Generate New Business at a Low Cost
A question I always like to ask camera store owners and managers is “How do you get new business?” I am always hoping for some creative ideas beyond ads in the newspaper or billboards. Sadly, few camera stores capture or dedicate the time to email their existing customers.
In my current and past business ventures, an outbound sales force was always required; someone to go out and bring back some new business, rather than waiting for it to happen. Consider having your retail salespeople call a few customers and remind them about an upcoming show, class or event when things are slow. Maybe even generate a list of possible prospects, such as high school photo departments, newspapers, magazines or college and art school photo users.
But one of the biggest challenges to all of this is creating the email and phone list, and managing it with as little resources and time as possible. One excellent resource we currently use is Constant Contact, which is free to sign-up for and starts for as low as $15 per month. Constant Contact is only one of many cloud based email management companies, but they make things quick and simple for collecting and storing information. Choose one that best suits your needs.
Try placing an iPad out on the store counter, in one of Delkin’s iPad brackets mounted to one of our Fat Gecko suction mounts, to collect emails. Third-party apps, such as the ones by iCapture, allow you to capture customers’ information in a matter of seconds. You can ask for as little or as much information as you wish and all of the data can be automatically uploaded to your email management account (e.g. Constant Contact). The best source for future business is always those who have purchased from you in the past.
The moment they are added to your list, have a preset email automatically sent to them, thanking them for signing-up. As an incentive for doing so, maybe offer a discount coupon that is good on their next purchase. Have some excess inventory that you want to move? Who better to reward with a discount than your past customers? In addition, you can also send out announcements detailing any upcoming events, speakers or classes. You don’t need to be a programmer in order to use services like Constant Contact; you can choose from a variety of easy-to-use templates to help you look like a PRO!
The best part about utilizing an email management service is the cost. Although it is not free, it is among the least expensive tools you can use to generate new business. The next time you worry about where your new business will come from, put that energy into writing a creative, infectious email about yourself, your store or something photography related and send it out to your email list!
Very best regards,
*Mention that you read this article when you place your next order and Scott, Jenn, Jason or Dawn will throw in a FREE Fat Gecko iPad Air bracket.*