The 5 secrets for success this season

This article originally appeared on our Yodle Insights Blog.

In case you haven’t noticed, the holiday retail season is ON. So how can your franchise business stand out amid the deluge of deals and seasonal promotions? The secret to your success this December can be summed up in one word: OFFERS. We got the top 5 ways to turn your seasonal promotions into pure holiday shimmer. Here’s how to make it happen.

1. Start with the end in mind.
What do you hope to achieve with your offer? Getting clear on your goal will deliver a bigger return on the time and money you invest in creating it. Let’s say you want to attract more recurring customers to your professional services franchise business. You might consider offering a discount to new customers who pay upfront for a package of your services. However, if you need to increase cash flow during a slack period, you might try a different approach. Offering a steep discount to anyone on your mailing list who sets up an appointment in the next 24 hours might be the best strategy.

2. Find out what deals excite your customers.
What types of offers do your customers prefer? You may need to experiment a little to find out. Coupons are a good place to start – some people like to send out digital coupons to coincide with big holidays, which can often be a popular seasonal offer type. But your own customers may respond better to a “deal of the day” or “friends and family” discount. The methods used by other businesses in your industry can be a good source of ideas.

3. Set the right deadline.

The deadline for your offer should reflect both your business goals and what you’re selling. Offers that expire within 24 hours may get prospects or customers to make a relatively inexpensive impulse purchase. However, if you offer a professional or home improvement service that requires more consideration, giving respondents a few weeks to respond may work better for you.

4. Display the offer in multiple places.

Promote your deal everywhere you can, including email, social media and one-on-one interactions with customers. When in doubt, focus on email marketing first. After organic search, email marketing can often be the most effective way to win customers. Personalizing email ads to customers’ interests makes them most effective.

5. Respond to leads rapidly.
If you wait too long to get back to prospects, they may disappear on you. Researchers at Harvard Business School and other organizations found that companies that contacted a potential customer within an hour of receiving a query were seven times as likely to have a meaningful conversation with a key decision-maker than those that waited even one hour more – and more than 60 times as likely as those that let a full 24 hours pass.

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