9 Consignment Emails You Should Send This Holiday – Infographic

Don’t break up with consignment emails this holiday.

I have a love/hate relationship with email. Emails eat up my time. Countless marketing blogs appear by the hour, not day. Retail stats flood my inbox. Tricks of the trade are constant. I never know which ones to read. However, I do know email is the fastest form of communication. It’s the easiest to reach a target market and often the most engaging. This holiday, don’t break up with consignment emails.

Collect those addresses

You know the drill. Add a new consignor, get an email address. Check out a new customer, ask for an email address. There are countless opportunities to collect email addresses. To make sending consignment emails easier, choose an email marketing service. At Traxia, I’ve used 3 different email providers over the years. We started with iContact. If you have less than 500 contacts, you pay only $14 a month. Less if you pay annually. I can’t remember why we made the switch to Constant Contact. They offer a free trial and monthly payments of $20. Just as I was getting used to it, we switched to Mail Chimp. They offer a completely free version. I wish I could tell you one was better than the other. They all have their quirks, but all do a great job of delivering your message.

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Plan your message

I saw this idea on Snap Retail and thought I’d share it with you. If you’re struggling with email ideas, here are 9 different topics to talk about.

9 different types of consignment emails that should be sent this holiday

The subject line is the most important part.

I have read about, studied, researched, and stressed over subject lines. According to stats, if you don’t grab the reader’s attention within 5-8 seconds, you can forget about it. Here are some email suggestions from a company called SuperOffice.

  • Use 6 to 10 words in your subject lines to get the best open rate
  • Send your email campaigns during the workday and after lunch
  • Personalize subject lines with the reader’s name
  • Use a recognizable sender name
  • Optimize your email campaigns for mobile
  • Bonus: Segment your email lists

Happy emailing this holiday season!


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10 Steps To Improve Consignment Email Marketing

This post is updated from August, 2015

Ramp up your consignment email marketing for 4th quarter

I know this doesn’t apply to my engaging emails, but let’s be honest. How many of you woke up this morning and thought, “Gee, I hope I have 100 new emails in my inbox today!”? No one. My index finger gets worn out by the constant Delete, Delete, Delete. You need effective consignment email marketing and I’ve got 10 ideas to help.

  1. Segment your list

    Gone are the days of doing email blasts where you send the same message to all 62,352 people on your email list. Since we are bombarded daily by advertising, we’ve become very good at tuning out messages that don’t catch us quickly. Divide your list into groups such as your top 20 customers, shoppers who attended a special event, younger customers or customers who only buy a specific brand, etc. The more specific your list, the more relevant your message.

  2. A strong subject line

    Let’s face it, you have 6 seconds to grab my attention. Put some thought into your subject line. Short and catchy. Experts say “How to…” emails or numbered lists have the greatest open rate. Create urgency. Never use ALL CAPS.

  3. Be personal

    Use the right email address for consignment email marketingSend your emails from your name not just your business. As you will see in #4, the goal of consignment email marketing is to build relationship. By sending your emails with your name, you are putting yourself out there as a real person rather than a business. Choose betty@myconsignmentstore.com vs. info@myconsignmentstore.com.

  4. Build relationship

    Shoppers add their email address to your list because they want something in return. Your goal should be to “improve” the life of the email recipient. Whether it’s saving them money, making them smarter or entertaining them, make sure you’re offering something of value. Whenever possible, generate emails using the receiver’s first name (this always boosts the open rate) and use conversational language. Your goal is to be a friend helping a friend.

  5. Remember company branding

    Emails coming from your shop should be immediately recognizable. Your email style and design should always have regular elements like your logo, your address and phone number in a consistent location and a recognizable color scheme. Read 6 tips to build your secondhand store’s brand to get a few more ideas.

  6. A definitive call-to-action

    There should be no doubt in the reader’s mind what action you’re wanting them to take. If it involves redeeming a coupon, make it very clear they must print it off and bring it in. If it’s time sensitive, make sure those dates are bold and stated several times. Always provide a way for you to be contacted if there are any questions.

  7. Use images 

    Don't use stock photos in consignment email marketing

    Some of our Developers have gone where no Developer has gone before.

    Studies show that emails with images always generate more interest. Use an image of your shop or salespeople to once again build a relationship with the reader. Ask shoppers if you can use their image along with the merchandise they’ve just purchased. It doesn’t matter how professional they look. Your images are always more appealing than a stock photo. (Note to self: you did use a couple of stock photos in this post)

  8. Send them at the appropriate time

    Knowing the exact time an email should be sent can be the trickiest part. You have to know your audience. Are they employed full-time? Then, I wouldn’t send them at 9 am so they are buried with multiple emails. Are they stay-at-home moms? Then, sending them in the afternoon either during nap time or before the kids come home may be the best. It’s trial and with a lot of error.

  9. Keep mobile in mind

    Now, more than ever, shoppers are using their cell phones to check their emails. Use a single-column layout. Keep messages concise and use only one image at a time.

  10. Send the same message more than once

    If your emails are personable, something I’m interested in and offer me value, I am thrilled to see them in my inbox more than 1 or 2 times. In fact, I need those reminders so I’ll show up in your shop at the right time.

For more on growing and using your email list:

14 Simple Ways To Build Your Store’s Email List
9 Consignment Emails You Should Send This Holiday – Infographic
Building Consignment Store Loyalty Through Email

Build your resale brand by asking 8 important questions

This blog was adapted from a survey by Kimberly Beer

Your resale brand is built on consistency.

When your resale store has a strong brand, you become much easier to remember. Think about Target or Walmart. You know what to expect from them. The look of their stores, their marketing materials and the type of products they offer are consistent around the world. Building your resale brand requires consistency too. See if you can answer “Yes” to these 8 questions.

Have you added something new to your website in the last 7 to 10 days?

  • Yes, I blog and update content and photos regularly / We use our website for online sales so it is constantly changing
  • Well, it’s probably been over a month
  • No, I haven’t made any changes for awhile / I don’t have a website
  • Change it? I was lucky to build it!

Have you created a buyer persona with demographic information such as income, age and marital status?

  • Yes, and I have shared it with my entire sales team
  • Yes, but I really don’t follow it
  • No, but I think it’s a great idea
  • What are you talking about?

Do you create original content somewhere online each week?

  • Yes, I publish an original blog
  • Yes, I publish photos and videos on FB or other social media channels
  • Well, I have thought about it, but I don’t know how to do it
  • No, I don’t have anything to personally say

Social media is necessary for resale brandingHave you established a social media budget that’s between 5 and 15% of your desired income?

  • Yes, and I reach it every month
  • Yes, but I don’t make my ad spend every month
  • No, should I?
  • Budgets are too restricting

Do you have a business card and other printed marketing materials?

  • Yes, I have both professionally printed
  • Yes, I have a professionally printed business card
  • I print cards and marketing pieces on my home computer
  • No, it all just gets thrown away anyway

Do you have a set process to regularly gain customer testimonials and reviews?

  • Yes, and my website, social media sites and local shopping sites are loaded with them
  • Yes, but I don’t always follow the process
  • No, I forget to ask
  • What if they’re all negative?

Are you actively gathering email addresses each week?

  • Yes, I gather them on my website, social media sites, in my store and when each customer comes to the register
  • I’m gathering them, but not actively
  • No, I don’t like to pry into people’s personal lives
  • Nobody opens them anyway

Have you sent out a marketing email at least once per month for the past 6 months?

  • Yes
  • No

The case for brand building

Establishing a solid brand identity gives your resale store the parameters it needs for all aspects of your business. When you place a Facebook ad, consider a new employee or change the color of your store, you can ask yourself, “Does this fit our brand?” Plus, having a consistent resale brand automatically raises the perception of your store in the eyes of consumers. It helps our industry as a whole too. Take the time. Start building your resale brand today. To learn more about branding and see how Traxia builds our brand, read 6 tips to build your secondhand store’s brand.

5 practical ways to protect your shop online

Don’t wait. Protect your shop online today.

You know the feeling. It’s that nervous hesitation. Should I open that email? Is it really safe to “Click here?” Did I give too much personal information? Today, staying cyber safe is always in the back of our minds. Protect your shop online. Follow these 5 practical steps.

1.) Strong passwords

Did you know the most common password is the word “Password?” It’s followed by the 2nd most popular password, “123456.” According to a 2015 report by ThreatMetrix, the point of login is especially vulnerable for cyber threats. Women, because they tend to use common words like their pet’s or children’s names, appear to be more vulnerable to hacking. When creating a strong password, make sure you add all of the following.

  • Numbers
  • Upper and lower case letters
  • Symbols when it’s possible
  • At least 8 characters

Change your passwords regularly no matter how clever you think you are.

2.) Basic security software

There are several basic systems you can put into place to protect the information on your desktop immediately. “Ask Leo!” gives you the bottom line.

  • Add a router, even if you only have one computer. It can be used as your main firewall.
  • Use Windows Defender which is already installed on Windows 8, 8.1 and 10. This can help to keep your computer secure.
  • Check to see that Windows Update and Windows Firewall are both turned on to keep your computer as current and safe as possible.

Wrongfully, Mac users assume their computers are safer. If you’re using a Mac for your business, regularly check for updates and make sure your firewall is running as well.

3.) A social media policy

As part of your Employee Manual (which every shop should have), include a social media policy as another way to protect your shop online. Upfront, your Manual must state any discussion of their employment must be handled in person rather than online. Although disgruntled employees have the legal right to complain online about their working situations, make it understood that you are willing and eager to discuss it with them first. Add these other ideas to your Social Media Policy.

  • Ask that employees leave their place of employment blank on their Facebook page. By doing that, their private lives won’t reflect on your shop.
  • Outline what is considered a confidential topic not to be discussed on social media.
  • If you give your employees access to your shop’s social media accounts, make sure their contact with your customers is always respectful and friendly.

4.) Secure your shop’s email accountprotect your shop online

Choose a trusted email provider to send business emails. A provider has stronger filtering capabilities. Educate your employees about what to look for when opening an email that looks like Spam or a scam. Receive emails without images being displayed first. Once you know the email is from a reputable sender, click on “Display images below.” Often, images and logos are tied to Spam accounts.

5.) Now’s the time to move your shop’s data to the cloud

If you have done these basics to protect your shop online, it’s time to move your data to the cloud. Hardware failure, theft of your computer, fire or flood damage, or a virus are just a few of the risks in keeping your data only on your computer. By converting that data to a web based system, you are automatically assured that your shop’s point-of-sale (POS) data is kept safe somewhere else. In a shameless plug for SimpleConsign, these are just a few of the safety features we provide:

  • Your data is continually backed up.
  • Traxia has the strength and protection of Amazon Web Services (AWS) behind us (AWS also provides security for organizations such as the US Navy, Pfizer and Intuit)
  • Backups of your data occur on both the east and west coast. If something were to happen to one data center, the other still has your information.


4 retail stats consignment and resale needs to watch

Consignment and resale must keep an eye on these shopping trends

I’m not good with statistics. In fact, the word “statistics” alone can cause a flush of nervousness. Sometimes, I have to hush the inner math-challenged me and take a closer look. So, I read The National Retail Federation’s  “Spotlight on Modern Retail 2015.” It’s a compilation of statistics on a number of different subjects affecting retail. There are some interesting insights that consignment and resale can glean from the results too. Unfortunately, there was a lot more to it, but I have included only 4…the 4 I could understand.

1.) 44% of consumers regularly research purchases online before going to a store

Being found online is no longer an added feature to your shop. It’s a necessity. Research found “4 out of every 5 consumers look for advice before they make a purchase, and they’re often turning to social media.” You need to have a Facebook page for your shop. Also, make sure you’re listed on sites such as Yelp, Yahoo Local and Merchant Circle. Regularly check shopper’s reviews and reply kindly to the ones who make negative comments

2.)  One in five holiday shoppers were influenced by email advertising

That may not seem like a lot at first, but when you think about the size of your email list, that can be the difference between an average holiday shopping season and a phenomenal one. Email is still a strong purchasing influencer. If you can target particular shoppers with offers they are specifically interested in, it makes a huge difference.

3.)  Use of coupon websites grew dramatically

The Federation’s research found that the rise in using coupon sites grew from only 1.8% in 2013 to over 6% in 2014 holiday shopping. More than ever before, consumers are looking for a bargain and our industry needs to capitalize on that fact. By promoting “great prices without a coupon” or offering actual coupons on your Facebook page or in emails, you can increase a shopper’s likelihood of buying from you.

4.) Mobile sales grew by 87%

At one time, there was a separation between a shop that was online and a shop that had a physical location. Now, more than ever, stores are finding ways to implement both. The concept of mobile sales is changing rapidly. From purchasing online to purchasing with your phone, technology is taking over how today’s consumers shop.
For SimpleConsign customers, we offer an eCommerce solution that’s perfect for expanding to online sales.

14 Simple Ways To Build Your Store’s Email List

A Store’s Email List Is Priceless

Your email addresses are one of the best ways to reach current and potential customers. Constant Contact, an email marketing company, calls an email list your “Money List.” Make sure you’ve got a strong “money list” by using some of the following techniques to build it.

1. Put A Fishbowl On Your Counter

The old adage applies, “You have to give a little to get a little.” To receive email addresses, offer a prize drawing as an incentive. Shoppers will need to fill out a special entry form that includes their email address, but don’t ask for too much information or you’ll lose them.  Make sure they know they’ll be hearing from you about future promotions too.

2. Add A Sign-up Form Or Call-to-action To Your Facebook Page

Go to your Facebook “Settings” and in the left column look for “Apps” to add one to your page. Or, Facebook now offers a “Call-to-action” button that will take viewers directly to your web page where they can sign up to receive your emails.

3. Make Sure Your Online Listings Are Up To Date

Check all of your business listings on sites such as MerchantCircle, Yelp and Yahoo! You can add a sign-up form on most listings.

4. Use Sandwich Or Chalkboard Messages

Use signage indoors and outdoors to mention special coupons and discounts that are only available to those who provide their email addresses. If you or someone you know is handy, here are the instructions for a diy chalkboard and sandwich board.  DIY Instructions

5. Collect Emails With An Online Survey

Head over to Survey Monkey and create a free online survey. Shoppers who take the survey will have to sign up using their email address. Naturally, to get feedback from them you’ll also have to provide a special discount, coupon or prize drawing.

6. Create A Pinterest Board

Create a board on Pinterest that’s strictly for your email messages and post them as soon as they come out. Be sure to include a sign up form.

7. Use Printed Materials

Are you handing out bag stuffers? Special flyers for an upcoming promotion? Be sure they all encourage sign-ups too.

8. Add QR Codes

Hubspot offers an older but still handy guide for setting up free QR codes.

9. Hold Social Events

Holding special sale events or classes is a perfect way to get people to sign up on your email list. Create a special subgroup to send targeted emails to those attendees in particular.

10. Sponsor An Event

When you become a sponsor, you’re often given the email addresses of those who have participated in the past.

11. Run An In-store Raffle

Raffle off a prize only for customers who’ve given their email addresses.

12. “Refer-a-Friend” Program

By rewarding customers who give their friend’s email, you’ll gain trusted followers.

13. Employee Incentive

Whoever gets a certain number of new email addresses in a week receives a gift certificate.

14. Good Offers

Obviously, the better the offer, the more incentive to give you my email address, but don’t abuse the privilege.

For more on growing and using your email list:

Building Consignment Store Loyalty Through Email
10 Steps To Improve Consignment Email Marketing
9 Consignment Emails You Should Send This Holiday – Infographic

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