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Every small business owner wants to make more sales. But sometimes, coming up with ways to do that seems impossible.
Most small businesses don't have much of a sales process or a plan to achieve the increased business that they want.
When you don’t have a way to drive sales proactively, you’re forced to rely on luck. But why hope and pray when it comes to generating sales? Depending on your available time and budget, with a little effort you can use a well-planned marketing campaign to drum up some business.
The Reason Your Customers Don’t Buy
Let’s set something straight.
Nobody wakes up in the morning planning to hand you money. It’s your job to remind customers who you are and what you do. In other words, your customers aren’t buying because you aren’t asking them to.
You have to give your customers a reason to spend money with you.
Think for a minute about some of the “reasons” companies give you to spend your hard-earned money. Maybe you have coupon. Perhaps they’re running a sale. Or maybe they sent you a special offer for your birthday. In any case, they reminded you that they were there to sell you something.
You should be doing the same thing for your customers.
As a small business owner, sales cannot be an afterthought. Marketing your business is one of the most important things you have to do. The good news is that you can take proactive steps to control your sales volume.
The Trick to Getting More Sales On Demand
So, how can you make your cash register ring? You can use these five campaigns to attract new customers, get more out of current customers, and get back lost customers:
- Customer reactivation campaign: It's easier and more cost effective to sell to a current customer than to get a new one. A customer reactivation campaign is simply a systematic way to contact previous customers and get them back on board. When you're experiencing a slow period, plan a campaign to target customers who haven't returned in awhile. For example, send a postcard, letter, or email to customers who haven't purchased from you in 30, 60, or 90 days. Your goal is to win them back as a customer.
- Customer appreciation campaign: The goal here is to reward your loyal customers. You could send them a BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon. Or you can send a handwritten note inviting them to a special event or exclusive hours not available to the general public. You don't have to appreciate all your customers at once. You can segment your customer list and reach out to them a little at a time. For example, you could have Accountant Appreciation Day or Firefighter Friday for customers who are accountants or firefighters.
- SMS/text campaign: It’s easier than you think to use short message service (SMS) texts and send targeted messages and coupon codes to your customers. A survey conducted by the UK Direct Marketing Association found that 1/3 of US consumers would rather receive offers on their mobile device via text message, than via email, mobile app, or voicemail. And in some cases, the redemption rate for mobile coupons is more than 10 times the average for a paper coupon. It is important to get written consent from your customers before sending them SMS messages. You should also keep aware of all regulations governing SMS text messages.
- Frequency campaign: Your goal here is to do something to increase the frequency of customer purchases. Rewarding customers for purchases is one way to go. AC Nielsen polled more than 29,000 consumers in 58 countries and found that 84% were more likely to choose retailers that offered a loyalty program. They also found that consumers spend 46% more with businesses that have loyalty programs on average. Discounted or free products are always a popular perk for customers. For example, a car wash could give customers a card to track each wash and after four paid car washes, the fifth one is free. Remember to design your campaign using powerful rewards and incentives that encourage frequent visits and increased spending.
- Referral campaign: Get your customers to refer their friends and colleagues. Potential customers are much more likely to trust recommendations from their friends and family members than any marketing you do. In fact, Nielsen research found that 84% of respondents found those recommendations the most trustworthy form of advertising. Why not harness that power by planning a marketing campaign to drive referrals? Research shows that referred customers are likely to spend more money than nonreferred customers. Referred customers also have a 16% higher lifetime value. You can use social media to increase the effectiveness (and visibility) of your campaign.
If you want your business to succeed (and who doesn’t?), you need a plan to make sure you’re getting the sales you need. These five campaigns are a great alternative to crossing your fingers and hoping customers buy.
© 2016 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.
Anthony Sills is a direct-response copywriter and content strategist on a mission to eliminate boring marketing. He's written copy for eBay, SEMrush, IBM, American Express, InfusionSoft and many exciting startups. You can always reach Anthony via social media or email.