Here are 45 great marketing tips from the retailers who attended the 2006 MemoryTrends Mardi Gras Marketing Madness held this October in Las Vegas. Our great big thanks to Angie Pederson, blogger extraordinaire, and one of this year's Mardi Gras Muses, for taking such great notes. Angie, you looked fabulous in that tiara, beads and boa! You can learn more about Angie’s company, plus pick up all kinds of marketing ideas and tips, plus insights on the scrapbooking industry on her website: http://www.scrapbookmarketing.com
1. On “Black Friday” (the Friday after Thanksgiving), offer a promotion to get people into your store, since they will already be out shopping. Another option would be the reverse – offer sales/discounts on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and close the store on Thursday and Friday. The Saturday before Christmas is another promotional opportunity, for those last-minute shoppers.
2. Kizer & Bender's “Pin This to a Guy” Open House * – It’s an open house event specifically for guys. Your female customers fill out the “Big Hint Sheet” with all the goodies they’d like for Christmas, then give the form to their significant other. On the night of the event you give the guys something to eat and drink and entertain them with a local choir while you fill the orders. Kizer & Bender have compete instructions and an easy to customize template if you’re interested. Drop us an e-mail at email@example.com and out “Guy’s Night Out” in the subject line.
3. “World’s Greatest Shopping Night” – from October through Christmas, choose one night a week to stay open two hours late. Offer hot cider, cookies, and free gift wrapping.
4. School fundraiser nights -- Designate a specific day/night when customers can come in and shop. If they mention that specific school, you’ll donate 20% of the net proceeds to the school.
5. “Shop Hop” -- From Wednesday through Sunday, each participating store offers make & takes and giveaways (often acquired through sales reps). The customers enjoy the camaraderie of other shoppers on the “hop”, and participating store owners enjoyed four times their usual sales, and finding new customers.
6. Home school classes -- Offer a home school class once a month, for ages 6 and up. If you get the kids’ attention, you get Mom & Dad’s attention, and that can lead to sales.
7. “Pamper Yourself” Day -- After the holidays invite a local massage therapist to come in for short neck massages. Offer an altered/art journal class for customers to document their New Year’s Resolutions. Demo a specific line of new products, like Ranger Inks.
8. “Wild & Wacky Wednesdays” -- Determine your lowest sales/traffic day, then do a promotion that will encourage people to come in. One retailer started sending out email blasts on her slowest sales day, and invited customers to come in for “Wild Wacky Wednesdays”. They started offering a quick make & take project and a tasty yummy, and now customers look forward to Wednesdays. They have done, “Wild Wacky Watermelon Wednesday”, when they ate watermelon and made a card. They have also offered free 6x6 layout projects (knowing customers will later purchase a 6x6 album to put the pages in.)
9. Kizer & Bender strongly suggest that you do one major event, and at least 2 minor events every month to keep consistent traffic through the store.
10. Monthly Scrapper’s Challenge -- Create kits incorporating slow-moving product, and charge $3 for the kit. Participants must create a project using some of everything in the kit. They submit the projects to the store, and peer judging/voting lasts for two weeks. Winner receives a prize (product goodie, store credit, a free class, etc)
11. “The 12 Giveaways of Christmas” – qualifying purchases are put in a drawing for a big prize (one retailer offered a 12x17 scanner). Designate specific products for bonus drawing entries.
12. Mothers’ Day Out program – two Fridays/month, 10am-1pm. The first 1½-hour is a class; the 2nd 1½ hour is a crop. Offer a 10% discount on items purchased that day.
13. Scrap & Stamp Sessions -- If your store suffers from low class attendance, offer a “Scrap & Stamp” session twice a month. One retailer described a technique-based, drop-in card-making series that she holds two Sundays a month. Customers can learn a new technique (i.e. heat embossing, direct-to-paper inking, etc) and make 1 card for $2.
14. Classroom page kits -- Make up page kits for classroom use, and include an in-store coupon – school teachers can use the kits in their classrooms; the kids take the coupons home to their parents.
15. “The Boss Is Gone” Sale -- When you go away to a trade show or on vacation, send out an email blast pretending to be one of the staff, saying that she’s having a “The Boss Is Gone” Sale – “Cat’s gone to MemoryTrends, so I’m putting everything on sale!”
16. Community School Classes -- During the summer months, open up your classroom to schoolteachers to have classes. Don’t charge a room rental fee – just enjoy the additional revenue from their students.
17. Create card care packages to send to troops stationed overseas -- NRN offers card kits where everything is already precut. One retailer packages two kits together with a glue stick and a pen, and sells them for $4 if the customer will donate the cards to the care packages, or $5 if they want to keep the cards.
18. Encourage customers to scrapbook about themselves -- They can create a layout based on Cathy Zielske’s example, “I Scrap”. This is a good class to offer for free for beginners – they’ll buy an album to put the page in. [NOTE: you can download a free class outline on scrapbooking about yourself at http://snipurl.com/bookofme_class ]
19. Develop a “community partners” network -- seek relationships with other business owners. Determine whose customers might scrapbook, or might be interested in scrapbooking, and ask if you can deliver information seminars to their customers. Target businesses might include travel agencies, sports clubs, MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), the local Chamber of Commerce.
20. Summer Solstice Sale – starting at sunrise the day of the Solstice, offer discounts that decrease hourly (i.e. 40% off at sunrise, 30% off from 6-7am, 20% off from 7-8am, 10% off from 8-9am, etc)
21. Early store opening for working women – Open an hour early one day a week so working women have a chance to shop before work. Partner with a local bakery to bring in pastries.
22. Challenge Club based on Elsie Flanagan’s 52 Challenges idea book – participants follow the book, doing weekly challenges for one year. They can submit scans or digital photos of their projects for posting on the store website.
23. On-line tools for sending out email blasts to a subscription list -- Two suggestions were ConstantContact.com and GetResponse.com. Both cost about $20 a month for fully featured services. http://www.onlineitools.com even has templates specifically designed for scrapbook stores!
24. Join a local networking group, and create cross-promotions with other members – Realtors like scrapbooks as gifts for new home owners; funeral home owners may be interested in a simple scrapbooking kit to give to mourners.
25. Post notices on your store website/blog when new product/backorders arrive. Then place signage around your store pointing out that product’s location – “As seen on-line” or “As seen on our blog”.
26. For scrapbook/blog marketing resources, visit www.scrapbookmarketing.com/blog
27. Teen Crop Night – Display layout examples featuring teen interests and activities. Have a teen do a demo or make & take. Order in pizza and stock lots of soda.
28. Kizer & Bender's World Famous Bounce Back Bag Sale * – A twist on the traditional bag sale, this bag includes coupons/discounts printed right on the bag. Coupons stay intact so the bag becomes a walking billboard for your store.
29. Kizer & Bender's “Create Your Own Coupon” Event * – Let your customers' decide what's on sale! Customers receive coupons with various discounts and they decide what's on sale. Customers love this event!
30. “Lunch break Make & Take” – targeted to working women, 11am-1pm, twice a month, free of charge. This event proved so successful for one store, they also added, “Stop-in Saturday Make & Take,” with longer hours.
31. Kids Scrapbook Club/Camp – ages 8-14, Monday-Friday, 9am-12pm, $150 for the whole week. Create an 8x8 All About Me album as the project. This proved so successful for one retailer, she has done six sessions of the club, plus Thanksgiving and Christmas sessions.
32. Annual Scavenger Hunt -- hide really specific items around your store, such as a photo of your mother. Give customers a list of all the hidden items to find and check off. This encourages them to walk through your entire store, getting familiar with all the products you offer. The customer who finds the most items wins a basket of goodies.
33. Make your store website fun and entertaining. Offer a variety of useful resources, such as recipes. Coordinate in-store contests and post the winners' names on your website (with their permission)
34. Trade Show Recap Night -- Discuss/describe various new products you saw (and ordered!). Give customers a preview of what will be coming in (and when). Give away any goodies you got at the show. Offer discount coupons to customers who bring-a-friend.
35. In-store Craft Fair -- Host a craft fair in your store, featuring local artisans from area (non-competing) guilds, like quilting and pottery. Each artisan gets one classroom table to showcase her wares. They can advertise their participation in community publications, like church bulletins and neighborhood newsletters. Each vendor can make an in-store display to create buzz/interest before the event.
36. PhotoMax -- Partner with www.photomax.com to offer photo-finishing services.
37. Spread word-of-mouth buzz -- Create opportunities for customers to speak well of you and your store. Give interested customers store business cards. They can write their name on the back, and give the cards to friends. If a friend comes in and makes a purchase, the referring customers gets a goodie or discount on a future purchase.
38. Rearrange your sales floor at least once a year to make older product seem "new" again. Kizer & Bender suggest changing "speed bumps" (fixtures near the front of the store) a minimum of every two weeks.
39. Frequent Shopper Program – For every $100 spent, the customer gets a free class. One retailer calls her program the “S.M.I.L.E. Card”, which stands for Scrapping Makes Ideas Look Exciting.
40. Social Media Marketing – Create a Facebook.com (or MySpace.com) profile for your store. “Millennial” scrapper Samuel has a profile, and he posted to his Facebook.com, asking for suggestions for a sort of Photo Scavenger Hunt – what photos he should take while in Vegas for MemoryTrends. When he returned home, he posted the photos to his profile. [Read the article on MySpace.com marketing in the October 2006 issue of Craftrends.]
41. Newspaper ads – Advertise your store/classes/services in the Wedding & Baby Announcement section of your local newspaper.
42. Rewards Card – offer a Rewards Card to bring customers back into your store to use their bonus incentives. Visit http://www.neosmerchant.com/loyalty_card.asp for more information.
43. Kizer & Bender's Cash Register Auction * – Save your receipts because they're worth money! Tally sales starting before Thanksgiving, through Super Bowl Sunday. Give customers “auction bucks” equal to the amount of purchases. (One retailer puts a different grandchild’s face on each denomination of “auction buck”.) Hold the Auction on the Saturday after Super Bowl. Customers can use their bucks to bid on vendor samples/donations.
44. Scrappers’ Yard Sale – customers can “sell” their gently used product/supplies in your classroom for store credit.
45. “Back to School Beach Blast” – decorate the store with lei’s and an island theme. Offer tropical slushies to guests. Give 20% off scrapbooking and teaching supplies, and a goodie bag with purchase.
A note from Georganne & Rich ...
* If you would like specific how-to information and easy-to-customize templates for each of our custom events (marked with an astrix) drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate the one you are interested in on the subject line. You may also want to check out our e-book, "Champagne Strategies on a Beer Budget!" for even more retailer-tested events and promotions.
For even more great ideas, or to order our book, visit our website at: http://www.kizerandbender.com