While July and August can bring sunshine and ice cream, your business may be experiencing the dog days of summer. This means that it’s time to start thinking of creative promotions you can utilize to grow your business throughout the year.
Consistent marketing makes a difference
- Give customers new reasons to visit your business – either online or in-person – and different ways to spend their money.
- Consistent promotions give loyal customers reasons to come back again and again. This is important because it is much easier (and cheaper) to maintain a customer relationship than it is to acquire a new customer.
- Today’s savvy customers expect variety – it is important to ensure there is something new to keep their attention and drive engagement.
Time Your Promotions
Taking advantage of existing celebration dates is an easy way to promote your business throughout the year, driving new customers and bringing existing ones back for more. This allows you to use timely messaging to increase sales during the lower-performing months. Whether it is Valentine’s Day, Small Business Saturday, or Mother’s Day, creating clever messaging and relating the day to your business can provide a nice additional boost to your store.
If you can’t find a holiday that fits your business, simply create your own! For example, the creative geniuses at Amazon used a completely made-up “Prime Day” to encourage customers to purchase items at a discount and saw a sales increase of more than 60% compared to the previous year. In fact, sales from that day alone outperformed Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions combined. And how many of you have even heard of National Doughnut Day? U.S. chain Dunkin’ Dounts has successfully used that fictional “holiday” to promote the consumption of doughnuts, helping to grow its market share. In reality, most doughnut lovers don’t really need an excuse to buy doughnuts, but a little encouragement certainly doesn’t hurt.
What Works Now
Mid-way through the calendar year, what great promotions can you implement immediately? Try promoting the popular concept of Christmas in July. Christmas is a beloved holiday for many people, evoking nostalgic thoughts of sledding, ice skating, singing carols, and staying toasty by the fire. It’s also the largest gift-giving season. So why not take advantage and promote a Christmas in July sale?
- This is a great way to unload any remaining holiday décor or merchandise that you might still have hanging around from the holidays.
- Consider using a fun theme like “Stop, Sip & Shop” and serve some iced eggnog lattes for in-store visitors.
- Encourage customers to start thinking about pre-ordering holiday gifts, cards, and personalized giveaway items for the upcoming season.
In general, the holiday promotional possibilities are endless, but here are a few more ideas to get you thinking creatively:
- Gift with Purchase – consider giving a personalized wall or desk calendar for the current or upcoming year. You can personalize it with photos of your business, monthly coupons, special offers, reminders of special holidays, and more. This is a great way to keep them thinking of your business throughout the year.
- Customer appreciation gifts – use direct mail to send a “thank you for your business” item. See our website for some terrific gift ideas.
- In-store only flash sale
- Buy one, get one (BOGO) promo
- Spend $X, Get $Y or Y% off
- Enter to Win drawings and contests
- Customer referral campaigns
- Social media contests – For example, have your customers like your business on social media and have a drawing for anyone who shares your posts or tags friends.
At the end of the day, great promotions bring in new customers and keep existing ones happy. Whether it’s maximizing Cyber Monday or creating a new holiday to boost sales during a slow season, promotions are key to growing and sustaining a successful business.