For Subscribers

Through the Grapevine

E-mail newsletter has owners tasting profits.

By April Y. Pennington

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Communication is key in maintaining customer relations, andtechnology can only help, as Tom Natoci of CloverLeaf FineWine & Spirits in Southfield, Michigan, learned. Whenmanager Putnam Weekley approached Natoci, one of the store'sfive owners, with the idea of sending out weekly e-mailnewsletters, his response was enthusiastic.

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

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