“If you invite them, they will come.”
In the hit movie, Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner hears an inspirational voice, telling him to proactively build a baseball diamond, in order to mend a relationship: “If you build it, he (and people) will come.” Since the film, variations on that phrase have been in constant use, because it carries a basic truth: If you put attention and effort into something, over time, you increase the likelihood of success. The same is true for antique & vintage online sales.
The Importance of An Invitation
Imagine getting everything ready for a wonderful, festive holiday party…and having no one come. Learning, after-the-fact, that the reason no one showed was that no one ever received an invitation, would be terrible. Guests didn’t come because they never received any indication that their presence was important to the host. This holiday season, if you are hoping for a surge of visitors to coming knocking on your storefront, now is the time to send out those invitations, and let your valued past, and hoped-for future customers know your storefront is decked out, the music is going, and you are happily anticipating seeing them soon.
If you find this interesting and want to capture more sales this holiday season, stick around! We’re providing you with an excellent resource and template for how to best re-engage your old buyers and inspire them to come back and purchase from you again.
Snail Mail or Email
Sending Christmas and Holiday cards has been both a personal and business tradition for generations. For many, though, it is a tradition that is falling by the wayside, due to time constraints, postage costs, and apathy. However, as an online business owner, this one of the most important ways of generating retail rush.
Christmas cards, like holiday party invitations, say to previous customers and prospective ones, that they are important to you, you appreciate the relationship, and would like to further it by inviting them to visit. Sending out a holiday card, whether it is an email, or a traditional, more personal paper card, sent through the mail, there are a few best practices you might want to consider.
Neil Patel, founder of QuickSprout, says that “in spite of social media’s viral potential, email still wins as the most effective method of reaching and wooing customers. With over 87% of US customers checking their email on cellphones daily, it makes sense to use electronic mail, as part of your marketing. Not only that, but email marketing is one of the most effective way of building clientele. Online marketing experts say that there are only 3 ways to increase online sales. They are to increase the number of customers, increase the average order size, and increase the number of repeat purchases.
The goal is to rekindle (business) relationship with previous customers, inspire browsers (visitors) to become customers and convert them into repeat buyers by actually taking the time to invite them to your store.
Since time and effort are so valuable, we thought you might appreciate 4 great tips on best practices so that your “sales invitation/Holiday cards” make the best impact.
1. Send only cards of high quality.
The quality the card reflects the caliber of the storefront.There is just no getting around it.
Whether you use an online holiday email template or paper cards, send the nicest holiday cards you can afford. If you’re looking to go the extra mile & send a professionally designed holiday card, platforms like Mailchimp make it easy (trust us, we designed this email with Mailchimp)!
2. Keep Your Holiday Card Happy
All shop owners want happy holiday shoppers. So, regardless of your own feelings about Christmas, choose cards that allow for a variety of beliefs, so as not to offend. If you know your clients’ beliefs, you can always tailor the Season’s Greetings according, but since the goal is gaining customers, kindness rules. Extending your seasonal greetings beyond the traditional “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas, ” can make a big difference. Just above your signature you might write something like, “Hope 2018 is the best year ever for you and your family, Martha!” According to business experts, this has much the same favorable effect as receiving a thank you note after having sent a gift.
3. Personalize your cards, whatever media you use:
Courting your past and prospective clients personally, whenever you possibly can, increases the effectiveness of your efforts. Personalize your email by including the customer’s first name in the subject bar. HubSpot states that emails with a person’s name in the subject bar increases the open rate by more than 75%.
Paper cards should be hand addressed, using the customer’s title (Dr, Mrs. Ms.) first name and last. Details you remember from past interactions, are hugely helpful in re-engaging customers. “I remember you loved Arts & Crafts mirrors, and I happen to have another you might like…” Marketing & Sales experts, McKinsey & Company documented the importance of including detail, stating, “home-goods retailer Williams-Sonoma reported a tenfold improvement in response rates by adopting personalized e-mail offerings based on individuals’ on-site and catalog shopping behavior.”
Both emails and traditional cards could also offer previous customers special offers, such as extra discounts just for them, or buy-one-get-one-free deals, not available to the general public, etc. This says “you’re are especially valued” – and that is a much harder message to resist.
4. The Ultimate Tip: Sending out your Christmas cards in time
For cards sent through snail mail, in the USA, December 15th is the general cut off if you want them to arrive in time. For packages, and international mail, the cut off is much earlier. Party invitations that leave to time for preparation, or that arrive the day after…Well, you don’t want to be that guy. (I know someone with 5 full boxes of beautiful Christmas cards, each a different design, each representing a year the cards weren’t ready in time to be sent, lol!)
The Ultimate Goal of a well-visited storefront this season, with lots of purchases, requires The Ultimate Tip: Send out your cards, emails, or both, giving your prospective customers the heads up early enough for them to come shop, buy, and receive their purchases in plenty of time.
That will make this holiday festive for everyone! Because, if you invite them…they will come. Click below to see email templates that we think will be helpful to get you kickstarted on sending out your invitations.
Looking for more newsletters like this, tailored for antique & vintage dealers? Click here.