How to Get Year Round Customers from Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday may happen once a year, but it could generate a handsome slate of year-round customers and clients. Successfully transforming one-time visitors into year-round customers involves a two-step process. The first is collecting your visitors’ contact information. The second is devising a post-SBS plan that helps boost your branding, customer activity, and sales.
Step 1: Collect Information
Capturing customer information can be easier than you think, especially since several methods involve little to no work on your end. The type of information you want to collect depends on the marketing strategies you intend to use when you contact them.
At the very least, collect their email addresses and physical addresses so you can follow-up with them through email and direct mail and other printed promotions. You can also ask for more detailed info, such as the type of products or services that interest them, if you’re planning a more detailed marketing strategy.
Different methods of collecting customer or client information include:
- Having customers sign a clipboard with their name, email and physical address
- Asking people to drop their business cards in a fishbowl or other container when they visit
- Handing out forms with their receipts, asking they fill out the form before they leave the shop
- Having the cashier ask for the information, then typing it into a database at the point of sale
Whatever method you use, make it clear what people can expect once they give you their info, whether it’s weekly emails, monthly newsletters or an occasional announcement.
Step 2: Follow up!
Follow-up after an event is crucial to make good use of all those names you collected, but it’s also one of the most often ignored activities. Don’t let the collected contact information simply sit there and gather dust. Create an action plan for reaching out so your business stays fresh in their minds.
The first follow-up should ideally happen within a week of SBS. Others can be scheduled as needed or promised when you told customers what to expect when they gave you their contact info.
Reaching out with follow-up can include things like:
- A “Thank you” for attending SBS
- A message asking if they’d like more info on any of your products or services
- A promotional offer or discount to get them back in your door
- A valuable piece of content, such as a free download, e-book or other digital asset that gives them helpful information they could use
- An invitation to another upcoming event or sale
One more tip is to make it personal whenever possible. The people were kind enough to provide their names; you may as well use them! You can further personalize the follow-up if you have additional information on your contacts, such as the particular industry they’re in, the type of service or products they’re looking for and why, or issues they may need to solve in their work or daily lives.
The more valuable, helpful and engaging your follow-up is, the more likely you are to develop a relationship that could lead to more sales, higher revenue, and even bigger SBS celebrations down the line.
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