How to write the perfect Small Business Saturday email
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TL;DR: Want to keep your Black Friday momentum going through Small Business Saturday? Craft emails that share your small business roots and encourage subscribers to support local and small businesses like yours.
For decades, consumers have camped out in front of big-brand retail stores for hours just to get the best Black Friday deals before anyone else. And a few days later, they frantically open their computers, scanning sites like Amazon to find even better electronics deals. But as consumer behavior evolves, things change. For small business owners, the game-changing moment was when American Express (yes, the credit card company) introduced Small Business Saturday in 2010.
Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to shopping locally and supporting small businesses. Its goal has always been to increase awareness and demand for small and local businesses and emphasize what they bring to their communities.
But in just a few short years, Small Business Saturday became a shopping tradition, so successful that the Small Business Association co-sponsored it in 2011. Even the federal government and elected officials in every state have embraced it.
Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to share your small business roots with your customers and boost sales by reaching an audience of shoppers looking to support businesses like yours.
Are you prepared? Getting ready for Small Business Saturday doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated if you do it right. But before you create your discount codes and promote Small Business Saturday on your socials and website, you’ll need to prepare by creating a series of emails. They should tell your story, share exclusive subscriber-only deals, and encourage their support. We’ll show you how!
Get more sales this Small Business Saturday
Use Flodesk’s stunning email templates to share your story and convert more customers.
What to include in your Small Business Saturday emails
Of course, you want to plan for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but for small businesses, if you’re going to bet big on any holiday, Small Business Saturday should top your list. It’s dedicated to celebrating small businesses, shopping locally, and supporting communities.
We recommend you create an email series that:
1. Tell your subscribers about Small Business Saturday
While Small Business Saturday hasn’t been around nearly as long as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it has quickly established itself as a shopping holiday that many consumers love supporting. Despite its popularity, many of your subscribers might need a little reminder to shop your small business during the chaos of the holiday season.
When you’re crafting your awareness email, emphasize why Small Business Saturday matters. Yes, you want subscribers to buy your offerings, but you can also get personal. Tell your subscribers what Small Business Saturday means to you personally. Does it mean you can keep the business running next year? Will their support let you continue pursuing your passion?
Remember, it’s only one of the emails in your Small Business Saturday email sequence—keep it simple and focused on letting subscribers know that you will be participating in Small Business Saturday and why it matters.
Everything you need for Small Business Saturday
Use Flodesk Checkout and Flodesk Email to create compelling sales pages, checkout experiences, and beautifully branded emails that keep them coming back for more.
2. Show your subscribers how much their support means
With an entire day and hashtags like #ShopSmall dedicated to small and local businesses, you can’t afford to skim over your small business roots. Let your subscribers know:
- Why you started your business
- How you got started
- If you’re involved in your community, tell them how you give back
- What makes your business, products, or services unique or special
- How you’re different from the big-box stores
- The face—or faces—behind your small business
Keep in mind that Small Business Saturday falls in the season of gratitude. This email is all about expressing heartfelt appreciation to your subscribers for their support. Thank your subscribers for their continued support, and tell them how much they mean to you. And don’t forget to share your story! Need some more ideas?
- Focus your copy on why Small Business Saturday matters, but more importantly, why your subscribers matter.
- Use photos to highlight how you support your community or share pictures of the people who benefit from their support—like your small but mighty team or your family.
- Share a founder’s video to speak from the heart, tell your story, and foster a more personal connection with your subscribers.
We love how Flodesk member, Chez Núñez, uses 20 questions in their email to show off their quirky personalities and build connections with their subscribers. Check it out!
3. Give your subscribers a heads-up on upcoming events and deals
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday, your subscribers’ inboxes are likely overly crowded. But they are expecting emails from their favorite brands, including yours. All you have to do is stand out in their inbox. And remember, you’re offering something that the retailers aren’t: a chance to support a beloved small business.
When writing your Small Business Saturday emails, share what you’re offering this year. While discounts are popular, customers also get excited about unique experiences, especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar small business. Small business owners have been creative in the past, offering things like:
- Free refreshments for in-store visitors
- Raffles and contests—these can be physical raffle tickets or a social media contest using hashtags or @mentions
- Donation matching for local charities
- A free gift with orders over $X
- Extended in-store hours
- Free shipping
- Complimentary gift wrapping
- A limited-time product. Ex: a never-released scented candle only available on Small Business Saturday
- Discounts, like 15% off new items or 25% off their next purchase when they spend $X
Remember, you need to be able to deliver on what you promise. While donation matching sounds incredible, if your business can’t afford to match every donation, it won’t be well-received.
Pro tip: If you can’t offer any discounts, create content specific to Small Business Saturday and any experiences you’re offering. If you’re hosting an event, share a blog that gives all the details of your curated experience for customers to show how much they mean to you.
4. Promote other small businesses you’re working with
Have you considered partnering with other local or small businesses? Whether you’re bundling products, co-hosting events, or doing a joint giveaway, working with similar companies can grow your audience and your sales!
Our very own Flodesk employee and small business owner, Erin, of Rad + Thrift, has a brick-and-mortar in a large market with a few other shops. She’s collaborating with small businesses in the area to host pop-up shops in the extra space in her market. She’s promoting their businesses and they’re encouraging visitors to shop at the market. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Partnerships can be a huge success if you choose your partner wisely. Ask yourself a few questions to help you choose the best small business to work with:
- Will my audience benefit from their products or services? Will they enjoy what my partner has to offer?
- Will my collaborator’s audience enjoy or benefit from my offerings?
- Do our values or mission align?
- What do I hope to achieve with this partnership?
- Is this just for Small Business Saturday or a longer-term play?
Once you decide whether a partnership makes sense, let your subscribers in on the secret! Promote the business you’re working with, let them know what deals they can expect, and share details on why you are collaborating.
Small Business Saturday email subject lines to try out
Anyone can get caught up in designing a beautiful, on-brand email with stunning images and compelling copy. But don’t neglect your subject line. The subject line gets subscribers to either open or ignore your email. It’s so powerful that nearly a third of subscribers use it to decide whether they want to open your email.
Because many shoppers are more interested in supporting small and local businesses than getting the best deal, you can lean into shopping small and supporting local in your subject lines instead of just highlighting discounts.
Take time to craft an enticing subject line. And if you need some inspiration, look no further. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites:
- Shop local this Small Business Saturday
- It’s #SmallBizSat!
- [Name], thanks for your support!
- Black Friday is so yesterday. It’s time for Small Business Saturday!
- 5 reasons to shop small 🛍
- Thanks for supporting small businesses like ours
- Supporting Main St. (not Wall St.) this Saturday
- Just 8 hours left on our Small Biz Sat sale
- Celebrating Small Business Saturday 🙌
- 📣 Your last chance to support local businesses on #SmallBizSat
- Think big, shop small!
- Cure your Black Friday hangover by shopping small
- Supporting each other this Small Business Saturday 💪
- We’re so grateful you’re part of our community, [Name]
- Get your free gift when you shop local with us this #SmallBizSat 🎁
- Win big for shopping small with 20% off this Saturday
- Small Business Saturday is almost over!
A Small Business Saturday sample email sequence
Once you’ve figured out the details of your Small Business Saturday strategy, it’s time to design your emails! You already know about Flodesk’s beautiful, fully customizable email templates, but did you know you can set up workflows to schedule a sequence of emails for events just like Small Business Saturday?
After you design your emails and create your sequence, add your emails to a workflow. Then you can write the subject lines and set it and forget it. Speaking of workflows, look at the sample sequence below that engages subscribers without overwhelming their inboxes.
- Email 1: Send your first email a few weeks before Small Business Saturday to let subscribers know what it is and that you’re participating this year. Get them excited with a sneak peek of deals to come. Think of this email as a friendly reminder and keep it simple.
- Email 2: Send your second email early in the week of Thanksgiving. Express gratitude for your subscribers and their support over the years, and share your brand story. Do you have a fun video you can share or photos of your team? Add them in!
- Email 3: Send your third email on Black Friday and entice shoppers with whatever deals, offerings, or events you have lined up. This is a great time to discuss any collaborations too. Get subscribers excited to shop with you.
- Email 4: Send your last email the day after or a few days post-Small Business Saturday to thank them for supporting you and shopping small. If you hosted an event and have photos, share a few. If you offered donation matching, share the final dollar amount. Like any thank you, it should be personal and genuine. This will keep them coming back and supporting you year after year.
Get more sales this Small Business Saturday
Use Flodesk’s stunning email templates to share your story and convert more customers.
From one growing business to another
Not so long ago, Flodesk was just a few people coming together to solve a problem. Over the past few years, we’ve grown a lot, but we still have a small business mindset and dedication to helping other small businesses be as successful as possible.
And when it comes to your email marketing efforts and sales pages, we’re here to take your business to the next level. This Small Business Saturday, use Flodesk to:
1. Share offers. With Flodesk Checkout, you can list your goods and services on a highly-optimized sales page, complete with a seamless checkout and delivery experience. As always, you can customize everything to be on-brand, beautiful, and brag-worthy. Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to experiment with witty and fun calls to action (CTAs) to stand out amongst other offers. Get creative with your CTA buttons.
2. Engage email subscribers. Use Flodesk Email to design stunning emails that make it easy to share your story and keep subscribers engaged. Add photos, embed videos, customize the fonts, and more. Whatever your brand, you can build an email to match.
3. Schedule email sends. The holiday season is crazy enough—you don’t need to stress about forgetting to send an email. Use workflows to schedule every send a week or so in advance and watch the anxiety melt away. Want to schedule a single email? You can do that in workflows too.
4. Nurture post-sales relationships by adding subscribers to varying segments. Did you know that you can add customers to different segments in Flodesk? And if they purchase through Flodesk Checkout, you can automatically add them to a Small Business Saturday segment and create a post-sales sequence to keep them engaged long after they buy from you.
Think big this Small Business Saturday
You may be a small business, but that doesn’t mean you have to think small. This Small Business Saturday, we encourage you to dream big and find creative ways to engage and entice your subscribers to shop small.
Consider partnering with like-minded business owners, offer your subscribers a special experience or curated event, and differentiate yourself from big retailers. Customers love supporting local businesses, and they want to hear your story. Don’t be shy about telling them about your small business roots, how much their support means to you, and giving them a peek at the people who benefit from them shopping small.
We are beyond excited to see how you make this Small Business Saturday a big success!