I discovered the amazing marketing power of a friendly customer newsletter when I ran a bicycle store in the early 1980s.
As store manager, a percentage of my income was based on a simple profit system.
When the store made more money, I made more money.
So I did some research on how to increase profit, not merely sales.
What I discovered was that of all the items sold in the store, the specialty bicycle clothing had the highest profit margin.
I’m specifically talking about bicycle helmets and the fancy jerseys, shorts, gloves, and shoes.
The only problem was, in the early 80s, there was a the lack of demand – or so I thought!
As an avid fan of cycling, and with real world practical experience, I found that when I explained the advantages of bicycle clothing to the customers who came in our store for something else, they, too, quickly saw the benefits and purchased the bicycle-specific clothing.
Seeing how well we sold clothing face to face, I knew that if I could simply educate our other customers about the advantages of bicycle clothing, we would sell much more, which would increase the store’s profits, and ultimately my paycheck.
The best way I thought of to communicate with a large audience at one time, was to write a newsletter, and mail it to our entire list of customers.
I wrote the newsletter in a conversational tone, just the way I would talk to a customer in the store.
I wanted my newsletter to read as if it was a conversation, not a sales letter.
I mailed our store’s newsletter to every name we had on the store’s customer list – about 1,200 names.
Here’s a tip: Mail your newsletter to everyone on your database. Do not waste time trying to decide who “deserves” your newsletter based on how much they spend, or when they last made a purchase. If you have their name and address, mail them your newsletter!
I also used the newsletter as a prospecting tool and distributed it to the members of the various bicycle clubs and organizations within an hour’s drive of our store.
Did sending out a printed newsletter work?
Before I started sending the newsletter, our annual sales of bicycle clothing were about $10,000 per year.
A few years later, we were selling $100,000 worth of clothing!
I was quickly sold on using a friendly, monthly customer newsletter as an effective marketing, and profit building tool.
My business, No Hassle Newsletters, is a leader in providing ‘Done-for-You’ newsletter content and templates.
To date we have served over 1,200 small business owners in 9 countries!
Check it out today, and starting increasing your profits the easy way.