Creating an apparel store can be a great way to engage your fans, build awareness in the community, and to add much needed incremental dollars to your programs. But, while setting up a store is easy to do, making the most of the store can be a bit trickier. To help you make sure you effectively promote your store, here are the five most successful tactics we have seen from our partners. Email blasts. Email is still one of the most common communication channels for schools/athletics departments, and using this list (appropriately and sparingly) can really help drive fundraising! We recommend using individual programs and coaches to send out to their own list, as that helps get individuals to open emails and take action. Use social media channels regularly. Almost every school and athletics department now maintain active social media channels, not to mention how many individual teams do so as well! Twitter especially has become one of the quickest and most efficient ways for communication between schools/athletics and their communities. Don’t be afraid to use this channel to promote your store – with regularly scheduled posts and content. A few ways to keep it unique is to post once per week featuring different teams apparel, or a different product that is seasonally relevant! Don’t forget that your community wants the opportunity to show their pride, as well as give back, so don’t be afraid to post, and encourage other affiliated accounts to do so as well. Post a link prominently on your website. The three most common drivers of purchases on fundraising stores are links from social media, email blasts (our next tip), and website referrals. As you already know, many students, parents, teachers and community members use your websites to get information already, so a link to your store front and center will send steady traffic to your store! Get teachers involved. Some of a schools biggest advocates are the teachers and staff! They often have a ton of pride in the school, and want to help support it. Making sure to communicate the fact that you have a store is often a great way to help raise money and provide something they may already be looking for! Printing flyers and posters that promote your store that can be posted around the school or at gymnasiums and fields is a simple way to communicate what you can offer to a wide audience. We have even seen schools set up merch booths at games, and allow fans to purchase from their online store on tablets right there.