Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
It’s time to show the love to your customers! Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday and one that most businesses can use to their advantage. So, take a few minutes to examine your target markets and ideal customer profiles to see how you can woo them this year. Don’t be afraid to be over-the-top. This is one time when you can get away with it. So, pull out your best moves and make them fall in love all over again.
Here are some ways to woo your customers:
Everyone who has customers or clients visit can put candy by their cash registers or on their counters or receptionist desks. Try message hearts, red hots, red lollipops, and of course, almost every chocolate company has a special Valentine’s Day promotion that includes something red or heart-shaped.
If you do not have a retail store, take candy gifts on your sales calls. Buy some red cellophane and wrap a selection of candies in it. Tie with white ribbon. Hole-punch your business card and tie it onto the ribbon.
You can use stickers or rubber stamps to add hearts, flowers and sentiments to your outgoing invoices, faxes, direct mail letters and more. Decorate your shopping bags, even.
If you are web-based, try adding heart graphics and emoticons to your site and your forum postings. And, put your avatar in something red.
For food-related businesses, recipes for Valentine’s Day dinners and desserts are a great giveaway that will draw visitors to your website or your retail store. You can print them and give them to your customers in their packages, fax them to your fax list, put them on your counters and so on. You could even suggest dinner meal plans in several price ranges, or something quick to fix, like a 30-minute Valentine's Day dinner.
Almost any consumer product can be a Valentine’s Day gift for someone. If you can select a product or several products for males, then a “what to give your guy” promotion could be a real coupe. Try sending a press release to your local media suggesting several guy gifts, and you could increase both your traffic and sales!
Online, you can write an article and post it on free article sites to drive traffic to your website or online store. Other targets you could use this idea for: Valentine’s Day gifts for Senior citizens, kids, runners, mechanics, nurses, -- truly, any profession, hobby or age group!
You can also offer freebies: “Visit our website for a free Valentine’s Day poem for your Sweetheart” (write it yourself or get someone to write an original for you.) Or, visit our website for Valentine’s Day history, love quotes, and so on.
Another type of quite popular freebie is a favorites list. You can do these online, and you can print them for your in-person customers. Try Favorite Love Songs, Pick-up lines, Top Romantic Comedies, Best Chocolate desserts, Valentine’s Day drinks, Favorite Flowers and what they mean, Ten Top-selling Perfumes, and so on. Tie them into whatever you sell if at all possible. For example, if you sell soap, compile a "Most Romantic" soap fragrances list.
To tie your Valentine’s Day marketing to charitable events or organizations, the American Heart Association is a good place to start as February is National Heart Month, too. You can donate a portion of your Valentine’s Day sales (or your February sales), organize a fundraiser to benefit them, or whatever works best for you. If you have another favored charity, contact them for ideas.
Pick at least one of these tips to add to your February marketing plan. There are very few businesses that could not capitalize on Valentine’s Day to jazz up their marketing. It’s fun and profitable! Give it a try, and you might just be feelin’ the love in the form of increased cash flow!
Try these heart-shaped lollipops. You get 120 for only $42. That’s a very affordable way to make your customers smile.
For your top customers, nothing says love like these Belgian chocolates: