Savvy small business owners, including home-based bakeries, know that email marketing helps you connect with your customers to promote your brand and boost sales.
According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing produces $44 for every $1 spent. Does this mean you will become a millionaire from email? No, but it demonstrates that businesses use email marketing because it works.
I know what you are thinking, I don’t need an email list. As a baker, I don’t have time for email marketing. Does anyone even read emails anymore?
Try to live in 2020 without email. It’s practically impossible. Statista reports that approximately 306.4 billion emails will be sent and received daily in 2020. Yes, email is still a thing, even in this social media age.
Still not convinced email marketing is important?
As my old boss used to say, “it’s cheaper to keep her.” Getting a current customer to order again is more efficient than only getting new customers. Don’t get me wrong, every business needs a mix of both to be successful. But someone who has bought your products and had a good experience is more likely to come back again than someone who has never tried your baked goods.
Turns out my old boss was right. According to the Harvard Business Review, “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.”
The good news about a 7-year-old’s birthday cake? They will have an 8th birthday before you know it. A confirmation or bar mitzvah could in their future. They might have siblings. If you gain the confidence and trust of a family then you have created multiple opportunities to be their “go-to baker.”
How to start collecting email addresses
Hopefully, I have you convinced to start collecting emails. Here are some ways to start:
- Add email signup on your website. Don’t say sign up for my newsletter. Yawn. No one wants your boring newsletter. Tell them what they are getting in the email. Something like “Join our email list to get menu updates including seasonal and holiday offers and special promotions.”
- Add email signup to your Facebook page. And, promote how to sign up in multiple posts. For example, you can see here how to add signup if you have MailChimp.
- Add email signup to any other social media you have. If posting your amazing cake photos on Instagram is your thing, add an email sign up in your bio. Don’t want to use that precious one link for email sign up? I get it. Use a free tool like Link Tree to feature a few of your key business links.
- Do you have tables at local events or farmers markets? Have your clipboard and sign up sheet ready. Side note, people have the worst penmanship. After someone writes down their name and email, say thanks, use the person’s name and make sure you can read the email address. It’s so frustrating to get home and start adding the names to your list only to find you can’t distinguish their O’s from A’s.
- There are laws about adding people to your list. You need permission. On your order thank-you email, remind customers about the advantage of signing up, and provide them with the link. Make it as easy as possible.
- Use something as simple as an Avery label to create a message about signing up that you stick on all outgoing boxes or packages. Maybe you want something a bit jazzier and designed, check out Sticker Mule.
It’s okay to start small
Don’t be discouraged when you have only a few people on your email list. You have to start somewhere and every list that has 250 or 25,000 subscribers started with zero.
Use an email provider to send your emails out. When I first started, I knew how important email was and started collecting names/emails immediately. But I didn’t have an email service provider. I didn’t have a system for removing people who asked to unsubscribe.
This is illegal and very bad for business. At the time, I was too overwhelmed to figure out the email provider piece. I heard from a customer who was ticked off I hadn’t removed her per her request. I apologized and set about figuring out what service to use to deploy my bulk emails.
Once I sat down it was actually easy to start. I used Constant Contact. It was inexpensive.
If I was starting an email list today I would use MailChimp. It’s free for your first 2,000 contacts. They have robust reporting where you can see who opened your email and clicked through and comprehensive help section. (I am not an affiliate, I just really think the service is great, especially for beginners.)
Just start today! You won’t regret adding email marketing to your toolbox.
Have a question about starting your email list? Drop me an email. See what I did there? No worries, I don’t add people without permission.
Have you gotten my Essential 5 P’s for Perfect Product Pricing pdf yet? I created this freebie to take the guesswork out of determining how much to charge for baked goods. Sign up for my email list and your very first email has the pdf.