Are you looking for a fun way to get more customers? You might want to follow the example of Cushing in Chicago, which routinely runs clever promotions to grab the attention of current and potential clients.
For example, in early March the company sent out an email touting the “Mysteries of Print” that encouraged potential customers to reach out:
“Why do we embed fonts, what are crop marks & bleed, and what the heck does CMYK mean? Share YOUR questions for a chance to win a $20 Potbelly’s gift card, $10 Starbucks card & more! Can you stump us?”
APDSP asked Cushing’s Jon Davis about their clever promotions:
Q: How do you get your promo ideas?
A: We’re always brainstorming ways to entertain and engage potential customers, current clients and the folks on our email list. Yesterday’s printing question promotion stemmed from a discussion on semantic search. We want to understand how clients/potential prospects enter entire questions into search engines such as Google. One of our customer service reps asked if we could develop a survey. And we decided to then include a promotion in the email newsletter encouraging subscriber submissions.
Separately, since marketing professionals have input and/or make decisions on printed collateral/wide format display graphics, we organized a “lunch & learn” on trending search engine optimization topics (semantic search) at Cushing.
Q: How often do you do these types of promotions?
A: Five or six times a year, if not more. For example, we’ll send surveys to prospects who have requested quotes through the website (we’ll ask about their customer service experience or what type of website content they would find helpful). In exchange for their feedback we send promo cards such as Starbucks cards.
Lunch & learns are well-received and we schedule these at Cushing two or three times annually. This year we are planning a couple of offsite educational events with partners we have met through networking events/existing relationships.
Q: What response do your promotions typically get?
A: We hosted a lunch and learn at Cushing on digital marketing last month and had 25 existing/potential customers visit the shop.
In December, we partnered with a new River North restaurant (Seoul Taco). They provided FREE lunch for the first 25 recipients (in a downloadable coupon). Those were gone within two hours of the promo and Seoul Taco increased the available downloads.
More than 50 recipients ended up with complimentary lunch, courtesy of Cushing!! The restaurant was happy for the brand exposure, and Cushing had an opportunity to offer something unique. The restaurant ended up being a printing customer AND wrote a positive review on Google and testimonial for our website.
My point is that even after we run these promotions, the responses and results continue to come in, such as external links to the Cushing website, customer feedback we can use on our website, etc.
Q: Which promotions have been most successful?
A: Each has resulted in new prospects for the sales team, and in some cases a customer responded with an order! The success is ongoing. For instance, we installed wall graphics for a client last year, and she stopped by our lunch & learn last week. While she was at our shop she got the idea for a new banner, and asked us for a quote. Each promotion keeps us ‘top-of-mind’ and that is always a sign of success for us.