I’ve recently discovered that business owners hate sales and marketing activities but don’t do much to get repeat customers. Don’t ask me how this pretzel logic works — I’m just sayin’.
In this article, I’m going to layout a couple marketing tactics that will help you create repeat customers. This is ideal for seasonal businesses such as restaurants, retailers, and yes, even consultants and freelancers.
First, you’ll want to have some data in hand, like what people are buying, how much they are buying and what else they could be buying. You’ll want to create a wish list of what you want to sell more of each month.
This first step is all about how to create an offer. Read the article I just linked to — it looks like this:
In short, create a list of everything you provide (no detail is too small; phone consultations, delivery, email support — everything that’s included in the sale of a product.
Do NOT make this stuff up — go get that information first because you’re going to need it.
The Discount Lottery
For In-Person Businesses; Restaurants, Retailers, Services
You’re going to create a set amount of envelopes with “prizes” inside that have to be used during a particular month.
Create a list of discounts such as 10% off, 20% off, 50% off, $10 gift card, $20 gift card, $50 gift card, On the house. It should look something like this:
Assuming you create 100 envelopes,
- 30 with 10%
- 30 with $10 gift card
- 10 with $20 gift card
- 10 with 20% off
- 5 with 50%
- 5 with $50 gift card
- 5 with Buy One Get One (of lesser value)
- 5 with On the House
Don’t be cheap with this — otherwise it won’t drive foot traffic.
Distributing the envelopes
You can send an email list to your customers announcing that you’re starting a special customer promotion and invite them to come in. Tell them they will receive an envelope when they come in but they CANNOT open it until check out time.
You can also just start handing out envelopes to the customers that come in the month before. You can give them an envelope for every $50 they spend that they have to use during the NEXT month. So if a customer comes in and spends $100 with you, you give them 2 envelopes that they have to use when they come in the next month — one envelope per visit.
For Online Businesses
If you sell online, you can easily turn prospects into new customers by using this strategy in a “Win to Spin” campaign. Don’t worry,
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If you’re selling information products or services online, you can email your list and tell them that you’re running a “Discount Lottery” — explain how the game is going to work.
In your case, they may need to register for a webinar in order to receive ANY discount (this is where you can use the spin to win form)
Then, you can export your webinar registrants into a spreadsheet — then use a random number generator tool to select the people who will receive your different prizes and offers.
In this case I entered 100 and the system spit out this random sequence of numbers and selected the number for each prize and matched that to the spreadsheet of registrants.
So, whoever is in line 47 = 10% and line 21 = $10 gift card, for example.
To make this work, you need to have enough products and services to sell and to promote to make this work.
Why This Works
There are a couple important variables in this campaign that make it so successful. First, there is the TIME limitation. The fact that they have to use the discounts during a specific period of time will drive them back.
Second, the PROMISE of huge discounts. This is why you want your offers to be super generous and why you want to include “Golden Ticket” discounts such as Buy One Get One or some “On the House” winners. People expect to spend a certain amount and when they get a WIN, they will buy more or return for more.
Finally, this works because you are truly INVESTING your marketing money with your existing customers. If they don’t use the winnings, they don’t get the discount and you haven’t spent that money.
A lot of businesses run this type of campaign right after the holidays when there’s a drop in spending. But you can use this anytime you want a boost in traffic to your location, your website or an online event.