(Photo by Neil McIntosh)
Imagine you have a brick-and-mortar store and you know you need to build your customer list. What are your options?
You could require people to register (or become a member) before being able to shop. Members-only stores (such as Costco) are created to produce a regular second income stream (membership fees) or are used to ensure that shoppers are prequalified (to improve the type of shopper).
You could ask people for their contact information to get notified of “special offers”. This is permission-based marketing. You encourage people to sign up (with an appropriate benefit), but it’s not a prerequisite for doing business with you.
You could offer a two-tiered pricing model: a higher price for the general public and a lower price for those that provide their contact info. This is also permission-based marketing (since you don’t require the contact information) but it places a value on your contact information. You see this ever-increasingly in supermarkets, department stores, and pharmacies, which can collect your purchases history and either better target offers to you or provide co-marketing opportunities to third parties. How well two the two-tiered model works psychologically is based on how clear the pricing is articulated. Imagine seeing one price on the shelf, going to the checkout stand, and finding that the price is 10% higher (because you haven’t provided your contact information). Contrast this with seeing one price on the shelf, and being offered 10% off that price if you provide your contact information. The former would create distrust (no truth in advertising) while the latter would create an opportunity (you already selected the item for a price, now you’d pay even less).
As a business owner, you know that a customer list is the real value of your business. How you build the list will determine the quality of your list and the quality of your customer relationship.