….and put some more money in your pocket!
If you want to increase your sales – that means getting your customers to buy more from you so that you have more income – then sales promotion is the answer. When times are tough, you need to be taking some action to get those sales, not hoping and praying that your customers will spend more with you just ‘cos they like you!
There are lots of creative ways to increase your sales but over the next couple of weeks I’ll be covering myÂ top eight (and you can be as creative as you like with them).Â All these ideas will work whether you’re selling products, or ‘you’ (i.e. you’re a service professional such as a consultant or coach).
1. Hold a prize draw (but not a “˜free’ prize draw because your customers are making a purchase, therefore you can’t use the word “˜free’): Every time a customer buys from you, their name goes into a hat. The more times they buy, the more entries into the draw they have.
Dependent on the number of customers you have,Â three prizes (a 1st, 2nd and 3rd) works well. From your point of view, make sure you tell them when the draw will be taking place and when the winners will be notified.
Make sure you do the draw properly (i.e. print all their names out and put them into a ‘hat’, and get some independent people to draw the winners out (my children and husband do mine?.the cat’s not quite so keen). Decide beforehand that the first name out will be the 1st prize winner and so on – you must NOT allow any preferential treatment to anyone; it has to be fair.
Don’t forget to take a photo of you giving the winning prize to the lucky recipient – it makes a great local news story, and is good PR for you.
You can expect (not guaranteed, mind you!) an uplift in sales anywhere from 30% – 50% (and possibly even more).
2. Incentivise customers if they spend over a certain amount with you (you decide that amount). If you keep a track of what your customers spend (which you should!), then you’ll know their average spend. Say that’s Â£10 each order. If you want to increase their average spend to Â£15, then that’s your level to incentivise at. OR if you know what your average customer order is, let’s say, Â£24, and you want to increase that to Â£30, then that’s the level you incentivise.
You can use money off vouchers or products to incentivise. For instance, “All orders over Â£30 will receive a Â£5 off their next order” (which will bring them back a 2nd time), or “Spend over Â£15 and get a free mystery gift worth Â£x” or “Spend over Â£30 and get a free ‘widget'”.
If you’re using a product incentive, make it a cheap one to you…and it’s a great way to use up any excess stock that you’ve bought or acquired in the past.
Over the years, I’ve used this promotion very regularly to increase my sales (and you can use this technique with service businesses as well as product businesses), and can normally expect anything from a 20% to 50% uplift in sales. (My very first job in marketing was running promotions like this for Texaco on their oil! Such a glamorous life I’ve led…)
3. BOGOF – a classic in supermarkets, but you can use it too. It means “Buy One Get One Free”…but it doesn’t have to be the same product, it could be a complementary product (or service), e.g. buy the self tanning lotion and get the scrub for free. Or, if you do have a stack of excess stock around, you can do a very simple “buy one, get one free” (how to clear out your garage or spare room in one easy swoop). How about – “buy two hours of coaching and get one free”?Â Customers love free stuff and it’s a great way to increase sales very quickly.
4. Joint ventures – is there a local organisation or another businessÂ that complements yours?
For instance, if you’re running a health or beauty network marketing business, you could joint venture with the local spa. You need to approach them and ask whether you can offer your customers a money off voucher (or any other special voucher that the spa offers)…this way, your customers get some great value (“Spend over Â£20 and get a free spa treatment”) – but the spa gets some new customers. So – double whammy: increasing retail sales for both you AND your joint venture partner!
Position it to the spa as a benefit to them (i.e. more customers…who doesn’t need them right now?), and make sure your target markets are a match.
I suggest you code the vouchers (or the spa does) and catch up with the establishment at a later date to see how many of your customers who got the voucher actually took up their free treatment. This means you have some figures for when you approach the next establishment at a future date! This can work across any industry by the way, just make sure they’re complementary (and work for your target market) .
Joint ventures will work for service based professionals too, and work beautifully online.Â For instance: your information product is promoted to the list of another business owner who has the same target market as you.Â You set it up so when the people on their list respond, the system tracks them.Â You get more people on your list to promote stuff to in the future, and your JV partner gets paid commission for promoting your products to their list.Â Win:Win all round.
I’ll do into more detail on how to do this on a future blog post, but essentially if you can do simple JV tracking using an autoresponder: each JV partner has a duplicate landing page with a unique data capture form on it (your autoresponder will allow you to set up ad tracking which is what you need for this).
If you’re making some proper income, www.1shoppingcart.com handles affiliate partners easily, but it costs about Â£90 a month.
So, that’s it for this week?four more ideas next week (including a piece of vital information you HAVE to know before you run any promotion for your business).
Have a great week,
PS HOT NEWS: I’m very nearly ready to launch my very first product which is packed full of information (what else would you expect from me?!):Â it has been described as a “guided coaching session”.Â It’s called “Finding Your Niche With Ease” and is a CD and workbook designed to help you do just that!Â It will be launched to my newsletter list first, at a discount, so if you want to make sure you’re you hear about it first AND qualify for that discount, make sure you subscribe now: just go to www.MerrieMarketing.com to do that.