Get customers in the door by promoting vendor rebates

Get customers in the door by promoting vendor rebates

As overall demand for shooting sports merchandise declines, vendors are offering rebates and other incentives for their customers. Just this year, we’ve seen Smith & Wesson , Vista, and more RUGER Days on the calendar than ever before. That should be no surprise, as the beginning of 2017 has seen lower stock prices and layoffs across the industry.

Advertise customer rebates, with a Jumbo Postcard and get a jump on the competition!

Want to 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.

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.

 

Top 3 reasons that your existing customers are your best source of sales

The top 3 reasons that your existing customers are your best source of sales, revenue and growth

The number one rule of marketing is that your existing customers are your biggest asset. But what does that really mean? Why are your customers so valuable?

  1. Propensity to buy

Your customers have purchased from you because of your reputation, location and expertise. Once a customer has established a preference for a business, they are more than 3 times as likely to return.  A study by InfoQuest found that a ‘totally satisfied customer’ generates 14 times more revenue than a ‘somewhat dissatisfied customer’.

That is, as long as you are actively rewarding customer loyalty…

Now, I’ve never been a big fan of giving customers special discounts. I’m referring to giving your customers an emotional payoff of doing business with you. Reward your customers’ loyalty by sending them information that they care about via regular email communications, even when you are not running a sale! Send tips on shooting and hunting, the latest on firearms and range safety, how to properly clean or store their firearms, and so on.

You are the expert. Offer that expertise freely and encourage your customers to do the same…

2.      References and word-of-mouth advertising

If we have learned one thing from measuring the effects of social media, it is that people are more likely to follow the recommendations of someone who IS SIMILAR TO THEM. That means that your existing customers are also your best source of word-of-mouth advertising.

Looking for a way to generate word-of-mouth AND create customer loyalty? Ask your customers to write a recommendation on Yelp, or on your social media channels. Include their testimonials on your website or include them in your email communications. Make them “famous” by including their picture and bio.

Your prospects want proof that your gun store is worth the visit rather than going to a big box store. Your customers know why you are great, make it easy for them to speak for you.

As long as you are also open to listening to customer gripes…

3.       Alert you to problems and opportunities

Make it easy for customers to let you know when they are satisfied and when not satisfied and listen to them! If a customer is happy, they will tell 2 people. But if they are unhappy, they will tell 20.

Empower your employees to do what it takes to make your customer happy.  Even if you make a mistake, you can still satisfy your customer by admitting it and working to find a solution.

Your customers can also be a wealth of information about shifts in the market. Rather than relying 100% on your manufacturers, do your own market research: are you seeing more women buying handguns, children getting interested in archery? Ask your customers what they want, why they like shopping with you. You may learn what types of new merchandise they would like to see in your store, or find out what differentiates you from your competition.

Shotgun or Rifle

Are you taking a shotgun or a rifle approach to marketing?

Many advertising agencies can help you to “brand your business” and “create awareness” using paid social media campaigns, tv and radio. Awareness advertising allows you to reach a broad rage of people, but most of them are not your customers.

  • A “shotgun” approach is a scattered, “spray and pray approach” to marketing that broadcasts to a broad audience to find potential clients – awareness advertising.
  • A “rifle” approach is focused and targeted, it brings your message directly to precise, selected targets – direct response advertising.

Gene Kelly, President of the American Gunsmithing Institute, believes that shooting sports retailers should (sic) “…do and ONLY do is emotional direct response advertising.”  Awareness advertising has it’s place, but Mr. Kelly notes that most gun shop owners do not have the unlimited budget to do this kind of advertising.

On the other hand, the rifle approach, or direct response advertising refers to a number of tactics, including direct mail advertising and email.

Learn more

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3 easy steps to send out a custom mailer

3 easy steps to send out a custom mailer

  1. Define your project
  2. Export your customer list
  3. Create a list of items to advertise

Does it sound too easy? Read on!

1)  Define your project: choose your mailing date, select a mailer type, and then contact OSM at (609) 265-1390 or email OSM  for a quote.

  • Mailing Date: For a postcard or single page direct mail project, start planning 2-3 weeks before your sale or event. For a multi-pager direct mail project, start planning 6-7 weeks before your sale or event. See examples of our work.
  • Mailer Type: What type of mailer is best for you? Match your mailer to: the type of event you are having, the length of the sale, and the number of items you want to advertise.
  • Postage: Postage is the most expensive fixed cost component of any project. For mailings of 10,000 pieces or fewer, we recommend First Class postage which is generally guaranteed to be delivered in 2-3 business days. For larger mailings (and if time permits) we recommend bulk rate to save costs. Delivery time for bulk/standard rate mail typically ranges between 5-10 business days. We can give you an exact cost savings comparison.  Want to save even more money on postage? Check out our limited time offer.  ENDS MARCH 31, 2017.

2)  Export your customer mailing list from your POS system and email it to OSM

  • In a perfect world, you have been collecting customer information at your POS system.  Your own customer list is your best source of business. See our blog titled, Three reasons that your Existing Customers are your best source of sales
  • If you need to augment your list, call OSM to find out how easy it is to get a mailing list to add to your own.  PREMIUM outdoor and gun enthusiast mailing lists available.

3)  Compile a list of items by brand, item#, and price, and email it to OSM

  • OSM makes it simple, we have been doing this since 1998 so we are creatively skilled in retail shooting sports advertising.  We have the product logos, images, and descriptions in our massive database.  Just tell us what you want to advertise and OSM will do the rest.  All we need is the brand, the item # and the pricing information.  We get everything else.
  • Do you have co-op advertising dollars available? On average most shooting sports retailers forfeit several thousand dollars in unused co-op advertising funds a year.  Let your product vendors pay for your project. Learn how OSM can manage your co-op from start to finish, at no additional cost.

Our customers love how easy it is to work with OSM. What are you waiting for? Call now to get started (609) 265-1390.