Spread the Word!

Now that Mason is back in school and things have settled down, I have time to get back to telling my tales of how we got started and what things were like 20 years ago.
Back then the only way to promote your business involved paper – mailings, magazine ads, newspaper ads, etc. Sure you could advertise on TV and radio, but that wasn’t in a wee yarn shop’s budget. The internet may have been out there somewhere, but short of a few techie geeks no one even knew what in the heck that was.
Vogue KnittingWe started by advertising our patterns in the back of Vogue Knitting magazine. Even with the full monty of Adobe software programs, I would have to generate images and text separately, use a glue stick to put the ad together, drive down to the city to get a “velox” camera ready print, and mail it to Vogue’s ad agency person. I still can’t believe what all I had to go through back then just to create a simple ad.
Newspaper was a little easier since they would create the ads for you – only problem was they totally didn’t get knitting so you really took a risk. When someone doesn’t even understand what it is that you’re advertising, then there is no way they can create an effective ad. So I wound up doing newspaper ads myself as well.
Phone BookOh, and let’s not forget the phone book. It was essential to be listed in the yellow pages, and since we were up here in Guthrie it was important that our ad list more than just our name and phone number. We needed to convey that were weren’t a dusty, tiny, little old lady shop so people would venture out to discover our store. This cost a small fortune, exceeding $7,000 a year. I am so glad we were able to let that expense go! I couldn’t tell you the last time I used a phone book.
By the time we shifted from mail order to a retail shop we would create class schedules and newsletters to mail. Back then collecting customer addresses was so important because that was the only way we could communicate with you guys.
Shortly thereafter, email became a more commonly used medium of communication and we started our online newsletters. We were one of the early companies of any size to develop email marketing and it was very successful for us.
And despite the cost, we did get a big whacky several years back and ran a television commercial. Check it out!

Today, technology has made it easy and inexpensive to tell the world about your business; however this field in recent years has become so crowded that its effectiveness has diminished.
Over the past 20 years, there is one method of advertising that consistently can’t be beat. It cost nothing, is extremely effective, and does more than any business could accomplish even with a huge advertising budget. It is word of mouth.
That’s right, I’m talking about YOU. Despite all of our witty and sometimes whacky marketing antics, nothing can top referrals from our fantastic customers. So I want to thank each and every one of you for spreading the word and sending people our way.
See this card?
Spread the Word
Print it out, fill in your name and address, and hand one to everyone you tell about our shop. For every new customer* that brings us your card and spends at least $25, we’ll send you a $5 gift certificate.
This promotion is good through the end of the year. We love you guys!
*and now for the fine print. New customer…hey, we’re a small place and we know our clientele. People who are in our system and have made recent purchases do not qualify as new customers. Give these out to as many people as you wish, limit $50 in gift cards per referring person. Promotion good through 12.31.2013.

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