Promotional tactics that increase sales

You can increase your sales by focusing on the "four walls" of your business according to Tom Feltenstein, Founder and Chairman of the West Palm Beach, Florida-based Neighborhood Marketing Institute.

Promotional Tactics that Increase Sales

You can increase your sales by focusing on the "four walls" of your business according to Tom Feltenstein, Founder and Chairman of the West Palm Beach, Florida-based Neighborhood Marketing Institute.

At Mr. Feltenstein's recent Marketing War College he shared some powerful weapons to build sales:

  • The Outreach Sampling Program - Sampling is a very effective way to introduce your business to potential customers. However, sometimes you have to take your samples to the customers to get them to give you a try. The Outreach Sampling Promotion is designed to introduce your product or service to the employees of a new business in your trading area. If you sell the type of product or service that is easily delivered outside of your own location, you have the ability to reach nearly 200 such businesses and countless new customers in the course of one year.

    To adapt this promotion to your business, first determine what type of product or service you offer that is easily sampled or in some way is a good representation of your business. A car wash might have difficulty bringing all its equipment door to door to let potential customers sample its service. It could easily offer an inexpensive item like an air freshener, with a certificate attached good for a free basic car wash. The key to the success of this promotion is that the potential customers get something immediately to introduce them to your business without cost or obligation. A hair salon, likewise, could give out free samples of shampoo and conditioner with a special certificate inviting the potential customers back to the salon. Other examples might be a book store giving away book marks, a dry cleaner giving away mini lint rollers, or even a dentist could distribute tooth brushes and toothpaste samples.
  • MVP Reward - Mail out a $100 certificate to all the qualified homes in your targeted trading area. The recipient gets $50 worth of free value. The other $50 certificate is for the customer to give to the employee who has given them the best service.
  • Horoscope Ad - This clever direct mail ad features different products or service for each sign of the zodiac. For a restaurant you might see: Cancer: A relative's visit will be longer than expected. So treat yourself to a veggie melt. You deserve it. A bank's ad might use: Aries: A wise investment will improve your status. Our free checking account will put more money in your pocket. A hair salon: Gemini: a change in your appearance will put new romance in your life. The right cut, color and perm will get Mr. Shy to be more forthright with his feelings for you.
  • Spelling Error Ad - To get more readers to read more of your ad use the following headline: There's a spelling error in this ad. If you spot it we'll give you $5.00. Of course the error is later in the ad, so the reader must learn the message before discovering how to claim the reward. Obviously you will want to adjust the "reward" to an appropriate amount based on the average price of your products and services.
  • Valentine's Day Promotion - For Valentine's Day, help couples renew their vows. Have a preacher available at your location to conduct a brief ceremony for each couple.
  • Tape it and they will come - Build foot traffic by video taping a little league game or soccer match. Distribute flyers to all the parents at the game that explain that after the game the video will be shown at your location. Include a few discount coupons in the flyer.
  • Mystery Night - Choose a traditionally slower night of the week like a Monday or Tuesday. Narrow down the time frame to, let's say, between 6p.m. and 8p.m. For that two hours, all purchases are free. Think about the impact this can make. The first time you do this, you'll find that the word of mouth exposure will be unreal. The key to this promotion's success is that it is totally random. It's unadvertised. Nobody knows when it's going to happen. But, when it does, everyone talks about it. Suddenly your slowest nights become one of your strongest nights. This works best for lower ticket services like movie rentals, car washes, ice cream, etc.
  • Passport Promos - This promotion works great if you have a number of locations. The customer is given a promotional "passport." Each time the customer patronizes one of your locations, the passport is stamped. When the customer has purchased something in each of your locations, the passport can be redeemed for a prize. The more locations you require, the greater the prize. One super example of this is Chart House Restaurant with 61 locations throughout the world. If you ate at all 61 locations, you would win a trip around the world.
  • Jeweler Tie-In - Contact the manager of a jewelry store and explain that you would like to send him 500 of your customers. That should get his or her attention. Then further explain that you want him or her to give you a couple of real diamonds and 500 fakes. The real diamonds should have a value of $500 each.

    Your customers then get a free diamond with any purchase. The catch is your customer, in order to find out if the diamond is real, has to go to the jewelry store to have it evaluated.
  • Preferred Patron Bounce Back - This promotion is designed to reward an existing customer to come back for another visit. Create "funny money" certificates in denominations of ones, fives, and tens. Your customer receives these certificates in an amount equivalent of 10 percent of their entire purchase, which they can use on their next visit. So if a customer spends $160 with you, they would get $16 off their next visit.
  • Scratch off mailer - This one works particularly well if you have multiple locations. Make a flyer containing mystery gift certificates, with the offer hidden. The customer brings the flyer into one of your locations where an employee then scratches it to reveal what the customer has won.
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