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Part 3: How to Get the MOST Out of Your POS Software and Maximize Profits...

Using Your POS Software to Electrify Marketing & Boost Sales

- By Bob Twain

The single most powerful (and most overlooked) marketing tool is the customer list stored in your POS software! For example, you can creates TONS of additional sales and literally boost your response rates by 1000 percent when sending your existing customers promotions. Let me explain...

When someone makes a purchase, they prefer buying from someone they trust and who has treated them fairly in the past. If you were to rent a "cold list" (a list of people who probably know nothing about your company, product, service or offer) you may, with a well crafted sales letter or promotion, get a 1 to 3 percent response on the offer. However, if you send the VERY SAME LETTER to your past customers, you will see a return that is much greater with response rates as high as 25 percent!

When crafting your marketing campaigns, you should always try to include the customer's name and personalize the message. This technique has proven to dramatically increase the effectiveness of mailing campaigns.

The problem is, mailing each of your customers individually (typing their names and e-mail addresses over and over again) would literally take hundreds of hours of tedious work...

Fortunately, many of the good point of sale systems resolve this problem by allowing you to merge fields into your e-mail messages, promotions or sales letters (i.e. first name, last name, e-mail address, product purchased, date of purchase, etc) so that when people receive your message, they assume you know them!

For example, let's say you wrote a sales letter in Word that looked something like this:

Hello [firstname], I am writing to thank you for your purchase of [product] on [purdate]. I noticed that you live in [city], and I wanted to let you know about a special offer that we're sharing with all of our customers on the East Coast...

Now you can use your POS software and Word to merge all of the personal information for each of your customers into the appropriate spots... So Jane, for example, would receive a letter that looks like this:

Hello Jane, I am writing to thank you for your purchase of "Golf Swing Pro" on April 3rd, 2004. I noticed that you live in New York, and I wanted to let you know about a special offer that we're sharing with all of our customers on the East Coast...

Sending personalized emails or letters to your past customers can be a VERY powerful and profitable marketing technique. Not only can you create instant sales revenue, but it improves your company's name recognition as well...

As a rule of thumb, the experts say that you should stay in touch with your past customer at least twice a year -- so when they're ready to buy, they think of you first!

Now you might be thinking... how can I send my customers a message 2 to 6 times a year without annoying them? Well, you should mix in useful information, and promote your offer in a non-intrusive way. In other words, write as if you're looking out for your customer's best interests.

To get your creative juices flowing, here are a few great ways to get more sales and improve customer loyalty. You could...

  • Automatically send thank-you letters after large purchases.

  • Notify them about discount sales -- As a valued customer, I wanted to tell you about a 10% discount sale we're having for our past customers only!

  • Send birthday cards.

  • Send helpful articles or informational newsletters.

  • Send emails that promote add on sales -- I noticed you bought the XYZ widget. You might want to consider the XYZ attachment which helps you do this and that.

  • Send letters to regain lost clients -- I noticed you haven't been back for over 9 months. Here's a no-strings-attached voucher for $20 to get you back to see us again.

  • Promote your service by sending a letter that says -- Your XYZ lawn mower was last serviced on 5/1/200 and we're having a tune up special for only $49...

  • Offer a 1 week sale to your top 200 customers. (Note: With good POS software, you can create a list of your top 200 customers in just a couple minutes.)

The possibilities are endless. The key is to personalize your mailings, create an irresistible offer, and explain the benefits of what you're selling. Then test and track the results of each campaign. If you find a winner, keep running it twice a year, or as long as it's effective.

Don't overlook this powerful concept. If you're not collecting your customer's names and emails in your point of sale software (at the very least), you might want to start, right away!

To Your Success.

Bob Twain

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