Tips for Running Successful Promotions
Steady, Aim, Fire!
In my humble opinion targeting the correct audience is absolutely an essential first step in creating a successful promotion. Before anything else, think about the audience you are trying to reach. Customer attributes, purchase attributes, and interaction attributes are great places to start when targeting an audience that you would like to respond and give you the most return on the time, effort, and money you are using to design and run your promotion.
How long has this particular customer been shopping with you? Do you want to target customers that have been with you the longest? This is a great way to thank customers for their continued support and business. The reverse could be done for newer customers. As a way of thanking them for becoming a new customer consider targeting them for a promotional offer. Customer location, customers who have a birthday that month, customers who are students, etc. These are all customer attributes that define particular groups and are very useful when deciding who to target.
Which customers spend the most? In OptCulture’s create a segment you could set a purchase amount and look for and reward customers who spend above a certain amount. Maybe you start a promotion that rewards the 10 top spending customers of the month at your store. Using purchase attributes and rewarding these customers is a great way to incentivize customers to spend more and make them feel special for getting a reward back. Maybe you want to get customers who are not spending very much at the store to spend more. Offering them a promotion that is only valid when a minimum purchase is met is a great way to achieve this. Customers who purchase a specific brand, item, spend a particular amount, visit a certain store, are all examples of how purchase history can be utilized in narrowing down customers to a more manageable list.
Something to consider is how many people actually open your marketing emails. Using interaction attributes you can segment out customers who have never opened an email and either exclude them from the promotion or target them in order to incentivize them to open future emails. The probability of a customer who has never opened an email opening the next email will be low unless they find actual value in opening the email. Using interaction attributes users can narrow down lists of customers based on which emails they were sent or which campaigns they opened. Pay attention to these attributes as well when designing a promotion.
Create The Funnel
There are three important concepts that relate to creating and running a great promotion; momentum, scarcity, and credibility.
Momentum refers to the energy and excitement that should begin to accumulate when the idea of an important upcoming event is mentioned. Capture customer attention by revealing that plans are underway for a huge event that all customers are going to enjoy. Don’t inform customers of the actual details of a promotion but just let them know to be on the lookout for the details of this upcoming event. Then as the time for the promotion nears have an official promotion launch date that provides details to the customers about the promotion. Customers who were already excited about the promotion and find value in this communication will be on the lookout for and have high interaction rates with these marketing emails. Build the excitement within the customer base and then keep the momentum by providing details about the upcoming event at a certain disclosed time.
Promotions should run for limited time periods only that should be relatively short. This helps create a sense of scarcity that should hopefully translate into a sense of urgency for a customer to visit and take advantage of this limited time only promotion. A month-long promotion does not create the same sense of urgency a weekend only or even a week-long promotion will.
Credibility is a concept that should not be overlooked. If a promotion is supposed to run for a weekend only, do not under any circumstances extend this event. It will turn away all the customers who visited under the impression the promotion was for a limited time only. A wise person once said, “a man is only as good as his word”. The last thing you would want to convey is dishonesty to your customers.
If you already have a loyalty program in place then you are well aware of the fact that loyalty customers visit more often and spend more per visit than non-loyalty customers. A promotion that targets non-loyalty customers by offering a promotion to join is a great way to turn the average customers into loyalty customers. Make sure you only target non-loyalty customers as loyalty customers might be jaded by the fact they did not receive a promotion for joining. On the flip side consider running promotions that are only for loyalty customers, such as the ability to earn double points for a limited time span or a certain day. A good example of this would be running a double points issuance program on a day that non-loyalty customer visits outweigh loyalty visits; thereby incentivizing customers who are not loyalty members to become loyalty members. Maybe the weekend before Christmas you usually have more visits and purchases from non-loyalty customers than loyalty members. By issuing double points this weekend you would drive in loyalty customers as well as incentivize non-loyalty customers to join the program and return at a later date to redeem the points they have just earned.
Timing Is Everything
As the example above hinted, timing is paramount when it comes to deciding on which days you will run a promotion. A good idea would be to look at your program and sales reports and note which days rank the highest and lowest in terms of visits and purchases made. Those with the highest number of visits and purchases are great days to market to your audience about upcoming promotions that should typically run on days where revenue and visits are historically low or on days you may be competing with other stores for business.
Who are You?
Some consumers are shying away from massive corporations and in exchange taking their business to friendlier small companies. In this case, it’s important for small businesses to introduce themselves and share their stories. This simple marketing technique is a great way to stand out and provides a way to relate to your customer base. Besides giving your brand a voice, sharing your story can add character to your business and appeal to consumer emotions. If you can effectively communicate your values and what makes your company and customers special, you can expect to see more popularity in the community. Sharing your story in combination with running a promotion on the anniversary of your store opening is a great promotional idea that can apply to all customers who have ever done business with you.