Start with the basics
While many may think that the first step is creating your online storefront, it’s actually setting clear goals for what you want to achieve during your Mags & Munchies program.
How do you set goals?
In a product program there are usually two pieces to goals: Individual Goals and Troop Goals.
Troops should work together to decide what they want to do with the money they raise during Mags & Munchies. Do you want to go to the zoo to see the program’s mascot? Do you want to buy matching Girl Scout masks for everyone in the troop? Do you want to fund a community service project?
Whatever the goal is, the troop should work to calculate the cost and figure out what that looks like.
For example: Your troop decides you want to go to the zoo. It’s going to cost $150 for the 10 girls in your troop to visit the zoo, so you’re going to collectively sell $1,000 worth of items to get there. That means to meet your troop goal, you’ll each need to sell $150 worth of product.
Now that you know what you need to do to meet your troop goal, review your order card and circle all of the rewards you want to earn. Are you going to earn them by selling $150? Or do you need to sell more to earn those rewards?
Even when your troop does not have a joint goal, you should still set your own.
Whatever your goal is, be sure to write it down so you can track it.
Make a plan for meeting your goals
Now that you have a goal, you need to make a plan for reaching it. For instance, you might see that if you sell 10 of any of the $10 collectible tins and 5 of the $5 donation items, you will have met your goal of $150 and earned two patches!
Setting up your storefront
With your goal set, it’s now time to establish your online storefront and create a marketing plan.
You’ll visit http://www.gsnutsandmags.com/gsgcf and answer some questions to create your account. The website will prompt you to answer some questions about your goals and will generate a nice paragraph for your storefront based on your answers.
The system is going to ask you enter email addresses. You should send at least 15 emails – and not just to random email addresses. Our statistics shows that on average, a single email generates $7.21 in sales. So while sending 15 emails will earn you a patch, sending to 15 people who will buy from you can average over $100 in products sold.
Make it personal
While the easiest path may be to simply send emails and share your link on social media, girls who take the time to make it personal are more likely to increase their sales.
Your online storefront has an easy way for you to upload a picture and record a message to your customers. A picture is worth a thousand words, but adding a voice message or even a video is worth a lot more!
Channel your inner director
A quick video can go a long way. Wear a Girl Scout uniform or shirt, introduce yourself, and share what your goals are. Include a call to action to give customers a clear path to supporting you. If you set a goal in your previous step, you already know what you need to ask customers to buy so that you can meet it. Use that to create your call to action.
“Hi, my name is Sally with Girl Scout Troop 999. I am selling nuts, candy, and magazines to raise money for my troop so that we can visit the zoo to learn more about our mascot–the pygmy toed sloth–and how to save it. I’m also trying to earn a custom avatar patch that looks just like me.You can help me earn it by visiting my website and purchasing an item or magazine subscription today! If 10 people buy a collectible Girl Scout tin from me, I’ll meet my goal!”
Friends and family will love seeing a more personal ask and providing a call to action will let them know exactly what they need to do to help you reach your goals.
That isn’t to say that you can’t put your creative muscles to the test. Girl Scout Cookie season always brings some really creative videos for girls selling (think about the viral Cardi B Cookie Remix!) but that’s not the only time it can be done. With so many free video editing apps available, it can be easy to put together a fun video encouraging customers to support you in this program as well.
Create an ongoing marketing plan
Your initial launch should not be the end of your tasks. Create a schedule that lasts through the end of the program. The system will send out reminder emails to customers who haven’t purchased yet, but what about those who you didn’t email?
When building your plan, consider how you want to reach out to customers. Will you use social media, texts, phone calls, in-person asks, or a combination?
How often do you want to share reminders? Every other day? Weekly? As you keep track of your sales and goals, think about leaving room to announce benchmarks.
“I am half way to my goal! Can you spend $5 to support our Hometown Heroes program and help me reach my goal?”
An appreciated customer is a repeat customer
Once you’ve made the sale your work isn’t over. Take the time to thank anyone who has supported you in some way. Think about what you can do to show your customers that you appreciate them and want their continued business in your future product programs! This could be a hand-written note when you’re delivering product, an email, or even a video thanking everyone for their support. They will remember it the next time you ask. As you wrap up your fall business, take some time to think ahead to your cookie business. What can you do now that will make you successful then? What lessons have you learned that you can take with you to the cookie program?