Written on August 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm
I went to Boots this morning. I needed some toothpaste, that’s all. I came away 15 minutes later and £34 lighter with a full shopping bag. Why? Because I loved their offers. If you think that offers are cheap and you won’t lower yourself, check out successful huge companies such as Boots and Sainsbury’s and see why you’re probably wrong. They’re not promoting special offers out of the goodness of their heart, you know.
Offers. Sales. Bargains. Some of the richest people I know won’t buy anything unless they think they’re getting a deal. Maybe that’s why they’re rich. There are business owners who use special offers as a great ‘foot in the door’. Others would never entertain the idea as they “don’t need to lower themselves”. Even when they’re clearly struggling just to stay afloat, the shutters are up to doing a deal.
Of course it’s possible to promote a bad special offer and do more harm than good. 10% off? Totally bland. Plus it’s hard for 10% off to stack up against all the neon signs on the high street saying “75% off”. Some businesses have worked their sums out wrong and ended up with an offer that actually cost them money, which of course should never happen.
From our experience, the best offers are the most original ones. Hardly rocket science. Originality keeps you in people’s minds, which is what you want. They might not buy from you but at least they’ll remember you and in turn buy from you in the future.
Offers that tend to do better than average are the ’3 for 2′ kind of deals. That’s where Boots are brilliant. I go in to buy toothpaste and it’s 3 for 2. I don’t need 3 tubes of toothpaste, I’ve only got one mouth and that’s pretty little. But I think I’m saving money. And next to the toothpaste are the toothbrushes. I’m OK for a toothbrush but there’s an eye-catching sign saying that electric toothbrushes remove 2,000% more bacteria or something. And they’re on sale for half price. Done.
I’m queueing for the checkout and there’s lots of goodies between me and the till. Lip balm? I’m going on holiday next week. Only to Wales, but hey the sun might shine and perhaps I should get some balm. Ooh, and it’s 3 for 2 as well….
Add-ons are another good model. ‘Spend £X and get Y free’. A well-known example is of a Chinese takeaway that measured average customer spend at £27. So they did a deal – ‘Spend over £30 and get a free bag of prawn crackers’. The extra cost to them was probably a few pence. The return? Average spend went from £27 to £32.
So why not try an offer? Not a vanilla one such as 10% off. Free consultations don’t count either. Key 3 Media and other marketing service providers in shropshire do free consultations, so does everyone. It’s not an offer. It’s just a free consultation. Something you should expect, no matter what the super gurus say about valuing your time. You try charging for an initial consultation in today’s market. Go creative, go silly and the worst that can happen is people will remember your business’s name.
Do your sums, see what the big boys are doing and factor their strategies into your marketing plan. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.
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