small business promotion ideas
I have a lot to say about coupons. They can be a great way to get new and existing customers into your business but before you go running out and creating coupons all over the place, I want you to take into consideration the following:
1. Will I still make money if I create this offer? This is really important to your success with the coupon. If you are going to lose money on the coupon, stop and think about it before you put the offer out there. A loss leader can be effective but it might lead to anger directed at the customer because you feel taken advantage of with the coupon (but you are the one who caused it). Here are my examples.
I have a friend who loves coupons. She eats out with them all the time. She also purchases discounts in the form of pre-paid certificates online. So, she recently got into an argument in a restaurant ,with the manager, over whether she could use the coupon and the certificate. Now, I am not going to debate whether or not she can or can’t do that. The point is, if you are going to put them out there, you should take the customer with open arms and whatever coupon they present to you because that is how you build a relationship and return customer.
Another example is with my same coupon loving friend. She also purchases pre-paid restaurant vouchers on another web site. There is one restaurant in town where the waiter actually groaned – physically groaned- at her when she presented the coupon … kind of like “Great … another coupon.” Guess what – she doesn’t go there anymore and she tells everyone about the bad service. Is that using your coupon to gain customers? NO.
2. Are There Too Many Restrictions On The Coupon?
This is a serious issue and one where you can actually begin to lose customers with your coupons. I am going to compare two well known retail stores. Retail Store A we will call the BBB and Retail Store B we will call M.
So, the BBB sends you coupons left and right. Almost every time I open my mail box, there is a coupon. The coupon offers a discount on a single item in their store with an expiration date. Guess What? That store will let you use as many coupons as you have products at check out and will honor all expired coupons. What a great customer relationship building tool. Customers, me included, love being able to be in control of when they purchase and feel that the coupon is a way of saying thank you (at least when it is done this way). Nice Marketing BBB!
Now, lets move on to M. M also sends out lots of coupons, but the coupons are full of restrictions … from the time of day in a store when you can receive the discount, to the products that apply and so on. I actually stood in line and missed the coupon time by five minutes and they wouldn’t honor it. The funny thing is that I have been a great customer of theirs for years and now I almost never go there because I lost the sense that the store has any mutual respect for me and my time. The coupons actually make me feel hostility towards them.
So, please consider if your coupon is making your business flourish with happy customers and making you happy as well … or if your coupon is causing you to lose money, resent your customers and cause you to lose your existing core customer base.
About The Author
Are you looking for Web Marketing Experts to help your small business with it’s online marketing? Someone to help you create and implement your social media strategy? I know what you are up against. You need to find the right fit that is within your budget and trust that person to know what he/she is doing and to get it done. You want someone to market your business online. You want to end each day knowing your online marketing strategy is successful and expanding. You want to give that worry to someone and spend time on the parts of your business that you enjoy. You want to tell other internet marketing experts, “thank you, but I already have an amazing internet marketing system in place that is bringing me all the business and money that I need.”
My name is Alison Elliott and I help small businesses succeed online. You can read more about me, my internet marketing system and how I use social media strategy and web marketing expertise to create, implement and manage your online marketing and presence, on mylocal internet marketing experts web site.
To help move you in a positive direction, I am offering you a free thirty minute consultation to see if my services are the right fit for you. If nothing else, you will leave the consultation with a clearer idea of what you are wanting and how to attain it.
I am always fascinated when watching myself and others choose and purchase. So, a recent restaurant experience prompted me to blog about the marketing strategy of your sign.
Now a sign can be the look of your logo or your site, but in this case it was an actual sign on a restaurant. Of course when someone does something so amazing that I write about it, I also like to mention their name, so this story is all about Bachi Burger in Las Vegas, Nevada
I was driving down Windmill recently (having just moved to town) and I saw this really cool sign that said “Bachi Burger” in a trendy, simple and attractive design. The sign stood out among the strip mall for it’s simplicity and modern beauty and the name made me curious. I found myself thinking … “that looks like a great place to eat.” Weeks later I found myself with my family waiting to see a movie in the area and remembered the place … the name and the sign. I wasn’t sure if it was a bar but figured, let’s go try it out. And we did.
The food was amazing and unique and the atmosphere and fabulous service was everything the sign said it would be (kind of like Starbucks where the atmosphere says hang out here).
We came because of the sign and the name (external marketing) and will go back again and again because of the customer service and the food (internal marketing).
So, from a small business marketing strategy standpoint - what is your sign?
Alison Elliott is a Marketing Expert and founder of Corner Your Market Global Marketing. To get these tips along with tips on SEO for Small Business, Social Media Marketing for Small Business, Unique, Interesting and Great Marketing Ideas for Small Business , Help Creating Online Marketing Plans for Small Businesses, and Businesses and Software to help Market your Small Business online , you can sign up to our small business marketing e-guide here.
Online videos are a great asset to your small business marketing. People love videos because it engages multiple senses and helps to relate to you and your business. One fun marketing idea is to have your customers – the valuable fans who love you – create videos about why they love your product or service. The marketing idea is easy to set up:
1. Create your offer. Something like, “Love our products? Create and upload a video on YouTube about why you love our products and why you use them. Make sure you link back to our site and then send us the video link by email. You will receive a 20% off coupon on your entire next order AND be entered to win a $100 gift card in our “Love Our Products Video Contest”
2. Create a plan about how you will promote this promotion: send out an email to your customers, add it to your social media, put it on your web site, include a printed offer inside every online order, put the offers in your store and add one to every purchase in your store.
3. Execute the plan with a launch date, an end date, any legal stuff you need for the contest and a contest end date.
Have fun with your marketing .
If you need any help with the planning and execution of a marketing idea like this, please contact us with your request.
This small business marketing idea is brought to you by Alison Elliott is a Marketing Expert and founder of Corner Your Market Global Marketing. To get these tips along with tips on SEO for Small Business, Social Media Marketing for Small Business, Unique, Interesting and Great Marketing Ideas for Small Business , Help Creating Online Marketing Plans for Small Businesses, and Businesses and Software to help Market your Small Business online , you can sign up to our small business marketing e-guide here.