Hi fellow cakers, new here.
I have started a small cupcake business out of my home (fully licensed home bakery in the state of Ohio) and am trying to develop a way to interact with my customers 1-2 times per month to let them know of current specials & flavors. I am very much into seasonal baking, and like to create designs & flavors based on whatever holidays/events are coming up.
Has anyone had any experience with email marketing? I have signed up for a 60-day free trial with Constant Contact and love it so far, but I've been having a hard time coming up with the wording of what to say in my emails. I just want to get the pics out there! I have a pretty active facebook page, but I know that only a small percentage of my 'likers' even see my posts.
Any advice on how to gather everyone's email addresses? Or advice on email marketing in general?
I haven't personally tried. I worked for a bakery that did & saw very little from it.
Instead, I would send postcards. They have to at least see the photo! Emails are so easily deleted. It's a bit more expensive, but will bring more business.
Why aren't your likers seeing the posts?
You are probably better off spending your money on a professionally designed web site with SEO and an online advertising strategy (e.g. FB and Google ads).
Many people suffer from email overload, in my experience the best way to keep in touch with your customers on a broadcast basis is Twitter, especially if you can leverage hashtags to branch out from direct followers.
Unless you're offering a coupon every time you send an email people tend to ignore them. If you're going to do something like that make sure that you have people opt in instead of getting their email addresses then sending stuff to them without permission.
You might want to pay for a sponsored post on facebook so that more of your likers see the post, and put something up about signing up for a newsletter that will give party tips or an occasional coupon. That way people will be opting in, and you'll be gathering names from people who already know about your business so they'll be more likely to buy from you if they have in the past.
My professional web designer set this up for me. I have several hundred sign up, but I am waiting for my retail store to open. After that, the emails will be about events going on in the market where the store will be. I will probably have a special, but I am going to be very careful about how often I bug these people.
On my site, people sign up for a newsletter. Be sure you have an "unsubscribe" on these emails and that it is a simple process.
I will probably have a special, but I am going to be very careful about how often I bug these people.
That's the great thing about twitter...there is a different social media contract involved when subscribing to a twitter feed versus signing up for an email mailing list, and twitter subscribers generally don't mind more frequent announcements.
If you happen to have three separate announcements to share with your subscribers on a given day, you can go ahead and write three tweets, but people would probably get annoyed if they got 3 emails from you in a day.
thanks for all the feedback!
Unfortunately Twitter is not really big in northwest Ohio... unless I want to build a following of my high school students. (I am a high school teacher as well.) Most people who would be clients might know what Twitter is, but are not on it and have no desire to learn to use it. Hopefully that will change with time.
I only plan on sending out an update 1-2 times per month. I'd like to keep them updated with special events I'm involved with (auctions, jazz nights, etc, that I've provided desserts for). I've also got current specials for OSU Buckeye cupcakes and fall themed cupcake sets that I want to make sure my customers know about. On facebook, only 20-30% of my 'likers' see any given post, according to the insights. I will think about sponsored posts on facebook, that might be the way to go.
Personally, I would be irritated with 2x a month. Most of the small businesses that I subscribe to send an email 1x per month to 1x per two months. There is plenty of research on this topic. get some books and google it.