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1) Start collecting customer data at once
As I have pointed out for years, "the list is the business...and the business is the list." Start building this all-important list TODAY.
Make it a point to ask ALL your customers for name, address, phone and e-mail address. If you have employees, make sure they realize the importance of the list. Show them how to request this information from all customers, thus:
"Mr. Smith, would you like to receive e-mails from us with tremendous discount offers? Just fill out this brief form or give me your card with e-mail address."
Add this information to your list at the end of every day. Be consistent!
2) Start brainstorming hot offers today.
For your special "alert" list to work, you must present scintillating offers. Start collecting them now.
Open a computer file and enter all your sales offers, always concentrating on what made money. Squeezing the most dollars from your list is a direct function of making offers that get your customers to stop in their tracks and head your way!
Don't hesitate to "swipe" offers from other media sources. Your offer need not be original to you. It just has to pull.
3) Develop a format.
Start with the subject line. It should read something like this: ANOTHER great offer from (your name). Expires 5 p.m. today... so don't delay!"
"Just in... the most delicious golden pears you've ever tasted. Prepare to pamper yourself... but act NOW. We only have a few! Drop by now.. and indulge yourself!"
4) Unless you ship as part of your current business routine, make sure recipients understand this is an in-store offer only.
You have twin goals here: first, you do NOT want to increase your work load by starting a shipping department; second, you want to increase your in-store traffic and resulting sales that come when customers drop in.
5) E-mail your offer at a regular time
Your goal, remember, is to increase in-store traffic and sales. Thus, e-mail your bulletin about 1 hour before you're open. That way you'll have customers at the door right away... just what you want.
6) E-mail your list at least once a week.
E-mailing regularly is key to your success. Select a day for your e-mail special offer and adhere to it religiously.
But don't hesitate to e-mail two or even three times a week if you are announcing great offers and value. Value and great offers determine how often you should contact your list. Customers will be glad you contacted them... if the value warrants.
7) Track the offers that work... and the ones that don't.
Over time you'll develop a cornucopia of proven money-makers which you can profit from while merely copying, pasting and updating. In short fast, easy money, just the kind you like!
7) Have fun with your list -- and your customers
Business is about relationships. About knowing your customers and them knowing you. Use your "alert" list to do both.
Have in-house drawings... and announce the winners.
Compliment a customer on a stunning outfit... or a stunning smile.
Share a joke, a quip, a thoughtful line.
It's your personal messenger... have fun with it while you're making sale after sale.