For many business owners, the holiday period can be challenging – particularly if you don’t have any business automation implemented. This can mean relying upon manual email sending, social media creation and more.
We’re going to be looking at what business activities you can automate to make it easier for both yourself and your customers this holiday season.
One of the most powerful ways of communicating with your customers directly is email marketing. This is a top priority when it comes to automating your marketing activities as it can help you boost your Christmas sales, engage with customers and through other methods encourage bigger basket values and return custom.
When it comes to your email marketing over the holiday period, it isn’t just about your sales and promotion type emails. Arguably, it’s just as important to communicate with your customers about your opening times, delivery dates and if you’re choosing to close for a few days in order to spend time with family. This can help avoid any disappointment from customers or bad reviews because of miscommunication – it happens more often than you think.
Some emails to set up to be automatically sent are:
- An updated order confirmation email to show any delays in shipping (if applicable)
- An out of office (of sorts) for your support email address for the dates you’re planning to be off (if applicable)
- A confirmation of sign up for your newsletter (if you haven’t already)
Having both your marketing emails automated as well as your customer service emails too will help ensure a smooth transaction for your customers and you won’t be leaving them in the dark as to when they may receive their order if you’re taking some time off.
Automating your email marketing processes can help ensure that your business is still hard at work, taking orders and keeping your customers in the loop without you having to lift a finger.
Email marketing is the king of the marketing kingdom with a higher ROI than any other method. Utilise EKM’s smart, simple Email Marketing platform to generate growth for your business. Learn more about our Email Marketing service here.
Another thing that you may already have automated is your social media posts. While pre-scheduling content to be posted is a great way to keep your channels updated, there are also other ways to engage with your customers automatically while you’re away.
If you receive a message on your Facebook page, you can have something called Facebook Response Assistant set up on your account to automatically reply to messages you receive, and they can be personalised.
Your messages can be up to 250 characters and there are 3 different types of messages you can automatically send.
This option will let people know how long you typically take to respond to a message and will be displayed on your Facebook page when you have responded to 75% of the messages you received within a day or less. Once you’ve achieved this, Facebook will give you the option to turn response time on or off on your page..
Stay responsive when you can’t get to your computer or phone
This option brings up a message/schedule option where you can input an instant reply message. You can personalise this too with the ‘add personalisation option’ to add their first name, last name, full name, as well as your business URL or phone number. You can then schedule these to be sent out at times when you’re not open.
Send instant replies to anyone who messages your page
This option is sent to anyone who messages your Facebook page and can be set up in your assistant settings. If you typically drive customers to your website or another platform you can mention this in your message and be sure to include dates of when they can expect a reply. Perhaps encourage them to follow you on other social media channels.
Update your website
Your social media channels aren’t the only things that need to be updated to let customers know when you’re open over the holidays – more importantly you need to update your website.
If you’ve chosen to completely close and not take any orders over the holiday period, you’ll need to notify any visitors to your website that this is what you’ve chosen to do, and when they can next expect to make a purchase.
EKM customers can do this via our ‘Holiday Mode’ feature. Read the guide on how to set up our Holiday Mode feature.
You can also use this feature if you’ve chosen to still take orders but won’t be shipping them out until the new year. As long as you keep your shoppers informed and communicate with them about what they can expect.
Instead of losing a potential customer all together try to retain them by encouraging them to sign up to your newsletter to receive exclusive offers, deals and other notifications such as back in stock and new product line launches.
You can find more business tips on preparing for the holiday season with our ultimate holiday checklist.
If you’d like to learn more about setting up your own online shop, read on for more insights into running your own online business here.