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In previous newsletters I've mentioned marketing several times!
Here is a formal definition of the difference between marketing and advertising according to Laura Lake in her article at:
Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.
Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.
(You can click on the above link and read more about marketing.)
Besides calling people on the phone, sending them letters with our software and our demo, sending an email newsletter, maintaining a web page with the latest information about our product, answering the phone with a human being, one of the things we don't do often enough is send out a flyer or a postcard via snail mail.
Why don't we do it often? It costs money! You don't get near the ROI (return on investment) that you get with email letters (in the short run).
But, every time we've ever sent out a postcard, we've at least broken even on our investment. It is much harder to measure your ROI with a postcard, at least for us, because we don't get to actually see our customers.
But, you can measure your ROI by offering something on your postcard that they bring back into your store. You know, "10% off your next purchase" or "free movie rental when you bring this postcard back to the store."
Assuming for a minute that you are collecting Email addresses, you can bet that you probably don't have more than 50% of your customers emails (and that is a high figure). So if you're sending out emails, you're only reaching a small percentage of your customers... (which you need to do on a regular basis because these are probably your bread and butter customers).
But you need to put your business in front of all of your other customers once in a while. Let them know you're still there!
Sure it's going to cost you more than you're used to. And if it's the first time you've done it, pay close attention to the numbers. And if you just break even, you're doing great, because even though some of those customers may not purchase much from you on the first go around, you should get some repeat business later.
And you don't have to send to all your customers at once. For instance, you could just select the customers that haven't rented in the last 3 months or select customers by zip code. You or your clerks could just print out labels and send 10 postcards a day. Make it part of your daily routine.
And if you make just $3.60 out of those 10 postcards, you've broken even! Postcards cost $.26 for first class mail and about $.06 to $.10 a piece. By using an online company (we recommend below), you can have postcards printed in a small quantity, something you can not have done at your local printer. And these are high quality glossy 4 color cards.
See, that's marketing. You're sending out an advertisement that will cause your customers to come into the store for a discount or free movie. Then, while they're there, you get their email address, they get to see your wonderful store, enjoy the friendly environment and friendly staff. You probably have a movie playing on the DVD. Perhaps the wonderful smell of popcorn. (If you don't have popcorn, perhaps you could give them some free popcorn jelly beans, they're great!) You give them reasons to come back again. They need to "experience" your store and love it. Combined together, that is marketing.
We've setup a link on our website so you can get a discount on ordering postcards here:
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