With summer wrapping up, it’s time to start looking forward to fall!
For many of you, your busy season is about to start. To help you get inspired, I pulled a bunch of campaign results to show you how others have turned back-to-school into big bucks.
Political campaigns, dance and martial arts studio campaigns, private school campaigns… all super seasonal, right?
And then I realized — these campaigns use tactics that are useful to EVERY type of business.
So, for everyone looking for industry-defying marketing tactics to boost sales this autumn…
Keep reading and I’ll show you several REAL marketing strategies you can steal right now for a timely surge in sales…
Changing marketing efforts with the seasons is a smart move for the vast majority of small businesses out there. Your customers’ needs are likely to change throughout the year.
Even though some (like those featured in this blog post-political, educational, and after-school activities like dance classes and martial arts gyms) are affected by the seasons slightly more than others, the strategies that made their campaigns successful are proven to make any small business grow!
These case studies will teach you:
- How to create urgency that transforms unsure leads into money-spending customers
- How to create a special offer that motivates people to take action
- How to drive people to your website so they actually contact you and ultimately BUY
Here are 3 strategies proven to bring REAL results (AKA money in your pocket):
1. Create urgency to get results – these politicians did and both won their elections.
A major component of successful marketing is timing. You need to take a look at your target audience and really understand what the time of year means for their wants and needs. Your marketing push should cater to what is currently relevant in their lives.
After all, you wouldn’t want to advertise Christmas tree sales in August, right? People won’t be thinking about Christmas for another couple of months (unless you’re a Christmas freak like my husband).
However, when that time does come around, one of the most successful marketing avenues we’ve found to elicit results is to create a sense of urgency.
Some of the core elements in successfully creating urgency are:
- Tell people what you want them to do. This should be your call to action, e.g. call today, redeem a coupon or special offer, etc.
- Display a deadline with your call to action
- Give the prospect a compelling reason to do it by that deadline (e.g. your product/service is in limited supply, the coupon or special offer will expire, etc.)
- Show how your offer is relevant to your target audience and how it benefits them
Politicians especially understand how important it is to create a sense of urgency when marketing themselves. Their job is on the line every election.
So when our client Shawn R. Stewart came to us to help win his re-election, we knew that creating a sense of urgency with registered voters was the way to go.
After talking it over with his marketing consultant, Shawn decided to use postcards for his re-election campaign.
Here’s the front:
Notice how, after the headline, the first thing you notice are the deadlines to vote.
After someone sees this card with those dates, when the times roll around, they’re going to naturally be thinking about heading to the voting booth to make a change in their local community.
But why would they do that, you ask?
The recipient’s compelling reason to go vote on those dates is to help Shawn continue to make a positive impact on their community, and if they don’t someone else may win and reverse what Shawn’s done for his community.
Once designed, he got a mailing list of registered voters from county records. It turned out to be 2,190 homes, to which he sent his postcard twice.
He won the election!
And this result was no fluke, either.
Here’s what Yasmin Neal’s postcard looked like, who ran for the Georgia House of Representatives:
She mailed 2,500 of these mailers to voters all across Clayton County just before her election to maximize timing and urgency.
She won her election too!
Here’s a direct quote from her about our services:
“We won. Thanks to you and only you. I want to say that I appreciate every single one of you for your help and support during this campaign. None of this would have happened without your tireless work. You have allowed me the opportunity to do good work and create change once again in Georgia. Looking forward to working with you all again very soon!”
Even if you aren’t a politician, a well-timed mailing can still bring a big boost to your business — as long as you remember to convey urgency. This motivates people to act sooner rather than later.
So, what else can you do to get that phone ringing and your website popping off with new leads?
2. Include seasonal special offers (like these karate and dance studios) to boost revenue an extra $2,100 per month.
One of the most significant changes in the fall (besides the weather) is the start of the school year.
As kids return to school, demand surges for after-school activities. Dance classes, karate classes, gymnastics, music lessons, tutoring sessions — if your business falls along these lines, you’ll want to listen up.
But there are a million different options for them to choose – so why yours?
An excellent place to start is to extend a special offer, like this martial arts gym:
They took advantage of the new school year by familiarizing families in the area with their program and offered a free uniform and registration.
Super Kicks mailed this card once a week for 5 weeks. Students who came in off of their postcard mailings will generate $2,100 per month for Super Kicks!
Not bad, since the cost of their campaign was $2145.70 and basically paid for itself after one month.
And then there’s this dance school campaign, which utilizes almost every element I’ve described thus far. Can you point them out?
Extending a Special Offer: “Free registration”
Compelling reason to buy, creating Urgency: “Hurry! Classes are limited!”
Emphasizing Seasonality: “Now Registering for Fall Dance Classes”
Limitless Dance generated 14 responses with just one mailing! That translated into $1,200-$1,400 in monthly revenue.
All of these results, just from postcard mailings. What happens if you add in digital efforts?
3. Add coordinating digital ads to your digital mail campaign to generate 77 new leads – after just 1 week!
Nothing marks the end of summer and transition into autumn quite like a back-to-school marketing campaign.
This charter school set out postcards to increase the number of students for fall.
After consulting with one of our marketing specialists, they decided on our Everywhere Small Business campaign.
Meaning that they combined this postcard…
(Which creates urgency and capitalizes on back-to-school seasonality.)
…with online advertising on Google…
…and Instagram ads…
…to bring in more students.
Which seems to working — within the first week of the campaign, they’ve received 77 calls that came directly from this campaign! Their orientation is sure to be extra busy this year.
No matter how you get there, in the end, all that matters is that you use the tactics and tools available to thrive this fall season.
If you want more examples of clients who’ve grown their businesses using direct mail (with REAL results), there’s an entire case study gallery — just locate your industry!
If you’re still vying for more knowledge to expand your business, make sure you register for our COMPLETELY FREE Small Business Owner’s Growth Seminar this upcoming September 21-25!
Lastly, if you have any questions about planning a marketing campaign that grows your business, do not hesitate to contact one of my marketing consultants at 800-628-1804. Their advice is 100% FREE to you!
Or you can reach out to me directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.