mess and less stress this time of year especially.

Create Excitement
People who wait until the last minute will often feel overwhelmed by all they have to do. A positive message that creates excitement can be very uplifting and stand out in their inbox. For instance:

Congratulations super smart, last-minute shopper!

The subject line is positive, creates excitement, and drives curiosity. The recipient will want to know why they are being congratulated and they’ll click.

If you want to capture those last-minute sales, don’t forget to reach out to your email list. Email marketing is a strong way to connect with your audience while they are out and about. Getting opens on those emails is essential to shoppers following your call to action. Never disregard the importance of great subject lines.

4 Things You Must Be Doing This Small Business Season

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

We’re down to the last two weeks before Christmas with some of the biggest shopping days of the season still ahead of us. Since every sale can help your future marketing, it’s essential that over the next few weeks you think not only of the money, but the data you can garner from each sale as well. But don’t stress. You still have time to implement these important activities for big results.

Things You Need to Do During Small Business Season
Don’t let the biggest sales season go by without gathering this data and implementing some of these activities to help with future marketing:

Build Your List
You have a lot of people interested in what you sell or the service you provide. When people buy from you ask them if they’d be willing to sign up for a VIP list that will give them special discounts or coupons. They get savings, you get a way to stay in contact with them.

Notice the Also-Boughts
Ideally, you have a point-of-sale system that could quantify the sales data you’re gathering to tell you what people who buy from you often buy together. But if you don’t have that in place, you can do it manually by paying attention to items or services that sell well together. Then get that information to your staff so that they may make satisfying suggestions to customers.

Email Last-Minute Offers or Deals
If you already have an email list of past customers, send out a discount or last-minute offer email to them. People who have purchased from you before are more likely to buy again.

Buy one, get one offers are particularly beneficial in driving sales because they allow people to buy for two people inexpensively, get more for less, or keep a special something for themselves. Who doesn’t love that?

Excel in Social Media
Now is the time to blow up your engagement on social media. Search on social for hashtags of things you sell or specialize in. If you find someone looking for those things, you can start a conversation about it.

If you’re sold out of the item they want, suggest where they might be able to find it. They’ll appreciate the help. Post funny videos. Interview people about their holiday shopping (don’t forget that media release!). Highlight some of your more unique items/services or your best sellers.

Analyze what gets results and do more of it. Tag the Broomfield Chamber in these posts and they might share your content as well.

This is a critical time to get sales, but revenue isn’t the only benefit to your business. Every sale provides critical information about your ideal client. The more information you have for analysis, the closer you are to the kind of personalized marketing that gets results.

Small Business Season Secret Weapon: Email

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

Okay, so this might not be a “secret” weapon, but email marketing can help extend the push to shop small that began on Small Business Saturday. These types of gentle reminders can keep customers buying from you all season (and all year) long. You just need a couple of great ideas, an email marketing tool (like MailChimp or Constant Contact), and of course an email list.

Email List Building
If you don’t have an email list, begin building one right away. Add a sign-up sheet or QR code at your cash register. Tell people if they sign up for your list that they’ll be the first to know about new products or services as well as discounts. Call the list something intriguing like an Insiders Group or VIPs.

Everyone who orders/buys or visits your site/store should be given the opportunity to become part of this exclusive list.

Always ensure you have their permission to send to them. It’s annoying (and potentially illegal depending on where they are located) to send without their permission.

Email Marketing

Assuming you have at least a small email list to begin with, you’re ready to use this “secret” weapon to build upon the momentum you started on Small Business Saturday and transfer it to a Small Business Season of wonderful sales.

Offers
As a small business, it’s extremely important to be known, liked, and trusted. Emails can really help with that. Instead of sending out mass sales emails like the big stores do, use this opportunity to connect (and sell) to your list.

You do this by:

• Sharing things about yourself that people can identify with.
• Educating people on new uses or needs for your products or services.
• Using multiple forms of media inside your email (you can add video or provide a link).
• Creating a beautiful and branded design. Branding helps them identify your emails without reading or wondering who they’re from.

Every email should contain an offer. An offer could be a great sales deal, but it could (and should) also be something they want. One out of every three emails should be a sales deal or discount, but the other emails should offer them something they need like a tip, suggestion, etc. We call them offers because there should be an active component to it, but it needn’t be sales related, It could be something useful that is an extension of what you sell such as “Click here to find out how to set the perfect table,” if you sell furniture. This offers them information for performing an action. The URL click shows their interest. It’s active, not passive. That’s key to email marketing. Providing an “offer” allows you to see who is interacting with your emails.

Call to Action
A call to action is important on every email, but incredibly important on those where you’re making a sales offer. Don’t forget to ask something of them. By doing so, you are inviting them to continue your relationship. They’re already interacting with you, make it mean something.

Frequency
You don’t want to annoy your audience with emails multiple times a day, but you also want them to think of you. You want to be top of mind.

Consider using this idea to send emails every couple of days. Be creative. Make an impression. For instance, you can use national days of celebration that have nothing to do with what you sell in the email subject line like “It’s National Puppy Day so…”

Then when they open the email, your content might read: “Yay! It’s National Puppy Day and that has nothing to do with tacos. But both are really awesome. You are too. And since being awesome is hard work, you deserve a taco. Check out our BOGO offer for Taco Tuesday (AND National Puppy Day!).” It makes no sense but it’s memorable and it’s a limited-time offer. In the sea of holiday emails, you need that.

Frequency builds brand recognition and makes recipients think of you. But that can also lead to boredom and auto deletes. When emails are creative, recipients won’t get bored of seeing them and when they are funny or original, recipients will click to see what you’re writing about.

Small Business Season helps you build on the momentum of the shop small surge from COVID. If you want it to bring your small business more customers, you need to actively market to stay top of mind. Email marketing is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to do that.

13 Important Things You Need To Hear As A Business Owner

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

Our metal has certainly been tested this year. Many are fatigued and stressed juggling responsibilities, worries, and fear like they were part of the job description.

But this is not sustainable.

You may feel crushed by the weight of the world right now. Maybe your friends and family don’t quite understand what you’re going through because they aren’t a business owner. Perhaps you’ve created the perfect life on social media, and no one knows the struggles that make up your day and eat away at your confidence and security.

But your chamber of commerce does. They’ve been there. They are business owners/business professionals, and they know what you’re going through. Most people think about the business resources and networking they provide but forget that they are always looking out for businesses and the struggles of businesspeople. Being the voice of business also means understanding the internal hardships of business owners. The chamber’s vast business experience may help you feel more part of a tribe.

The chamber is also here to remind you that as a business owner, your skills, drive, and knowledge are critical to your business but so is your health and wellness.

13 Things Every Business Owner Needs to Hear

All business owners need to hear these things, especially now:

1. It is okay to put yourself in time out. Use this time to recharge or think about the direction of your business. You can’t do either of these things under pressure. You are not a diamond. Schedule time away, off the grid, even if only for an hour. Focus on one area that’s not working and how you might improve things. Then create an action plan and schedule your tactics that will get you to your goal. Or better yet, take that time and decompress by doing absolutely nothing.

2. Trust your intuition but weigh all sides. Discuss it with people who have experience in the area or the things you are considering. That generally means not your spouse, nor your friends.

3. Take the calculated risks. No risk, no growth.

4. You can make a living doing anything if you take the right approach and the timing is right. Choose what you love, and you will have a more fulfilling career. Never choose safety as a career path because sometimes the safe path isn’t safe. And if that’s the only reason you chose it, you’re left with nothing.

5. If you need help, ask. But you’ll be more successful if you ask the people who are able to help.

6. “No” is an acceptable answer. No excuse (or reason) required.

7. Timing is important but persistence usually pays off. Hang in there.

8. You set your priorities. If you feel out of control, and someone else dictates everything for you, you have given them that power (that includes your kids and pets).

9. Schedule time for “oxygen” moments that provide the breath that fuels the fire in your soul. Recharge with the care that you give your cell phone.

10. Everyone is on their own path. If you don’t declare them as a dependent on your taxes or you can’t be held accountable for their actions in a court of law, respect their process and respect yours also.

11. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can exhaust yourself trying. Pick what you’re good at, who it serves well, and do that. Don’t be a salad at McDonalds.

12. You are always in control of how you respond to a situation even if you can’t control anything else.

13. If it’s important to you, find a way. If it’s not, be honest about that with others and with yourself. Admit that it’s not on your life’s “strategic plan” and move on.

Remember, mental health and wellness are not luxuries. You deserve them. Just as you take care of the tools you need to conduct business, you need to take care of yourself.

Keep this list and refer to it. There’s nothing on here that isn’t common sense but sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else.

How to Take Your Customer Relationship to the Next Level

150 150 Pat Monacelli

By Christina R. Metcalf

Do you want to wow your existing customers? Are you ready to take your “relationship” with them to the next level? Then it may be time to grab your data and do some personalized marketing.

What You Need
To get your customers’ attention, you need to have tools in place to measure things like buying frequency and purchase history. You’ll also want your customers’ email addresses.

If you don’t have that, start collecting it. If you do, let’s talk about how you can use it to drive additional sales.

Selling to existing, repeat customers is one of the easiest ways to increase sales. They already love you. But even people who love you and your products/services can forget to buy from you, especially if you sell a product or service that is want based, not need based, like a restaurant.

You will find it necessary at some point to remind your customers of their love for you. A personalized email is ideal for this.

Components of a Standout Personalized Reminder Email
When some business owners think about “personalized” emails, they think of form fields that insert names.

But we’re moving beyond that.

This type of reminder email speaks to your personalized relationship with your customer, making it a whole lot more effective in driving sales than simply referring to someone’s name. In addition to using their name, you want to include:

Purchase History
Don’t include everything they’ve ever bought. That may be overwhelming, and they may decide they’ve spent too much money with you. Instead, highlight what they bought most often.

“You sure do like our decadent chocolate shake, maybe almost as much as we like having you as a customer. Wouldn’t today be the perfect day to order one? Mmmmm. Chocolate.”

Drive those impulse buys.

Upsell Opportunities
Suggest other things they may love next time they’re buying from you. Point out how convenient, popular, or valuable your other offerings are.

“You know what one of our most popular services is? Eyebrow waxing. We tame most of the brows in town and that service is the perfect complement to the highlights you already love. In fact, the waxing can be done while your color cures. That way you leave with gorgeous hair and a refined look with no additional time out of your day. Just what you need, right?”

More Ways to Love You
In the email, suggest more ways to love your services or products. End the email with a call to action. This could be an invitation to stop in, coupon for their next visit, an invitation to try a new location, sharing ways to connect on social, or a picture of their favorite item or service and a “we miss you” invitation. This message will get them thinking about you again and drive more sales. Remember to use evocative imagery in your close so that they can’t help but come see you soon.

Remaining top of mind is critical to getting more sales from loyal customers. Giving them a little “friendly reminder” email is free and will help you stay connected.

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