Successful marketers know that the best strategists take their offers TO the customers rather than waiting for the customers to come to them. That's why the primary goal of your web site is building your "house" email list.
One strategy for marketing a business is to set up shop and wait for customers to come to you. A gallery could, for example, lease a location, invest in lighting, inventory and staff and open their doors. Day after day, salespeople could sit and wait for customers to walk through the door. Occassionally, a sales would be made, but why follow up with those customers? Just wait for another one to walk in the door!
That's one strategy. But it's a poor (and all too common) one.
How about the following strategy? A new gallery could compile a mailing list of qualified buyers from list brokers, and other local businesses with the same target clients (think jewelers, wine dealers, clothing boutiques). Before the doors are open a series of targeted mailings could be sent to this compiled list with response cards to ascertain interest and build anticipation. Then when the doors are open, this group of clients could be "selected" for a special "grand opening" event, to come and meet the staff and artists. As sales are made, each person could be entered into the gallery's records and each client could be marketed to in a special, personal and ongoing (but not pesky) way.
Which strategy do you think would be more successful? Which one is more often followed?
When it comes to the web, many people tend to follow the first "build it and they will come" method of marketing. Bad Move. Most successful web businesses make their money by "taking it to the clients" mostly via email newsletters, rather than waiting for those clients to come to them.
That's why the first goal of your web site is to entice visitors to sign up for your email list. You must give them something worth signing up for. Once you have their name on your list, you can plan a marketing strategy that maximizes your chances of success.
Otherwise your doomed to sit and wait.....and wonder.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
Tomorrow, I'll outline a few strategies for building your email list but the best place to start is with people you know. For a refresher, go back and read our "Focus the Lens