Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Are You Over-Thinking It?

What if someone told you there was a no cost, low-maintenance, pressure-free way to gather customer information to be used in your marketing campaigns? What if the only tool you needed is most likely collecting dust on an office shelf? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. 

Oftentimes, as business owners, we look toward the latest in technological applications to build our customer base. We scour the internet for tips on increasing our social media presence. Sometimes, though, simplicity can be a refreshing and welcome change to both the business owner and the customer.

You might be surprised to hear that this simple and free marketing tool is a clipboard. A clipboard! That small, flat piece of wood or plastic with a metal clip just might be the missing link between you and your customers. While the clipboard itself may be unassuming and even boring, the way it is used can mean the difference in whether your business adds to its customer base or not.

The Content

What you decide to put on your clipboard should be dictated by your customer demographic. Think about the people who enter your store, and ask yourself the following questions:

• What brings my customers into the store? (Discounts? Quality of product regardless of price? Promotions?)
• How do my customers like to be contacted?
• How will they be benefited by giving me their contact information?

After you’ve answered these questions, decide how you will entice your customers to leave their info. If your customer base is mostly drawn to the store by discounts, offer an email coupon to those who leave their email address. If discounts aren’t important to your customers, offer something that does matter to them – perhaps early notice of new product arrival. Some customers love a good party! Offer after-hours shopping invites to those who are willing to add their names to your clipboard.

Whatever you decide, be upfront about what lists you will add them to. If they’re going to receive a newsletter, let them know how often. Their ability to trust you as the owner of a business they frequent is of the utmost importance.

The Placement

After format, placement is the most important step in introducing the clipboard to your business. It needs to be in a conspicuous area, but not so obtrusive that it’s annoying. For example, a clipboard next to the register may be convenient – unless it takes up so much counter space that it just gets in the way. In this case, placing the clipboard next to the exit may make more sense. If your business has a dressing room area, a thoughtfully placed clipboard can be very productive.

Experiment with placement, moving the clipboard around the store until you find an area that seems natural and convenient for your customers. You will find that this simple tool can be a very effective way to gather new customers for your email newsletter.

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