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One thing that does cross all lines, though, is the idea of having a mailing list. Keeping your clients emails is important, and for certain types of businesses it's critical. Even for my wedding cake business, there would be times when I would need references, and I'd be able to send out a mass email to my list to get people to write recommendations for me.
If you have a business that sells custom cakes and cupcakes, you could use your list to send out news about specials, new flavors and products, new designs, and limited-edition holiday items.
Using an email list can also grow your business if you put links to let people sign up on your social media pages. People who haven't ordered from you will be able to sign up to get notices about your products, and you might get some new customers out of it.
I use Mailchimp for my mailing list. It lets you add a signup form to your facebook page, and it's format complies with all of the laws covering spam, and unsubscribing. It's free up to a certain number of subscribers, so you can try it out before investing in it. If you want to get fancy with it, you can upgrade to a paid account to automate your emails and get more information about what's being opened and clicked on. You can also manually add people if they give you permission, and delete people you don't want on the list (sneaky competitors, etc.)
By the way, I'm not getting any referral fees or any payment from Mailchimp for referring people to them, I just like them.
If you don't have a mailing list, you should definitely consider starting one. Since it's a lot easier to keep a customer than to add new ones, it's a good thing to have a list of customers to refer back to.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com