Every Thursday, right on time for your coffee break, we will give you a quick dose of “marketing caffeine” to uplevel your marketing and in turn uplevel the results you are seeing at your business.
I hope you are having a great week and enjoying this holiday season! I can’t believe there are only twelve shopping days left before Christmas. Thankfully my shopping consists of hitting a few keys on my laptop and then things just show up like magic.
In today’s edition I give you a strategy to drive a ca$h infusion. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.
Welcome marketing caffeine readers to issue #32
YOUR CUP OF THIS WEEK'S STRONGEST MARKETING TIP
The Art of the Gift Card
If you are looking to get a nice cash infusion before the holidays, this article is for you.
There are a lot of ways to raise cash for your business (without bugging friends and family).The two most important pieces are the timing and the tactics, what I like to call the “two t’s.”
From a timing standpoint, the next two weeks are historically one of the best times to generate some cash. It is the season of gifting and the season of year end tax write offs. Both can be capitalized on.
From a tactical standpoint, there are two great ways to move into action.
1. Create a gift card for your product / service / business.
There are businesses that sell gift cards like water: restaurants, hair / nail salons, massages. But I want you to think outside the box. Any service can be gifted:
Business (or life) coaching / consulting
Tax prep / planning
Website design (for the new small business owner in the family)
The only reason you haven’t tried gift cards before is you felt that your business couldn’t handle it.
The great thing is the execution is simple: craft a marketing campaign ahead of the gift card launch. Make sure you leverage your email list, social media presence, flyers and posters in your physical storefront, and then offer a carrot. The carrot is the most important piece to the strategy. Why should someone buy your gift card? The easiest option I have found is bundling, and the best example I found was a local car wash business. Everyone that buys three car washes as a gift gets a $20 gift card to Applebee's. Essentially the $20 is the icing on the cake.
For some businesses offering a gift card will instantly generate some cash, while others may have to get creative with bundling. For example: Buy $50, get one free. Buy a gift card for free snow plowing for the season and get one month of free lawn care. Get creative with your offerings and get the cards sold!
The beautiful part is, not only will you generate some cash before the new year, you will generate new customers. Treat those customers like golf, fulfill your promises and they will refer their friends to you. Everyone wins!
2. Offer a steep discount for action takers.
For many businesses that have done well this year, they spend the next two weeks looking for every write off possible to save on taxes. If you have a product or service that fits into the B2B space, this is a strategy you need to deploy.
The quickest way to take action is to offer a steep discount for action takers.
Let’s take an example: if you offer marketing services like us, you may give a free web site away to anyone who signs a marketing contract in the next two weeks and pays for the first 90 days.
If you offer coaching, you could offer six months for the price of three, paid for up front.
You win by generating cash now and a new client / customers, and the business wins by getting a tax write off and a great discount on something they were considering.
Come up with an offer and get it out there fast. Businesses and consumers alike start going into holiday mode pretty quickly so time is of the essence.
WHAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR READING MENU OVER THE WEEKEND
Jonah Berger: Contagious
Have you ever had an idea, business or product that you knew was great and that if it only caught on it would take off?
This book tells you how. It provides a balance between metrics and research as to why things take off with stories. One of my favorites is the story about how Blendtech used YouTube and its “Will it blend?” videos to grow exponentially.
The key premise to the book: people don’t listen to advertisements, they listen to their peers.
SHORT READ, JUST LIKE YOUR ESPRESSO CUP
The 30 Fastest Growing Business Apps in 2018
Bundles are back. For years, web apps prompted a great unbundling of software, with a focus on apps that did one thing well. That changed in 2018. Adobe added Marketo and Magento to their wide-ranging suite of apps, Microsoft acquired GitHub, and Google built the new Hangouts Team Chat to expand G Suite. Even newer apps got in on the game with Twilio’s SendGrid acquisition to add email to their messaging services bundle, and Slack consolidated their team chat lead by purchasing Atlassian’s HipChat and Stride chat apps.
POWERFUL TOOL TO MAKE YOUR MARKETING A PIECE OF CAKEMailShake
Mailshake is one of the fastest growing apps in 2018, according to Zapier. The app makes a simple solution for cold emails and it can help you generate leads, build relationships, and promote content.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.
– Steve Jobs
NO JOKE FUN FACT
CEO and Founder of No Joke Marketing, Michael Tasner, started his marketing career when he was only 15 years old. This was the time when almost no one in his neighborhood could do web design and a dinosaur PC would cost thousands of dollars.
He knew back then that he could help people build websites if only he had a computer. Michael was determined to start his own company, so he went to the public library every day and used one of their computers.
READ THIS POST AS AN INFOGRAPHIC
Did you miss some of the previous issues of Marketing Caffeine? Read them here: