I’m currently vacationing with my husband and our kids visiting his family in Wisconsin, where for the first 3 days of our trip we sweltered in nearly 100 degree heat and high humidity. Apparently, a “hot air dome” had settled atop us; it has since mercifully moved eastward. Even so, there is no other word this erstwhile Seattle-ite can use to describe the climate here other than the word “hot.”
In Seattle this week, the high has yet to reach 75 degrees. Here, it’s 75 by the time we get up in the morning and hits a high around 90 degrees each day. Consequently, we are spending the majority of our non-pool time in the air conditioned in-doors.
While a few of us are content with the TV, computer, a book (or writing blog posts), I’ve noticed that my husband’s family are not the type to sit around with nothing to do. I, myself, am not a big ’game person’ but he, his parents, his siblings and our kids definitely are. From cribbage to 31 to pictionary, there's a game going on at the dining room table nearly all the time. Not playing myself does, however, give me the opportunity to observe and ponder this communal behavior.
Maybe the most basic observation I can make is that (most) people love—crave—and seek out engaging, social entertainment to pass leisure time, whenever possible. The majority of our group (including anywhere from 4-10 kids at any given time aged 2-14 and anywhere from 4-10 adults) opt to participate, abide by commonly-held rules and compete for no more reward than enjoyment of the game and one another, sometimes for hours on end.
Your clients and prospects crave this same type of engagement, interaction and entertainment.
So, rather than basing your rewards programs solely on frequency of visits or dollars spent, why not create a rewards program that provides entertainment, facilitates interaction, stimulates customer engagement or even includes competition?
Reward customers for posting pictures of themselves or sending you pictures of themselves in public places sporting t-shirts or tote bags that advertise your business.
Reward customers for visiting your website or for participating in product or service education activities.
As part of your regular e-mail marketing, send an e-mail featuring education, facts or statistics about your business or one of your products or services, then reward customers who return to your business or participate in spot-quizzes at the cash register and can tell you 3 facts from the education sent in the e-mail.
Use reward cards that have serial numbers or codes and hold reward-period culminating events that feature second chance drawings, product demonstrations, sampling and free consultations or mini-services.
Hold a game night or tournament for your reward program participants or your best customers with a grand prize drawing compelling enough to spur attendance, such as a shopping spree or free year’s worth of a specific product or basic service. At the event, provide product demonstration, sampling, consultations and offer these VIP customers the opportunity to purchase bundled sets of products or a series of services to be used over time, spurring them to an even deeper level of commitment to your business.
Reward people for referring friends and family to your business on an on-going basis, but also use this as a point of competition and create significant prizes for those who refer the most people to your business over the course of a year or some other time period.
Your clients and prospects want to be entertained and engaged, and those businesses who reach out to engage people personally will build a bigger role for their business in the lives of their clients, and a much more loyal following, than those who simply open up for business every day.
365 Days of Marketing is full of day-to-day material that can help you do just that: check out the download which includes the July month-long and July 1-7 excerpt for a small sampling and then purchase the book on amazon.com and get started right away -- it’s going to be a great year!
Looking for something more specific for the salon or spa? Check out Make Over Your Marketing: 12 Months of Marketing for Salon and Spa, which is also available on amazon.com or 12monthsofmarketing.com.
Elizabeth Kraus – 12monthsofmarketing.com
365 Days of Marketing is available on amazon.com in book and digital formats.