FLGS Outreach

A retailer asked me for help reaching out to the gamers in their area. I responded with a the following suggestions (partially edited):

Google Local is important for website traffic for local businesses. If you’ve already submitted your shop, good job. If not, make sure you’re listed.

IDEA: Sponsor game days at the local library. Bring in some games and demonstrate them. Don’t sell anything, just give people fliers with directions to your store (and the website) and a coupon good for a small discount. The flier will remind people where you are and help them get there. The coupon will help you track how many people came to you via the library.

While at the library, put a sheet so that people can sign up for updates from you about future events, both at the store and elsewhere. The important things you want are name and email address. With the email address, you can find out if they are on Twitter and Facebook, and invite them to join your fan page if they are. Don’t spam these people, just let them know you will keep them informed and do just that.

Bring games that are easy to learn and easy to play without a lot of explanation (FLUXX, for instance). You can bring an RPG if you like, but I would focus on family-friendly games. Leave the hard-core stuff for game conventions.

This idea was influenced by a talk I had with Scott Nicholson from Board Games with Scott. You can hear the whole discussion here.

IDEA: Find out if there are game clubs at local schools. Talk with publishers about sponsoring these clubs through you. Ask them to donate a couple copies of their games for this purpose. Put your store logo and website, etc on the boxes (a big sticker on the inside of the of the lid _and_ the back of the box / book would do fine) so people can find you. Treat these clubs like you do the library game days…

Ask the club leader to offer members a special discount card that gives them a small discount at the store. All they need to do is come to the store and pick one up – in exchange for their name and email address, of course (see above).

Keep in touch with the groups. Invite them to parties at the store. If you have two or three, maybe have club-on-club tournaments or competitions. Encourage the members to come in and demo games in the store so that they can breed new gamers for their clubs (and new customers for you).

IDEA: People that live in your area visit websites from time to time. Consider purchasing advertising that is only targeted to people that live in your area.

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