Welcome to part 3 of our coupons series. We.ve already discussed offers you may provide and how to print them. Now you.ll need to distribute them. So how do you do that without spending an arm and a leg?
. In person. Place coupons in store or in shopping bags. The problem with this is, with the exception of referral coupons, it can.t help you get new customers.
. Mailing List. You can always mail or email existing customers with coupons. Again though, this will not get you new customers unless you send a referral coupon.
. Door to door. This may be time consuming, but canvassing is mighty effective. Leaving coupons on car windshields, house door steps, etc. is an easy way to bring your message to the masses.
Now that you.ve decided to use a coupon and what kind of discount to offer, let.s learn about printing options.
. Do it yourself. Printing yourself is easy. You can print off hundreds of your own coupons on your PC or take a trip to the local copy store. It.s easy, but you risk customers making their own coupons, which can suddenly turn 100 coupons into 10,000. This can work positively as viral marketing, but be sure you can handle that sort of discount.
. Have customers print them. This is the easiest and the only free way to print coupons. This method requires online or email distribution. The downsides are the same as printing yourself, people can try to manipulate the coupons or print off too many.
How many times have you used a coupon at the grocery store for a product you’ve never tried before?
Coupons are a great way to get customers to try your service or product. They can also .woo. your competitor.s customers to give you a try. If you have a new product, service or an overstock, try offering a coupon to draw attention and sales. You can also minimize the impact of a price increase with a coupon -people won.t realize there was a price hike when excited about a coupon.
Different offers work better for some businesses than others. Which type of offer will work best for you?
. BOGO. The always popular .Buy One .Get One.. This is a customer favorite. This offer works best to clear out surpluses or to sell things with huge markups. If your item doesn.t fit into either category, this probably isn.t a good discount for you.
Automate Product Recommendations/Suggestions For those companies who recommend products, many still organize and choose products manually. This can be an extremely tedious and time consuming task. By investing in automated product recommendations, you will be able to more suggest more relevant product recommendations in much less effort.
Google released a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide last week. If you are looking for some basic tips on how to optimize your website for the search engines (Google to be specific), then it is something definitely worth reviewing. Something to note though is that this should just be used as a guide and does not guarantee rankings. There are many more things you can do to optimize your website, but I would say this is a good best practice guide for the beginners out there.
With the New Year coming up quickly, small business owners are looking to strategize and finalize their marketing plans for 2009. While traditional methods of advertising such as print ads, television, and radio always seem to be in the marketing plan, advertisers might want to put more focus on an alternative form of marketing next year. What might that be? Promotional products, giveaways, swag, freebies, whatever you want to call it, it is simply a product imprinted with your company logo, name, and/or contact information.
The Advertising Specialty Institute just released results from a study focused on the cost analysis of promotional products compared to other advertising media. Surveying 600+ people in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, the ASI team focused on understanding how promotional products influenced consumers to purchase, determine the number of impressions promotional products produced, and to compare the Cost Per Impressions (CPI) of these products compared to other forms of advertising.
We all know the adage, .you gotta spend money to make money.. So why do companies pretend they don.t need to advertise to get customers?
Margie Christman is the owner, designer and creator of a purse company called .Texas Bag Lady.. She serves as a great example as to why advertising a little can help your company a lot. When Margie started out, she promoted her business by including a pen displaying her company name with each purchase. Her husband discouraged her from ordering the pens, saying she couldn.t afford to spend money when she was just starting out.
Within no time, a customer called, proving the husband wrong. The woman told Margie that people kept asking where she got her purse. Though the customer forgot the phone number, she had it on the pen and shared it with everyone she spoke to.
Each year is filled with holidays and special occasions that you can use as an opportunity to promote your business and services. Halloween is one such opportunity where you can engage with your current customers and try to attract new customers.
A few years ago, a few days before Halloween, I arrived home to find a pumpkin at my door. Attached to the pumpkin was a little goodie bag with pumpkin carving tools, carving designs, a few pieces of candy, and a note from a local realtor wishing me a Happy Halloween.
What a great idea! I.m sure many people were surprised and delighted to receive a gift and I.m sure that families with kids enjoyed the pumpkin and goodies even more. Leaving a pumpkin with some treats to market your business or just let people in the community know that you care and are interested in them is such a simple and nice way to promote yourself.
Time is ticking for holiday sales. What can you do?
The Wall Street Journal wrote a great article a few weeks ago on how to ramp up on holiday sales this year. These simple tactics may often be overlooked, but when implemented can help bring in extra traffic and sales.
Update Your Website Make updates to your website! Feature a more festive look and offer special holiday promotions to attract customers to buy, buy, and buy some more. Understand what customers find important in online shopping during the holiday season. Is your website secure? How much is shipping? Is your shipping information easy to find? Will it ship on time? Are there discounts for buying multiple items? How about refunds and exchanges? Are there guarantees or warranties you can offer to the customer? Make this information prominent on your website so that potential customers don.t leave disappointed because they could not find such crucial information.
Financial Hack has some great advice on being innovative. Using Japan.s square watermelon, they show why thinking outside of the box is one of the smartest things you can do in the business world.
There are some great lessons to take away from this article. I think the main things are to realize that nothing is impossible and to always to look for an easier way to do things. It is these two factors that have been behind all major technological advances. The same spirit that created square watermelon created cars and created the internet. Always keep your mind open and look for a better way!