With Thanksgiving tomorrow, families will be gathering with loved ones to remember what’s truly important in life. But the day after, for many, is all about shopping as the holiday retail season propels into high gear.
Countless news reports have detailed the frenzy and hubbub on Black Friday, when shoppers lace up their sneakers to face the crowds. A new movement has even developed, encouraging Americans to shop at small, independent businesses.
What Is Small Business Saturday?
Dubbed Small Business Saturday, countless individuals have pledged to shop locally and support their local economy on Saturday, November 26.
With a renewed focus on small businesses, the day presents an ideal opportunity for small business owners to connect with new customers or clients with free resources provided by the Small Business Saturday organizers. But lest you think the day is reserved for retail establishments, never fear: there are plenty of ways the home-based or service establishment to get involved in Small Business Saturday.
Five Easy Ways to Participate in Small Business Saturday
1. Promote Your Involvement Via Email
Do you have an established subscriber list of dedicated customers or clients? Send them an email about Small Business Saturday, outlining why you’re participating and the specials being offered to your local community. Encourage your subscribers to share with their friends and neighbors by including share buttons in the email from a free service such as AddThis.
2. Offer a Discount or Coupon Code
What special incentives can you offer local customers on Small Business Saturday? Brainstorm with an employee or trusted colleague to develop creative packages, discounts or coupons motivating your customers to make a purchase.
3. Add a Hashtag To Expand Your Reach
Hashtags, a community-developed method of categorizing content on Twitter, are an easy way to broaden the exposure for tweets. Connect with consumers – as well as other small business owners – by adding “#SmallBizSat” to your tweets about the day.
4. Create a Series of Autoresponse Emails for New Customers
New customers are typically most interested in receiving additional information right after they make a purchase from you, so invite them to your subscriber list at the time of purchase. Consider offering an incentive for individuals to sign up, such as a coupon or discount off of a future purchase. Make sure you have prepared a confirmed opt-in message in advance outlining the types of emails they can expect – along with a friendly welcome message thanking the customer for their business and series of autoresponse messages. Need ideas for your autoresponder series? Check out these tips from Chris Guillebeau.
5. Turn The Tables!
In addition to targeting local customers, don’t neglect the opportunity to show your own appreciation for small business owners. Consider creating a special offer exclusively for the hard-working entrepreneurs in your community.
Are you planning to participate in Small Business Saturday? What additional tips would you add for the small business owner?
Liz Cies is public relations specialist at AWeber, a leading email marketing service provider that helps businesses and entrepreneurs increase sales and profits through its suite of web-based software. For more information, visit http://www.aweber.com, subscribe to the AWeber blog, or follow on Twitter and Facebook.