It’s been a tough year, but the world is opening back up at last. Your business is gearing up to open its doors and announce its reopening. You’re excited to see your customers and they’re excited to see you. But as thrilled as everyone is to get back to “normal” (whatever that looks like), consumers living in a post-pandemic world have a new #1 priority: safety.1
An effective business reopening announcement is your opportunity to reassure customers that you’ve taken measures to ensure their safety. A clearly communicated plan that outlines the details of your reopening procedures and safety protocols will instill confidence in your customers and bring them in the door.
What to include in your reopening announcement template
You want to get three main points across in the email announcement for your business reopening: announce the happy news of your reopening, thank customers for sticking with you during this time, and give them the quick hits of what they need to know. You can link to a page on your website with the full details of your reopening, but be sure to point out the most relevant updates for your customers in the body of your email, like when a face mask is required or how they can avoid a cancellation fee.
Here’s what to include in your business reopening announcement:
- Your new hours or days of operation. Are they the same as before?
- Your current service and product offerings. Note if anything’s no longer offered, or temporarily on pause. Also promote anything new and exciting.
- Your capacity limits. How many people can visit at a time?
- Changes to your booking or scheduling procedures. Do people need to book ahead? Is there a late cancellation fee?
- Any pricing changes. Will you be offering any reopening discounts or promotions?
- Your payment policies. Can customers pay with their mobile wallet or credit card? Are you accepting cash?
- Social distancing procedures. Will you be using floor markers or organizing traffic flow to encourage social distancing?
- Online and curbside pickup procedures. How do these work, if people prefer to patronize your business from the safety of their home or car?
- Cleaning procedures. How are you promoting healthy airflow2 and ventilation? Which surfaces are sanitized, and how frequently? Will hand sanitizer be available? (Check out the CDC’s guidelines for improving airflow and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.3)
- Other safety precautions. Will face masks be required? How else are you ensuring the safety of your staff and customers? Review the reopening guidelines for your state4 to make sure your bases are covered.
Pro Tip: Address all the points above and save them in a living document for you and your staff to reference any time you share updates on social media, your website, or email announcements. Format your announcement in a question-and-answer format so customers can quickly scroll to find the answer they need. (This also provides your staff with a ready-made script for how to respond if a customer asks them a question.)
Announce your business reopening far and wide
Leverage all the channels at your disposal to announce your reopening to customers.
Send an email to your entire subscriber list ahead of your reopening, and direct them to your website and social media channels for the most up-to-date information. Create excitement with a subject line like “REOPENING on [Date]: [Your Business Name]! What to Expect When We Reopen.” Feel free to throw in an emoji or two if that’s your vibe.
On the day of your reopening, send another email to remind people it’s happening.
Update all your social media profiles with your new hours of operation and service or product offerings. Schedule posts for all of your channels in the weeks leading up to your reopening. This gives you an opportunity to drum up anticipation and get people excited about coming back, so you can enjoy reopening day success.
People will ask questions in the comments, so have someone available to answer them. Being engaged and responsive will further increase customer confidence that your reopening is really happening and that you know what you are doing.
Once you reopen, continue posting to show followers your safety protocols in action and reintroduce them to your offerings and staff. Seeing is believing!
Include a banner at the top of your website with your updated hours, reopening date, and contact information. Link the banner to a dedicated landing page that outlines the full details of your reopening. If you have chatbots, program them to answer basic questions or people to the landing page.
If you have a SMS marketing program, send a text the day of your reopening to remind them to come in.
COVID’s made snail mail cool again. If you’ve got some extra budget, send out postcards announcing your reopening.
Routine customer communications
You can also keep customers informed via non-marketing channels. Reiterate your new procedures on transactional communications, such as receipts, invoices, and appointment reminders, to prevent any surprises. Recyclable menus and paper bags are another spot to include your reopening details if you have space.
If your business thrives on foot traffic, a-frame sidewalk signs and posters are great ways to signal your business is opening, or planning to soon. Draw or jot down the key details, and direct passersby to your social channels or website for more information. Even a message as simple as “We’re open!” works.
Tips for making your reopening successful
Nailing your reopening announcement is step one to a successful reopening. Beyond that, it’s all about communication and being adaptable as things change. Follow these tips.
Cater to everyone.
People will have different levels of comfort as we reenter the world. Do what you can to make everyone feel comfortable. Make it safe for people to come in person, but continue to offer curbside pickup, delivery, or online options for those who prefer to patronize your business from a distance.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Err on the side of over vs. under-communicating during this time. Your customers and employees will appreciate it. Making a procedure or policy change? Send an email and post on social media. Expanding your hours or days of operation? Send an email and post on social media. Adding new services? You guessed it — send an email and post on social media.
Survey your customers.
Invite your customers to communicate with you, too. Find out how you can improve by asking your customers for feedback. Ask them via email, social media, and in person (six feet apart, of course). Encourage them to be candid with you, so you can keep improving the customer experience during these unprecedented times.
If the past year has taught you anything as a business owner, it’s probably the value of flexibility. Be compassionate with yourself and understand that your reopening will come with some surprises. As new issues arise, adapt and adjust your reopening guidelines as needed. Just keep your customers in the know. They don’t expect perfection, but they do expect the reassurance that you’re taking their safety seriously. Your business deserves some protection, too. Get it with general liability insurance arranged by Thimble. Tell us what you do, your zip code, and the size of your crew, and you’ll have your quote in 60 seconds flat.
- Morning Consult. Which COVID-19 Safety Policies Will Comfort Consumers?; CDC. Ventilation in Buildings.
- CDC. Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility.
- The New York Times. See Coronavirus Restrictions and Mask Mandates for All 50 States.
- The New York Times. Snail Mail Is Getting People Through This Time.