300 Seconds

300 Seconds: Visit Regional Sites

When I wrote about the regional trade shows, I mentioned that the American Booksellers Association provides links to each of the 9 regional trade organizations on their website.

I visited each of the sites to gather information for the trade shows. If you haven’t visited, you really should spend 300 seconds looking around. These organizations have so much to offer through their websites.

So for these 5 minutes, 1) go to bookweb.org, 2) scroll to the bottom and look on the right, 3) click on the appropriate link.

How to build your email list.

Email is not going away any time soon, so this week we’ll be exploring both “5 minute” quick tasks as well as extensive research on the best practices for building your email lists.

I’ve noticed that many booksellers send their weekly emails to subscribers on Monday or Tuesday. So our first “300 second” task will take place immediately after you push send.

If you use an email marketing service, like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, or Constant Contact, those programs have created an html version of your email. Even though I’m still compiling this newsletter, I can click on the link in my footer that reads “View this in your browser” and it will take me to this landing page:

300 Seconds: Listen

Since today is “Get to Know Your Customer Day” take 5 minutes to listen to your customers today. If you can’t allow that much time per customer, just give them as much time as you can.

Look them in the eye, smile, and listen.

You have a reason to smile. They’re shopping at your bookstore.

300 Seconds: The Front Door Test

Do you have just 5 minutes to spend marketing today? It has been six months since we’ve done this, so it’s time to revisit The Front Door Test.

To take this test, simply walk through your front door as if you are the customer. What do you see?

  • Dirt? Cobwebs? Obstructions?
  • Does anything look tired?
  • Are your hours clearly marked?
  • Do you offer events? Is that clear to your customers?

Remember, even if you do not have the time to fix problems, you’re well on your way because you’ve identified them. If you take a little time and outline a plan of action, including tasks to delegate, your front door will be a welcoming site in no time.

300 Seconds: Gift Card Inventory

I hate to do this to you, but we need to start thinking about the upcoming holiday season.

Today, we’re going to focus on gift cards and certificates.

If you use plastic gift cards with custom printing, it can take 6 to 8 weeks to get the cards printed. The wait can be even longer during the busy holiday season or if you’re implementing a new design. So if you want to ensure you have enough cards to last through the end of year, it’s time to take inventory now.

These are the steps you need to take.