There’s something intriguing about a jar of jellybeans resting on the counter at the front a store – any store, actually – waiting to be “guessed.” A large, clear canister, filled to the brim and alive with color. The color may attract the customers. The contest is sure to hook them.
Contests, giveaways, and easy requests with a potential reward attached are sure-fire ways to catch everyone’s attention. A guaranteed conversation starter and, hopefully, a successful way to increase your bottom line.
The fishbowl contest is not just for merchandise-filled stores. I see them all the time at restaurants I frequent, where the establishment asks for your business card, and one lucky patron (often on a monthly basis) will receive a lunch or dinner for two.
So, if you want to hook your next customer and have them coming back for more, consider these ideas to stir friendly competition and lead to more business:
- Quick Survey with Potential for Rewards. Announce on your Web site, on flyers in your store, all your social media outlets, and even in your local paper that you’re offering a prize or service for a limited time, giving the event a sense of urgency. All customers have to do is fill out an entry form, answer a question or two (such as their favorite time to shop), and drop it in the fishbowl. You capture the customer name, pertinent data, and contact information to build a data base. Critical: Obtain an email address.
- Giveaways. Pick a special day that your employees can hand out small tokens of appreciation. You might not even ask for anything from your customers in the way of data, but you are generating goodwill and creating positive word of mouth – verbally and through social media. And if your giveaway is inside a recyclable bag with your company information, including web site, you’re sure to spread your name around town.
- Unique Contests. Here’s where you can use your creative juices on your social media outlets and link it back to your store. For example, run a photo contest online asking customers to post their favorite holiday photo, favorite store product in use, or even keep it seasonal (favorite winter/spring/summer/fall photo). Winners are announced on the web site and prizes (coupons, etc.) are handed out in your store.
In summary, when it comes to grabbing your customers’ attention, keep it easy to participate, keep it simple, and keep it friendly. And be sure to keep close tabs on those who participate to increase your bottom line in the months to come.
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