Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tip #61: How to Properly Clean Your Moulds

Now that you’re finished with those Valentine’s Day moulds, it’s time to clean and put them away until the next holiday season. Be sure to follow these steps courtesy of RCI associate supplier member Tomric Systems, Inc. to take the best care of your moulds:

Because moulds are made of plastic, upkeep is minimal. At the end of the season, moulds need to be washed, well rinsed, dried and stored in a cool, dry location. If maintained, the moulds will have a shiny finish and release a nicely glossed piece of chocolate.
  • Wipe with soft cloth in clear, warm water.
  • DO NOT use an abrasive cleanser. If moulds become coated with cocoa butter, wash with a mild grease-cutting detergent. Use detergent sparingly and avoid scratching the inside surface of the moulds.
  • Rinse in clear, cool water.
  • Dry and store in a cool location.
  • Use moulds at room temperature.

Find additional mould care resources on Tomric Systems, Inc.’s website.

RCI Members: Our recent Kettle Talk publication contained an article with these step-by-step instructions. Access this and other member-only Kettle Talk articles by signing in to the RCI website as a member.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tip #60: Create a Memorable Phone Number

1-800-FLOWERS knew exactly what they were doing when they created their phone number. They created something memorable that connected directly to the products and services they provide: flower delivery.

So, do you know what your phone number spells? We’ve found a cool tool online that will tell you and also may help you create a phone number your customers will have a hard time forgetting.

How do you use phonespell.org?
  1. Enter your full phone number and see what words and phrases it spells. You’ll see a variety of possible combinations and words. See if any of these could work to your advantage to make your phone number easy to remember.
  1. Enter the start of a phone number and see what words start with those digits. If you’re just starting out or looking to create a new memorable phone number, you can see what possible combinations you have to work with. If you know that your phone number has to include a certain set of numbers (i.e. area code), see what words start with those digits to get your creativity rolling.
  1. Enter some letters and see (and even dial) the corresponding number. So you want to create a memorable phone number and you’ve narrowed the key words for your business down to a select few. On phonespell.org you can enter the word or words you want to include and find out what number combinations those create. You can even dial it to see if someone already has that phone number combination.

By creating a memorable phone number, your customers (both current and potential) will always know who to call when they need a chocolate and candy fix!

If you create or already have a memorable phone number, we want to hear about it – leave us a comment below!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tip #59: Welcome Your Email Subscribers

What do your email subscribers receive when they sign up? Is it a standard non-customized message saying “Thanks for signing up? This week’s tip is to take the time to customize a welcome message to remind them why they signed up for your emails in the first place.

After someone signs up for your emails, most email marketing programs have a standard welcome message that can be customized. Take a moment to thank them for signing up, inviting them to connect with you on social media (Facebook, etc.) and including an email coupon. By including a coupon, you’re reminding them that being a subscriber to your email list has value. Have the instructions say to print the email as the coupon and that it expires 30 days from the date it was emailed. By including an expiration date, they will be motivated to return to your store.

RCI Members: Still need to start your email marketing campaign? As a member, you receive a discount for Constant Contact email marketing. For details, visit the RCI website click on Member Programs under the Member Resources tab when signed in as a member.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tip #58: Be Prepared for Last-Minute Valentine’s Shoppers

We’ve seen the pictures on Facebook and Twitter and we know many of you have your stores beautifully merchandised and decorated for Valentine’s Day. This week we want to remind you to keep plenty of those Valentine’s goodies in stock until the beloved holiday.

Typically, Valentine’s Day sales are last-minute purchases, mainly the last 48 to 24 hours. Therefore, you want to be sure you have enough product available in store until the final day.  Avoiding out of stock situations will help those last-minute customers know they can count on your candy store to be there for them year after year when they need it.

Worried you’ll have lots of product left over? Use ribbons and cello caddies to carry out the Valentine’s theme because they can easily be swapped out for Easter colors to avoid having to place the product on your after-holiday clearance shelf.

Photo courtesy Phillips Candy House