Sources commonly say it's six times easier to keep an existing customer than to win a new one
A customer database is your garden centre’s personal and direct road to the people most likely to shop in your store. Being able to communicate directly with customers is an effective way of driving and growing your business.
If you can capture the email addresses of your regulars, your database becomes a crucial tool in keeping contact with those people, keeping them engaged and keeping your garden centre top of mind when it comes to anything to do with gardening, outdoor living, gifts and home.
Acquiring addresses is not as difficult as many would have us believe. Most of your customers are internet users, used to engaging in social media to keep contact with friends and family and using Apps for easy access to services
There are many other ways to use your database – from social media to targeted product recommendations. We are in an era where online and bricks and mortar are competing for the same sales so retailers want to ensure customers have a great experience regardless of how they prefer to shop and we want to continue having a conversation with them.
Garden Retail Success is a great supporter of a regular email newsletter to customers as one of the best means of communicating. Why? Because it is quick, easy, immediate, proactive, low cost, and talks to an already interested audience.
If you are a small garden centre with a limited budget, there are free email marketing platforms that allow you to manage your database; use email effectively as a marketing tool, personalize your messages and measure results of your email campaigns
Newsletters should be sent reasonably regularly for them to be effective. Weekly is good, more frequently could become annoying. Any time frame between one week and one month is acceptable. Anything longer than one month loses impact and reader attention.
There are several reasons emails get a positive response:
- You are speaking to an interested and captive audience who have indicated that they want to hear from you.
- They provide an opportunity to talk to your customers about more than just specials and discounts. What to do in the garden, new releases, new season’s stock, recipes, pre-ordering privileges, out of hours shopping opportunities, invitations to events and talks, and much more should all be part of the mix.
- Surprisingly, your customers are not just interested in bargains. Added value, ideas, inspiration, excitement, all attract them as well and keep them coming back again and again to your store.
- If your newsletter is branded and has full contact details, it increases awareness and recognition of your garden centre
- It provides an opportunity to position yourselves as the local experts or garden gurus. Customers are interested in what you are doing in the community too.
Keep newsletters chatty and interesting. Not pages long, as people will stop reading half way through. Include a range of topics to appeal to a diverse group of recipients.
Contact us if you need help to set up your newsletters.