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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy emailing this holiday season!
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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.
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.
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.
Send 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 email@example.com vs. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Change your passwords regularly no matter how clever you think you are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check all of your business listings on sites such as MerchantCircle, Yelp and Yahoo! You can add a sign-up form on most listings.
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
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.
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.
Are you handing out bag stuffers? Special flyers for an upcoming promotion? Be sure they all encourage sign-ups too.
Hubspot offers an older but still handy guide for setting up free QR codes.
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.
When you become a sponsor, you’re often given the email addresses of those who have participated in the past.
Raffle off a prize only for customers who’ve given their email addresses.
By rewarding customers who give their friend’s email, you’ll gain trusted followers.
Whoever gets a certain number of new email addresses in a week receives a gift certificate.
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: