September 22 is the official start of fall—and the start of one of your busiest seasons! Fall also brings some fantastic marketing opportunities, but it takes a bit of preparation. Here are a few things you can do right now to bring in maximum revenue throughout the fall season.
- Review your marketing goals
As we move into fall, we’re also closing out the third quarter of the year. It’s the perfect time to review how your marketing has been doing so far, reinforce what’s working, and make any changes to end the year off strong. See which goals you’ve achieved, and which may need a bit more “push” to stay on track. This will help you determine how and what to promote for the coming months.
- Update your website as needed
Before heading into the busiest time of the year, make sure your website is ready. Go through it from the customer’s viewpoint and see that everything works well: It’s easy to navigate, easy to read, pages load quickly, and the checkout experience is smooth. Most importantly, make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing, as mobile (as opposed to desktop) is now Google’s primary way to determine where to rank your site.
- Take advantage of Google My Business
Your business listing on Google is not just for basic information. It’s also a fantastic way to promote your fall arrangements and offers. Posting to your Google My Business listing is free, and most people will turn to Google when looking for a florist in the area. You can promote your newest products, any upcoming events, and your special offers. Make sure to take as many photos as possible of your beautiful fall arrangements and post them on your Google My Business listing as well.
- Send out an email newsletter
Newsletters are a fantastic way to keep your customers updated on events, promotions, and new products. You can send out newsletters weekly, monthly, or once a season. After you’ve planned out your fall promotions and events, work out a newsletter sequence to keep your customers in the loop. Add links to your website in your newsletters so readers can easily purchase arrangements or sign up for in-store events.
- Launch a referral program
Want new customers? Ask your current ones! Referral programs are one of the most effective ways to get your existing customers to send new people to your store. Fall is a perfect time to launch a referral program since there are many upcoming holidays and opportunities for floral purchases. Create an incentive, like a discount or special prize, for every referral, and announce the new referral program through your newsletter and on social media.
- Train your staff on customer service basics
You’re heading into a busy season in your shop, so make sure your team is well-trained on how to handle customer calls. You may also want to designate one person to respond to any social media comments or online requests. The most important thing is that your staff knows how to handle any customer issue, including resolving customer complaints. This can not only save you from getting those dreaded bad reviews, but it can also create positive word-of-mouth on social media.
- Dive into holiday promotion now
Customers are well aware that Covid has led to stock shortages across most industries, so they’re sure to be shopping early for their holiday gifts and events. This means planning how you’ll promote for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to give customers plenty of time to order their arrangements in advance. As a start, make sure you send out an email on the first day of fall to promote your new fall arrangements. Plan to advertise through search engines, Facebook, and display ads to reach the maximum number of potential customers.
- Promote gift cards
Gift cards are a popular and easy way for customers to get those last-minute gifts, work colleague or teacher gifts, and much more. Display gift cards at your register area and promote them with every floral purchase. They’re a simple and effective way to add on to any sale—and they may just bring a few new customers into your store after the holidays!
- Reward loyal customers
Loyal customers are an essential part of your business; offering them rewards is a smart way to keep them coming back. Create an exclusive VIP event for your best customers, such as a holiday party, and give them VIP-only discounts on arrangements. You can also send exclusive offers to them by email, such as “best customer” coupons giving them a certain percent off their fall arrangement of choice.
- Offer gift ideas and suggestions
This time of year, customers will be looking for the perfect gift, so tap into this by creating gift guides for each holiday. You may also want to make a more extensive gift guide for the entire fall season. Whichever you choose, promote your gift guides on your website, in your email newsletter, and across your social media pages.
- Create awareness with cause-based marketing
These days, people aren’t just interested in what you offer but who you are as a brand and what you care about. If there are causes near and dear to you, feature them on social media and in your newsletter. For example, September is Child Cancer Awareness Month, and there are many ways you could support this cause. Another example is Good Neighbor Day on September 28, when you could acknowledge neighboring businesses and encourage a sense of community.
These are just a few ideas to help you promote your floral business and your fall offerings to as many people as possible. We want you to finish the year strong, and we know you can!