The floors are swept. The windows are glossed. Your staff is prepped and ready. It’s that magical time of the day. Time to open up shop! You excitedly run up to switch that “closed” sign to “yes (heck yes) we’re open,” and you’re ready to tackle the day. A half hour goes by and things are pretty quiet, but that’s okay; it’s still early in the day. You’re tapping your fingers, fiddling with a pen, staring at the clock, and another hour has gone bye! What!? Where are all your customers!
Sound familiar? Slow days — the bane of every small business owners existence. Not only are you and your staff bored out of your minds when there’s no customers, but you’re more importantly not making any money. Definitely not ideal. Unfortunately, not every time of year can be your busy season. Ironically, for many small and local businesses the summertime can actually put quite the freeze on profits. Customers are away on vacation, it’s hard to get in touch with them, and subsequently you’re feeling like your business is quickly becoming a ghost town.
So, in order to really heat things up as summer starts to wind down you need to get a little creative. Here are the best summer promotional ideas for ending summer on a high note… AND read on for the best ways to advertise those promotions.
Step #1: Creating Quality End of Summer Promotions
If business is a little slow, end of summer specials are a great way to heat things up. Your customers are all getting back from vacation, getting the kids ready for school, and most importantly — looking for a good deal. Obviously you need to have a compelling monetary off, but other important factors which are a little less obvious are making sure your promotions are…
a) Time Sensitive
Giving your promotions a hard, swift deadline is a great motivator for getting customers through the door. So, let’s say you want to start a 20% off promotion. Make sure you emphasize that this promotion has a deadline. For example, maybe you make the promotion last for just the first week in August. Or maybe instead your summer promotion stops the end of the month. Whatever time frame you choose just be sure to add a sense of urgency.
b) End of Summer Theme
Your promotions need some sort of theme. No one is compelled by a bland, boring offer. The end of summer actually gives you a lot of room to work a fun theme. You can either choose to go down the route of summer-themed promotions like having promotion titles and illustrations influenced by beaches, the ocean, etc. Or you can choose a “back to school” route and decorate your promotions with notebooks, pencils, apples, etc. Bottom line: get creative and have fun!
Step #2: Advertising Your End of Summer Promotions to Your Customers
Once you’ve created an enticing, themed, time sensitive promotion it’s time for you to get the word out there and let your customers know about it. Regardless of how compelling your offers are if no one knows about them what’s the use? Here are some tools for spreading the word far and wide.
a) Email - Don’t fix something that isn’t broken. Email marketing is one of the most traditional (and effective) means of communications for small businesses to use for getting the word out about promotions. Considering that about 92% of online adults use email with 61% using it on an average basis, the chances of successfully getting your promotion in the hands of your customers via email are extremely high.
b) Text Message - A somewhat less conventional, newer means of communications that works for small businesses to get promotion materials in front of their customer base is text message marketing. Venture Beat found that about 98% of customers who receive sms texts from businesses open and read those messages. With a near 100% open rate, it’s a no brainer why you should utilize text message marketing as a means for promoting your end of summer promotions.
c) Social Media - Popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest give your small business the ability to engage with a large audience of potential new clients in seconds. Social media acts as a pristine tool for you to draw in tons of new clients with your end of summer promotions. In fact, 78% of small businesses report generating at least a quarter of their new customers via social media. Definitely something to keep in mind…
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