Are You Actively Engaging Your Customers?

In today’s marketplace, you need to be a bit more creative than your competition to ensure you’re driving sales. Let’s face it, if you’re selling tangible goods, from a retail storefront, you’ve got to do all you can do to make certain, those customers return.

Honestly, pretty much anything you sell, could likely be found online. And, quite often, the price of the goods will be less than what you are selling for, and can be shipped to their doorstep in a matter of days. So, other than instant gratification for the purchase, what are you doing to bring them in and keep them coming?

You may have an appealing looking establishment, great products and a friendly staff, which is all good, but, what else do you have going for you? You really need to engage your customers. One great way to do that is have an email signup sheet on the counter. Let them know that those on the email list will get special promotions, early notifications of sales and, at times, special discounts. Make certain that they know that you protect their privacy and will never share their information with anybody.

Once you have them on your “list” you will need an easy and simple to use, method of emailing them. That’s where an auto-responder comes into play. There are numerous providers offering this type of service and they can automate much of your marketing. Once you have one of these accounts, you can set up pre-prepared messages that go out at pre-determined times. For example, once you enter them in the system, an automatic “Welcome” email can be sent. You could also include a special discount for them in that email as a way of thanking them for joining. Make certain you give them a certain amount of time to redeem the discount. When you do this, it gets them back in your establishment quickly.

As you continue to build your list, you can really get proactive with your customers instead of just hoping they stop in again. Let’s say you get some new inventory… send them a quick email to alert them. Maybe you have some new “seasonal” inventory that just arrived. You can alert your customers via a quick email and possibly even include a few pictures to whet their appetite. Additionally, you could let them know of special discounts on the waning seasonal stuff to help clear out inventory. As you start to put some creative thinking into this, you’ll find your sales increasing.

Now, let’s consider a compliment to your email engagement with your customers. Do you know anybody with a smartphone? Of course you do as they are the predominant cellular phones on the marketplace today. Are you familiar with the “preacher pose”? It’s when you see people with their head down, both hands on their cellphone, either reading or typing something. People are so engaged with their technology that sometimes they walk into objects, people or trip and fall because they weren’t paying attention. It makes for great You Tube footage but it also provides a phenomenal marketing channel for you… if you take advantage of it.

Are you familiar with Mobile Marketing? Here again, there are numerous providers out there Trust me here… the cost to use one of these services is minimal and not time consuming when compared to the increased business you can generate. Simply, people, your customers, like to feel special so why not treat them that way… better than your competition.

As in your email marketing strategy, you first need to have your customers “enroll”, “opt-in” or give you permission to engage with them. Many of these mobile marketing companies can provide you with materials to professionally entice customers to want to be on your list. Once you sign up with a company you will have a SMS number or keyword, that is exclusive to you, that your customers will enter into their text messaging app. The initial response they get back from the system is the “Thank You for joining” text. Typically, the best thing to do is give them some sort of special offer for joining. The key here is that now you have them on your list and you can often, but not too much, proactively engage with them.

Utilize some of the same things that are described above in your email marketing. Alert them of special sales, new inventory or announcements. The idea is that you are engaging them, and they feel special. Trust me on this too… when they receive a text, or when you receive a text… what do you do? You look at it pretty much immediately, don’t you… except when you’re driving, I hope. This can, and will, drive sales like never before.

These mobile devices are powerful tools that can be used to grow your business and following. I have been providing credit card processing services to merchants of all kinds for over two decades. In addition to providing that necessary service I’ve also advised my merchants on numerous marketing ideas over the years. I have demonstrated creative uses for gift cards, email marketing ideas and most recently, mobile marketing to drive sales. Consequently, I have developed a very loyal clientele because they see my desire to not just sell my services but, help them to grow their business as well.

Hopefully you are starting to have your creative ideas flowing as a result of what you have seen here. I wish you much success with your endeavors and thanks for reading.

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