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How Can I Increase My Sales Footprint?

I just built a brand from scratch, Lulu's Garden LLC, a natural product line. Building the brand, marketing, etc. -- that was the easy part for me. Now I have a complete package ready to go and I've hit a wall! I'm overwhelmed with which direction to go to get my product in the hands of buyers. I've sent emails of my product catalog and wholesale price list to retail stores with a so-so return. Do you think sending them my catalog in the mail would have a bigger impact? I am in 40 boutiques around the United States, but that's not enough to sustain a business. Do you have any resources or tips that you could offer that would point me in the right direction?

In an age when emails, newsletters and online offers are all the rage, actually getting a real piece of paper in the -- hold onto your hat -- mail is a novelty.

I say take advantage of the surprise factor and send a very well-designed and engaging postcard about your product line with a QR code the client can use to download a short YouTube video of you talking about your product.

Then send another postcard with a special offer a month later. Then another a month after that. Always give the client the option to go to your website and request a catalog. After two to three postcards, then you could send a catalog in the mail.

Just remember that these retailers need time to get familiar with you and your product line. Direct marketing via a postcard mailing that has interesting photos, or a fun idea, can catch their attention and get you on their radar screen.

In addition to a mail campaign, I would be relentless about attending at least six industry conferences in the next year where your potential retail store customers are exhibiting. A few you might check out include:

  • Cosmoprof in Las Vegas
  • Natural Products Expo East
  • Beauty Expo USA

Taking a booth or just walking the floor and talking to the folks sitting behind the booths can lead to leads for new business.

Bottom line, my advice for now is to go easy on the email and rev up the old-fashioned marketing action. Given the current stage of your business and your goals, it’s likely going to give you a better return on your time invested.

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