“Confidence and enthusiasm are the greatest sales producers in any kind of economy.” – O.B. Smith
Since January marks the start of a profitable new year for your business, let’s work on your marketing calendar for the next 12 months. You see, nearly any event / holiday / celebration / milestone is an excuse for a promotion. And if you’re not taking advantage of that, you’re missing the boat.
Here are just a few ideas:
February: Valentine’s Day
- “Give yourself the ____ you’ll love”
- “We love you and want to do something special for you”
March: St. Patrick’s Day
- “Make your friends green with envy with ____”
- “Your lucky day”
April: April Fools’ Day
- “These discounts are so low, my accountant thought this was an April Fools’ Day joke”
April: Tax Day
- “I need your help to pay for my taxes” (Don’t laugh. This was a promotion my friend, Jeff Walker, used very successfully!)
May: Mother’s Day
- “Mother always said you should ____”
June: Father’s Day
- “As Dad used to say, ____”
- “Graduate to a new ____”
July: 4th of July
- “Watch fireworks explode when you ____”
- “Celebrate your independence from ____”
August: Dog Days of Summer
- “Beat the heat with ____”
September: Labor Day
- “Give yourself a break with ____”
- “Treat yourself to ____” (Halloween is a HUGE holiday – one of the best for running a promotion.)
November: Election Day
- “Elect a new ____”
- “Thank you to our best customers”
December: Winter Holidays
- “Happy holidays – winter sale”
- “Ho ho ho – Can’t beat the fat man, so we’re having a sale”
January: New Year
- “New Year – New You/New Start”
- “Get rid of last year’s inventory”
But even better is to create unexpected “anytime” promotions. As Dan Kennedy says, the number one sin in marketing is being boring. And online, it’s harder than ever to break through the clutter. One way to grab attention is to make up an “event” and really make it fun for your customers/prospects.
I’m talking about the “Any-Reason-Is-a-Good-Reason-for-a-Sale” sale.
This is the perfect way to pump up sales when things are slow, when you’ve hit a milestone in your business, or just because you need to get rid of inventory. There are tons of ways of doing this. A couple off the top of my head:
- “Scratch & Dent” sale…
- “Fire/Flood” sale…
- “Need to pay my taxes” sale…
- “Birthday or Anniversary” sale…
- “My server crashed” sale…
- “It’s raining out” sale… (I’m serious. A local taco place sends out an e-mail anytime it rains – since their foot traffic goes down – offering free chips and queso. Smart!)
- “Boss is away” sale…
And on and on…
You can also use this approach to sell personal items in classified ads or through the Internet.
For example, when my wife and I bought a new house, some items were slightly damaged in the move. I put out a simple “Scratch & Dent” sale e-mail explaining the situation to my subscribers, and we sold everything in just a few days. Then, last year, I tried something a little different: the “Save Yanik’s Marriage Sale.” The premise was that Missy, my wife, was really annoyed at me because our basement was overloaded with boxes. (Truthfully, she WAS mad – and made a big stink about it – but I embellished the story a bit.) It was another big success.
I’ve also done well with “personal milestone” sales for my business. I just did one when my first child, Zak, was born. That promotion nearly tripled my expectations. (It made $4.60+ for every visitor to my website.) More important, customers connected with me as a real person. You should have seen the dozens and dozens of “Congratulations!” notes. It was really cool.
There are a few big points I want to make sure you get from all this:
#1: Make your marketing fun.
Make people wonder, “What is this guy/gal going to be up to next?” Fact is, most of your prospects and customers probably lead fairly normal and mundane lives. If you can give them something to get excited about or allow them to live a little bit through what you do – you’ll have “hooked” them.
#2: Don’t let your theme or “fun” idea take away from the sales message.
This is critical! Big advertisers do this all the time, and waste their money. They try to use humor or something clever in their advertising… but ignore salesmanship. The fun or theme aspect of your promotion cannot stand on its own without well-written marketing copy. Bottom line: Don’t confuse being cute or clever with selling. There is a big, BIG difference.
#3: “Reason why” copy works perfectly for most of the events or themes you’ll create.
Most people will accept just about any excuse – even one as weak as a Presidents’ Day sale – for a special deal. However, if you combine the theme of your sale with real, meaningful “reason why” copy, you’ll make more sales… even if the reason is a bit contrived. Telling people the reason why you are doing something is one of the most powerful influencers of human behavior.
I hope this gives you some ammo to start thinking up your own promotions for the coming year and breaking out of the “ho-hum” mold of other marketers.[Ed. Note: Yanik Silver , an expert on creating money-making websites, reveals one of the most profitable “hidden” Internet income opportunities around in the Secrets of Easy Internet Money series. And make sure you check out his new book, Moonlighting on the Internet: 5 World-Class Experts Reveal Proven Ways to Make an Extra Paycheck Online Each Month.]