For small businesses, offering discounts and rebates can be a double-edged sword. The practice can help attract new customers, clear out seasonal merchandise and increase cash flow. But some worry that it may also affect customer loyalty, perceived value and profitability.
Goodbye discounts, hello small business promotional products
Small business owners can find a balance by using giveaways instead of discounts. Giveaways are an effective way to promote a new product or service while attracting new customers and expanding your marketing reach. Here are some ways to use giveaways instead of discounts:
- Special invitations: Instead of offering a discount on a new product line you’re dying to promote, invite shoppers to preview it during a special, after-hours event—by invitation only! Provide a logo’d shopping tote to encourage shopping during the preview and as a special thank-you for attending.
- Cash in on happy customers: Some of the most effective publicity is positive word of mouth from happy customers. Ask customers to participate in a case study or a video testimonial about your brand. Thank those who do with a logo’d briefcase tool set or Bluetooth® speaker.
- Reward loyalty: Repeat customers make up 20 percent of your customer base, but they are responsible for more than half of all sales. A loyalty program can help build long-term relationships. Send personalized emails to your best customers with information about sales, new products and company news. Reward loyalty with logo’d travel tumblers, gym bags or combo chair/coolers.
- Hold appreciation celebrations: Company anniversaries and holidays are a great time to celebrate. Invite customers, neighbors and prospects to an open house. Create a festive look with streamers, logo’d balloons and refreshments. Send guests on their way with a small business giveaway, such as a logo’d umbrella or picnic throw.
- Public speaking appearances: Guest appearances at an event or expo can be a great way to educate others on your area of expertise while gaining exposure for your business. Instead of charging a speaking fee, consider offering your time in exchange for a plug for your business. Skip the discount coupon and hand out a small branded gift like a logo’d business card luggage tag or house-shaped keep-it clip.
Discounts aren’t the only way to drum up business. Small business giveaways can help boost your bottom line and help ensure long-term success. Try some of these tips and see what works best for your business.