In between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting local small businesses. The movement has inspired thousands of Americans to shop locally and it’s making a big impact. Last year, consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion with local retailers on Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for small businesses to gain visibility, attract new customers and grow sales. But one day of strong sales a year is not enough. You need a game plan that sets you up to thrive every day.
Flourishing Beyond Small Business Saturday
Unlike big companies that can leverage extensive marketing departments to prepare for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping frenzy, small businesses have to be more resourceful in their marketing to get noticed.
The Lifecycle Marketing process provides a systematic approach for promoting, selling, and distributing your products or services on Small Business Saturday … and beyond. There are seven stages that make up the Lifecycle Marketing process:
- Attract Interest
- Capture Leads
- Nurture Prospects
- Convert Sales
- Deliver and Satisfy
- Upsell and Get Referrals
The stages can be applied in any business. regardless of size, industry or business model.
Attracting Interest is the stage that sets your plan in motion. The purpose of this stage is to increase visitors to your business location. During this stage you’ll employ various tactics such as sponsored ads, pay-per-click advertising, websites, social media, telemarketing calls, signs and banners to name a few.
In this stage, your job is to encourage visitors to share personal information and give you permission to market to them. Lead magnets are key in this stage. A lead magnet is something of value that can be exchanged for contact information, such as a drawing, discount, VIP pricing or priority purchasing.
Online businesses can employ the use of ebooks, webinars and contests.
In the Nurturing Prospects stage, you’ll work to build the relationship with the visitors that gave you permission to market to them. Send them information and updates that they value so that you can stay top-of-mind when they are ready to buy.
In this stage, businesses use the information that they’ve received in the nurturing stage to provide a relevant offer to the prospect with the goal of making a sale. The key is to analyze past interactions that have led your customers to purchase your product or service.
Then replicate the buying process with other similar customers.
Deliver and Satisfy
In the Deliver and Satisfy stage, you’ll go above and beyond your customers’ expectations. Provide great customer service, offer additional discounts or gifts to loyal customers or send a simple hand written thank you note.
This additional step will set your business apart from your competitors and gain customers for life.
For your Upsell strategy, consider products that you offer that pair nicely with each other. You may want to review previous purchases that were made by your customers to determine if there are any products that are usually purchased together.
Communication is key so continue to develop the relationship through consistent nurturing.
The easiest way to gain additional referrals is to simply ask happy customers to refer their friends, family and acquaintances. Businesses can establish reward programs, which work well in almost any business type.
Thriving 365 Days a Year
The real value of Lifecycle Marketing is the integration of the individual actions into a single system, which leverages the interconnectedness and interdependencies of each stage.
Implementing a sales and marketing plan based on this process will help your business thrive beyond Small Business Saturday, 365 days a year.
Small Business Saturday Photo via Shutterstock