When Heath Bowman, owner of Southeastern Underdeck Systems, sent out an email last year on Cyber Monday, he wasn’t expecting anything groundbreaking.
“Our Cyber Monday offer was our first email with Constant Contact,” Heath explains. “To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting anything from it. I had never run a special before, and we did it super last minute on the morning of Cyber Monday.”
But when you own a small business, you start to expect the unexpected.
“After I sent our email my phone didn’t stop for the next 10 hours! I was literally taking calls at midnight,” says Heath.
In total, Heath sold 27 jobs on Cyber Monday—resulting in $67,000 in sales.
This is the most jobs Heath has ever sold in a single day.
“I had the idea because I was getting so many Cyber Monday emails myself that day,” Heath remembers. “I thought: Why don’t we send our own Cyber Monday deal?”
Using Constant Contact, Heath was able to create his first email easily and get it out right away.
“We made it happen within a couple hours — created the design, and chose a discount. We told everyone it was a one-time deal, and it really resonated with a lot of people,” he says.
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Here’s a look at the email Heath sent out last year:
While discounts are not something Heath offers often, he decided including a one-day-only 15 percent off coupon might persuade people to take action and drive some sales during the slower winter season.
Since his successful Cyber Monday email, Heath continues to see the benefits of using email marketing year round.
He now sends monthly emails to nurture his existing leads and keep his business fresh in peoples’ minds.
Rather than spending time cold calling people, Heath sees his emails as the best ways to build relationships and gain trust with people before they decide to buy.
“Constant Contact has helped us bridge that gap, where we’re not going to force you to buy something right now,” Heath explains. “A lot of companies, if they don’t close on a deal right away, they assume they can’t make a sale so they just move on. What we can do with Constant Contact is stay in contact with past customers and future customers. The past customers can learn about the new stuff we’re offering, and the potential customers might buy a year after we first talk to them, so we don’t give up on them.”
Heath urges other business owners to remember the importance of educating and winning over clients, instead of focusing on the hard sell all the time.
“We haven’t sent any offers again since,” he says. “We’ll definitely offer another discount this year on Cyber Monday, but the rest of the year, we really want to focus on education and new product offerings, and what’s going on with our business. Our next newsletter is about one of our staff members and the recent certification he received for the remodeling industry.”
Since getting started with email marketing a year ago, Heath has also changed his approach to his email’s layout:
“I recently sent a test email to myself, opened it up — and even though it was my company, I thought ‘Wow I wouldn’t read all that!’ We went back to the drawing board because we were really adding too much content. Now we’re going to try to do more frequent newsletters with less content to keep people clicking through.”
Heath’s new email layout is concise and focused with one clear call to action. With over half of all emails now opened on a mobile device, his approach is perfect for subscribers who are opening on a mobile device.
Heath also includes links to his social media channels, his contact information, and a Join Our Mailing List button so that contacts who are forwarded his message can easily sign up for future emails.
Heath’s expectations for Cyber Monday have changed since his first email a year ago.
With the help of Constant Contact, Heath can confidently be a marketer for his business and drive sales during the holiday months.
Here’s his advice for business owners who are thinking about sending their first Cyber Monday email this year:
“My advice for Cyber Monday is to actually do it. I really think people need to just take the first step. I could not believe how well we did with it. It’s more important than a lot of advertising— because it’s just following up with customers. The biggest problem is that people won’t pull the trigger. You probably don’t even need as much content as you start with, so just write something up and keep it simple.”
If you’re using Constant Contact for your email marketing, we make it easy to create emails with our special holiday-themed templates.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for relevancy and accuracy.