Running a business and trying to continue to increase sales and profitability is a never ending chore. You need to constantly be staying ahead of the crowd with your marketing techniques in order to thrive. So, what are you doing and how effective is it for you? I may have some ideas for you.
As a merchant services rep and small business consultant, I’ve been privileged to see some ingenious ideas during my career. For years, merchants have used gift certificates but these were primarily purchased by someone to give as a gift to someone else. Well, along came gift cards which open the door for more creative uses. I remember when they were first introduced but merchants didn’t take to them too much at first. After all, their “gift certificate” program was working just fine for them. But then, some creativity set in and whole new ideas were put in place for them.
When a customer made a return to the store, instead of a refund, the amount of the original purchase was put on a gift card which, of course, meant the customer had to come back to the store to redeem. And consider the following statistics regarding gift cards:
72% of customers will spend MORE than the value of their card
On average the recipient will spend 20% MORE than their gift card value
90% of gift cards are used within the first 60 days
Now as good as this sounds, you still need to get people to your establishment before they can purchase a gift card, don’t you (unless of course you have an online presence where they can make a purchase)?
Maybe you’ve got a great location and people stop in, just because. Or maybe they find you in the yellow pages (remember those things). Possibly you use some form of print media in a local publication that gives some percentage off or a BOGO offer. Maybe you’re really more technologically adept and utilize some form of social media to get them there… great for you. But, once they’ve been in what are you doing to capture their contact information so you can proactively market to them in the future? Obviously, since they’ve been in your business, something about it drew them there and you want to keep them coming back. So, how are you doing that? I’ve got some ideas to share with you that maybe you haven’t implemented just yet… but you should.
What are you doing to capture email addresses? There is a certain “style” and “technique” to do this, of course. People don’t like randomly giving out their email addresses because of all the spam they already get so you’ve got to make it worth their while. And, rather than asking “would you like to be on our email list” (bad deal… don’t ever ask a closed end question where the answer can only be YES or NO). Instead, say something like, “If you’d like to join our Preferred Customer List and receive advance notice of sales or new merchandise simply put your email address on this list (and of course you have to have a list on the counter) and in addition, you’ll receive 10% off your purchase today”. You’re giving them an immediate gratification reward in exchange for their email address and now they feel special being on your “Preferred” list. Once you have their address, you can load them into an autoresponder (which by the way is very simple to do) and in a matter of minutes, you’ll be able to send out a blast email for specials in the future which, of course, drives sales. If you’re not already doing this, you need to get on it right away. It’s one of the most effective and cost efficient forms of marketing that you can do.
Next, I want you to consider… oh, hold on just a second, I need to check this text message coming to my phone. Ah hah, I was wondering where I would take my wife for a nice Valentines Day dinner and that text just firmed it up. I opted in to one of our favorite restaurants text program a while back and the text that came in is offering half off the second entree on Valentines Day. If you’re not utilizing SMS text marketing to drive sales in the most effective, INSTANT marketing methods on the planet, then you’re really missing out on sales. Consider the following SMS text marketing facts and statistics:
SMS campaigns have over 7 times greater performance than email campaigns
90% of mobile device users who were enrolled in SMS loyalty clubs felt they had benefited from being involved in the program
Coupons delivered via SMS have redemption rates 10 times higher than those of printed coupons
90% of all SMS text messages are read within three minutes
The open rate for SMS text messages is 98% compared to 22% for email
Mobile offers are redeemed 10X more frequently than print offers
90% of consumers that have joined Mobile Loyalty Programs feel they have gained value from them
70% of consumers say they would actually like to receive offers on their mobile devices
SMS text message marketing is one of the most powerful mobile channels you can use and that’s why major brands rely on it to drive engagement and sales. Simply put, YOU’RE CRAZY NOT TO ADD MOBILE MARKETING TO YOUR CURRENT STRATEGY. Let’s face it, everywhere you look, people are texting. Why not get right in their face, in an instant, and creatively drive sales and profits.
Well, that’s it for now. I gotta run out and take advantage of that “special” on Paczki’s that I just received on my phone. I mean hey, it is FAT TUESDAY and this creative marketer has got my business. Then it’s off to the gym tomorrow!!!