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August 26, 2014 by RBDretail Leave a Comment Marketing in retail seems to be the same everywhere, right? Create a calendar for customers with your business name, address and some coupons or offers on it. Use public access TV channels to come up with your own TV show that specializes in your area of expertise. Be sure to advertise your website and social media, your clinics and TV show in different locations. Adopt-a-Highway area in your community to show your civic mindedness, and to get your business name on a busy highway where it will be seen.
Always send hand-written thank you notes to your customers, and use brightly colored paper and envelopes to do it. While researching this post, I came across literally dozens, if not hundreds of marketing ideas for small business. I figured another article about networking or content marketing or SEO & Google should probably not be the focus here. I run a creative business, so I wanted to come up with some marketing ideas that have a bit more zing. If you’re a fledging serviced-based entrepreneur, doing discounted or pro-bono work for charities can help you to develop your portfolio. You could do seasonal or long-term campaigns, with a certain percentage of sales going to the charity of your choice. Over the years I’ve worked with a number of agencies, and they excel at creative branded marketing material – especially over the Christmas period. If part of your service is providing digital files to a client, why not deliver them on a branded USB stick. When you go to networking events or other client meetings, along with your business card, you could give away a small gift. If you’ve followed through on the idea to get some branded material created, or have some samples of the product you sell, how else can you get them out there? That’s just a really quick selection from their site, there are loads of opportunities there! About the AuthorCathy Facebook Twitter Google+Cathy is the engine behind Two10 Solutions, as well as the designer behind many of our projects. These examples come from Touchwood design, an award-winning graphic design studio located in Orangeville, Ontario. Each holiday season, we try to present our clients with a thank you that goes beyond an e-card. While on a recent trip to New York we came across a cool wooden puzzle and it immediately struck a chord. I love this quote by Jim Rohn because as a Small Business Coach I’m consistently hearing entrepreneurs ask me how to get new customers faster. One of the problems I help solve for my customers is the loss of time spent on social media. Therefore I send my customers a small timer (something cute such as a Twitter like bluebird) so that they can set it to limit their time and thus be more productive. The best way to thank customers, and keep your brand popular is to always practice excellent customer service.
When their birthday comes up, we’re sending them special birthday videos with a special message and lesson, and offering them a free private lesson with no obligation. We’ve gotten a few surprise responses, and more than a few people sign up for more lessons, all without any additional effort or pushy sales efforts. The best part is that the process is completely automated (gotta love lifecycle auto-responder emails!).
Hand Written Thank You Notes are the best, no cost, low cost way to thank your guests or customers in a unique way. I teach my marketing clients to take the time (or have someone in their office take the time) to write a note to your best clients!
I write my thank you notes on Thursdays and have penned it ‘Thank You Thursdays!’ I keep it to 10 a week but the response is great since no one takes the time to do this anymore! With each order I write a very personalized thank you note and include it with the packing list. The whole thing takes me less than 90 seconds to do but it’s very personal, unique, and shows our customers that we value them beyond just being a customer. We are always looking for ways and opportunities to wow our customers in the most cost effective manner and for ways on a more personal level. When customers make online purchases you can reward them by emailing them a discount on their next purchase! The best way I thank a customer is by providing them with a personalized promotional code after their first order. Develop relationships with other vendors who can offer a discount on their services, at the completion of the purchase on your site.

For client-based businesses, periodically check on past clients to see how their businesses are succeeding (this is also a opportunity to pitch additional services to them or tell them about new services the company offers). An effective low-cost way of thanking your customer base while keeping your brand at the top of their minds is to hold a free giveaway for them to enter.
While a handwritten, custom card sent by you is fabulous, many business owners just don’t have (or make the time). You can use Postable that looks handwritten- but allows you to quick mail out beautiful, unique physical cards across the country! What I did, without any intent to it, was to include an autographed card with every oracle deck that is purchased.
As it turns out it has created great response from customers, and people boast about having an autographed card from the creator. Sometimes it’s about doing things without expectations that bring the greatest returns (smile). After the customer has made a purchase, the business can remain top-of-mind by providing follow-up information. In today’s world where almost all of our interactions are online and all of our inboxes are bloated, nothing helps you to stand out like good old-fashioned snail mail.
And as you grow, consider involving your team, it makes the work easier and reminds them of who they’re really doing this for, your customers.
It allows the customer to hold the materials in their hands to get a sense of quality, color, etc. As an added bonus for us, we include an informational card, which allows the customer to get added information about our company and products. If you get free tickets to the game, arts event or whatever from YOUR vendor-offer them to your customer.
Michael is the CEO of Social Media Startup Social Quant where they increase the size & quality of your Twitter followers. It’s so easy to worry about new customers and forget so much about all of the ones that are new. How-to clinics for customers to learn basics, and more advanced ones to learn more advanced. Lots I had thought of, plenty that I’ve seen put into actions, and few that made me stop and actually laugh out loud (stage a fake protest against lillies in a flower shop? Some of them I already do, and others I have decided to implement myself, as a result of my own research, cause they just sound so good! Using your skills or talents to help a charitable cause connects you with new people, and done properly, will provide mutual benefit for both businesses (because yes, charities are still businesses). There may be benefits in partnering with just 1 charity, or you could spread your allocation across a number of smaller ones. It’s in your interest, and the interest of the charity to spread the word about the campaign. Companies I’ve worked for have received branded wrapping paper (subtle branding obviously, no-one wants to wrap their presents in paper covered in someone’s logo), scrabble letters spelling out my name, beautifully designed desk calendars. Chances are they’ll reuse it, or have it lying around in a visible place, serving as a reminder of your business.
How about finding ways to get your business featured in print media, or other journalistic contexts? They will help you with drafting press releases, introduce you to media contacts, and sniff out media and publicity opportunities for your business. Part of the deal can be that enough samples are provided to create a specific number of goodie bags, that you all then distribute through your own networks.
The robot puzzle was designed by Robert Weeks for Areaware and it addressed all our requirements for an interesting gift.
The 2×4 beams had a nice aged look to them so I thought of making them into candle holders.
The first was a simple thank you from Mark Sieverkropp, completely unexpected and we don’t do business together.
Look at this one, it’s just a piece of paper (ripped in half) with another genuine note. This post shares 19 different entrepreneurs’ suggestions on how to WOW customers and it’s followed by an infographic of 55 Customer Appreciation Ideas!
All we have to do is check our inbox for the day’s appointments and get out the door.
And even better if you can include a tip or article that would relate to them or their business. I have a local chocolate shop that makes up little chocolate boxes for my new member thank you gifts.
When my clients refer me business, I usually offer them a free service or a month of free hosting or other incentives to say thank you for referring me and hope they know I’ll appreciate future referrals too!
With decks that are purchased online I get the pleasure of including the person’s name.

Giving helpful information away is one way to attract people to your website, and therefore to your brand.
As a Connecticut Justice of the Peace, I send my brides a thank you note with a reminder of places where it is important that they change their names and marital status.
More importantly, taking the time to write out a note and mail it shows you really care about your customers and are willing to go the extra mile for them. One of the ways that we are able to sell several thousand dollar patio furniture sets is by sending out free samples to our customers. Do it at an unexpected time like June or October-avoid the holidays when everybody else is doing it.
Not only will it keep customers coming back to learn more, but it will establish you as an expert.
Try city buses, park benches, or even things like local schools athletic fields (or show programs for their activities).
Send your staff, in your t-shirts with your store name or logo, to volunteer at a charity event. A charity may run on a tight budget, but they still need to partner up with competent service providers.
We currently work with DCH Animal Adoptions, and in 2012 created a coffee table book of rescue animals – we did all the photography, writing and design.
I think we are all well aware by now that engaging in these activities are pretty much the bare minimum in marketing for small business. If you’re a fitness trainer, for example, there may be a call-out from a journalist writing a story about your industry.
When everyone is passing out flyers for their new business, why not actually pass out a ‘flyer’! We ordered a bunch of them and then designed, silk screened, hand trimmed and folded the boxes. It’s this type of business-customer relationship that will separate your business from the competition. It is so inexpensive, and very little effort on my part, but each time I present a new member with it, they are blown away by the special treat. On the thank you note I’ll draw a very basic (usually stick figure, hah) of Jane wearing boxing gloves looking like she is ready to box.
Yet what music does do is provide you with an opportunity to know your customer and prospect in a way that is familiar, comfortable and safe. Fortunately, this tactic costs us no money to do at all since consumers only get the discount if they order so it actually helps us to make money. Your business gets more attention, in the process converting more sales, and as a result money is raised for the charity.
To add gravy on top, Wes from their customer service team sent me an email to ask if I needed any help.
Recently I got a birthday card from entrepreneur & podcaster Meron Bareket of Inspiring Innovation. It is the rental car courtesy bus driver who entertains you as if you’re at a wonderful theme park or the cashier who asks you neighborly questions while speedily ringing up your sale or the auto service tech who programs your new car’s radio stations from your trade-in and just lets you discover it! For potential customers, you can give them a free download of your favorite tune of an up and coming artist who is also giving away that same track(I’m almost certain any artist would LOVE for you to share their music as long as you get their permission). It didn’t have to be anything flashy, but it was enough to get you to change your mind.
Don’t forget to also have a page or two of your staff showing how much fun they have working at your store. By reaching out to other small businesses to contribute, you’ll be making and cementing your contacts.
Now because of my own busy schedule I didn’t take the time to use this low cost tool from HEYO and was about to cancel my plan. I’ve just started to get to know Meron, but this act of kindness is something amazing. But, signature means adding your special ingredient to the service experience you concoct and serve.
For our giveaways, we offer inexpensive prizes such as keychains, mini flashlights, and LCD pedometers. At the end of the day, the customer gets a neat little prize, while at the same time remembering the company who gave it to them. I spent some time after getting this nice note though and I’m loving using this Software. It allows you to find out what their likes and dislikes are, what type of music they are into, which, by the way, can give you some great insight to whether or not this prospect fits your demographic and psycho-graphics.
The piece has been well received thus far, with everyone figuring out how to expand the little guy.

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