1. Run a promotion for a free or discount offer…that you have never tried before. Be creative!
Design a tempting deal that your competition wouldn’t think of offering. Then, plan how to tell people about it. These tips will help.
- Use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
- Put the offer on your website. Place it in top right corner of your home page so it’s one of the first things a visitor sees.
- If you have a mailing list…which all smart marketers do…send an email blast announcing the sale with a link to your website.
- If you own a retail store, make simple but bold display signs announcing the offer to attract attention.
- Talk to customers about the offer as you wait on them; tell your employees to do the same.
Be sure to give the offer enough time to see if it can generate results for you. A week just won’t do it.
2. Have customer appreciation cards ready at all times.
Ever been late for a meeting with a client or have a customer wait for your attention as you handled other customer needs. Every business owner encounters unavoidable circumstances that break the rules of customer service. So be prepared! Have customer appreciation cards ready to present. It’s the old turn a negative into a positive. Make lemons out of lemonade. Or…well…I can’t think of another one. Here’s how to do it:
- Create the cards on your computer; they can be the size of a business card. Any office supply store has perforated business card paper to print them from your printer.
- Give them a fun, positive title like…Good Stuff for You.
- A service business can offer to add an additional service at no cost or at a discount.
- A retail business can offer a 10% discount on a next purchase—or a lesser or higher percentage depending on what is suitable for your business.
3. Take advantage of free offers on the Internet.
There are so many free resources on the Internet. Some are fantastic. Some, not so good. Search them out, but be choosy. Quality and safety go hand-in-hand. You want to accept free offers from reputable companies. Check for reviews before you download any files from unfamiliar sources that could infect your computer. Here are a few free resources you might like:
- Veer photography offers a free font, photo, and illustration download every Friday. Build up images and typefaces for customer appreciation cards, signs, and other marketing and business needs.
- WebEx offers free webinars hosted by business leaders and innovators on business, communication, and personal growth among many other categories.
- Some 25 million people are using Dropbox , a free service that lets you share documents, photos, and videos with work teams, friends, and family through the internet. No more emailing files to one another, or to yourself from a work computer to your home computer. Just put it in your Dropbox. Be sure to protect personal files with encryption software like Truecrypt.
4. Know your customer’s name.
How good did Norm feel when he walked into Cheers and everybody yelled…“NORM!” Well, ok, not half as good as he felt after a few brews, but you get the point. As customers, we like to think that we are the owner’s favorite customer. As an owner, when you make the effort to learn a customer’s name—and use it—it says, “We have a relationship, I’m going to treat you special.” It builds trust and confidence in your brand. So little effort, so much return.
5. Talk to other business owners to get their smart marketing ideas…and then use them!
That’s what we want to do right now! We are asking you about your ideas and opinions. Tell us in the comments section below. Do you have a smart marketing tip to share with QuadBlog readers who are other small business owners? We want to hear it. Tell us below!