Marketing Plans That Won
So the first example that I'm going to show you is the Friday before Black Friday sale. Remember that the big discounts happens right before the Black Friday, the week before. Not only am I coming in a day before the actual sale to capture my customers, but I'm also coming in a week before that big Black Friday rush happens. I don't want to try to compete with that noise. I'd rather come in, they all are ready, they all have their Christmas shopping lists ready. There's nothing that they're not ready for when it comes to buying for the holidays the week before Black Friday. So why try to compete with that noise, why not come in and talk to them a week before the crazy starts. I start building stock for that sale in September. I'm sharing and showcasing it the whole time. I'm mixing in those very high-priced items with good deals, because I want people to really have fun with it. I want people to be bringing gifts home. I'm also trying to move my inventory. I want all the momentum I can...
. I know this is my biggest sale of the year, and if I can clear it out, I'm gonna clear it out during that sale. The week of Friday before Black Friday, I'm doing heavy promotions on social media, saying get on my list. As I said, biggest discount of the year only happens twice a year, subscribers get first dibs. That's how I word it because there's no better way that I know how to put it: this is my limited inventory and everybody's going to pick through it once the 40% starts off, so go in there and get the first dibs. Then I send an exclusive email to my email subscribers. Now also remember, there's this kind of social proof in there because when I send that email, I'm sending it to about over a thousand subscribers. They're all coming in at the same time. They're starting to add it to their carts and everything like that. Products are disappearing right before their faces. I'm not creating a catwise-like frenzy but there is some, well then I better go get this one before it's gone, there is some scarcity involved in that. It is a very popular time for my shop and it all happens in a very condensed time frame, within one to two hours of sending that email because that's when everybody comes to look. They're waiting for those emails. I'm known for them and they know it's coming. Thursday night, I send the Friday before Black Friday email special to my customers. It's, again, the most exciting night of the sale. It's going to be the most profitable contact that I make throughout the duration of those four days. My strategies with marketing are always to serve and delight. Those emails and the way that I send them have customers replying "thank you so much", because they're not like, oh I'm being marketed to. They're like, oh I'm getting 40% off, it's a different, and again, we're thinking about it way more than they're thinking about it. They're thinking we're doing our job as a business, we're showing up and we're showing up in a big way. It doesn't leave people feeling sold to. Rather, it leaves people feeling sold. Yes, I'm getting it. There's a big difference between that as well. I'm going to show you the $1,000 email script, and there are slight variations of this email. It's so simple that I'm afraid it's going to disappoint you when it comes up on the screen. But when I make a slight variation to it, that slight variation is based on the season that it's sent, but it's actually pretty routine and it's very simple. It typically generates more than $1,000, but it's good for at least $1,000 when it's sent. It's effective and it's just so basic. Here's the exact script. This is the $1,000 email. Now, the number one reason that I'm contacting them is to give them the coupon code early and give them first pick at the limited inventory supply in my shop. Remember that. The reason that I'm contacting them, this doesn't have to be a page-long sales page. I don't need to sell them on the Energy Shop. They're already on my list, they know who I am. What they want when they open this email is the coupon code and they want first pick of inventory. So I start the email with a seasonal greeting. Oh, this is wrong. This is my anniversary sale, but you get the gist. This is the clip I had, but this would be about Christmastime and whenever, when it was sent Friday before Black Friday. But then again, you can see the slight variation. It only takes place in the first paragraph because from this section down, it's always the same exact text. I really only open with a new seasonal greeting, depending on the season, to make it relevant. Then I'm going to thank them. This comes naturally, it's not really something that I put in there, but it is so true. It has been such a pleasure creating your energy jewelry and serving your affirmations over the years. That just comes in natural conversation. I start this email thinking, I'm emailing a friend. If I think, where do I start, if I ever struggle with where do I start, I think well, if I was going to email a friend, and I hadn't talked to them in a couple weeks or in my case, two months probably by the time I send this, I wanna think how I would talk to that friend and open that email and make sure I check in with them a little bit before I get going. Then I'm going to say just thank you, thank you for being a part of my life. It comes naturally, so I leave it right there. Then I'm talking about the exclusive preview they can get from my inventory that I make sure I mention it's all limited-edition because as they know, I am hand-made, there is a limited stock. This is a very time-sensitive offer because on Friday the sale goes public and everybody anywhere can pick through it. It says to the customer ultimately, thank you for being my customer. Thank you so much for being my customer and here's my gift to you, and here's how I'm going to honor this exclusive status. I love copywriting for everything it is, but notice that this is not in any way, shape, or form, a sales page. It's not a hard sell. I don't put really anything that's sales-y in it. There's not a lot of explanation about who I am. It's not even important at this time. We already know each other. It's not a pitch and it's not drawn out. I had two reasons for contacting the customer and that was to give them a coupon code and make sure they realize that it's limited inventory when they get there. Moreover, products like mine, and a lot of products, don't need a sales page. They don't need that heavy-level sell like a service-based product would or sometimes a course would. Instead, all of that copywriting is very simple and to the point and it all takes place in the product listing, that's where it belongs. That's where it should live, in the product listing. We talked about that in Build an Etsy Storefront That Sells. That's your look at the $1,000 email. I'm just going to give you one more second to take it in before I go ahead and move on.
Please Lisa, what would your subject line be? What subject line do you usually use to get people to open the email?
That's a good question and I didn't clip it there. But I would say semi-annual sale or I would put 40% off. With the Friday before Black Friday sale, people have come to know it and expect it and wait for it, so I might even use those words. But when I'm starting the campaign, I like to make sure they know there's a good reason to open. Or, this only happens twice a year. That's a fabulous subject line. This only happens twice a year and then dot dot dot, and then you get into that. That subject line is to make sure they read it because this is an important email for them to open.
So something like that, this only happens twice a year or 40% off or semi-annual sale.
Yes. I think semi-annual sale is powerful in itself because it just tells you, this is very limited. Or exclusive preview, something like that makes you want to open because you're like, well, what's this, exclusive preview tells you it's time-sensitive and makes you know that you're getting something that other people aren't getting. Those are two powerful words to put together as well.
And another question I have is you said that you might not have been in touch for a little while before you send this big email, and I'm wondering, do you have a guideline for yourself in terms of how often you email your list?
Mm-hmm, I do. Not everybody follows this same, it all depends. Your marketing strategy should be made for you. It should be something that you're very comfortable with. So sometimes people get very uncomfortable not emailing people for two months and then having to email them again. I get that, but for me, my strategy and what makes me feel good is emailing people when I have a really good reason to email them. I keep that in mind, I don't just email for email's sake. Be careful of that. I think in creative business we have to get over that. We market for marketing's sake. We like for like's sake. We email for email's sake. That's not how businesses run. This should be a marketing strategy. It should go hand-in-hand with something significant to say when you are contacting them. The other thing, email is great. There's different ways that you can kind of like nurturing, conditioning, the email subscribers. What I'm saying is, if I'm emailing for a product-based business and I really don't have much to say but I want to stick to a schedule where I email them every two weeks or every month, and I'm just saying things and emailing for emailing's sake, then I'm actually conditioning them not to open my email. Really that's what I'm doing. So there's no point in emailing unless I have a result in mind, unless there's a good reason for me to send it out. Even with my blog emails, I do them very intentionally. I email more regularly because I'm always saying a lot on my blog, and it's very natural for me to email once a week because I'm emailing with a lot of information. But ever since from my auto-responder through to the last email I sent, I nurture the reader because I want them to read what I'm saying. There's never fluff. It's always right to the point of what you're reading. If you went through my auto-responder, you would notice that I build on it because I want you always to get to the end of the email. I don't write for writing's sake. I certainly don't. I spend a lot of time on it. It's where I invest all of my time. So when I write an email, I want it to be read to the end. I make sure it's valuable and it's content-packed. When I'm marketing my product-based business, I don't create these sales and do these marketing campaigns, I certainly didn't stock inventory for two months so that you would ignore my email because I just email all the time and it's another junk message in your spam folder. I want you to jump on it because I conditioned my email subscribers to know that I'm sending something exclusive, something very time-sensitive and something just for them so they jump on it.
Great, so there's one other question from the online audience. Daisychain Oddities asks, "So this coupon code "that you use, is it only for the first night, "or does everyone get the same coupon code later, "and what about the red prices then?"
Everybody gets the same coupon code later. Oh, and the red prices, oh that makes sense what you're saying. The red prices in the auto-sale, the best Etsy on sale wouldn't make sense with the coupon code. That's a good point. What I would do in that case is, I would have to deactivate that coupon, then put the shop on sale and let them find the rate. That's a great question but something I wasn't thinking about when I built that class. But yeah, I would have been very aware of it because obviously they'd get 80% off if they had the coupon code and the Etsy on sale listing.
I see, so you would just use the coupon code for your early-bird people and then release the red prices after that.
Yes, so let me go back on that as well, because Etsy on sale is a new technique for me. I haven't been using it all these years. What I used to do since the beginning is, I would have a coupon code, I would email it, and then just the next day, I would make it public. That helps me also, even though I'm not expecting a lot of that social sharing, it's a little bit more difficult to get in front of customers. They're not as interested as the people on my email list. But I would leave that coupon code in effect, because I just told my email subscribers that it was coming out and it was going to be released publicly, so I want them to know. But with Etsy on sale and because I want to take advantage of Etsy's fans and Etsy's views and that kind of thing, then I would do that way. I would send that email code the night before. Nobody else would know the shop was on sale. Nobody else would know the sale was running. All of that inventory would go with the coupon code. I would deactivate it right before I set Etsy on sale, so that no matter when you visited my shop, you would land on that sales offer. That was a good question. I appreciate that clarification. Remember that Thursday night was the most profitable night of the sale, it's the most profitable day of the sale. Then I'm going to be doing the social shares and the celebration and the 40% off, making noise on social media for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then on Sunday, I'm going to send my email list again, earlier in the day, maybe around one o'clock in the afternoon, a last chance email, to remind them that that sale was going on. Not only is it going to remind people that forgot, but guaranteed, buyers who bought on Thursday are coming back because they're like, I thought of three more things that I could get and three more people I could gift, so they're buying more. That last chance email, which I used to be so reluctant to send, actually generates 50% of the profits that were made on Thursday night. So if Thursday night made me $1,500 in profits, that Sunday email will make me another $700 in profits. And to think I was reluctant to send it. To think I left $700 of that promotion on the table in the past because I was scared to ask. This is why you don't be scared to ask. I think that was powerful. You guys are like, yeah. (laughter) I was thinking that was a big deal. Okay, so let's go back on exposure and the things that we talked about at the open of the day, and the fear that comes with that ask. Did I know the Friday before Black Friday sale was going to work the first time I launched it? I had no idea. Did I think there was going to be a frenzy for my products the first time I sent out a 40% campaign? Absolutely. Was I worried about the discount-to-profit ratio with having a sale? Was I worried that it was going to be worth it, because if I got three sales at that discount, none of it would have been worth it. My marketing campaign would have been worth it. Yes, absolutely, I was worried about it. I was unsure about it, I was uncertain about it. But I had to run it in order to know if it was going to work. Did that campaign only get better the more that I repeated it? Oh, you better believe it. It gets better every single year.