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Email Tips for Brick & Mortar Stores

For brick and mortar businesses, email marketing may seem too time-consuming. After all, you?re busy designing window displays, training associates and counting inventory.

But emails can prompt more purchases. They can remind local customers to swing by and inspire long-distance customers to visit on their next trip through. They can even offer extra incentive to shop with you.

And though you may not know it, your store already has content for the emails. Read on to find out what this content is, how to get it to your customers and how to make sure it?s well-received.

How To Go From Brick & Mortar To Click & Mortar

Collect Email Addresses

First, collect your customers? (and potential customers?) email addresses. Emailing them without permission is spam, so make sure you?re cleared to occasionally pop into their inboxes. Ask for them:

* At the point of sale. Hand each customer a card with their receipt that promises a discount on their next purchase in exchange for their email address.
* During customer satisfaction surveys. Include a field for email addresses, and be clear that those provided will be mailed to.
* With signup forms on your web site. It?s a good idea to include one on each heavily trafficked page.

Send Messages

Once your list is ready, start emailing. Send out broadcasts to:

* Bring customers into your store by alerting them to sales and promotions.
* Demonstrate creative ways to use staple products. Make sure to point out where the products can be found in your store.
* Introduce new products. Explain how they can be used with current products. Specify where and when they?ll become available.
* Deliver printable coupons. These keep your customers opening your emails and coming into your store to redeem them. They also encourage new subscriptions from word-of-mouth recommendations.

Make sure to list your hours of operation and phone number, and provide a way for subscribers to offer feedback.

Segment and Target

Rather than sending the same messages to your entire list, you may want to boost relevance with segmentation. This lets you send each customer the emails they want most. You can segment, or divide up your list, in endless ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

* Ask for preferences on your sign-up forms. Add fields to find out what content and format each subscriber prefers. Then create segments based on those preferences.
* Send out an optional survey to collect preferences after the sign-up ? keeping the sign-up form itself simple.
* If your business is a chain, you may want to segment by store location according to IP address. If you have just one location, you can use the same tool to segment by distance.

Use this information to segment your list. Then send each email to the appropriate segments.

Conclusion:

If you are a brick and mortar business, do you have an email marketing campaign?

How much time do you spend on it? How do you divide your efforts between in-store happenings, other marketing and your email campaign?

This article was originally published at www.aWeber.com. If you don?t email market, what?s stopping you? Get a $1 Email Marketing System trial at www.aWeber.com.

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