Five years ago my mother and I opened a scrapbook store. Over the last five years we have launched many marketing campaigns in an effort to build our business. Many of these marketing campaigns were successful and many were not. However none of the marketing campaigns cost more than $200. We would like to share our successful marketing tips with you to help you build a successful business.
Use Your Customers
Word of mouth marketing is free, but how do you encourage your customers to send their friends and family to you? Reward them. By rewarding your customers you can encourage them to spread the word about your business. We ran our rewards campaign for three months and in those three months we increased our customer base by eight percent.
How exactly did the rewards campaign work? When customers checked out at our store we stuffed their bags with a letter and ten coupons. The letter explained that the coupons were to be filled in by the customer and given out to friends and family. When the customer had five or more coupons returned with their name they received a free gift.
We purchased the coupons from VistaPrint. The coupons were business cards that were double printed. The front side was the coupon along with our business information. The back side was the referal information and expiration date. We bought the business card coupons when VistaPrint was running a special sale on business cards. The business card coupons cost just $94 for fifteen hundred business cards! Ninety four dollars for an eight percent increase in customers is a steal.
Every time you gain a new customer you must collect their email address. You can use your customers emails to remind them of your business by sending a weekly or monthly email newsletter. However, we have found that customers many times delete emails without even reading through the entire email.
How do you stop your customers from trashing your newsletter? Make it a resource. When you send a newsletter don’t just include information about sales and upcoming events. Include articles or projects that your customers will want to read, save, and maybe even forward to friends and family.
When we first started sending email newsletters we used Bravenet but after three years on their service they increased their prices by sixty six percent. A search for a new email campaign manager led us to Zinester. Zinester is an HTML based email campaign manager. What does that mean for you? That means that you can design your email newsletter however you choose.
Spam is illegal so be sure you are only sending emails to customers who have given you their emails. By using services like Zinester you avoid being accused of spam. Zinester and other legitimate email campaign companies employ a double opt in systems that sends an email to the customer that includes a link. By clicking on the link the customer is added to your email newsletter.
Emails are free, but you will have to pay for the email campaign manager. You can find a reliable email newsletter manager for $5 – $500 dollars a month depending on what type of service you desire. Many services give you a discount if you pay for one year of service at once.