10 Free Things Retailers Can Do to Get Traffic

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This Handout was utilized for presentations given by Sally Witzky of Traction Group for Chapters of the Retail Merchants Association of Richmond, Virginia. It contains more than 10 Free and Low Cost Things Retailers Can Do to Increase Store Traffic around the holidays - and beyond.

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10 Free Things Retailers Can Do to Get Traffic

  1. 1. 1 | Page © 2010 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist. http://www.tractiongroup.com 10+ Things Retailers Can Do for Free or Low Cost to Increase Holiday Store Traffic First, Rules of the Road…  Do not ignore your best sources of business and referrals o Those who have purchased from you before (current or past customers) o Those who have shopped your store before who may not have purchased (familiar prospects) o Those who have inquired about your products or services but who have not yet purchased (inquirers or hand-raisers)  Be sure you understand the differences between the types of customer relationship marketing efforts and the 80/20 rule: o Acquisition: Acquiring a new customer (awareness, research, consideration, shopping, research, purchase, verification, research) o Retention: Retaining a current customer o Cross-sell: Selling a customer another product or service in addition to the one they are buying or bought o Up-sell: Selling a customer a product or service at a higher price point than what they came in to buy o Conversion: When an inquirer converts to a prospect and a prospect converts to a customer. Know where you gain and lose customers! o Repeat Visit or Repeat Purchase: Getting your customer to come back again within a short time after their last purchase  Know how your customer finds you and researches you; know what convinces them to buy; know why you lose a customer or prospect.  Remember STAT: Something to Talk About Tomorrow. ALWAYS give your customers and prospects something good to talk about. In these days of social media, people love telling others they found a great deal or they were treated special in some way. You must BE THE ONE who delivers.  Retailers are internet marketers and content generators. Period.
  2. 2. 2 | Page © 2010 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist. http://www.tractiongroup.com 10+ Free Things You Can Do Right Away 1. Email Marketing: Send an email or two to your customers and prospects a. Constant Contact has 60-day free trial b. No limit to number of emails that can be sent per month c. Don’t forget you can download your LinkedIn connections and upload to CC lists 2. Phone Calls: Pick up the phone and call your best customers – 5 a day. THANK them for being a customer, tell them what is happening in your store and ASK for a referral! a. You can also text them if you have their cell phone numbers. Works well for quick appointment or event reminders or Thanksgiving Week Thank You Messages! 3. Begin a database: Establish a process to collect/record your customer’s name, email address, phone and address. At minimum, get name/email/phone if at all possible. a. Once you have this information there are several things you can do like send email to them. But if you don’t have a good database, you’re forced into using the more expensive acquisition techniques more often to get customers. 4. Local Business Directories: Ensure your Google Places directory listing has been claimed (Yahoo & Bing, too) a. It is free to maintain these listings and get reports of impressions and actions (on Google) b. Add a special offer in a post to your Google listing (it will last for 30 days) 5. Run a daily special using your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) a. If you use Hootsuite, you can post once and all the accounts will be updated, and you can schedule your posts in advance to save time. b. Include photographs! People are visual creatures! 6. Create a daily video: Use a flip video to shoot a daily store report or helpful tip from an expert, and post videos to your social media accounts or your blog a. Videos should be short, 1-2 minutes in length b. Upload to YouTube account (free / can be integrated w/ your Google account) 7. Post news or events on VANewsandEvents.com (need 1-2 days notice) a. Will appear on website AND in their subscriber emails sent several times per week b. Their emails have over 6,000 subscribers and growing! 8. Use Retail Merchants Association benefits: a. Be sure you’ve taken advantage of your Silver business listing on Richmond.com (Free benefit of RMA membership – valued at over $400/year) b. You can also add your events to http://events.richmond.com for free. c. Work with Pat Vitsky to promote your events and promotions; you can post them to the following Facebook Pages for free: Retail Merchants Association, Think.Shop.Buy.Local! and Pat will help you maximize your efforts.
  3. 3. 3 | Page © 2010 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist. http://www.tractiongroup.com d. While not part of the RMA, you can also post to the LocallyOwnedRichmond Facebook Page. 9. Send out a free press release on a sale or event or company news: a. iNewswire will let you send out free press releases (Basic PR) b. FreePressRelease.com is another source (Submit Free PR) 10. Remember Metro Business: Promote event by sending email to metrobiz@timesdispatch.com (need 2-3 weeks notice) 11. Ensure your blog appears on RVABlogs.com (just send email to info@rvablogs.com). That way, your posts will appear on other sites around Richmond, too. 12. Use Slideshare.net for extra exposure: Upload a powerpoint presentation (can be only one slide or as many as you want) or a document (can be a sales flyer or more detailed article) to your free company Slideshare.net account a. It can then be embedded into your blog b. It can be imported in your LinkedIn or Facebook accounts c. A similar service is Scribd.com but it doesn’t integrate as nicely as Slideshare.net 13. Local Paper: Goochland Gazette (or whatever your local or community paper is!) a. List your event: events@goochlandgazette.com (Deadline is Friday for the next week's edition) b. Get a local story placed in the paper (what news do you have that you can pitch effectively with photos or other content or material? What subject?) 14. Promote each other’s businesses a. Write a review on Google or other related site for a local business for which you’ve had a good experience b. Help a business owner do one thing that you learned how to do that would be of great benefit to them. Ask them to show/teach you something else in return. 15. Plan a content strategy. If you manage a blog or a Facebook Page, you can usually get content from other related sources (your vendors, your suppliers, etc.) for free. Remember to check for relevant YouTube channels as they often have lots of content that is easy to embed in your blog or Facebook Page. Better to embed on your own blog and use NetworkedBlogs to automate the posts to update your Facebook page. 16. ______________________________________________________________________ 17. ______________________________________________________________________ 18. ______________________________________________________________________ 19. ______________________________________________________________________ 20. ______________________________________________________________________
  4. 4. 4 | Page © 2010 Traction Group. Sally Witzky, owner and chief strategist. http://www.tractiongroup.com A few more things that are Low Cost and Flexible 1. Run Facebook ads to promote a special, event or sale a. Run at $1.00 per click with a daily maximum budget of $10 as a test b. You can start these today by going to http://facebook.com/ads 2. Test one of new the 1-Day Only Coupon email services like Groupon or LivingSocial 3. Test Mobile Marketing Coupons – special deal by Mobideals.info (free for 9 mos, pay for mos 10/11/12 @$200 month per location – call Dan @ 804-301-9384 for info). 4. Send an offer postcard to those customers whom you don’t have email addresses a. If you use Digital Banana for printing you can order low cost and low quantity and upload your files online. There are other similar services if you need small print runs. 5. Run a Google Adwords campaign a. Run at $3.00 per click max with a $20 daily maximum budget as a test b. Can start within 48 hours by going to http://google.com/adwords c. Pick your keywords carefully – long-tail keywords are better (two to four+ words/phrases) 6. Run a Foursquare Promotion: If you have a true foot-traffic business, run a Foursquare promotion – gifts to the Mayor and promote it using other tactics mentioned in the “free” section above 7. Run an offer event in your store. For example, the first 10 people get who come in to the store get an extra 10% off their purchase. You can either promote it using the free methods – or – you can make it a silent sale and just allow those people to get an extra bonus they weren’t expecting. a. A variation on this is to get your suppliers or other business owners to donate small gifts for a SWAG bag and give those to your first XX customers. Promote this through social media. 8. Create a “Leave-Behind.” Ask yourself: What are your customers leaving with? How will they know to connect with you outside of the store? a. Plan to give every customer a flyer or a magnet or something when they leave. b. Make sure it thanks them for their purchase and includes a call-to-action i. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter ii. Visit our website and blog at http://yourwebsite.com iii. $ Coupon toward next visit’s purchase (encourage them to return again) c. If you already create a newsletter or flyer for other purposes, then you can use that or a form of it that works as a leave-behind. Repurpose it – you don’t have to recreate the wheel. d. Make it memorable – “give them something to talk about!” 9. ______________________________________________________________________ 10.______________________________________________________________________ If further questions, call me on my cell at 804.402.0804 – or – email me at sally@tractiongroup.com. Twitter: @sallywitzky and @tractiongroup Facebook: http://facebook.com/tractiongroup Slideshare: http://slideshare.net/sallywitzky

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