I love books. I might just love them more than any other form of entertainment in this world.
But I’m not signed up to any bookstore email lists.
That could be because there are fewer independent book stores around these days (sad, but true).
But it’s also because many book shops are missing a trick…
How This Book Store Makes Email Work
Here’s a book store that does know the value of an email list.
This is a case study on the Constant Contact website (which is, by the way, a great place to find out how other small local businesses make use of email marketing).
The book store is called the Blue Bunny and it’s run by Paul Reynolds.
He explains in the case study how before they used email marketing, the store had a great customer base – but they wanted the business to stay in touch with all these customers once they had left.
He puts it very succinctly:
“If you don’t have the tools to stay in touch with your customers, they will forget about you.”
That’s about the long and short of it.
No matter how solid your customer base, no matter how much they love visiting your store or buying your books (or other products), if you forget all about them when they leave, then they will forget about you too.
How a Newsletter Gets More Sales
The Blue Bunny uses emails to stay in touch.
That’s a great decision – emails provide a way to reach out and speak to each person on the list personally; you have complete control over your list; and you can time them perfectly to announce special offers and interesting news.
The owner also claims that:
“When we send a newsletter out, we see a direct impact”
That’s the power of an email newsletter. You can literally see the direct increase in business after every email you send out, which is a lot harder to do when you are relying on advertising.
But There’s More than Direct Sales…
It’s great to see more direct sales every time you send an email newsletter, and that’s one of the main benefits of sending one. But there’s another important benefit too:
Every time you send an email, you are building a relationship.
For each email you send, you are strengthening your bond with your customers. Just like when someone writes you a personal email (I won’t say letter – who still does that?) and it feels good to receive it, you are doing something similar with your email newsletter.
So even though not every subscriber will drop everything and run to your store as soon as they read your newsletter, they may well pop in next time they are in town.
Blue Bunny’s customers also tell the owners how much they love getting their newsletter. That shows that they have got their strategy sorted. Once you get to the stage where your subscribers actively look out for your email newsletter each month, you are onto a good thing.
Could You Follow Their Lead?
If you run a bookstore (or any other kind of store with a passionate local customer base), you can almost certainly make use of an email newsletter.
And it’s really easy to do.
The problem is remembering to create and send your newsletter every month, and getting the time to do so. And that’s where I can help you 🙂