10 Quick Ideas to Boost Your Email Strategy

Year-end can be a challenging time. Coming off your busiest time of the year, it's hard to keep the momentum going during the post-holiday slump. That's why it's important to put something in place now that will generate business activity in January. Emails can create that touchpoint and prompt people to take action. Here are ten ideas for emails you can schedule during your slow time to keep your business in motion.

Idea 1: Ask customers what they think.

People like to be asked their opinion on a subject. So send an email posing a question related to your business. Maybe it's about a new product or service you're considering. Perhaps you want to check in on a customer service issue. It could be a single question or a short survey. Some businesses offer an incentive to answer the question, like a coupon for their next purchase.

Idea 2: Reach out to customers who haven't purchased lately.

Customers get busy and can forget about you. Send a friendly reminder that you're still out there. Start with a thank you for their past business, then invite them to stop by. Highlight some new product or service, maybe include a "come-on-back" discount. Be aware, this may uncover a past service issue that's kept them away. That's great, it gives you a chance to address it and move forward.

Idea 3: Welcome message to new customers.

If you're coming off your peak sales period, you likely gained some new customers. Send a personalized email welcoming them. It also gives you the opportunity to recommend other items that might be of interest. Some businesses characterize them as "what others who purchased this item bought." A discount on their next purchase could also incentivize them to buy again.

Idea 4: How-to videos on their recent purchase.

Did you have one sell-out item that you just couldn't keep on your shelf? Capitalize on that popularity by giving customers some new ideas on how to use it. For example, a gadget store might demonstrate another use for their hot-selling kitchen shears. In the email, invite them to share their own ideas by posting them on your social media pages.

Idea 5: Video chat invitation

Another way to reach customers is to connect with them on a video chat. Besides the basics like the date and time, this email needs to identify the “what's in for them." Tell them what they'll walk away with after attending. For those who sign up, send a follow-up email with instructions to connect to the chat. A reminder email will ensure they attend.

Idea 6: Breaking News

This headline may be overdone, but the idea is to create momentum by announcing something new. It could be a new delivery service, an award you earned, or a community project you've launched. Be sure to tell them what that means for them—better service, expert knowledge, and keeping your community strong.

Idea 7: End-of-Season Sale

Did you have an item that didn't sell as expected? Or leftover stock from popular items (especially single-use items that customers will buy again)? Both could be the subject of this email. It's an opportunity to recover some inventory costs on unsold seasonal stock. Some businesses sweeten the offer with special pricing during the sale's opening hour.

Idea 8: Ask for a referral.

Satisfied customers are often willing to pass along a referral, but they're never asked. This email should make it easy for them. Some businesses provide a link that customers can forward to their friends. The link takes them to a landing page with a discount coupon (one for the person being referred and one for the person giving the referral).

Idea 9: You like me, you really like me.

Emails can be a great way to connect with people, but when you combine it with your social media channels, you turn it into an ongoing conversation. Send an email asking customers to like your business's Facebook page. Give them a few examples of what they'll find—announcements, customer stories, tips.

Idea 10: Inspirational quote of the week.

One non-profit sends an inspirational quote every week to their volunteers. Each relates to the mission of the organization. These are short, easy emails to create. To increase their impact, they include a photo of a volunteer at work. It's a great way to recognize someone while furthering your brand.

Not every email sells something, but each creates a touchpoint with new and prospective customers. Often that prompts them to take action—call, go to your website, visit your store. See if these email ideas work for your business and set yourself up for some activity during your slow time.

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