For two days now, we’ve been discussing opt-in databases — that is, a list of customers who have given you permission to, say, send them an e-mail. Now, big retailers can afford to hire technology experts to help them with opt-ins and opt-outs and everything in between.
Small retailers don’t have that luxury, but don’t be dissuaded. As with most everything, be wise and start small and simple. How? Just ask your customers, at the register, if it’s OK to send them e-mails. If they say yes, get their e-mail address.
Then, put your mind to the sorts of things you can tell them in an e-mail — a new shipment of cashmere sweaters has arrived; you’re having a buy-one-get-one-for-half-price sale; you’re having a customer-appreciation day on Saturday, come on by for free punch and cookies.
When all else escapes you, ask for their opinion about something in your store. Don’t let the techno-language fool you. You can do this.