Providing special messaging, offering additional promotional value, participating in (or initiating) smart co-marketing projects, and beefing up your digital footprint via customer reviews are 4 great ways to help reach your business goals. We’ve seen some really creative ideas recently that we’re excited to share with you! Let’s take a closer look at how our customers and communities are using these marketing ideas to help their businesses right now.
1. Special Messaging
Being sincere and saying Thank You goes a long way. Have you ever purchased something from a business and received a handwritten thank you for your purchase note along with the item? How special did that make you feel?
Businesses that master this level of personalized communication that truly comes from the heart are a cut above their competition.
If your business is struggling, you can try crafting a heartfelt letter to your customers who are supporting you during a difficult time. When you are genuine, it prompts customers to be genuine, too, and excited to support you. Make sure you write as if you are speaking to a friend.
This letter could live as a pop-up on your website, or as a personalized email. Include an appropriate call to action to help your business in a time of need. Use social media to direct-message customers who support you on the regular. Say Thank You and let them know what their patronage means to you!
Pro Tip: If someone purchases a gift card online from your store, you can put a special code on it, or create a special card design, that indicates it was bought during a time of need or a specific event. When the customer comes to redeem it in-store, you can surprise and delight them with a little something special to thank them for their support.
Offering special promotions to incentivize sales is an easy way to achieve your goals. Try offering a percentage or dollar add-on for every $x amount spent on gift card purchases. You could also try offering a referral incentive to increase the number of transactions during a set period.
Pro Tip: We’ve seen success with our customers who offer timed promotions. If your business experiences slow times (month/week/day/hours), consider offering an incentive to customers to return during those times. You could offer additional loyalty points, BOGO deals, or a free item or upgrade!
The more the merrier! Working together instead of in competition with has always helped local economies grow. Aligning with others who share the same values as you will help reach bigger audiences and make your marketing efforts even more efficient.
For example, we’ve seen small restaurants and cafés join forces in Hamilton, Ontario. Totes Together, an initiative created in response to the COVID-19 crisis, is a fantastic example of how businesses are working together to reach a common goal.
Participant businesses nominate other businesses in need to help each other spread the importance of supporting local during the global crisis. They have created a “super community” by banding together to get their message across to a bigger audience — we’re all in this together. How cool is that?
Pro Tip: You don’t need to have a global crisis to work with like-minded people! Try a hosting a small-business meet up with people with whom you would like to align your brand.
Brainstorm ideas for how you can work together and don’t be afraid to try new things! How about running a joint contest, create a cobranded look-book, or swap recipes with your social audiences? Get creative!
Starting today, you should be prompting your customers to leave a review for your business online — Google and Facebook are great spots to direct them to. By failing to ask for reviews, you are missing out on an opportunity to continuously improve your business. Reviews help nurture both loyal returning customers and encourage brand-new visitors.
Feedback is the number-one way to assess customer needs. It’s also really important that your online presence matches your real-life experience. Most people read reviews and are swayed to visit based on the quality of experience others may have had — and they expect the same experience when they, in turn, visit.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. They just had a great experience at your establishment and are headed home. What can you do to plant the seed about leaving a review for your business while it’s fresh in their minds?
Try creating leave-behinds such as business cards or postcards and give one to each visitor as they’re leaving. Or just ask them in-person when you’re chatting while settling up. Or you can try emailing, direct messaging, and talking to your customers on social media to ask them to leave a review.
Incentivize customers to leave reviews by offering bonus loyalty points, a special gift, or even a discount on their next purchase. Just be careful that you’re not “buying reviews”. Use your judgement and come from an honest place.
Pro tip: It’s very important that you’re very clearly not rewarding only positive reviews. Your review incentive is honoured to anyone who leaves a review, positive or not. DO NOT deliberately ask customers to leave a positive review as it comes across as insincere and unethical. Besides, negative reviews offer an opportunity for you to improve your business for future customers — who wouldn’t want that feedback?