I’m back! The busy wedding season hit me hard and I was slinging flowers for a solid 6 months straight. Didn’t mean to leave you all hanging here :)
I’m gearing up to speak at the Team Flower Conference in Waco, Texas next March and I’m going to speaking about one of my favourite things: educating your clients - the why, the how, the benefits of it. I talked about that a little bit a few months ago on a cursory level, and today, I want to talk about why I think email templates are the best - and they play a huge role in how I educate my clients so this is definitely something I’m going to be incorporating into my session at the Conference!
So here’s the thing: none of us have as much time as we would like to. Or at least, we rarely do. So anything we can do to streamline, systematize, and organize our businesses, we should do it! Email templates were something I implemented into my business at the very start after having previous experience at companies that both did and did not utilize them. So why do I think email templates are the best?
1) Email templates save time - and saved time means saved money.
When I get an inquiry, what do I do? Check that I’m available for the wedding date, read through to see if it’s a client I’m well-suited for, and then respond with a pre-written email template. How long does that take me? Maybe 2 minutes, tops? Probably less, if I’m being honest. Some of my friends, on the other hand, will take 20 minutes crafting an email for each and every inquiry they receive, and since all inquiries have a basic similar ask, most of those emails will have very similar verbiage and info to include. So if you’ve spent 20 minutes on that first email, what do you think the chances are of you spending a similar amount of time when trying to schedule an initial appointment, or providing a proposal, or hunting down a deposit payment? Meanwhile, I’m spending 2 minutes on each of these and have saved myself plenty of time, which we all know means that I’ve saved myself plenty of money and/or freed up my time to allow me to do something that’s either income-generating, or gives me that elusive thing called free time.
One thing I need to be clear on is that ALL of these email templates you have should still be customizable, and should incorporate a lot of your personality. I’ll always add in something personal about their venue or their Pinterest board that gets me excited to talk to them, or maybe make a specific note about something they should look at because I think they’d just love it. Your clients should still feel like they are getting personalized, one-on-one service through everything that you do. Just because you have an email template doesn’t mean that you can’t give them a superior level of service.
2) Email templates allow you to ensure you haven’t missed anything, which ensures that your clients get all the info they need.
One of my favourite things that I implemented to my flower business last year was the addition of a beautifully designed, informative PDF that I send out to clients as soon as I’ve received their contract and retainer. It’s meant to feel like a welcome packet, with value-adds for the client, but in reality it’s a way for me to streamline the rest of their engagement. Any time they have a question, they can refer to that pdf. So I guess this isn’t exactly an email template, but it is sent out in a templated email ;) When your clients have all of the info that they need, guess what they’re not doing? Sending you pointless emails. But, if they do send you those emails, you’ll now have a templated response that you can send off super quickly to them, right?!
What do I have email templates for? You name it, I’ve got it!
-Initial inquiries - both when I’m available and when I’m not available
-Providing their proposal
-I also send out an info pdf as soon as I receive their booking that walks them through the entire process or working with me
-Explanations for specific services I offer, answers to frequently asked questions, and explanations on why I require a minimum spend
-Touch points throughout their engagement process, including one in which I confirm everything on their order 1 month prior to their wedding
So now it’s your turn. Homework time!
Start by identifying the areas in your client communication process that can be easily streamlined - the easiest ones are probably the first ones: that initial inquiry (both when you’re available and when you’re booked), scheduling their appointment, providing their proposal, and following up on that proposal.
Draft a few emails - chances are, you probably have a “template” in your head already, but you just don’t have it written out in a way that’s easily accessible for you. Don’t forget to keep your personality in your words.
If you use Gmail, did you know that you can save your templates as “Canned Responses?” It literally makes this process the easiest thing ever. I’m not sure about other mail programs, but even if you have an email document where everything is ready to be copied and pasted, you’ll find yourself saving time before you know it.