West Virginia is for all weekend lovers

West Virginia is for (all weekend) lovers

By Lauren Alberque
“People drive right through West Virginia to Ohio or wherever it may be to be able to hunt on Sunday,” Governor Jim Justice said. “We lose those dollars because they want to be able to hunt an entire weekend. This will provide additional hunting recreation for our visitors and residents and result in a major economic impact for our small rural businesses. Today is truly historical.”*
On March 29, 2018, West Virginia governor Jim Justice, signed SB 451. The new law will take effect in early June and will allow Sunday hunting on public lands in West Virginia.  This new bill comes a year after 2017’s SB 345 passed which legalized Sunday hunting on private land with the written permission from the landowner.
This new law is exciting for store owners especially in West Virginia!  SB 451, will open more then 1.5 million acres of public land to hunters, provide several additional hunting days each year, and make West Virginia more attractive to out of state hunters.  The National Shooting Sports Foundation, conducted a study in which they project that this new law will add $155 million to the states economy each year.
We are always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities for our customers and of course prospective customers to run successful and oftentimes unique marketing campaigns!  This is a great time for stores in West Virginia to jump on the back wagon with this anticipated $155 million cash flow into the economy.
Spring is the ideal time to create your own SB 451 advertising campaign, ideally to inform your in state and out of state customers about the new legislation.  We can create advertising campaigns themed around “West Virginia is for all weekend lovers” anywhere from “SB 451 first year anniversary launch special!”  Anything you can think of we can create or let us create your own advertising campaign and jump in on this new all weekend hunting West Virginia money!
* http://www.wvdnr.gov/2018news/18news026.shtm

Reach customers with email that matters

Reach customers with email that matters

By Lauren Alberque

In my last blog titled, Direct mail – reach your customers and get them to spend their hard earned dollars with you, I discussed the benefits and ROI of direct mail, and extending your reach with premium purchased lists.

Email open rate for B2C is 20-30%, but the click through rate is only 2%-5 3/4%. It becomes a numbers game, and as an independent gun store owner, you may not have enough emails in your database to see huge ROI.  Trust me, I’m not here to dissuade you from using all of your “ammunition” so to speak. An email blast may not be as effective as direct mail advertising, but it is a great tool to utilize along side of print.

OSM uses email campaigns to let customers and prospects know about upcoming events, special pricing, and campaign ideas for shooting sports retailers to use. Email is another “touch” we can use to move our customers closer to making a purchase.

Industry marketing best practices recommend 2-3 emails per month, so as not to annoy or overwhelm customers. Email should have a concise, direct message with a clear call to action. You should always include a link to your website and to a form to sign up for your mailers. And of course include your address, phone number and an “opt-out” option.

We can help you formulate some great e-mail blasts to get customers on your radar and more importantly to get you on theirs!

Call  us at 609-265-1390 or submit the form below to get more information.

Get customers in the door by promoting vendor rebates

Promote vendor rebates and get customers in the door with direct mail advertising – and use co-op advertising dollars to do it!

We all know the shooting sports industry has slowed since Donald Trump became President, and the Republicans won the majority in Congress.  The slowdown in demand has created problems for gun stores and vendors alike.

American Outdoor Brands stock dropped 25% in February, so it should be no surprise that AOB is offering spring rebates on Thompson Center and Crimson Trace.  Vista Outdoor stock is down 12% since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and they also have a number of spring rebates available. Sturm Ruger stock fell 19% to a three-year low and we are seeing more more RUGER Days on the calendar than ever before.

It is time to leverage these consumer rebates to get more customers in your door, using co-op funds and direct mail advertising.

Advertise customer rebates, with an 8×11 one page mailer and get a jump on the competition!

Increase foot traffic and boost sales now. Direct mail advertising is the most highly targeted and easily measurable type of advertising and is a great way to get customer rebates and more in front of your customers. Once a customer has established a preference for a business, they are 3 times as likely to return. So if you are regularly sending direct mail that informs your customers about something that you know they are interested in – they will be delighted to see your postcard, flyer or catalog in the mail.

Let the vendor pick up a portion of the cost with co-op advertising

Using vendor co-op advertising funds can significantly reduce your final out-of-pocket costs. If the products you are advertising fit within the vendor’s co-op advertising standards, our Co-Op Compliance Manager will work with you to ensure that your direct mail advertising is approved by the vendor in advance of publication.


Direct Mail – reach your customer and get them to spend their hard earned dollars with you

“Suddenly, a market (including 40 percent more competition) are all now fighting for sales with smaller margins — a huge problem.”*

By Lauren Alberque

Shooting sport retailers have experienced boom times when they couldn’t keep enough in stock, and times like now when manufacturers are laying people off, retail sales are slowing, and smarter decisions about inventory and pricing need to be considered.

In speaking with retailers at the recent Sports, Inc. show in Phoenix, I heard how the recent slowdown has forced some to start selling surplus inventory at rock bottom prices to make room for new, in-demand products. The problem is that they are competing with others who are doing the same thing, and they find themselves trying to keep up with these low prices and stay competitive!

Here are some of the most effective ways of reaching your customer and getting them to spend their hard earned dollars with you.

Direct Mail Advertising to your own customer base

“Despite email being at the forefront of marketing, direct USPS mail is actually still a far more effective marketing tool because now most of us receive little mail and we tend to actually look at it now.”**

As you know, your highest ROI comes from your own database of customers. See our blog, Top 3 reasons that your existing customers are your best source of sales. But a number of the retailers that I spoke to have issues with their in-house mailing lists. Some have “antiquated” systems that do not make it easy to have all of your customers and prospects in one manageable place.

Direct Mail to Prospective Customers

Mailing lists and databases can go farther than just tracking customers who have purchased merchandise in your store. Have you ever thought about the prospective looker who walked around and didn’t make a purchase at the time? I’m sure most of didn’t get a chance to chase them down or somehow track your “window shoppers” or “tire kickers.”

Store owners can put programs in place to obtain prospective customer’s information when they are in your store, regardless of whether they make a purchase. Some ideas are: holding a raffle in the store, maintaining a guest book, asking if people would like to sign up for a newsletter, or for your “insider” sales notifications.  Your website is another “store front” that you can use to collect the names, e-mail address, physical address, and phone numbers of prospects and customers.

If you are doing FFL transfers, it is another way to get additional names on your mailing list.  And while the customer is in the store, you have the opportunity to cross-sell accessories and other items related to their purchase.

We have premium, targeted mailing lists available to augment your own list and attract new business.