Dear Customers From My Email List:
This may be the last email you receive from me.
Marketing a spa is a lot like online dating ... you watch the commercials and you believe that if you are not on Match.com then you are missing out ... the perfect man is right there waiting for you, get on the ball lady and JOIN! Same with marketing emails ... you are told by business professionals that your clients WANT to hear from you - and they want to hear from you REGULARLY! If you don't, you are missing out and you will lose clients; so get out there and start those email blasts ... ask them to review your business, ask them to facebook fan you, beg them to keep buying from you - weekly if possible like everyone else does.
But do you want to know what the reality is? Well, I have tried online dating and I didn't meet wonderfully successful and attractive men, I met weirdos ... LOTS of weirdos, to the point that I finally had to give up. And here is the reality of email blasts:
Before I even get to the speed I'm up to now in getting these things out, I have already spent my "free time" on the computer Google researching which companies offer the service, how much they charge, can I find any for free, etc. Then I have to test drive the one's I've chosen as possible candidates and see if they are easy to use or so complicated I can barely figure out how to set them up. I finally decide on MailChimp. I'm happy with MailChimp - it's FREE for one, and now that I know how to use it, I can whip an email out faster than I ever could before.
But I remember the days when I would work so hard making an email beautiful with carefully chosen photos, effective links so clients could quickly click to the website, and think I was ready to "send" only to realize that I hadn't downloaded my client list correctly, and instead of hitting "send" and getting out the door, I was stuck on the computer trying to figure out what I had done wrong. TIP: I have to select clients from the online booking system; download to the computer; upload to an excel spreadsheet - then remove the placeholder information the next place doesn't want like your phone number only leaving your name and email address (and correctly named for the new platform - no "email 1" here, it has to say "Email Address" or the new platform won't recognize it!); then upload to MailChimp ... THEN select list and FINALLY triple check everything is ready to go and T-H-E-N press "send". A fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, for sure. (Not.)
So now that I have spent years battling the email platforms, I have settled in with my favorite and am ready to enlighten and entertain my viewing public.
(Yes you can start laughing now!)
NOW, we're finally at the story of the last email I sent out ... Mother's Day 2017. I worked up a very pretty "Buy your Mother a Gift Certificate for Mother's Day" email, with the obligatory pictures (which, by the way, no one will see unless they allow their email provider to "display pictures"! That has been yet another battle!).
I sent out nearly 400 emails.
"Yeah!" MailChimp says to me and gives me a "high-five" congratulations on my beautiful work!
My first response back from one of those nearly 400 customers ... "UNSUBSCRIBE".
Well, maybe she doesn't have a mother anymore.
And again: "Drats, you have another UNSUBSCRIBE."
Well, guess what folks, Mother's Day is OVER. It's Monday morning and NOT ONE PERSON BOUGHT A MOTHER'S DAY GIFT CERTIFICATE THIS YEAR!!!!!!!
I look into my MailChimp reports and it's depressing: 68 Opened; 8 people clicked the links I had set up to take them to the GC buying portal; 4 emails bounced, meaning MailChimp couldn't find the person, so the email is old or full; and lastly we have our 2 unsubscribes.
Well, MailChimp where's my "high-five" now?
So you can see that this is not as fun or effective as advertised.
After over 25-years of self-employment, where it's my responsibility and mine alone to shake the bushes and round up inactive customers, I'm TIRED. I think I will spend my mornings and Sunday afternoons playing with my animals or seeking a new course for my life.
I'd say "thanks for reading", but I know I'm probably the only one who will ever read this blog post. Good luck to the 20-somethings as they live their life online. I'll be outside enjoying the day!