It’s coming. Bright-colored leaves. Cool, crisp air. Pumpkin-flavored everything.
The changing season brings tons of festive fun, and tons of opportunity to raise your customer engagement game, and generate new business.
Not quite sure what promotions to put in place though? Or even where to start?
Here we’ve gathered 6 ideas and some inspiration — from in-store promotions and ecommerce, to selfies on social media:
1. Create ‘Treat Yourself’ Packages
What do a lot of your customers — and prospective customers — have in common? They’re parents. And for many, back to school means back to order and sanity after the Summer.
Show your customers “I get you” by creating Treat Yourself packages to commemorate the start of the school year.
If you run a salon/spa, consider bundling a manicure, pedicure, massage, and facial. Call it a “Four Hour Vacation”.
Martial arts studio? Bundle 3 free classes with a personalized assessment. Stress in your marketing message the importance of mom and dad making time for themselves despite their busy schedules.
Treat Yourself packages make great gifts, too. Include the gifting option as part of your promotion. Create simple flyers to pass out and hang around your facility. Send emails to customers and prospects to ensure they’re aware of your new offer. Post on social media.
2. Launch a Fall Photo Contest
People love contests and games; it brings everyone together and provides a sense of accomplishment, while having fun.
No matter what space you operate in — fitness, retail, health/beauty — you can create a fall photo contest. Ask customers/members to post a selfie while at your studio with a designated hashtag. Enter those that post a selfie into a raffle for a prize. Choose a winner weekly and announce it on social media.
You’ll win too — the likes and shares on social media will get your business more exposure, and your customers will come to associate fun with your business.
3. Partner Up
Is your facility part of a shopping mall? Know of a local restaurant, ice cream shop, wine and liquor store, gift shop, or dry cleaning business that might be willing to work with you? One that serves the same community members? Consider reciprocal marketing — where you and another business promote each other’s products and services.
Labor Day weekend is a great time to join forces as people are looking for events and activities to take part in during the holiday. Consider testing the waters with a Labor Day special. Be sure to promote the special with flyers and emails and social media posts.
Just think: if the partnership ends up being successful, you’ll have a great, new marketing channel lined up for the Holiday season and new year.
4. Sponsor a Local Sports Organization
With soccer, football, field hockey, and more Fall sports starting their seasons, sponsoring a youth athletic league, team or club can be a great way to show your support and get your name out in the community.
Many youth athletic associations also hold start-of-the-season and end-of-season ceremonies and tournaments — another opportunity for you and your staff to get out into the community, talk about your products/services, and show your support.
5. Get Your Online Storefront in Tip-Top Shape
It’s not uncommon for business management software to come with ecommerce functionality to run an online store. And even better, when you have a merchant account with Constellation Payments that’s set up to take online and in-person payments, that same payment gateway and account can be used to run and authorize ecommerce orders.
Make sure to take advantage of your software’s capabilities. Active your online storefront. Clean up your product pages and descriptions. Add new products like your new ‘Treat Yourself’ packages (see #1).
Again, create a simple flyer that lets customers know what’s available online for purchase. Send an email to customers and prospects and post about it on social media.
6. Observe Non-Traditional Holidays
Seems like everything under the sun has its own holiday. Why not take advantage of the opportunity to host a themed event of your own — especially if the day, week, or month-long observance relates to the market you serve.
For instance, August is National Wellness Month — a month-long celebration that focuses on self-care and forming healthy routines. You could run a self-care seminar for customers and members with a message that ties into a new Fall promo, a new offering, a new class, or a new service.
The key is to remember that even if it’s just a one-day holiday, you aren’t limited to just that day. You can celebrate and/or promote awareness of a special cause for days or weeks, depending on what makes sense for your business.
Whatever You Do, Don’t ‘Fall’ Behind
Whatever marketing idea you choose to pursue, remember: You MUST plan ahead in order for your promotion to be effective.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” —Benjamin Franklin
- Pick a promotion and a date to launch your promotion, then work backwards from that date.
- At least 2 weeks prior to the launch date, send 2 to 3 emails to your customers and lead list to let them know about the promotion. Note that most business management software comes with built-in email communication tools; some with automated drip campaigns that you could set and run before and during the promotion.
- Post on social media several times prior to your launch date and during the promotion.
- Have front-desk staff mention the promotion while checking customers in and out of your facility.
- Make simple flyers that can be posted around your facility, shared at the front desk, and shared with other businesses.
Now’s the time. Get planning. Get your staff involved. Get your Fall marketing game down on paper. The sooner you get your promotion preparation underway, the sooner you bring in new business — and fun — for the Fall season.
Have a seasonal marketing idea of your own? Share it below.