One of the persistent keystones of the nostalgia for the Ozzie & Harriet age is the bromide of entering your town’s hardware store and having the shopkeeper not only welcome you by name but also informing you of the status of your favorite merchandise, what’s on sale and what’s coming in the next shipment. Although your urban customers have become accustomed to being little more than a gray, featureless number in their metropolises, you can drive your home improvement business’ online sales by recreating the warmth and personal attention of the stereotypical Fifties hardware store in your email marketing.

The Shopkeeper Knew It All

The hardware store owner of that clichéd age got to know you over the years by chatting with you and constantly reinforcing the trust in the relationship. You instinctively knew that the wizened old shopkeeper was a source of valuable insight into which ball-peen hammer was the most durable, or which type of roof shingle was most resistant in your climate. Your modern home improvement business can position itself with its customers today in a very similar way, by becoming a trusted source of valid information. There is effectively no maximum limit to the amount of tutorials, guides, manuals, tips and how-tos you can provide to your email subscribers as the rule of thumb is always “the more the better.” Posting links to these web pages and videos in your email newsletter content and social network presences will create an authoritative aura around your home improvement business and bolster your position as a go-to source of DIY information.

Keeping a Mental Ledger

The Golden Age hardware store owner kept a mental ledger of your previous queries and purchases, thus could readily offer advice on the correct spark plug for your lawnmower, or inform you that the new sliding compound miter saw allows for the wide cuts you need for your barn siding. Your email subscription database has an even better memory than the old shopkeeper, thus you can leverage your customers’ past behavior into a comprehensive history which will allow you to provide the specifically targeted content they are seeking. If you find that a specific customer has clicked on and ordered nothing other than breaker panels, switches, wire and electrical tools, there is no point proposing eavestroughs and downspouts in their emails. Similarly, you can leverage their electrical materials history by suggesting relevant additional or ancillary products such as central surge protectors, tester combo cases and motion sensors.

“Just for You”

It may not have seemed that way, but the old hardware shopkeeper was a marketing expert who knew how to build anticipation and keep you returning to the store. By tantalizing you with mentions of what product was about to arrive from the big city and what price cuts on existing stock were going to be available “just for you,” the motivation to make the purchase was unmistakable. Your home improvement business can apply the same marketing strategy by promoting the products and services that have gone on sale and the new ones that will take their place. Your email readers want to be considered as special customers, so sneak peeks into new stock or specific discounts that are exclusive to subscribers with their particular history and profile can be as effective today as they were in Post-War small town hardware stores.

The More Things Change…

The more things change the more they stay the same, thus there is much that modern home improvement email newsletters can glean from the promotional strategies of their precursors. Customers respond to the same personal touch whether they are parking their ’57 Bel Air in front of your hardware store or accessing your home improvement business through a newfangled futuristic beeping thingymabob!