It doesn’t matter how great your product is if no one knows about it. Not every marketing plan, however, needs to be complex. Here are 13 quick ideas to keep in mind as you consider future promotions.
1. Hold Classes
The more informed a customer is about a product, the more likely he’ll buy it. Hold periodic classes that introduce attendees to your goods. The more interactive the better, as it gets people truly involved with what you have to offer. Then, offer discounts for any purchases made at the end of class.
2. Themed Events
Consider a Girls Night Out or similar event. One shop does it every month and has a local winery bring in samples for wine tasting.
3. Gather E-mails
Gather e-mails whenever you can. Offer something of value in return: exclusive specials, a chance to win something, first looks at merchandise, etc. Use Constant Contact, MailChimp or other such services to gather e-mails from your Facebook page. In store, hold contests, have a sign-up sheet near the register or simply ask customers if they’d like to receive your exclusive e-mails.
4. Leave Business Cards Everywhere
Have your business card do extra duty. Include the types of products you carry, your Facebook page, your website addresses, even a discount offer. Then pass out your card everywhere. Leave it with your restaurant tip, at the doctor’s office or in a cab. You never know who might see it.
5. Hold Contests
Hold contests online or in your store. Post pictures of the winners on Facebook and near your counter. People love to feel like a winner, even if it’s something small, and they’ll be sure to tell all their friends.
6. Be Charitable
Include a charity angle in events. Not only will you be doing good, you’ll be connecting with the community and be more likely to receive positive media coverage.
7. Train your Employees
Teach your sales staff how to recognize body language cues. If customers glance at a product two or three times, swoop in and talk to them about the piece. Try to connect with why they are shopping that day.
8. Cooperate with other Businesses
Partner with other businesses for more bang for your buck. If you have several shops in an area, consider co-op advertising. Or hand out flyers to a complementary business and have that business do the same for you.
9. Beware Groupon
Be wary of marketing efforts that target bargain hunters, such as Groupon. These daily deal sites work best when you can offer something that people will return for again and again.
10. Creatively Theme Promotions
Think of a quirky angle for your events or promotions. Hold a “I’m Sick of Red!” sale and discount everything that is solid red. Put a sign outside that says “Is your name Linda? Today is your day! Come in for a 20% discount!”
11. Yearly Marketing Plans
Create a marketing calendar for the year, rather than planning them out on a weekly or monthly basis. This way you can be sure the entire yer is covered and sale are tot bunched up too tightly at any given point. Make sure you have at least one promotional event each month as well as several bigger events throughout the year.
12. Involve Community Groups
See if a local theatre group or school choir will perform at your store. It’s free entertainment, they can promote their group or event, and it’s likely all their friends and relatives will come in to see them.
13. Reward Loyal Customers
Send handwritten thank-you notes to your strong customers and build that relationship with your “raving fans.”