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Newsletter #879: The “Easy Access” Issue

Hi there! I need your help.

My book is coming out in paperback and we’re hoping to get it stocked everywhere. You can help make it happen by pre-ordering a copy today. There are some great bonuses for pre-ordering — and if you like this newsletter, you’ll love the book.

It’s simple: When you make your business more open and more accessible, more customers show up. Here are a few great ways smart marketers are doing it:

1. In the mall
2. On the slopes
3. For the wedding
4. Check it out: The wind map

1. In the mall

Sure, the golden age of the mall might be gone, but a great spot in a healthy mall can still mean a lot of foot traffic, sales, and awareness for a retailer. But you don’t have to actually lease all that space and staff a sales crew to earn this easy access. Take Threadless, for example. They’re an online retailer, but during this past holiday season they experimented with automated kiosks in malls and shopping centers. The program gives them a whole new way to meet new customers — and even for those who don’t buy, the thing still works as a big Threadless billboard for everyone who walks by it.

The lesson: If you’re selling online, what could you do in the real world to reach new customers? And if you’re already in the brick and mortar world, who are you missing online?

Learn more: Chicagoist

2. On the slopes

When you’re out on the ski slopes, you can find yourself pretty isolated. Sometimes that’s the point — but then again, sometimes a fresh cup of coffee sounds pretty nice. If you happen to be skiing California’s Squaw Valley resort, you’ve now got that option because Starbucks just opened their first ski-through franchise in the world. Talk about easy access! In just a few moments, customers can get a fresh brew of coffee and be back on the lift (and all without taking off their skis or snowboards).

The lesson: Where’s that one place that your customers could really use your help or use your stuff? How can you make it easier for them to get it there?

Learn more: REI Blog

3. For the wedding

A lot of things about planning a wedding are stressful for the people involved. So if you can make something about it simpler, easier, and more fun, you can earn some real fans. Crate & Barrel does it with their fantastic wedding registry program. One of the big perks of it is how they open their doors to couples hours before they open up to the public. They give couples a scanner gun, coffee, and free range to casually browse the store without tripping over a bunch of other shoppers.

The lesson: Sometimes being more accessible simply means a small adjustment to something you’re already doing: different hours, a friendlier shipping policy, or a more convenient customer service channel.

4. Check it out: The wind map

This map traces the direction and speed of wind as it flows across the country. It’s fascinating, hypnotic, and visually stunning.

Check it out: Wind Map

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