Newsletters, Better Than a Business Card
As my store started to grow, I
decided that just giving out a business card was no longer an acceptable way
to promote my store. Sure business cards are cheap to print and easy to
carry, but if you are like me, you end up losing most of the business cards
you get. So I decided to do a store newsletter to give more information
about my store and to keep my regular customers up to date with what was
happening in the store and the industry.
A few things to consider when
doing a newsletter is what you want to say. You should always start off
with the important information. Every issue should have your store's name,
address, phone number, hours and if applicable, email address and website
address. This way all the relevant information is right there for them.
Remember this is a marketing tool and you should treat is as such. The
second thing you need is a name. You can incorporate your store name into
it. My store's newsletter was called "Tomorrow's News". With the store
called Tomorrow's Heroes, it was a perfect fit. Next think of the frequency
you will publish the newsletter. We did ours on a monthly basis, which
seemed like the perfect amount of time. You need time to write it, set it
up and send it to be printed. It should not be so burdensome that it takes
away from your everyday work but it should also be current enough that it is
beneficial to your customers.
Now that you have the name down
and the frequency, you need to think about content. A few good ideas for
articles is comic reviews, list of upcoming comics and information about
pull box service. When doing reviews, remember to be honest. Don't write a
great review of a crappy comic to try and sell the extra copies you have.
You need to build trust with your customers and this is a good place to
start. If a book is not good, say so. It may hurt the sales of that book,
but the trust you will build will be worth it. Also offer space for
customers to write in the newsletter. It is a great way to make them feel
part of it and it will build loyalty. Other subtle ways to sell items is to
write articles on protecting your comics and mention the supplies that are
best for doing so. You can also do stuff like history of comics and or
characters. You can put want lists for comics you are looking to purchase.
You can talk about upcoming comic based movies, video games and/or
television shows. There is a wealth of stuff you can talk about.
While handing out newsletters at
your store is a good way to get your store information into your customer's
hand, these newsletters are also good for bringing in new customers. If you
are at a comic book show, bring some extra copies and leave them out. If
they are any good, people will take them and read them. I found this a
great way to bring in new customers.
One thing to remember is to talk
about all the different products you carry at your store. If you carry
collectible card games, talk about it. If you carry toys, make sure to
mention it. I carried numerous products and gave a section to each one. I
had two pages devoted to Anime with reviews, new releases and lists of the
top renters. I had a section for collectible card games with reviews of new
products, strategies and more. This is a good way to let potential
customers know all that your store has to offer.
One nice thing is that now there
are so many good programs to do desktop publishing. You can easily find one
and with some time, you can make very professional looking newsletters.
When you are starting out, you can just xerox them and staple them together
yourself. As it goes along, you can start to make them better. My early
ones were quite primitive. By the end, we had an award winning newsletter
but it took time to develop it. We were also blessed with a great staff and
I had a customer named Carl who was an expert at desktop publishing. But
nowadays, anyone can do it with some work. The library is a great place to
get books and videos on how to do desktop publishing.
If you have a comic store and/or
website, you should consider a newsletter. A business card says so little
as does a yellow pages ad. This is a way to create an identity for your
store and leave a lasting impression on your customers. It is also a way to
promote your various product lines and keep your customers informed. It
takes some time and money but in the end it will pay for itself, many times
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