The most important email you’ll send this holiday season

Email marketing is one of those things most small business owners know they should be using more, but one of the first marketing undertakings to take a back seat when the going gets, well, going. This applies to self-employed individuals, freelancers, contractors, etc. as well.

You’ve got customers and clients to help, returns to process, sales to manage, employees to look over (possibly), inventory to stock, payroll and other book management, as well as the many untold and unexpected responsibilities you have yet to prioritize, and that doesn’t take into account your personal and family duties.

Womply has made email marketing truly automatic for busy small business owners and all types of independent contractors. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

Don’t worry; we’re not suggesting you tackle your full email marketing strategy today. We are, however, suggesting you try to implement this one follow-up email this holiday season.

Send a Thank You email after you complete a freelance/contract job or a customer shops in your store

A simple Thank You message may just be the most important email you will send this holiday season. It could turn first-time buyers into lifelong, loyal customers, and turn “trial” clients into regular freelance or contract clients. Whether you’re sending this email to just your best customers or you send it to all your latest patrons, this one email could pay dividends for the year to come. Customers and clients who feel understood and appreciated by the stores they shop and the self-employed individuals they hire for contract or freelance work, particularly for local businesses and services, will spend more with those businesses and service providers. In fact, over the life of the customer/client journey, the average person will spend upwards of 10 times what they spent in their first purchase.

The holiday shopping season is an excellent opportunity for local businesses to grow their customer base, using a simple email strategy outlined below. It’s not just the season for big discount weekends and sales days. It’s a chance to connect with your community, and if you correctly engage your customers, it will be the time of year you turn gift-buyers into lifelong, loyal customers. This is just as important for contractors, freelancers, and self-employed individuals. Don’t think you don’t need to manage your customer base just like local retailers do.

Your email doesn’t have to be complicated. The more simple, the better. A simple format like this may be all it takes.

  • Thank them again for their business – You’re about to ask these customers and clients for a light favor; don’t forget to thank them first.
  • Ask about their experience, whether in a store or working with you on a contract/freelance basis – It will surprise you how many people will provide you feedback, most of which is positive when you ask them. And don’t be afraid to ask them how you could improve. Showing customers and clients you’re dedicated to improving their experience  is one of the fastest ways to build trust.
  • Most importantly, remind them that you thrive on customer/client feedback –  Reviews are gold when it comes to future customer acquisition, and this is just as applicable to freelancers, contractors, and other self-employed individuals as it is for local brick-and-mortar shops. The more recent the review, the more impactful it will have for prospective clients. Studies show 7 out of 10 people will leave a review if you ask them to in the right way. Not only will this help you build your customer base (increasing your online reviews has a direct correlation with increasing sales and customer loyalty) but it will make them feel heard and let them know you value their opinion as well as their business.
  • Lastly, offer them a discount on their next spend with you – Give them a reason to come back to your store or hire you for a contract/freelance job again. Not just because you are nice, but because you’re committed to keeping their business.

Why this simple customer retention email strategy matters for freelancers, contractors, brick-and-mortar stores, and the self-employed

This is an email you can’t afford not to send. Finding new customers is 6-7 times more expensive than keeping a current one. As noted above, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times their initial spend. It’s no wonder that repeat customers spend 67% more.

The holiday season is one of the best opportunities local businesses, as well as self-employed individuals, have to grow their customer base. With the flood of first-time shoppers and a simple follow-up strategy like this one, you could be looking at the difference between a one-time client and a life-long patron. The only disclaimer: you have to win their loyalty quickly. A follow-up email a month or so later is too late.

Even if you don’t have a full email follow-up campaign, a simple sign at check out or a polite request made to a contracted client may be all it takes to get some of your most loyal and trusted patrons supporting and talking about your business where your future customers are looking.

Stay on top of your online reviews to encourage new and repeat business

Beyond focusing on creating a memorable and satisfying customer/client experience this holiday season (and throughout the year), another vital aspect of local business success, whether you’re brick-and-mortar or a freelancer/self-employed/contractor business, is getting reviews and recommendations on all your online business pages and review site profiles. This helps provide social proof that other people have used and enjoyed your products or services, and can bring more new customers and clients to your business.

Reputation management software allows you to easily remind your customers that you appreciate their feedback, and you can manage and respond to all your reviews from one dashboard with one login, saving you valuable time every week. Plus,Womply has made email marketing truly automatic for busy small business owners and all types of independent contractors. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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