The recent storms that paralyzed parts of the East Coast with a heavy blanket of snow — and other parts of the country with fear, yet little to no snow — provided a great example of how email marketing can be used by the service industry to keep schedules filled.
A customer of ours that offers therapeutic massage found that they had a number of cancellations because of a snow storm in the area that never materialized. Facing a day without clients — an ugly proposition for any business — the customer sent out an email to its contact list saying it had a number of last-minute openings available. Smart move: Within an hour, it had a waiting list of clients for a day that looked bleak when the sun came up.
This is a perfect example of how building a relationship with your customers and clients can come in handy when you find yourself in a similar circumstance. Even if the snow hits as forecast and people are stuck at home, email can be used to alert your local customers that your establishment is, indeed, still open and that you’re ready to offer a cure for the cabin fever they may be feeling. Adding a coupon or special discount code (e.g.: Mention “snowpocalypse” and get 10% off) can help lure winter weary customers into your store.
Similar approaches can be used in non-stormy weather as well, particularly if you’re putting on an event and need to fill seats. Sending out email reminders about the event mentioning there are only a limited number of seats available will give a sense of scarcity and help persuade fence sitters to act quickly or else they may be shut out of your event.
As a business owner or marketer, you should be communicating with your customers and clients on a regular basis by providing useful content that goes beyond a straight sales pitch. This will help build trust with your subscribers and keep them tuned in to your messaging. Then, when the need arises, a last-minute email can go out to your best customers alerting them to a special deal. This will help drive traffic and fill up your schedule when the cash register would have been otherwise silent.