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The ONE thing to do to boost your marketing before Christmas

I don’t know if you knew this, but Christmas is coming up pretty soon. 

(Ha! If you’re a product-based business, you’re probably not thinking about much else, amiright?)

And, having worked with small creatives for 11 years, I know that mid-October is when things start to feel kind of… intense.

So I’m not here to give you a whole new marketing plan to implement, or loads more to do.

Yes, I’m obsessed with email marketing. Yes, I really hope you’ll join The Better Business Collective when it opens in January, where I teach email marketing for product businesses.

In the meantime, I have one teeny tiny request…

The ONE thing I want you to do to boost your email marketing for next year: make sure you’re enabling customers to opt in to marketing emails when they order with you this Christmas.

You don’t have to email them now. You don’t have to have a fancy welcome sequence.

All you need to do is have a checkbox that they can tick if they’re happy to receive offers and inspiration when they’re buying their Christmas gifts, decorations, treats and more.

Why is this step so important?

One of the things email marketing is great at is cultivating that loyal repeat customer base that’s just so valuable for small businesses. It’s easier and cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one, and having them on your email list makes it happen.

You’re focused on sales right now, sharing your Christmas products. I don’t want to distract you from that. This little step means you can keep generating sales, sharing your social media posts, but also know that you’re building an email list that you can use and enjoy next year. You’re welcome, future self.

And? It’s not going to take you very long. The majority of retail website providers make this really easy, and I’ve linked to a couple of tutorials below to help you get it done.

(If you’re feeling positive and motivated, there are a couple of bonus actions you can take, too.)

How to collect email addresses at checkout

Here are links to tutorials on some of the main ecommerce platforms my clients use. (Have I missed yours? Let me know and I’ll add it in!)

Don’t get overwhelmed with Email Service Providers

Because I don’t want you to get overwhelmed, at this stage, you don’t need to put your subscribers into Mailchimp or figure out your email service provider. (That’s the app or service you’ll use to actually send out your marketing emails.)

You just need to have permission to send emails in the future. This is the big opportunity at Christmas: you’re simply capturing the increased number of people buying from you.

Extra Credit

If you’ve got that fresh feeling and really want to go to town on building your email list, and getting sales through it this Christmas, here are a few ways you can jump on board the email marketing success train:

  • Choose an Email Service Provider (Mailchimp, Shopify marketing, Klaviyo and Convertkit are all good options) and make sure the subscribers are importing automatically
  • Create a “welcome sequence” – two or three emails that are sent out to your new subscribers after they join your list to tell them a bit more about who you are and how you make their lives better
  • Add a pop-up sign up box that appears when customers have been browsing for a little while
  • Send 4-6 email newsletters between now and Christmas, sharing your products, promoting your last order dates, and wishing your customers a merry Christmas
  • Encourage your social media followers to sign up to your newsletter list too

You might find my free cheat sheet handy – it includes 30 inspiring email subject lines to help you get that next email ready to go. Download it now.

So, without wanting to add loads to your to-do list (I usually like taking things OFF your to-do list!), I hope you’ll get permission to email your customers next year. You’ll thank me later.

Here's the thing: you can't do everything

You can't do it allWe think we can. We think we should be able to. We’re told that doing everything is just standard practice. It’s not even a big deal, it’s just what’s expected.

Successful business, perfect relationship, amazing friendships, a house that’s always clean, tidy and stylish, a perfect body, relaxed and highly effective parenting, picture-perfect holidays. That’s the picture. Be quirky, original, AND entirely acceptable.

And at this time of year, we add the idea that “this is just Christmas. This is what it’s supposed to be like: stressful, over-worked, doing everything because everything has to happen.”

It’s that feeling, when you look at your to-do list, that you cannot drop a single thing. They all need to happen before the end of the day. Because they just do! There’s no option!

When we’re over-worked, overwhelmed and have gone too long without sleep, rest and a calm moment – that’s when we’re even more susceptible to thinking we have to do everything. Ironically.

But here’s the thing: you can’t do everything

You’re not super-woman. You’re not superhuman. You, too, are limited by time, fallibility and the human need for sleep.

That’s not to say you’re not strong, resourceful, successful, and doing your best.

Let’s accept that those two things can happen at the same time. (I know you might need to suspend your disbelief for a second. Play along with me…)

If you’re both human and striving to do your best, what does your to-do list look like?

Perhaps you buy the mince pies for your Christmas drinks, instead of making them. Perhaps you cancel the entire thing.

Perhaps you pay for all your presents to be gift wrapped.

Perhaps you let go of a whole load of things.

Perhaps you ask for all kinds of help.

Now, this last one is where it gets tricky, I know, but if you can’t do it all, and some things really need to get done, asking for help is where it’s at.

You’re allowed to ask for help. All kinds of help.

Need a boost or help prioritising or to get it off your chest? I’m here. Get in touch.

I wish you a week of doing your best, but acknowledging that you can’t do it all. Welcome to the club.

Jenny xx

PS I created a little #inspiredadvent thing over on social media, which features a little word a day to prompt you. Today’s is simplicity. Appropriate, non?

DAY four #inspiredadvent

On getting bogged down

On getting bogged downHello dear blog readers, clients, colleagues, friends, and other people of the internet.

The past couple of weeks haven’t been super easy around these parts. I didn’t quite get my ‘Here’s the thing’ blog out of Friday for a number of reasons, so today I thought I’d go off-piste and send out a blog post that’s a little off-the-cuff, a little raw, and a little more honest.

There have been some things that have hit me hard these past two weeks. We had a small (everyone’s fine) car accident in which a man opened his door into ours while we were moving, which shook me up a bit, and has taken some faff to get the car fixed. Not easy, not expected, and the sort of thing that just unsettles me.

I’ve had quite a bit of work on – lots of you are preparing for Christmas! – and I’ve been jumping from one thing to another very quickly which isn’t, I realise, a sustainable way for me to work. Once again, I’m learning about my own capacity and preferred ways of working. I’m by no means perfect, which still has the ability to kick me in the recovering perfectionist places.

I’m also doing something very exciting and brave – I’m training with Tara Mohr as part of her Playing Big Facilitators’ Training Programme. It’s a six-month stint of exploring how I can help people (mostly women) to play bigger. I’m committed to learning more about what I can do, how I can help, and what I want my business to look like, so this feels like the right time to dive in.

But oh boy, the first course module is on the inner critic, which is decidedly kicking me where it hurts! The past week has been a masterclass for me in how we can lose confidence in what we’re doing, how we talk to ourselves when things go wrong, and how we can get sucked in to the spiral of doom. Thank goodness for the tools I’m (slowly) learning, and for Tara’s approach!

So, my dear friends and clients and readers and others. I don’t have anything sparkling or wise right now, other to say that, I’m human too. I struggle, I work things out. Life hits me sometimes.

Today, I am going gently, because I can feel the cold I’ve been fighting off for weeks just tipping over into setting in, and because I need to go slowly in order to learn how to bounce back from the inner critic / spiral of doom.

I’m starting to believe, more and more, that we have the capacity to figure things out ourselves, that we have the answers, if we dare to listen to them. I’m getting clearer on the work I want to do – but I’m not quite ready to talk about it yet. I know I will be, and that will have to be enough for me for now.

With care

Jenny x

 

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