When it comes to promoting your business for Small Business Saturday, you have two tools at your fingertip that can make the job quick, creative, and easy. Between email, Facebook, and other social media platforms, you can keep your customers – and those they share information with – informed of everything that will be going on leading up to, and during, the big day.
Announce Your Small Business Saturday Presence with Authority
In the few weeks prior to Small Business Saturday, send an email to all on your list telling them of the date, its importance, and that you will be participating in the event. As a teaser, tell them to watch their emails for special offers or surprises that you will be sending out for all those who receive the email. Use your own voice, phrasing things in a manner that is both professional and relaxed.
Follow up with a Reminder
At the end of the week after your first emailing, send out a reminder, informing customers of the importance of Small Business Saturday and asking their support by shopping at your, and other local businesses. A quick email such as this keeps you in front of your customers and encourages them to make plans to come in.
Post information about Small Business Saturday on your Facebook page, and ask visitors to “Like” and to share with others. This is a quick and easy way to spread the word.
Do not forget to check your email for messages from customers. A quick and personal response is always appreciated and cements the bond you have with your clientele.
Remember Everyone Is Busy
This is the start of the holiday season and in the hustle and bustle it is easy for your customers to lose track, so another reminder about Small Business Saturday in the week prior is warranted. As with the first email, include another teaser letting people know that a gift (or something special) will follow soon and remind them to keep an eye out for it.
No later than Wednesday morning of Thanksgiving week, send your final reminder with a special gift for those who are on the mailing list. The promotion can take any form you wish – so choose something with which you are comfortable and is within your budget. The purpose is to bring customers in and almost any offer will work. This is also a good time to mention any special items you may have received, or any gift suggestions you may have. Again, check your email for customer responses and answer them.
Your Facebook should be a beehive of activity, with pictures, suggestions, words of encouragement from friends and customers, and an urging of all who visit the page to shop small on Small Business Saturday.
Keep a guestbook on hand at your location, and ask your customers to sign in and leave their email address when they visit.
Be Sure to Follow up in a Timely Fashion
On the Monday after, post a big thank-you on your Facebook page, showing your appreciation for everyone who helped make Small Business Saturday a huge success. Post pictures if you have them, and invite everyone back as they continue shopping through the holidays (and after).
Take the time to email everyone on your list. To make it easier, divide the mailings into three categories.
- First – email those customers who visited and took advantage of the special offer you sent out in the earlier missives. As an added thank-you, consider including a special gift of a discount the next time they visit. If you have the notion, host a special event for this group, offering previews of new inventory or simply have a meet and greet, setting out a nosh or two, to say thanks for supporting you.
- Second – email all of those who provided you their email for the first time. Thank them for their patronage and invite them back. You can include an appreciation incentive to entice them to return, or ask them to like or share you on Facebook. Whatever is most comfortable for you.
- Third – email those customers who you know did not show, or who did not take advantage of the email offer you sent, and let them know that you missed them. Invite them to visit when their schedule permits and, as a gesture of goodwill – after all ‘tis the season – invite them to use the coupon, discount, or promotional offer you sent earlier.
Taking a few minutes out of your busy holiday to compose a set of three or four emails that invite your customers to visit and shop with you on Small Business Saturday, and keeping your Facebook page updated with goings on and reminders will have a tremendous impact on your business. Following-up with a thank-you after the fact will solidify your relationship with your clientele and provide you with a strong foundation for the coming year.