Ask most business people what they would like more of in their business and they will usually reply sales. With less cash in circulation, everyone is fighting to get enough customers to spend enough money to keep their businesses viable. Opening the door and hoping that customers will rush in is no longer the answer to building and maintaining a viable florist business.
So, honing your sales and marketing skills is vital if you want to weather the financial storms and grab the hard-earned cash that is still lurking in consumers’ pockets. Here we take a look at how, with a focussed approach, you can get more customers, spending more often, and we show you how a UK florist used online marketing to increase sales.
I’m often asked: “What is the one thing I can do in my florist business that will transform my sales?” Sadly, no-one has found that magic bullet, but having a multi-pronged marketing schedule is the way that I achieved growth in my own flower business and have seen others transformed over the years too.Three key components have to come together in marketing if it is to result in sales: 1. The right message 2. To the right audience 3. Via the right media.
So, targeting 65-year-olds online via Facebook is likely to be less effective than targeting 35-year-olds via the same media. Likewise, using daytime radio advertising to prospective bridal customers is unlikely to bring you a return on investment. Online marketing can take many forms these days, ranging from Google AdWords, where you pay to be high on the Google search engine, to facebook advertising and then there’s email marketing and banner advertising, to name just a few.
Email marketing is a form of advertising that florists should use but rarely do. It is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing you can use. It can happen quickly and easily and, if done properly, can bring in instant revenue. The results of using email speak for themselves. In the US a florist called Oberers sent an email on a Sunday evening to their customer list with just one special promotion and suggestions of who this flower gift could be sent to – within two hours they had 17 orders placed on their website from this one email. Email marketing can truly bring you in orders while you sleep, if executed well.
Here’s another example of the power of email and how it can bring a great return on investment. I started working with Helen and Caitlin at Flower Bar Ltd in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, in November 2009. We focussed on how they were going to increase their wedding business. I worked with them to set a target which was a 20% increase over 2009’s weddings. They were already members of a wedding business group but had seen very little business coming from it. They booked a wedding fair and asked the organiser for his email list, which he provided.