If you’re like most local merchants, you’re thinking about how your marketing campaigns can stand out from the competition. The good news is that March presents three unique opportunities – St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness and the first day of spring – to engage your customers using email and social media marketing. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Sharing of the Green
As one of Chicago’s most festive holidays, St. Patrick’s Day is known for bringing the local community together to celebrate. You can apply the same concept with a “sharing of the green” email campaign that presents a compelling deal to existing customers when they share it with a friend. You can make it more enticing through an added incentive if that friend becomes a new customer.
The three-week basketball series is an opportunity to run an extended campaign. Also, since the games have national appeal, you can engage local customers while potentially reaching new ones across the country.
One way to do this is by posting a bracket on your blog, website or Facebook business page. Instead of advocating a gambling pool or taking sides on a particular team, you can list the teams in the brackets and offer a discount or a special offer based on the final score of the games. For example, a 12-point difference would equate to a 12 percent discount on certain items the day after the game.
This will prompt your customers to frequent your website and look forward to receiving your emails with information about the game results and your daily specials.
The First Day of Spring
To celebrate the first day of spring, consider hosting a private event for your VIP customers to give them a sneak peek at your new seasonal products.
You can also create a weather marketing campaign. For example, if March 20 is 65 degrees, customers will receive a 10 percent discount. For every degree over or under 65, they can apply the difference as an additional percentage off their purchase.
Still another idea is to partner with local merchants to create combination offers. For example, a dry cleaner and restaurateur can team up to offer a deal to customers that dry clean their spring wardrobe and then try a new dish at the restaurant.
Here’s to a successful end to winter and a fresh start to spring!
Steve Robinson is Constant Contact’s small business expert in Illinois and Wisconsin. A knowledgeable marketing expert with 30 years of experience, Steve has helped thousands of small businesses, associations, and nonprofits develop and implement effective email marketing, social media and online survey strategies. A popular speaker and educator, Steve gives small businesses and nonprofits the tools, techniques, and strategies they need to grow and expand their business and to maximize the power of relationship marketing. Steve’s experience in small business ownership, business development, sales, and fundraising help associations, small businesses and nonprofits achieve success.