You know what’s really interesting? The more you think about ways to use email marketing to promote your local business this fall, the more you realize how many parallels there are between email and postcard marketing.
Fall may be well underway but there’s still plenty of time to attract new interest from prospective and existing customers. You can get them in the door (or drive them to your website) now and build momentum for holiday shopping.
You don’t have to be a retailer to take advantage of fall email marketing. You don’t even need a store-front location. Email marketing is a proven winner for all types of local businesses, whether you call your clientele customers, clients or patients.
What’s fun for fall?
Fall is a time of excitement-building. Perfect for giving your email marketing a visual pick-me-up and for delivering seasonally-oriented messages and promotional offers.
Create a themed campaign that complements your merchandise or services, or pick one that’s a complete contrast to draw extra interest (and a broader audience). Think football, colorful leaves, Thanksgiving or one of fall’s favorite shopping extravaganzas such as Black Friday. With an amazing 66% of consumers saying they plan to shop Black Friday this year, you want might as well tempt them into your place.
And don’t forget Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Do a different promotion for each of these key days, and offer progressive rewards for customers that shop with you on two or three of the days.
Here are some additional email marketing ideas you can implement quickly:
- Hold a contest asking customers to submit photos or state in 25 words or less why they loved doing business with you this past year. Or ask them to solicit stories about their favorite menu item, candle fragrance, outfit or staff member. Share the winning entries, and of course, reward the winners or everyone who participated with a gift or discount.
- Do some back-door prospecting with a “refer a friend” or “bring a friend” promotion.
- Remind your email audience about your upcoming sale day, special fall/winter hours, etc. Open an hour or two early, exclusively for them.
- Offer a special discount or holiday perk for your best customers.
- Link to your online tip sheet on fall skin care, home decorating or maintaining dental health in the face of all the upcoming holiday sweets.
- Conduct a customer survey to learn what they most want from you in the way of products, services or new benefits in the coming year.
- Personalize, by using your customer’s name and by segmenting your email list for better targeting. The more directly and relevantly you speak to each recipient, the more likely they are to respond
- Share fall articles, helpful seasonal tips for using your products or services, project ideas or photos relevant to your business.
- Add share buttons for your social media sites to encourage your recipients to pass along your useful information or special offers. Studies show emails that include social media links generate 158% more click-throughs.
Constructing a winning email follows postcard design best practices.
What’s the deal? What’s in it for them? Especially now when people are extra-busy, your emails will drive more response if you make your point quickly:
- Headline or subject line, either you grab their attention or you lose them. Make it short and relevant.
- Design with at-a-glance viewing in mind – no clutter, and a can’t-miss image. Optimize emails for “images-off” viewing to reduce negative impact of auto-blockers used by some email clients.
- Make them an irresistible offer, and instill a sense of urgency by limiting your offer’s availability or timing.
- Give them a clear, easy call-to-action.
Regular email marketing, like regular postcard marketing, keeps your business top-of-mind all year long. Use them together, and you can exponentially increase your chances of attracting new customers, increasing sales and strengthening customer loyalty.