This story first appeared in the June 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Communication is key in maintaining customer relations, and technology can only help, as Tom Natoci of CloverLeaf Fine Wine & Spirits in Southfield, Michigan, learned. When manager Putnam Weekley approached Natoci, one of the store's five owners, with the idea of sending out weekly e-mail newsletters, his response was enthusiastic.

A customer who worked in Web design helped create a format for the company to send out e-newsletters. Placing sign-up forms by the store register for interested customers, Weekley began with 30 addresses; a year and a half later, that figure has hit 900. Initially featuring only wines that had received press, were discounted or were well-known brands, the newsletters have since branched out to cover a wider range of wine topics.

Launched in 2002, the newsletter has increased sales 12 percent, pushing 2003 projected sales above the $1 million mark. Natoci, 33, is thrilled: "It's far surpassed what [we initially anticipated]."