4imprint, LLC

| Updated: January 13, 2021 3 min read

Do you ever see customers just outside your window and wonder how to bring them through the door? Try geofencing and marketing promo items. If you’re not familiar with the term, geofencing uses an app and GPS smartphone tracking to create a virtual “fence” around an area of your choosing. When customers who have accepted notifications from you step into the area, they receive your message—one that may bring them through the door.

Those messages can have a big impact on your business. One study found that 53% of shoppers visit a retailer after receiving a location-based alert.

If you’re ready to start building virtual fences, these steps will help you get started.


Determine what might make them stop

If you want to pull people into your business, you need to know what your potential customers might be looking for when they’re out and about. Here are some examples of how geofencing has been used:

  • Restaurants and bars send mealtime notifications about daily specials to anyone within a two-block radius.
  • A bakery that makes wedding cakes sends messages to anyone visiting a bridal store.
  • Dry cleaners contact customers in the neighbourhood to remind them their clothes are ready for pickup.

If you’re not sure what your customers’ top interests might be, have them fill out a survey about possible notifications they could receive to gauge their interest. A small business promotional item, like a phone stand pen or a screwdriver, can show appreciation for their input on your new marketing tool.

You can use this same process to determine where to put your fence—whether it’s around the block, around another business or in another area.


Set up your fence

There are multiple ways to set up fences. Each method offers different advantages to your business. You can set up a network-based fence through a third-party company, which can use cell phone data to send text messages. However, its accuracy can vary based on cell phone towers. You can also pay someone to create an app or build one yourself using a program like AppyPie. Once it’s built, let your customers know that your new app is available for download.

Mail a marketing promo item, like a postcard, to customers to share the advantages of your new app, including special app-only discounts or notifications. You can also offer a giveaway, such as a combination phone stand and screen cleaner or a splash-proof smartphone pouch, in exchange for a download.


Determine how often to send notifications

If you’re sending messages to customers every time they get near your business, they may lose interest and disallow messages. Limit your notifications to when you can add the most value for your customers, like when:

  • Providing a helpful service, such as reminding customers their order is available for pickup.
  • Offering a special discount or free sample product for those who visit you that day.
  • You have a new product or service your customers have been anticipating.
  • Giving a unique small business promotional item to visiting customers.


A push to pull them in

Geofencing and marketing promo items let you use push notifications to pull in clients. Every time a customer steps inside your fence, you’ll have another opportunity to share reasons they need to drop in for a visit.