Have you thought about using the concept of an online newsletter to help promote your offline business? If not, this is an idea that you really want to take a closer look at.
A newsletter is basically a short magazine that provides your customers with helpful information. Of course, you want to promote your products within this newsletter, but as more of a soft sell.
You want to provide your newsletter free of charge and have customers sign up to receive it. This can be done directly at the checkout counter. As they pay for their product you can suggest that they sign up for your Newsletter. You would then simply add their name and email address into your database.
Let’s look at an example. Say you are a local vet, you can provide a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter that provides tips on pet care. These tips can be related to seasonal care information. Then at the end of the newsletter you could suggest a product that would help with this. Or you may just want to add a reminder about the importance of using heartworm medications for your dog, for example.
The best way to deliver your newsletter is by using a company that specializes in this. This method of marketing is often referred to by using an Autoresponder. You sign up with the service and can then create a list of customers for your newsletter. When you are ready to send it out you do this directly from within your account. Some of the top services for this are Aweber, GetResponse and Mailchimp.
Other ideas for content for your newsletter include promoting local events, sharing customer’s birthday’s or anniversaries. Again, with the vet example, you could get customers to send in their pet photo and you highlight one or two pets each month in your newsletter.
Include a calendar of local events, provide a list of places to see and other related local information. It also never hurts to help promote or suggest other small businesses in your area. Or you might want to include a short review on a local restaurant your visited or where you got your haircut.
Running a newsletter is a great way to stay connected to your customers. You can provide them with additional information, let them know about new specials or new products and more. This mailing list can easily become a good income source when managed correctly.