Quick! What’s the next promotion, holiday sale or sales strategy you’re using in your business? If you’re thinking about Christmas or even Black Friday, then it’s time to shake up your marketing and create a system for monthly campaigns to promote your services, products or programs.
While most of us narrow down “buying time” to major holidays or life events, the truth is that people make purchases every day and you’d be remiss to ignore those ready to buy — or see them go elsewhere. Promotions don’t have to be focused on a huge discount or even giving away free stuff. Even on a very basic level, you can publicize your offers and give notice to the intended audience.
Think of it a little like McDonald’s marketing: There’s probably not a person in the U.S. who doesn’t know what they sell or drive past one on a weekly basis — but they’re still advertising. And their advertisements vary, they’re not just about getting a burger after winning Little League games or an ice cream cone on a hot day. There are dozens of targeted ads for specific products, deals and markets all the time.
Here’s how you can create your own promotion schedule, even if you don’t have the marketing budget of a Fortune 500 company.
Use the Calendar
Choose some milestones, holidays or dates throughout the year that you want to promote around and be creative! Think about your business anniversary, industry events, weird holidays or historical events. Consider the seasons, upcoming events like back-to-school or even create your own annual event.
Now that you have those monthly dates in mind, don’t get lazy. Go beyond saying there’s a “big sale” or “here’s a coupon for $10 off.” Think about what specifically you want to promote. This is the time to get comfortable with your sales reports and numbers and make some decisions.
Do you need to clear out inventory in March to make room for spring and summer shipments? Make your March promotion a spend $100 get a $25 gift card to move the most merchandise in that timeframe. If your service calls slow to a crawl in the 4th quarter because spending shifts to holiday shopping, consider pre-selling in the summer or offering payment plans so your only concern is scheduling those pre-purchased services come December.
Make a Bank of Promo Ideas
What you decide to offer will depend on your own business, goals, inventory and desired outcome. So here are some ideas for campaigns you can mix and match:
Buy one, get one for a friend
Kids eat free
Subscribe and get a discount for the year
Purchase and you’re entered to win a prize
Last chance on discontinued services or products
Buy now and we’ll pay the tax
Bundle complementary items for the best deal
Exclusive shopping opportunity for loyal fans
Spend $50 and get a special gift
Free drinks on our business anniversary with meal purchase
Book a discovery call and receive a free gift
Workout this month and be entered to win a free session
If this list didn’t get your mind churning with ideas, then it’s time to turn to your team and clients. Make a point to speak with both groups in the coming weeks and create your own list of ideas as you fill in your calendar.
Businesses that focus on sales just once or twice a year often struggle, and by promoting monthly you have the opportunity to reach those ready to buy when they’re reaching for a credit card.