For businesses that have been using Gift Cards as a marketing tool for a long time, you will be all too aware of how effective they can be at boosting sales, especially at this time of year. Not only do sales of Gift Cards in the lead up to Christmas greatly increase cashflow, but they are also responsible for bringing a host of new customers through your doors in the new year.
In order to take full advantage of this situation, you need to ensure that you are converting as many as possible of these NEW customers into RETURNING customers.
Here are some tips on how you can help convert your new customers into year-round loyal consumers:
- Value Added Service - First impressions count. Greet all customers that walk through your door with a warm, friendly welcome. It's a really simple way to make customers feel important.
- Reward Customer Loyalty - A Loyalty Card system is a great way to encourage return sales and an effective way to build your customer database. Offer a reward for a certain number of purchases made, or offer a discounted rate on selected products / services.
- Utilise a Database - If set up and managed well, your customer database is a powerful marketing tool for your business. It is essential to ensure new customers are continually being added. We recommend having an automated welcome email that is triggered when customers are added to your database. Use this to thank them for their first visit and provide a special offer for their return visit. Make sure there is a strict time limit on this offer, you want them to return sooner rather than later!
- Encourage Word of Mouth Referrals - The cheapest and easiest form of marketing. To encourage word of mouth referrals, consider a Referral Card system whereby both the referrer and referee are rewarded. For example, 'Refer a Friend and get 20% off your next service' and a '$25 Gift Card for new clients'.
- Support a local charity – Businesses seen to be supporting worthy causes are thought of more highly by discerning customers. Partnering with a local charity will build a sense of goodwill towards your business within the local community and provide great content for social media and email marketing campaigns.