[Guest Post] – Setting Up Sales Driving Email Campaigns

Business Lessons

Every morning, I open up my phone and start going through my email inbox - quickly seeing what is urgent, important, any fires I need to put out, and rush orders that are coming my way. Then, I start clicking through the remaining emails to delete any spam, and look at items that may be interesting or require action. There are emails that we can’t seem to get rid of in our inbox, and some that often get our attention.

Email campaigns are a very powerful tool for your business if done correctly. Building your own mailing list and running a healthy campaign is crucial to survival in the 21st century.  It gives businesses the opportunity to interact with their customers regularly, without overwhelming them, while keeping your businesses name fresh in their memory.

I get emails from all sorts of companies. I actively delete some without reading, and quickly filter through ones that feel important. The next time I need something related to a company that was emailing me, I quickly search my inbox to see what they most recently had to say. Or, I think to myself, “Hey - I just got an email from Business XYZ, I’ll check them out.”

I started out by using a simple tool called MailChimp. There are several ones out there, some more complex than others, and some that are a lot more powerful. On MailChimp, you can upload your customer's email address and info in by copying and pasting them in or uploading a CSV file. If you integrate with any e-commerce sites such as Shopify, you can actually pull them in directly.

From there, you can begin to create different lists within your mailing list. You can create segments in your lists of different types of customers. For instance, in my business, we work on a college campus. Therefore, I segmented any emails with a .edu email so I can send more specific campaigns to that group. You could create a list for your potential customers, current customers, or customers that you haven’t worked with in a while. The more lists you create the better because your content can be better directed towards their needs. Get creative.

Once you have lists made, you can start to create different campaigns. I have seen all sorts of campaigns made but just to list a few:

Surveys

Send a survey out to your customers. If they complete it, offer a discount or an entry into a drawing. I created a survey using a basic google form (or you can get fancy with SurveyMonkey), and sent it out to my first mailing list of 500 customers. I had almost 100 surveys submitted - pretty awesome for a first try. The feedback was extremely helpful.

Top Prints of the Month

Perhaps monthly, try sending out your best recent prints and examples of orders that you have done that may be familiar to your customers. If you are printing for a community event, customers can relate to something they may be involved with. Most customers love seeing you post about jobs you have completed with them, so have fun and you’ll be surprised to see how many people open it just to see if their order made the cut.

Deals

We all know what slow months feel like. You could send out an email to a specific segment of customers that might want to get a run of shirts done for less. I always do this with construction companies. “Get your Safety Green shirts before construction season starts!”

Business Updates

Customers want to see your business succeed. If you have opened a new sales channel, hired new staff, or are celebrating success, let your customers know. “We just printed 1,000 shirts for the High School State Champs, check them out here”

Proactive Sales

If you use a strong system for recording your orders month to month and year over year, send an email out to your repeat customers. “Hey, we know you ordered shirts this time last year, let’s get you locked in at the same prices and start that order early”

Seasonal Greetings

Send something out for all the major holidays and seasons. Make it personal, and let your customers know that you care.

Educational Content

Probably the toughest because you need to be consistent, but if you have a good list, send out information on how to make their next order go more smoothly or any tools that you can offer them to make their apparel ordering lives easier. “Follow these 10 simple rules to make your booster club sale a success this year”

Touch Base

There is a way to use a mail merge function that inserts your customer’s name in the email. “Hey John, just wishing you a Happy New Year. Please let us know if there is anything you need to be printed. We appreciate your business”.

I’m sure I’m missing some - and this is where you can start to think about how you can specifically market to the niche group you primarily print for..It is important to be sure not to spam your customers if this is something you don’t regularly do. Perhaps start out with an email once a month, and if open rates are good, keep at it. If open rates are not good, try something different. There is no specific science to email campaigns, and it is a lot of trial and error.

As you get better at it, you can start to automate your emails with a drip function that sends emails out based on how your mailing lists respond to them. If you have customers that always read your emails, these tools provide ways to deliver them more or less content.


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