In the world of online retail, it is impossible to make a purchase without first surrendering an email address. That email address is then used to confirm the order, supply a receipt (proof of purchase), communicate dispatch and delivery details, and market similar products.
So why do so many brick-and-mortar retailers let customers walk into their stores, make a purchase and leave with nothing more permanent than a till receipt and the vain hope that one day they will return and purchase something else?
In this sluggish economy, many real-world retailers are facing considerable hardships with rising costs, increased competition and falling foot traffic. They need to grab every opportunity available to them with both hands. Email marketing is a huge opportunity.
Next time someone enters your store and pays for goods or a service, ask him or her for an email address.
Tell customers you’d like to send them their receipts electronically (this will be a huge benefit if they ever have an issue with your product and need to return it), along with the occasional promotional offer or discount.
What’s the worst that can happen? They might say “No,” although they probably won’t.
Rather than complaining about online competitors, it’s time to embrace some of their strategies.
What other tips can real-world retailers learn from their online competition? Share your thoughts using the comments box below.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.