As I talk to business owners about marketing, I always explain to them that they know their own backyard for reaching out to the consumer better than we do at Coast of Maine Organic Products, Inc.
Most of our stores have lean budgets and small staffs and marketing becomes a secondary concern especially during the height of the season. The number one basic piece of advice that I give to each of them is that “Your current customer is your most important customer.”
A simple and very effective way to build your relationship with your current customer and get them to return to your store more often is to make sure you collect their email address and start an enewsletter.
Now, before you sigh and say “I don’t have time to do this” or “I don’t know how to use a computer”, think about it as a very basic form of communication, like writing a letter to a friend.
Keep it short, concise and add liberal amounts of your own personality. Don’t worry about making it fancy.
There are inexpensive services to help you with a template like Constant Contact ® or iContact but even if you simply collect your customer emails and send a monthly email “note” that gives store information, product information and lets your customers know how you are doing, you’ll deepen your relationship and they’ll think of your business the next time they set out on a shopping trip.
To collect those email addresses, offer a benefit to the customer for signing up. Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, NH Hampshire does a drawing for a $25 gift certificate each month for the customers who sign up for their newsletter that month. There is an attractive sign, clearly visible, right above the checkout counter that explains everything in a very enticing way.
The investment is well worth the return.
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