As a small business, your voice can easily get lost in the crowded chambers of online communication, social media posts and TikTok videos. When the dust settles on an extensive lockdown, every person and their proverbial dog will be clamouring to be heard so they can return to normal as soon as possible.

You have a secret weapon, however: Your database. Having a database means you’re not just relying on the crowded social media space to deliver your unique message. You can cut through the chatter in two incredibly effective ways: Emails and SMS text messaging.

Cut through with emails

Emails can cut through the noise straight to your customer’s inbox, meaning they’re more likely to be read than a social post. Here’s the great kicker for small businesses: Unlike large organisations that constantly send emails to their databases, you’re unlikely to be “spam filtered” or ignored because people want to support local businesses – especially now, more than ever.

Just like your business, you’re a unique voice in the world of same-sames. Use this to your advantage: Real personalisation doesn’t come from simply adding in your customer’s name, it comes from making the message authentic. Tell your customers what you’ve been up to and how you’re coming back: This is the type of content they want to read because they find a personal connection to your business through a shared experience of lockdown.

“We’ve been missing you!” and “We’re almost back!” are great subject lines or opening paragraph starters for your email. You’re excited to open back up, and you can bet your customers are excited to be getting out there again, too. Don’t be afraid to tell it how it is, either: It’s been a difficult road; you’ve had to make some changes; You have a new offering – whatever it may be. Your customers will appreciate the honesty, and feeling connected is an important part of the brand experience.

“64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand.”

Connect with text

Perhaps the best way to connect directly with your customers is via text message, or SMS. Thryv helps you manage these conversations in one convenient place, and from here you can start getting creative.

Text messages are far more likely to be opened and read and, on average, have a response time of 90 seconds; meanwhile, 75% of people say they would rather have an offer via SMS than via email. Use these stats to your advantage when it comes to getting your customers back in through your doors.

When it comes to creative, engaging and valuable text content, think about using the points below:

  • Use the same language as your customers. Colloquialisms generate emotional connection.
  • Don’t use too many links. Direct them to a singular webpage or form if possible (like on Thryv).
  • Avoid using “shortcut” words like “thru” or “ur.” It’ll make you sound more professional.
  • Don’t lead with a discount or offer. Connect with your customers first, call-to-action second.
  • Keep your message short, sharp and to the point – there are better places to share the details.

Here’s a great example of how a business is using text messaging to re-connect with customers after an extended period of lockdown:

Hey Susie, it’s been a long time! Glitz Hair and Makeup is excited to be back this Monday 12 July, and we couldn’t be more stoked to see you again. Book your appointment this week and receive a 10% ‘welcome back’ discount – book at bit.ly/a5wec42

By utilising text and email messaging to keep lines of communications open with your customers, your business will be back on track in no time.

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