Monday, September 12, 2011

My Secret Weapon

If I had to start my jewelry business over tomorrow and could only keep one asset from my prior business, what do you think it would be?  What is the one most important and critical element to every businesses success?  Why nothing other than your in-house, customer mailing list of course!  You do have one don't you?

Ok you might say, why is your customer mailing list so important?  First of all, its ultimately much easier to sell to customers you're already served than trying to sell to new customers who have never been in your store.  These customers are predisposed to buy from you!

The second reason is that its much cheaper to market to your in-house mailing list with affordable direct mail and postcards than it is to do what I call "Spray and Pray" mass marketing such as newspapers, billboards, etc.

Thirdly, its easy to segment your in-house mailing list (mine numbers aprx. 14,000) by any demographic you choose.  For instance, I suggest you mail special offers, notifications of new lines, events to the "Top 20%" of your mailing list.  In other words, the 20% who have spent the most with my store, hear from me more often!  You may also choose to mail to only married couples or customers with a birthday during the month of October as other examples.

Its also critically important that you reach out and "Touch" your clients at least six or more times per year...if you are not, you are missing the boat my friends!  Why do you think the big box stores (you know who I mean) mail special offers and catalogs to their clients every month or more?  SIMPLY BECAUSE IT WORKS!!!   If it didn't work, do you really think the mass merchandisers would keep sending you their direct mail offers?  Of course not!!!

Yes, my secret weapon that spells success, is my in-house mailing list!  It repeatedly churns out a great return on investment that no other form of advertising/marketing can even come close to!
If you have not started your own customer mailing list, let me give you a few tips:

1.  Above all else, start collecting the name, addresses, telephone, email, birthday and anniversary dates of each client you serve.

2.  Tell clients that you'll put them in your "VIP CLUB" and send them a card with a gift certificate to spend  in your store on their birthday and anniversary.

3.  At least once a week, email a special offer to those you've collected email addresses from.

4.  Send special direct mail or email offers to the "Top 20%" of your customer list more frequently.

Bill Warren is president of The Gold Mine Fine Jewelry & Gifts, Inc., a successful jewelry store in the western NC town of Hudson.  He recently formed Warren Marketing Systems, a company dedicated to helping small to medium size jewelers achieve success through innovative marketing.  He regularly speaks at jewelry shows and conventions and also is a member of the Marketing Wizards Alliance.  If you would like to receive more money making ideas like those in this article, consider subcribing to the Marketing Wizards Alliance Newsletter. To do so or to  contact Bill, call 828-729-1020 or email at
Visit Bill's Jewelry Store website at:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Do You Take Time To Think About This?

I often wonder if my fellow business owners really take the time to do one very crucial thing...and that it, "Do they really spend any time thinking about new ways, new revenue streams and anything else that will improve their business?"  Its the truth...many don't!!!

You see, I learned many years ago to at least take 30 minutes a day during a time in which I'm uninterrupted and think about the systems that make my business run.

During this time, I often think of how Earl Nightingale once said that this time is like mining in a vein of pure gold!  After one of these thought sessions, I came up with a complete new way of thanking my customers while giving them an offer to come back in my store.  I was also able to obtain a phone number of a competitor who was going out of business and use it to my store's benefit by gaining many new customers from my former competitor.

I urge you, take a few minutes each day...get off to yourself and with a notepad, start jotting down any ideas that come to matter how silly they may seem.  Then prioritize them and put them to work in your store.  You'll be surprised at the results and just like myself, you'll find that it lights your fire!


Bill Warren

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Remember This Or Your Business Will Die!

A good friend and mentor of mine, Jim Ackerman of Ascend Marketing taught me something many years ago that I wish to share with you and that is...

There are only 3 ways to grow any business!

  1. Get More Customers
  2. Get Those Customers To Spend More Money
  3. Get Those Customers To Spend More Often
Yes, as a business, we do need new customers everyday so thats where the "Getting More Customers" comes in.  But it is equally important to get your new and existing customers to spend more money, more often!

How do you do that?  You get them to spend more money by what some would call "Add Ons or Bump Ups".  Its very important to have a list of things you can add on to each sale, value added offers, or counter specials to which you can increase the amount of each sale.  Now, lets talk about getting your customers to spend more often.

How do you do that?  By sending them special timed offers on a regular basis to get them back in your store more frequently.  Too many business owners are simply waiting around for their customers to come to them but they're not giving those customers a good reason to do so!  Make a phone call, let them know about a new line you've received, send them a coupon, send them a gift certificate for their birthday or anniversary.  Most importantly, just do something!!  Those who are waiting to do business will be waiting simply to go out of business!

Truly Yours,

Bill Warren

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Word From Your Sales Prevention Department

I'll bet you didn't realize that most retailers truly have a "Sales Prevention Department" did you?  Yes, its true my friends, many of you are staking a claim there almost daily or at least some of your employees are!

Hear me out ok?  Whenever we let the telephone ring for too long...we're a part of this department.  Whenever we don't return our calls promptly, yes, we're visiting this department.  

Every person in your organization is also a part of your marketing team.  Regardless if they actually sell or if they're a they present themselves, handle clients or your product speaks "Marketing" or lack there of to everyone!!!

Please make sure you and your employees are not taking a "Carefree" attitude of your business and pay attention to how customers might perceive your business.  Please don't be a part of the "Sales Prevention Department!"


Bill Warren
Warren Marketing Systems

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reach Out And Touch Someone..Namely Your Customer

While going through my mail recently, I noticed several mail order catalogs.  What made me notice them was that I had just received a catalog from the same company less than 2-3 weeks before.  So whats special about that?  Ok...I'll tell you...but first, let me ask you a question!

How many times per year are you making contact with your regular customer list? (I assume you do have do, don't you?)  Many jewelers I've talked with said they may do a mailing or send a card maybe once or twice per year.  WRONG!!!!  Many associations and experts and myself say you should be reaching out and touching your customer list or some portion of it at least 6 times per year or more!

Now to talk about the first paragraph....the reason Land's End and multiple other mail order companies send you a catalog 12-15 times per year is works!!  Another thing they do is test & track each and every promotion/catalog/mail order piece they send for its effectiveness! 

There is much to be learned from the "BIG BOYS".  I know that our smaller businesses may not have the marketing budget of a large mail order retailer, but there is no reason we can't and no reason we shouldn't be sending our best customers something multiple times per year.

Please understand me here, it doesn't have to be a catalog, it could be a phone call by your sales force, an email with a store special or coupon, or your latest flyer.  It keeps you in front of know what is said about "Out of sight, out of mind"?

Start today friends and put this philosphy to work in your pays big dividends!


Bill Warren
Warren Marketing Systems

P.S. - no greater authority than Instore Jewelers magazine recently said that Direct Mail is the "Best Form" of marketing by your can take it to the bank!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Scrap Gold Promotions Revisited

Yes, I realize I’ve written about SCRAP GOLD before, but I felt the need to revisit this for one reason….too many jewelers are overlooking obvious “Golden Opportunites!” As gold & silver prices rise, I continue to see folks bringing in their scrap gold. However, could you have been overlooking an untapped market in our friends the “Latinos”?

After securing an all spanish speaking mailing list (I got this from James Porte of Porte Marketing Group), I mailed a postcard which was written in Spanish with special offers of buying their gold. At first, I was a little worried because nothing happened for about a week...but! Not only did one Mexican family come in, but they spread the word to several. It also seemed that they were grateful that our store had “Noticed Them!”
As we have many latino groups in our area such as: Mexicans, Columbians, Cubans, Brazilians...these folks often feel like they are not accepted or noticed. Think about this: You may be the only jeweler in your area that serves this niche’ market! It can also be a very profitable market!!!

An amazing thing I’ve noticed...this ethnic group seems to prefer cash, they often pay for things with only cash and don’t think because they are selling their scrap gold that they don’t have money! They are some of the most thrifty shoppers anywhere and we shouldn’t be turning our noses down to them.

Think about it and put this idea to work in your store!

Until next time,

Bill Warren