Online calendar platform Flowh is offering a free year of the service’s premium package exclusively to American Booksellers Association member stores.
The marketing tool, which is designed to turn an independent bookstore’s online calendar into a means for sharing events and connecting with customers, has already been a success for Denver, Colorado’s Tattered Cover, which, last year, became the first bookstore to implement the program on a free trial basis.
“We feel strongly about supporting local community events and can’t think of a better way to do that than with independent booksellers,” said Eric Darst, president and co-founder of the Centennial, Colorado, company. “[A year] should be plenty of time for [booksellers] to get used to how it works and see some results.”
The system, which is also optimized for individual use and works on any device, lets organizations and companies publicize their events through targeted promotions and automated postings and e-mails. Calendar owners can also automate migration of Flowh events directly to their different social media sites using the program’s dashboard feature.
Particularly useful for bookstores is Flowh’s ability to enhance event postings by adding multimedia content, which can take the form of book-related YouTube videos, audio and images, or media material from publishers.
Darst said the premium package includes advanced features such as the ability to support especially large e-mail volumes, putting a company’s brand name on e-mails, and creating customized widgets.
If booksellers would like to continue using the premium package once the free trial ends, the cost would be $19 per month or $199 in a single payment for the full year. Basic use of the Flowh dashboard, which is sufficient for most booksellers, will always be free, Darst said.
If booksellers want help developing a marketing strategy around their events calendars, advice on making the calendar widget stand out on their websites, or assistance finding and adding rich content, Darst said he will work with them individually, just as he has with Tattered Cover.
For a roundup of innovative marketing ideas to use with Flowh, booksellers can check out this list of marketing tips.