The ultimate marketing sin is taking your customers’ loyalty for granted
A Customer Appreciation Sale is just what it sounds like. It’s giving your clients something to show that you really do appreciate their business. Your customers are the most important thing to your company (you’d be out of business without them), so let them know it. Leading up to Christmas, we have the perfect opportunity to do this, and that’s at Thanksgiving. Here are suggestions to hold a Customer Appreciation Sale at your store.
Send out a Thanksgiving card to your best customers or to your entire customer list prior to Thanksgiving. Everybody sends out Christmas cards. We get inundated with Christmas cards in our mailboxes. But who sends out Thanksgiving cards? Very few people. If you send a Thanksgiving card, it’s going to stand out and be noticed.
Now, you can do this on the Internet with an e-card, or send a Thanksgiving letter by e-mail, but this is one of the times that I recommend using direct mail. Nice Thanksgiving cards are available from local printers or from a number of online suppliers. The message inside can be something like:
In these busy times as we pause to express gratitude, this comes to Thank You for our pleasant association. We Thank You for coming to our store throughout the year and rewarding our efforts with your business, your confidence, and your kind words.
People like you make it possible for people like us to be ever thankful. We send you our warmest wishes for a beautiful Thanksgiving and a healthy, and prosperous New Year.
Then inside the card you can have a separate note that is a savings certificate. On it write: Please accept this thank you savings certificate as our gift of thanks. You are invited to our four day sale Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday after Thanksgiving.
If you’re closed on Sunday, you can either make it a three-day sale or add Tuesday and keep the four-day sale. The reason you include Monday is because more people travel over the Thanksgiving weekend than any other time of the year. If you just hold the event Friday and Saturday or Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, some of your best customers will not be able to come into the store. By including Monday or Tuesday, they can come into the store and take part in your customer appreciation festivities.
This is the perfect time of year where we are giving thanks already. So, it’s a great way to say thank you to your customers.
Then on the Savings Certificate list the details of the sale. For example:
As our gift of thanks, we are letting you decide how much you save.
Save 7% off your entire purchase up to $500.
Save 11% off your entire purchase over $500.
Bring a friend and both of you will save 17%
No minimum purchase required, you both save 17% of your entire purchase.
I used seven, eleven, and seventeen here for a reason. I did not say 5%, 10%, 15% because that is what everybody else uses. Even numbers are overused. Odd numbers always have a better response than using even numbers. Five and nine are also overused. Five and nine doesn’t make you stand out. Seven and eleven are the two top numbers to make you stand out and get a better response. You can play around with those numbers, do whatever you want. I really encourage you to try using seven and eleven in some of your numbers. Instead of giving $10 off, give $11 off. Instead of 5%, make it 7%. See if that doesn’t make a difference.
By offering different levels like this example and having them bring a friend with them, you’re encouraging customers to buy more and bring a referral. It really is an ideal promotion. You are thanking them for being a great customer, but you are also building into it the incentive to buy more, by having a higher percentage off if you buy a more expensive item and to bring a friend or relative with them to receive the highest savings.
Remember above I told you that Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year? Your customers that stay in town for the holiday most likely will have family over to spend time with them. They may have parents or adult children who live in other parts of the country staying with them. By offering greater savings you may persuade them to come into the store during the time they normally would have stayed home, and bring you new customers who would not have otherwise shopped with you.
In addition, you may want to provide a FREE gift just for coming in during one of the four Customer Appreciation Days. The gift could be a jar of jewelry cleaner, a pearl bracelet or some other gift for them. Studies have shown that if you included a free gift, the response rate will increase as much as 50%. Of course the gift itself will often dictate the response.
Send the card out to arrive no later than the Monday before Thanksgiving. You don’t want it to get there too early, but you don’t want to be too late either. You want them to see it in time to make plans to come to the store to shop. Then that Wednesday afternoon send an e-mail message to everyone that states:
I hope by now you received the Thanksgiving card we sent you. I really appreciate your business and as a way of showing our thanks, don’t forget to bring in the attached Special Certificate for Customer Appreciation Days.
Remember as a preferred client you are eligible for up to 11% off, and if you bring a friend or relative, I’ll give you both a full 17% off your purchases.
Customer appreciation Days are this Friday through Monday only. If you forget your certificate just mention the code “Turkey” and I’ll give you another one in the store.
On behalf of the entire (Store Name) family, I hope you and yours have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
Then on Friday morning send out a reminder. More people are thinking about shopping Friday morning, so send them a little reminder:
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Just a reminder don’t forget our Customer Appreciation Days start today. Remember, as a Preferred VIP Customer you are eligible for up to 11% off your purchases and if you bring a friend or relative, I’ll give you both a full 17% off.
I really want to thank you for you business this year and your discount certificate is our way of saying THANKS.
Send out the notice by text message if you can or by e-mail. How many people will you catch standing in line waiting to get into some store to buy and they get a text message or e-mail and they look on their phone and here it’s from you reminding them to come into your store. It’s a great time to send out a reminder.
On Sunday afternoon send a final reminder. Don’t forget to come in tomorrow, the last day of our Customer Appreciation Days.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to run a Client Appreciation promotion. After all, what better time to show appreciation to your VIP customers than on Thanksgiving?
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