Coming up with fresh and fun ways to get customers in your door is like coming up with new dinner ideas. There’s only so many ways you can cook hamburger, so you make the same things over and over again, right?
The same happens with marketing ideas. You feel like you’ve tried every recipe you’re got, and now you’re just repeating the same ideas hoping for better results.
It’s time to snap out of your marketing rut. Here’s a list of six creative ways to get more customers in your doors:
1. Got a hot deal? Post it on a deal site
There are several “deal sites” that encourage businesses to submit hot deals. With Skout Deals, for example, you can list your deal on their app and it’s shown to customers that live or work near your store.
It’s for brick and mortar stores only, and allows merchants to submit a deal of 25 percent or more. You can link to your store, and even get access to metrics to see how many people your deal attracts.
2. Add a ‘pop up’ coupon to your website
Turn website visitors into paying customers by offering in-store coupons on your website. Since ninety-six percent of customers use coupons, it’s almost a surefire way to get customers in the door.
When a visitor stops by your site, a small box pops up on in the middle of the screen and offers a customer a deal in exchange for their email address. You can email customers an in-store coupon as soon as they sign up.
You’ll not only increase customer traffic, but you’ll collect email addresses, which you can use to send your customers deals, newsletters and articles later on.
3. Offer an exclusive deal, at an exclusive time
To reward your loyal customers for their continued support, create an exclusive deal just for them. Send your VIP customers a coupon, something that’s really attention grabbing, like 25% of an entire purchase or a discount on an item that’s never on sale. Now, sweeten the deal by allowing your special customers to come in and show after hours and shop hassle-free.
4. Host an event
Get customers to come to your store for a cool event, and they’ll likely stick around to do a little shopping. Home Depot, for example, hosts Kids Workshops. Parents can bring in their children to complete a DIY project, like building a birdhouse or this holiday candy dish.
It’s a great way to get more customers in the store, without trying to sell them something. But, odds are, those parents are going to do some shopping after the workshop is complete.
Consider hosting an event like a cooking class, book signing or tasting. A kids store can bring in a magician; a coffee shop can teach a class on grinding beans; a salon can show customers how to do three simple updos for summer. Think of an event that’s tied to your business that customers can enjoy.
Promote the event on your website, social channels and through in-store signage, just like Home Depot does.
5. Offer free advice or consultations
Give your customers access to an expert for a day. For instance, a clothing retailer can bring in a fashion consultant that customers can speak with to find the perfect holiday dress, or get an honest answer to, “Does my butt look big in these jeans?” Give each customer a free 15-minute session.
This idea works for service-based businesses too. Investment firms, for example, can invite customers ask retirement questions in a free Q&A session. A cleaning company, law firm and marketing agency can do something similar.
Invite customers via email, text message and social media. Set a date and time for the in-store event, and consider giving attendees a special deal like 25 percent off their first purchase.
6. Get artsy
Chalk art and hilarious chalkboard signs are all the rage. Bust out the bucket of chalk and go to town on the sidewalk or a chalkboard sign in front of your store. You can write a simple message, or draw a cool picture.
If your business is part of a Main Street setup, consider partnering with other businesses to bring in a chalk artist. Someone who can get really creative.
Block off the sidewalk, and invite customers to watch as the artists creates a masterpiece, or have a chalkboard saying contest. It’s the perfect event, because customers can stop in anytime, and catch the action.
When it comes to chalkboard signs, look up funny, witty, sassy, inspirational or cute sayings that reflect your business to catch people’s eye as they’re walking past. Or, if funny isn’t your forte, entice people with a benefit of your business, like a hot cocoa bar on a chilly afternoon.
Encourage customers to post pictures of your chalk masterpieces on social media, and assign a special hashtag to it, after all, eighty-eight percent of marketers use social media to increase awareness about an event.
If you’re hiring a chalk artist to do something elaborate, you should also set up a camera outside to capture the artist at work. Create a time-lapse video that shows the drawing take shape in a minute or two. Then share the time-lapse video on social media.
If chalk isn’t your thing, you could hire a local artist to paint a mural on the side of your building. Again, invite customers out to see the artwork take shape.
What creative marketing idea will you use this year? Share your plans in the comment section below.