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A writer’s secret to good marketing content

Not everyone’s a writer. When you’re running your own business, you kind of have to do everything yourself, so writing emails, blogs, social posts, customer emails, product descriptions, etc is likely on your daily to do list.

If you feel like you spend hours working on words, trying to craft something that’s going to engage your audience, convert viewers to buyers, and improve your business, I have a little tip and some suggestions for you today…

Did you know that, back in 2008, I graduated with a degree in Creative Writing?

It’s true. My passion for books and words and finding ways to express thoughts and feelings took me back to my place of birth (Leeds) for a university degree in writing. Since then I’ve been writing as part of my job for about 13 years.

And while part of me still holds a glimmer of hope that one day a novel or a screenplay will emerge, I am beyond happy that writing is something I have done professionally, and use daily in my work (and life).

A writer’s tip: Write the way you speak

We spend our early educational years learning about spellings, words, grammar, and the approved structures of the English language. It’s important. I love a bit of grammar. And don’t even get me started on punctuation.

But when it comes to words that have an impact, you need to write the way you speak.

We don’t need full sentences, perfectly punctuated, with adverbs and formal syntax.

We need you to say it in a way that makes sense to us as we’re scrolling and going about our business.

The way we talk has flow and friendliness, and that can add so much sparkle to your copy.

Here are some things to try:

  • Record yourself talking about something (a product, an experience, your brand) and transcribe what you hear
  • Have a conversation with a friend or fellow business owner, asking each other about what you do – again, record it or take notes on the words and phrases you use
  • Ask a friend (or even a lovely customer) to talk about you, your work, and your business – they could send you a quick voice note that you can use as inspiration for words and phrases you like
  • When you’re checking pieces of writing, like a social post or product description, literally read it out loud to make sure it flows (in your head gets you one star, reading it aloud gets you five!)
  • Listen to good podcasts, audiobooks, and TED talks – you’ll learn about the rhythm of storytelling, and you might even find some words and phrases you like!

Honestly, saying things out loud as you write and create will make your words so much more powerful to your audience! And you’ll start to feel more confident in them, too…

Can’t wait to hear how this goes for you – keep me posted!

Why bother sending a newsletter on Christmas Eve?

You’re not going to be making or dispatching any orders on 24th December, and customers are going to be done with their Christmas shopping. So why would you take the time to send an email to them?

Connection. Loyalty. Authenticity.

Building your brand, your marketing content, and your business isn’t about making the sale every single time.

In fact, taking the time to thank your customers for their support this year and wishing them a Merry Christmas demonstrates that you’re a thoughtful human being behind a lovely creative business.

And it doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It doesn’t need to take you hours or write it or set it up.

Here’s my quick-and-easy Christmas Eve newsletter content checklist:

  • Subject line: Merry Christmas from {brand name}
  • Headline: Thank you for being here
  • Paragraph: Share your thanks for all their support and what it’s meant to you
  • Photo: Include a photo of you in a Santa hat or some key Christmas products
  • Sign off: Wish them a happy new year

Bonus points:

  • Share a couple of fun stats, like how many baubles you’ve made this Christmas (this increases your authority and integrity as a business), and how many mince pies you’ve eaten so far (this makes you relatable as a human!)
  • If you have a free printable colouring page or old blog post they might like to read, link to it

Keep it really simple

I know how things can go. You’ll read this and think “YES, Jenny’s right, I should send a Merry Christmas email, and I’ll create a fully animated stop-motion video for it, and then I’ll link it to some stupendous (but not currently planned or made) January sale and new product launch, and I’ll share a huge list of makers I want to recommend… Ooh, and I could create a whole new freebie too…”

NO.

Just draft and schedule a short and sweet email now using things you already have.

And feel free to let me know how good it feels to schedule something that’s going to have a big impact on your customer love.

3 easy emails to send before Christmas for more sales

Here we are, staring down the barrel of the busy Christmas period. If you’re a maker or an online business owner, you’re probably thinking about how to maximise sales AND how to stay sane. Both are important!

To give you an easy step towards more sales, more confidence, and less stress, I’m sharing three key emails you can send before Christmas, including key dates, subject lines, and what to include.

So are you ready to find out more and get them scheduled? Let’s go!

Email 1: Black Friday / Cyber Monday

Whether you’re offering a discount, other offer, or just keeping your shop open as usual, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend is a big peak for people buying online. Yes, people will look for deals, but they’ll also have had their November pay cheque and will have Christmas firmly in their sights!

It’s a great time to nudge more people to spend their hard-earned cash with you – on your unique, uplifting, and super-desirable products. (I know you have them ready to go…)

Here are the details for this email:

Date: Friday 27th or Monday 30th November

You can choose whether to send this on the Friday, the Monday, or somewhere in between. You might have strong feelings on how other businesses are approaching this weekend, or have an offer you want to align your email with. If in doubt, go for 8am on Friday 27th November.

(And if you do have a discount or offer running over the weekend, don’t be afraid of sending two emails – one with the offer announcement, and another reminder email just before the offer ends!)

Subject line options:

  • The best email you’ll open all day!
  • Shop small this Christmas (plus a special offer just for you!)
  • Shop with {discount detail} this weekend only

You can tweak, edit, and make your subject line work for you. Add an emoji or two. But make sure you keep it short, snappy and enticing!

Email content:

  • Use a short, bold headline, such as “Shop with 20% off this weekend” or “Ready to get your gift list sorted?”
  • Include a short paragraph introducing your offer or sharing your approach to Black Friday as a small business owner, for example, “It’s a strange year to be a small business, but as a thank you for all the wonderful support I’ve received this year, I thought I’d share 20% off during this busy weekend. I’ve got my party hat ready to do a happy dance for every order that comes in!”
  • Then include two or three gorgeous product images – products that you’re known for and are bestsellers – plus a nice big “Shop now” button linking through to your shop.
  • Have a discount code? Make it really clear and a big link to your shop.
  • Share a customer review or a quick recap of your offer details.
  • Add a sign off and a final link to your shop.

Email 2: Last Chance To Order

Date: whenever your last order date is

(And you can totally get this drafted and ready to send if you’re not quite sure when that will be yet!)

Subject line options:

  • Last chance for {product type, eg festive biscuits or gifts to delight} this Christmas
  • The Christmas train is leaving the station…
  • Order today! (I don’t want you to miss out)

Email content:

  • Use a clear, bold headline that gets straight to the point: “Today is the last day for orders!”
  • Add a short sentence: “I don’t want you to miss out, so here’s a reminder that today is your last chance for Christmas gifts this year. Let’s get that list sorted!”
  • Share 3-5 product images with a big, clear call to action: “Shop now!”
  • You could include a few key product types, such as “Gifts for grandparents” or “Last minute stocking fillers” or “Luxury gifts for BFFs”.
  • Include a short and sweet review from a customer to cultivate trust.
  • Sign off and include a final link to your shop.

Email 3: Merry Christmas

Date: Thursday 24th December

This email isn’t a sales push – but that’s really important! This is a chance to thank all your loyal, generous, amazing customers for their support and wish them a Merry Christmas, wherever they are and whatever they’re up to.

Subject line options:

  • Merry Christmas from {brand name}
  • Stockings up? ✔ Twinkly lights on? ✔ Merry Christmas 🎅🏻
  • From my home to yours, {customer name}

If you collect customers’ first names, automate that last subject line with a tag to pull their name through. If you don’t, just leave it out!

Email content:

  • Use a headline like “Thank you” or “Merry Christmas”
  • You can write a short paragraph to thank your customers, or tell your Christmas Eve story, eg “Well, here it is: Christmas Eve. I’ve got a cup of mulled wine, the presents are wrapped, and my heart is full. Thank you to every single one of you for your orders, support, and encouragement this year.”
  • Use an illustration or a photo to highlight your Merry Christmas message.
  • Don’t forget to wish them a Merry Christmas: “I hope your Christmas is full of love and magic, even if it isn’t quite what you hoped for this year.”
  • And finally: “I’m going to hibernate at home for a couple of weeks, but I’ll be sharing snapshots on social media, so join me there. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you again in January!”
  • Sign off

It’s time to amplify your success this Christmas

And that’s it! Those three emails are going to keep your newsletter subscribers engaged through the Christmas period. They’re going to generate some sales for you. And they’re going to make you feel organised and on top of things.

And that, my friend, is worth it.

If you need help or have any questions, you can get in touch.

And if you found this helpful, you’re going to love the Better Business Collective. Join the waitlist now.

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