Last week ,Â I covered four promotional techniques to boost your sales, and as promised, here are the next four.Â BUT do read to the end because there’s a bit of information attached that is VITAL you read and will stop you getting into hot water (because, trust me, you will not be immune!).
5. Special days and events eg Mothers Day, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, School Holidays…time to promote and highlight particular gift items and offer gift wrapping services.
And if you sell a service, you could still use these events to promote your business e.g. “Increase Your Income by Christmas – book now“, “Special Christmas Stress Busting Programme just for Working Mums“, “Treat your Mum to 2 beauty treatments, and get one for yourself for free“.
The thing is, at the appropriate times, these events/days will be top of your customers’ minds, so they will take notice if your marketing message reflects something that is current.
If you look at what the supermarkets and shops do, you’ll see that they use seasonal activities to increase the retail sales in their organisations.
All the promotional messages are geared up to whatever is happening at the time, and they move from one to the next very quickly: no sooner Christmas is over, then Valentine’s Day stuff is in the shops. As soon as Valentine’s Day is over, then Mother’s Day hits (in the UK)…then Easter…then May Bank Holiday…then the school holidays…and so on.
Take a leaf out of their book and you can plan your promotional activities for the year ahead and guarantee that your sales are always kept at an optimum level.
6. Give your customers reasons to buy your product. Remind them of the benefits…and make the benefits relevant to this time of year. Make a list “Ten Reasons Why You Should be Buying our Juice now”…… “Five ways that I can help you save even more money before Spring”.
Sometimes customers need reminding about you and why your product or service is so good. They have busy lives and other things vying for their attention: you need to be in front of them, reminding them about you! And increasing sales can be as simple as just reminding your customers about your existence!
7. Refer a Friend – and reward your customer. This is a powerful promotional technique to increase sales and is not to be sniffed at: “Recommend a friend and when s/he buys you BOTH get a free gift on me”. Used very widely to increase retail sales, and you can use it for professional service promotions too.
8. Tell your customers that you’re running a promotion. Watch the retailers: they shout their promotions from the rooftops! There are big posters, TV ads, radio ads, in store signage, and you practically trip over the boxes of promotional products when you enter the store. They don’t spend all this marketing money for nothing: sales promotion works to increase sales, but you have to tell your customers, and keep reminding them that it’s happening.
A couple of final pointers:
Sales promotion works to increase sales (it’s a massive industry in its own right) but it will cost you a bit of money, so you have to decide how much you want to spend and plan your budget first so that you won’t get carried away!
Money off vouchers, in my experience, are the cheapest to produce (30 minutes on your pc should do it) and have the highest perceived value with your customers. And even if they don’t redeem the voucher…well, you’ve got the sale now, haven’t you? ;o)
NB If you produce vouchers, make sure you put on the vouchers: “cash redemption value 0.001p” (or cents), “no cash alternative” and put a “redeem by date” on it.
IMPORTANT: A Few Regulations to Adhere To….
If you like the idea of adding sales promotion into your marketing mix (and who wouldn’t considering its capacity to increase sales!), then I would strongly suggest you have a read of and adhere to the British Codes of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing.
They are there to guide marketers in how to market and promote their goods and services legally, decently, honestly and truthfully (that’s the essence of the code). These are the codes that all professional marketers will refer to before they do anything.
Their website can be found at: http://bcap.org.uk/The-Codes/CAP-Code.aspx
If you’re outside of the UK, then the International Code of Advertising PracticeÂ Â is there to help and guide.
The help that BCAP offer is free.Â As a promoter, you have legal responsibility to make sure that your promotions are legal and adhere to the guidelines.Â If you fall foul of these codes, you can be fined thousands: the regulatory bodies do not make any distinction between you as a small business or one of the big corporate companies.Â
So, if you’re thinking about running a promotion, talk to them first (they’re very friendly!) and then run your copy past them (and, yes, for free!).
Hope that gives you lots of food for thought!
See you next week,
PS I give additional help and guidance on my weekly e-zine – subscribe now and claim your free copy of my audio programme “How to Get More Cients, More Money & More Time for Yourself“.