Test Your Marketing Streams

Small Business Saturday Shout Outs

If you are starting a business or have an established business, I can’t stress enough the benefits of testing.

This doesn’t just apply to testing your product but your message, the medium, the frequency and your assumptions as well.

In the lead up to Small Business Saturday on 26 November, I decided to support small businesses by showcasing a business each weekend.

The past month has been fascinating as the Small Business Shout Outs were revealed and released via Mailchimp Snap. I chose to experiment with MC Snap as it was created to send simple, photo-based emails from a phone and I wanted to keep the Shout Outs short and to the point. You can read the experiment background here.

During this four-week test, a lot was revealed about the communication channel, what resonated with my subscribers and their preferences, and how this could impact my business, not just for the Shout Outs but also in broader communication strategies.

Top 5 Mailchimp Snap Insights

  • It helps keep your email message short and to the point, which is a nice change from long form articles for the reader and as the writer. This really made me focus on what I wanted/needed to say, as I normally write long form.
  • You can only use one photo and one link, so you need to make sure they count and resonate with your audience.
  • With four email templates to choose from, you may lament the restriction, but this means you can make a faster decision.
  • You can create subscriber emails anywhere, as long as you have your phone with you. This can also be a negative when you are choosing photos and want to play around with the copy. It can also be a bit fiddly switching between screens, copying text from different locations and formatting the photo in a different app as well. Being organised helps!
  • I liked that it wasn’t an instant share to social media; you can adjust the wording to suit the platform and the audience before you post it.

Top 3 Survey Results on Small Business Saturday Shout Outs

  • 80% said they wanted the Saturday Shout Outs to continue. Woohooo that’s fantastic, not only because this is a communication technique that resonated with my subscribers but also from a personal level! I love doing these Shout Outs and highlighting amazing small businesses. I know how hard it is to create a startup, so if I can help give someone a boost, it feels incredible.
  • 50% said they wanted to receive it every second Saturday, instead of each week. 50% also said they didn’t want anything to change. This put me in the position where I had to make a decision without my own enthusiasm clouding the process. I applied the pain/pleasure principle, that is, the people who wanted it every two weeks would be more irritated by a weekly Shout Out than the other 50% of subscribers would be disappointed to skip a week. (If you voted for it to stay each week you can always follow me on Instagram where I give more frequent Shout Outs!)
  • 60% said Greymouth Apparel was the Shout Out they liked the most. Unfortunately, I’m now in the position of considering why, because I didn’t include that question in the survey – whoops! Please send me an email if you want to let me know why you voted for Greymouth.

2 Bonus Insights

Open & Click Rates: My open and click rates didn’t change between using Mailchimp Snap as a short form communication and my longer form emails/articles. What I can deduce from the click rate though, is because there is only one link and it was to the small business I was giving a Shout Out, whoever clicked was interested in finding out more about that business. From a retail perspective, this information could be invaluable to discover what your subscribers are interested in, what titles and messages work, if trends change and how to segment your subscriber list.

Frequency of Communication: the 50/50 split also provided insight into how frequently my subscribers like to receive emails and it is evident that breathing space between emails is preferable. I completely understand this as I hate being bombarded with emails every second day from the same company and it is my number one reason to unsubscribe.

Purpose vs Persistence
Quality vs Quantity
Outwards vs Inwards

Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey and for supporting the Saturday Shout Outs so strongly!

Please remember, if there is a business you want to give a Shout Out to, send me the details, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you just need to be a subscriber.

Rebecca

Head Honcho of Snowed Under Solutions & StartUp KickStart

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