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Today, more and more small businesses are interested in running offers, as a way to get new customers. The key to the success of this type of campaign is finding a way to get your offer in front of the right people—that is the people who will likely to act on it, and ultimately help you grow your business by becoming a new loyal customer. What’s the best way to get in front of the right type of people? Having your offer shared organically.
To help you get started, here are 10 ways to spread the word about your offer:
Promote via email
Before you do anything else, make sure to promote your offer to your existing contact list. These are the people who have already opted to engage with your business—so they’re likely to have interest. Encourage your contacts to tell friends about it and forward the email.
Share it on social networks
A simple Tweet or Facebook post can go a long way. If you’re on Pinterest, don’t forget to pin the image associated with the offer and link it to the offer page.
Give others an incentive to share
Offer something like another $5 off—or just something simple, like a free coffee—to anyone who does share the offer. Better yet, partner with another business that can offer the bonus reward.
Use QR codes to bring the offline, online
Use a website like Kaywa QR Code Generator to make the web address of your offer into a QR code. Then print that out and put it on posters, menus, and cash registers. This gives those in-person, real world touch points a way to connect back online to your offer.
Try a coupon book
Coupon books are a great way to build business because they can be shared with friends, and provide customers with an incentive to keep coming back.
Make the incentives known
If you’re having trouble getting people to share the offer with their social networks, you may want to send an email or mention it explicitly in the offer itself. Seeing how the average person has more than 100 Facebook friends, just one share can go a long way.
Take timing into consideration
If your town has a summer festival or you know you’ll be at a local tradeshow, then that may be the ideal time to run an offer. Just create a QR code for your offer and put them on business cards or other distributable material. Again, you could also create a coupon book that keeps people coming back.
Have the offer coincide with a holiday
Your loyal customers will probably think of your business during different holidays, too. Why not create a specific offer to be redeemed on birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, or other holidays that rewards people who come in with groups?
That will encourage your existing customers to bring in new people who are likely to come back for more.
Keep the time/quantity of the offer limited
Since you do have control over all the terms of the offer, you can set up an offer that is sure to attract a lot of attention, but won’t be too much for you to fulfill.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Most importantly, use all of the tools at your disposal and try out some creative uses. You could also incentivize customers to share by rewarding them with something really big—but only if their friends specifically “Like” your Facebook Page and say their friend sent them there.
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Ellen Williams, Constant Contact Regional Development Director, New York and Southern Connecticut
Ellen has over 20 years of technology and marketing experience and has presented to over 4,000 small businesses, nonprofits, and associations. Her advice on best practices help organizations understand how to build great customer relationships that inevitable grow their businesses.