As a business owner, you may assume your biggest sales season will coincide with the winter months. However, creative sales pitches and yearlong advertising can help you enjoy healthy sales whether the temperature is freezing or broiling outside.
After setting aside enough money in your marketing budget to cover winter holiday promotions and advertising, you'll want to devote a good portion of your remaining funds to summer promotions, sales, and giveaways.
Here are five simple ideas and super ways to boost your customer levels in the summer.
1. Create Seasonal Promotions & Remind Customers of Summer Fun
Virtually every business with operating hours during the winter holiday season creates promotions that feature timely advertisements with snowflakes, evergreen trees, and holiday gifting. You can create the same seasonal advertisements and promotions in advance of and during the summer season. In fact, you may even want to hold giveaways that feature summer items like T-shirts or beach towels.
An article published with Intuit QuickBooks shares:
"Offer a free beach towel, T-shirt, or a bottle of sunscreen to customers as a reward for making a purchase... If you have clients who come in for appointments, considering giving them a summer-related item when they show up for the consultation."
Consider: You don't need to own a business that specializes in summer to benefit from seasonal promotions. Perhaps you own a shoe company that specializes in women's dress shoes or boots. Try offering some fun flip flops during a summer promotion that reminds your customers to take advantage of your summer shoe sale.
2. Create a Game or Fun Promotion Associated with Summer
Many people associate summer with fun because of summer vacations, school breaks, and lazy days spent with friends as a youth. Recreating that feeling of fun and excitement will benefit your small business by increasing the interest and anticipation of your customers.
Consider the excellent example shared by Short Stack:
"For Artrageous’s campaign, they’re asking their fans to submit some original artwork in exchange for a chance to win some awesome art supplies... Artrageous has positioned their competition as a “summer break” contest, so students have more free time and are excited to continue to create art even though they’re not in school."
A summer-themed competition not only gets your customers thinking about your business and the products you sell, but it creates excellent brand awareness. If your small business has an app, you might consider updating it with a mini-game that features a summer-theme and offer customers a discount if they play the game and score.
3. Offer Promotional Credits for Use in the Summer
A summer-themed sale is a great marketing device, but a coupon or promotional credit with a time limit is even better for luring customers into your store or to your website during the summer. These promotions can offer exceptional value if your business doesn't ordinarily get a lot of traffic or activity in the summer (perhaps you sell snowshoes).
For your coupon code, you may want to require customers to return or complete another purchase within just a few weeks instead of giving them the entire summer to think about a purchase.
Second Street Lab reveals:
"Set an expiration date within 14 days to encourage your customers to act quickly, and consider setting a minimum spend (i.e. $5 off when you spend $20 or more) in order to drive even more revenue for your program."
If you start a promotion in May to welcome the summer and keep it going until August, you might not see any appreciable boost in overall customer visits. However, creating a promotion that's time-sensitive means your customers will need to return ahead of schedule. Additionally, short-term promotions mean you can use more than one promotion each season for maximum impact.
4. Participate in Outdoor Events
You might associate winter with fireplaces and Yule logs, even if you don't live in a particularly frigid area, and summer probably brings to mind outdoor activities like picnics, sports, and beach volleyball, even if you don't live in a place that's near the beach. There's a good chance the habits of your customers change in the summer whether it's an increase in barbecuing activity or it's frequent trips to the waterfront.
As a small or locally-focused business, a valuable part of your promotional calendar is participating in events like local 5K races, festivals, and community gatherings. You may want to participate or even host a special event.
Square, Inc. provides some advice in this area:
"School’s out for summer, which means people have more time to hang. So why not throw an event to get your customers together? If you’re a flower shop, you might host a summer flower arrangement class. If you’re a fitness professional, you might get your clients together for a beach boot camp."
Hosting a summer event for your customers and the community means an unbeatable combination of increasing brand recognition and scoring "brownie points" with current and future customers.
5. Develop a Partnership with a Seasonal Business
Businesses that operate during a single season require business savvy and a fair amount of extra work for projects like marketing since the business is only open for a short time each year. However, those businesses do see a significant boost in interest when they create smart and timely promotions.
If your business operates all year, you might think about forming a partnership with a seasonal business. You'll benefit from the increased customer interest that comes naturally to your seasonal partner. Business 2 Community explains:
"Make a list of non-competing businesses that share your same audience, then consider how you might form a partnership that benefits both companies. You can create a joint offer in which you both offer a small discount, but you share the marketing costs and cross-market each other’s businesses. Print flyers to keep at each partner’s location to help market the promotion."
You can use this strategy throughout the year, too. There are quite a few seasonal businesses that operate solely during the winter holiday season. You might partner with a tree farm for the winter and consider a partnership with a beach towel company in the summer.
Sustainable Packaging Solutions this Summer from Howard Packaging
Are you looking for ways to introduce sustainability to your business? Do you want to run a terrific summer promotion with brand new, customized packaging? Find out what Howard Packaging can do for your business. Request a Free Catalog and Sample Kit Today!