Ahhhh, summer. A time we associate with warmth, outdoor activities, kicking back and having fun. For some small businesses, summer represents the pinnacle of revenue generation. If you sell swimsuits, surfboards, pool or landscape services, you’ve got it made because summer is your season. For others, though, it’s a slow time. No matter what you do or sell, summer-specific marketing tactics will make your next batch of direct mail postcards really shine.
So are you ready to outshine the competition this year? Here are a few tactical ideas:
- Create a promotion aimed at kids, even if your audience is adults. Parents will appreciate your efforts to help fill those vacation-time hours.
- Switch to a seasonal theme for summertime postcard design – photos, colors, special offers all specifically summer-related. Tie this in with similarly themed looks throughout all your marketing for consistency and more powerful impact.
- Team up with a complementary business for a joint promotion you can both promote via postcards, social media, etc.
- Link up with a community festival, as a sponsor or participant, and use your postcards to promote that with a “join us” message. Include a special discount for recipients that buy from you at your event booth, or one they can use in your restaurant or shop the week following the event.
Community-wide events are an excellent way to reach new people and teach them about your products or services. Hand out samples, sell some product, give away coupons. Be sure to choose events that draw your target audience, so you get the best bang for your time and money investment.
Hold a drawing at your booth to capture email addresses, to build your newsletter list. Or ask people to sign up for your mailing list, so you can reach them with your next “exclusive patrons” direct mail postcard campaign.
- Planning a series of special promotions or activities throughout the summer? Turn your postcards into an events calendar recipients can post on their fridge so they don’t miss out.
- Host a customer appreciation open house with free snacks and beverages (and a that-day-only special offer).
- Create a campaign offering a discount that rises with the temperature. Shoppers are often de-motivated when it’s especially hot out, so lure them out of the house and into your business with a deal that’s too “hot” to pass up. Clinch the sale by reminding them your place is air conditioned.
- Promote your summer food or drinks menu.
- Promote your outdoor seating with postcards for restaurants and bars. Nothing draws customers like a chance to sit outside and enjoy great weather.
- Get together with your employees for a community service day, and use your direct mail postcards to invite customers (or the entire neighborhood) to join you. You will not only do something valuable to improve your community, you’ll demonstrate how much your business cares. People look for that when they’re deciding which businesses to patronize. Take pictures of your experience and post them on your website, via social media and in-store.
- Create a “summer shape up” campaign for your gym, hair and nails salon or spa.
- If summer is normally your “off” season, give it new life (and a revenue pick-me-up) with a variation on the “Christmas in July” concept. For hard core snow sports enthusiasts, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next season.
- Stand out from the crowd by sidestepping predictable July 4th and Labor Day promotions in favor of a campaign based on one of the numerous goofy or serious calendar holidays each month.
The ideas are limitless for small businesses to capture the flavor and fun of summer, and you can promote virtually anything effectively with direct mail postcards. It’s a marketing match made in heaven – or, should we say, summer.