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Phone: 785-760-5071
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The trends, the issues, and productive business strategies.

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Sixteen Ways To Attract New Customers

If each method attracted 20 new customers....

by the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (October 6, 2008)

1. Start a customer referral reward program. Ask new customers how they heard about your business. If it is through a regular customer, jot down that name, and drop it in a bowl. Each month, hold a drawing for an inexpensive item. Soon regular customers will be your best advertising!

2. Participate in sidewalk sales. Coordinate with other merchants or as stand-alone promotions. Offer refreshments, and hire a musician or other entertainment. Do this annually, and local shoppers will look forward to it year after year.

3. Sponsor an "after hours" business meeting. Joining the local chamber of commerce or similar group is a great way to network, and an opportunity for contact with people who have the power to add to the bottom line.

4. Have T-shirts with the store name. Shirts can be offered for sale or as giveaways. They can be worn by staff to promote a "team spirit" and to promote the store name in the community.

5. Capitalize on a local event. Hold a special promotion for an event to capture public attention and to create eye-catching displays to entice people into the store.

6. Use direct-mail coupons. Select specific ZIP Codes to target the best prospects. A packet of ads is mailed to certain addresses, and coupons are coded to track how well each area responds.

7. Swap brochures and business cards with local businesses. Display these on the counter or notice board, and encourage other businesses to return the favor.

8. Illuminate window displays at night. The store will be visible to passers-by, who might return to purchase something they saw in the window.

9. Welcome new residents. Secure names and addresses, and offer them specials or gift certificates. Membership in the chamber of commerce is usually all that is required to obtain this list. Work with local real estate companies to "piggyback" on their direct mail.

10. Participate in consumer shows. These generate immense publicity and provide an opportunity to reach avid scrappers.

11. Conduct classes. Classes -- such as scrapbooking, design, digi-scrapping, photography, genealogy, journaling -- build customer education, draw new visitors, and contribute to sales. They enhance your credibility as an expert in preserving memories in scrapbooks. Circulate flyers, place ads in community newspapers, and publish the schedule in your newsletter.

12. Become a media resource. Let representatives of local media know you are available to answer questions about scrapbooking. Periodically remind them with notes attached to press releases.

13. Sell gift certificates. Eye-catching gift certificates can be best sellers, especially around Christmas and Mother's Day. Recipients may be people who have never been in the store. Most folks spend more than the face value of the certificate.

14. Use a sidewalk sign. A sandwich board is a constant reminder of the store, and can advertise special sales and promotional activities. Check with local zoning.

15. Collect names. Even if they don't buy the first time, new visitors represent potential sales. Collect names and home and email addresses for later mailings.

16. Hold a fund-raising crop. Raise money for a good cause, and raise your profile in the community.

Reprinted with permission from the Professional Scrapbook Retailers Organization (PSRO) a PMA member association. Visit www.psro.org.



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