Larry the Ad Man's Blog

I hope you learn from my small business marketing and advertising tips.

"Advertising is to trade what Steam is to machinery" Thomas Cook.
It was an honor to be nominated for 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Small customer loyalty programs.

I shared a customer loyalty program idea with a client today and thought I should share it with my readers. I used it to some success with a past business I owned called Collectors Paradise. It's based around the Canadian Tire model where 5% of your purchase comes back in Canadian Tire money. In your businesses case, you can decide any percentage or a minimum purchase. So lets say, your average sale is $20, but half of your customers spend less than $20, you might want to set $20 as your minimum sale to get your "Collector Bucks". It will encourage those who spend less to spend up to the $20 level and increase your sales. That's where the comparison to Canadian Tire ends.

Instead of customers spending them in store on your regular items, schedule a monthly auction on a day which is traditionally slow. Put on some drinks and snacks and make it a nice customer appreciation day. Show your customers you appreciate them. For the auction have some special items that are not normally available in your store or service centre. For the used book store I spoke to today, I suggested that a NEW hot title, perhaps autographed, may be a nice draw. For my friends at Trio Motors, I might suggest a premium from a supplier, perhaps a Nascar Interstate Battery jacket? Put the item in a showcase to show your customers over the month, what they have a chance to purchase with their "bucks". This plan will serve to touch on many goals of marketing. It encourages customers to spend more each time they stop by, it makes them feel like they are appreciated and belong to your business family. It brings those good customers to an event on a night/day they wouldn't normally stop by and fills up your business on a slow day/night. But most importantly it makes your customers just a little more loyal. The traditional customer loyalty program is designed for this very reason. Why should I shop at store X when Store Y sells the same thing at the same price? Because Store X gives me "Collector Bucks" "Air Miles""Points". A well crafted and advertised program will bring you new customers as well as encourage your current customers to spend more. Until next time, I'm Larry "The Ad Man". Remember to support your Community and your Community will support you.

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