The economy is shrinking, the cost of goods are increasing, the market is becoming over-saturated, and your marketing budget is next to Zero. You understand that if you don't stay in front of customers your business will cease to exist. Sounds pretty dire! Thankfully this story does have a happy ending and I have some good news for you. One simple and constantly underutilized strategy can literally increase your bottom line by $10,000 or even $1,000,000 all without increasing your marketing budget.
LEVERAGE WHAT YOU HAVE
Many businesses that I work with don't realize the huge marketing potential they have with current customers. In every marketing book or article you will read the phrase "it is easier to sell to someone who has bought from you before than to a new customer." This phrase is absolutely correct. The problem is many business owners understand the concept but don't know how to capitalize on it. There are literally hundreds of different methods (depending on how creative you are) to get your customers to keep purchasing from you, but the most effective (and least expensive) is an Email Newsletter.
Now I don't mean that if you run out and tell all your current clients, "I have a newsletter!!" you will instantly see all of them signup and you will automatically increase your bottom line by 20%. It comes down to how you implement the strategy. Let me give you an example:
A customer walks into a restaurant and has a seat. They order their food, eat it, and really enjoyed it. When the waiter brings the bill there is also a simple sign up form. The form has the name of the restaurant on it, a little information saying "Join our Newsletter and receive coupons, invites to member only events, and special event updates." All the customer has to do is fill in their name and email (you can also get their phone number for text marketing-but that is another article) and leave it with the server (instead of hoping the guest will read the insert just have the server let them know about the newsletter).
If you already have some of your clients email addresses or have them on your social media platforms just let them know about your new newsletter and how they can signup on your website (have a little subscribe button on your website). Make it a big event on your social media platforms. Instead of just saying “I have a newsletter”; have a pre-launch where you have a few posts building up to when the newsletter is ready for subscribers. You could even send an events invite to your contacts on Facebook.
Isn't a newsletter complicated?
You don't have to be a computer tech to create a newsletter online anymore. If you can setup a Gmail account you can create a basic newsletter system using a free service like Mailchimp.com (they also have tutorials and premium services). Building your subscriber list will allow you to instantly connect to an extremely targeted market (people who love your business and have purchased from you before) and help demonstrate to your customers that you are an expert in what you do. Just make sure that your newsletters are relevant to your business and that you give your clients a reason to come visit you or your online storefront (people always love coupons and events).