Given the current state of the world, we understand that everyone is feeling defeated, but as a business owner, you have an advantage in your arsenal that can lift everyone’s spirit (including your own), and those are incentive programs. As Maya Angelou once said: “People will never forget how you made them feel”, and in times like this, consumers want to feel that the brands they consume have their best interest in mind — incentive programs are a great way to do this. The marketing experts at beMarketing have been busy bees, and they’ve put their combined years of experience together to figure out the best incentives programs small and medium-sized businesses need to deploy now. 

Referral Programs Can Be Lethal…In a Great Way 

No matter what is going on in the world, referral programs are a great strategy to increase a customer base — right now, they are crucial. Referral programs give customers an incentive to tell other people about their experience with your company and persuade others to utilize your services/products. These incentives can include: 

  • Gift cards
  • Money off of their next purchase 
  • A bonus service/product with their next purchase

Once a current customer refers a new person to your business, they’ve received a benefit and you’ve received a new customer, making this strategy a win-win. 

Implement Discounts to Get the Edge Over Competitors 

We know that all businesses are trying to survive right now, so in order to make YOURS stand out, you need to offer people discounts. The amount of the discount doesn’t matter — it just matters that you establish at least one for product/service right now. Once you’ve made this decision, it’s time to utilize every opportunity for promotion, such as: 

  • Eye-catching website pop-ups
  • Strategic email campaigns
  • Targeted social media posts
  • Timely EDDMs or mailers

Not only will this leave a positive impression with people now, but they’ll remember it long after this is all over. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Push the Button on Promotions

Similar to discounts, promotions are vital for making your business stand out from others during this pandemic, and they have the same effect. However, the tactics are different. For instance, the promotions you need to focus on will let customers know that everything you’re doing is catered to them, such as: 

  • Hospitality businesses: Create different packages (IE family packs, DIY pizza kits, etc.) for customers at a “special” price
  • Retail businesses: Include a complimentary item with a purchase (IE a puzzle, travel hand sanitizer, travel clorox wipes, etc.) 
  • Home services businesses: Offer a “buy one, get one” promotion (IE purchase a roof replacement, get a free gutter installation; buy 10 windows, get 4 free, etc.)

Giving Out Gift Cards Will Help Secure Customer Loyalty 

Who doesn’t love the incentive of earning a gift card?! This is true anytime, but right now, consumers really appreciate it. There are a few different angles you can work this incentive, but no matter what angle you choose, you’re sure to increase engagement, strengthen customer retention, and attract new customers. You can offer a gift card to someone that: 

  • Schedules a future service with your home services company 
  • Orders a large takeout order at your restaurant 
  • Makes a large purchase from your online retail store 
  • Donates a large sum of money to your non-profit 

Giving your customers a gift card in response to them spending money at your business is one of the best ways to thank them for their business, and they’ll be sure to remember this in the future. If you choose to do this as an incentive, be sure to promote it on social media and ask people to tag others who may be interested in this program — this will help increase engagement and prove to new audiences that you are a company who truly puts its customers first. 

Waive Shipping Fees to Shield Your Business From the Competition 

In order to stay safe, people are relying on shipping services more than ever before, and because of this, offering free shipping could attract more customers to your business. If your business can’t afford to offer free shipping on ALL orders, that’s okay. People will still be more willing to follow through on a purchase if they know they’re a few dollars away from (and can add something else they know they’ll use) from getting that free shipping perk. Plus, if you’re like most people, you’ve probably filled your basket with one or two more items to meet that free shipping minimum, which in the end, means more sales for your business. 

Here at beMarketing, we know that businesses of all sizes are feeling the impacts of this pandemic, but it’s important to remember two things: incentive programs are YOUR hidden advantage right now, and we are here for you! Our Hive is buzzing more than ever with ideas that will help businesses navigate this time, so more tips, tricks, and tactics will be flying your way, and we hope you continue to Thrive With the Hive. If you would like more marketing tips on how to keep your business thriving, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.