If marketing is key to building and maintaining your brand, hosting promotions year-round is an integral piece to that puzzle. According to Contemporary Marketing, the purpose of a promotion is to inform customers, increase demand and differentiate your brand from others. But just as important is how you execute these campaigns—if you put some extra time and effort into the rollout, it will pay off in your overall success.
When looking for advocates to spread your messaging, look no further than your very own classroom. We talked to Heather Adams, who heads up brand and strategy at Uforia Studios in Nob Hill and Palo Alto, and she advised, “Find creative ways for your clients to help boost your promotion as they are your best salespeople.”
An example: Uforia is currently running a promotion on Facebook and Instagram where followers can win a free Beyonce/”Formation” class for themselves and a friend if they tag a #sweatbuddy in the image. The idea is to lure both existing clients who’ve taken and loved the class, as well as new students who have yet to experience Uforia. “Promotions that involve your client base and provide them with a chance to get involved are always a hit,” says Adams, who adds that getting your staff on board to spread the word is also key to a promotion’s success.
The best promotions are the ones that can be grasped in an instant: keep your messaging simple and to the point. If someone has trouble explaining the promotion to a friend, you’re in trouble. “Promotions that are too complicated, that have too many layers to them are tough for clients to get excited and tell their friends about,” advises Adams.
Equally as important as the messaging is the imagery. “No promo leaves the Uforia marketing machine without an accompanying graphic,” says Adams. “These graphics should be recognizable, fall in line with your brand, and not contain too much text. Not only is text not as eye-catching, but it limits your ability to promote on Facebook due to the platform’s advertising guidelines.”
MIND THE FINE PRINT
The content of your campaign is what will engage current and prospective customers, but you also want to protect your business from any negative results. “Consider how the offer may cannibalize any existing memberships and mind the fine print,” says Laurenn Cutshaw, vice president of marketing and branding at YogaSix, which has 13 locations in California and the Midwest. “Are there any exclusions? Is it available to new students only or everyone? You never want to run a sale that is so good a paying member will jump ship or pause a membership for a promo.”
Cutshaw adds that to create a sense of urgency, every promo should have a “valid through” date that can always be extended. (Adams recommends one month maximum for run time.)
Another fine print detail to consider: stacking of promos. “We do not allow stacking of discounts—meaning if a student is already on a promo, they cannot combine promos. Instead they get the better of the two.”
And to turn new students into regular clients, Cutshaw recommends creating a conversion plan for when the promo ends. “New people are hard to get through the door, so you have to figure out how you’re going to keep them!”
DON’T CLUTTER YOUR PLAYING FIELD
It might go without saying, but we’ll say it anyways—don’t run more than one promotion at a time. Your message gets lost, and its importance undercut, when it runs alongside other campaigns.
Adds Adams, “Don’t always run promotions, unless that’s your business’s thing. It’s important to show ongoing value for your product.” By running too many promotions, you can wind up devaluing your brand and your class pricing—meaning, no one will pay full-price for a package if they know a future discount is right around the corner.
The only way your promotions are going to get leaner and meaner is by recapping with your team after the fact. Set aside an hour or two to go over how successful the campaign was, what could have been better and what can be done differently next time. Also identify key players—the people who shared, liked and tagged themselves and friends—so you can thank them and consider how to integrate them again in the next iteration.