Five Reasons You Need to Start Planning Your Year of Promotions and Sales NOW

Do you run regular promotions and sales events? How far in advance do you plan them out? You may start planning a promotion several weeks or even several months ahead. But have you ever considered scheduling a full year ahead?

It might seem like a strange idea but it’s a very effective way to achieve business goals through promotions. It’s also not hard to do. In fact, planning in advance saves you time later and allows you to run more strategic promotions. Here are the 5 reasons you should create an annual promo calendar.

1.          Boost Revenue

The main reason businesses hold promos is to boost revenue. If you offer your customers a great deal with fantastic value, you’ll see more sales. Promos are offered for a limited time only, creating a sense of urgency that pushes people to buy.

One effective strategy you can use is to offer promos during times of the year where you see a sales slump. Your offer will boost sales during this period, and you can make up the lost revenue. This allows you to ensure that your earnings remain stable all year long and there is no lull.

The key to earning more with promos is to offer them at times that are relevant to your customers, such as holidays they celebrate or events they attend. The other secret to success is that you must offer excellent value. It shouldn’t just be a reduced price, but something that will benefit the customer. This is why it’s important to plan the year’s promo calendar in advance.

2.          Attract and Retain Customers

You can use your promos to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Advertise your deals broadly across social media platforms and other marketing channels, and you’ll see an increase in first-time buyers. They’ll experience the value you offer firsthand, and you can then continue selling to them.

Some businesses use promos to strengthen relationships with existing customers. You can offer deals to people who have already purchased from you as a way of saying thanks and rewarding their loyalty. You can also use them to bring back customers who have not purchased in a while.

Before deciding the exact promotions and sales to run, you need to first choose your goals for each. You’ll then plan the specifics of your offers depending on its objective. If you want to attract new customers, you might run a promotion on a flagship product to bring in new business. For customer retention, you might offer exclusive content for buyers only.


3.          Drive Awareness of Your Brand

In addition to growing your customer base and boosting sales, your promotions can help you establish your brand in the marketplace. Brand awareness allows the public to understand who you are and what unique value you can offer them. When your market has the right idea about your business, you will see more sales and higher customer satisfaction.

There are many ways to drive brand awareness through your promotions. One example is to give something away for free. This could be free content that helps people solve a problem they’re facing. By offering this content for free, it highlights to customers that you have expertise in solving problems in your topic area.


4.          Increase Customer Satisfaction

Promotions can increase customer satisfaction by providing what customers with what they need exactly when they need it. For example, as the holidays roll around, everyone is looking for ways to save on products they’ve had on their wish list.  You can create a sale with the right timing around this holiday that provides just what your customers are looking for.

You’re also giving your customers more options. Your yearly promotional calendar includes a variety of offers at different price points. This provides more ways for buyers to enjoy the value of your products while also giving them the delight of knowing they’ve saved money.

If you want to keep your customers happy and coming back for more, you need to understand them so well that you know what they need and when they need it. Pay especially close attention to problems and issues they face. To gain this understanding, conduct direct and indirect research, and create opportunities for your market to give you feedback. Then use this feedback to plan your promotions and offers.


5.          Create the Right Promo for the Right Time

Designing your promos in advance allows you to create the most powerful, effective, and timely promotions with the least amount of pressure on you possible. With an understanding of your audience’s needs and the annual sales cycle, you have a chance to plan strategically and generate offers that are guaranteed to be profitable.

Best of all, you won’t be stuck at the last minute having to pull something together. You’ll have plenty of time, months ahead of each promo, to get ready. You will also have ongoing feedback from your market so you can make changes as needed. Your calendar will enable you to stay on top of things and offer the maximum value.


What Are the Best Times for Promos?

Off of the top of your head, you can probably identify some times of year when you see companies holding promos. In addition to holidays, you might see seasonal events, like spring and summer sales, or back-to-school specials. Anything whatsoever can be a good opportunity for a promo. If you can identify some yearly event that matters to your customers, you can use this for a promo.


However, the appropriate times of year for sales events depend on your market, your industry, and your business itself. The best way to find these opportunities is to get a deep understanding of your customers and analyze your sales data. Look over the last few years and you’ll see patterns. There are certain times of year where sales lag. These are the best times to plan promos so you can make up for any slump in revenue or cash flow. You may choose other times as well that are likely to be profitable.

If you’re just at the early stages of your business, make a good guess. Once you start doing more sales, you can monitor your results and see what’s working and what isn’t. If a promo isn’t successful the first time round, try to analyze why and learn from it. If you see success with an offer, add it to your repertoire and repeat.


How to Plan an Effective Promo Calendar

Planning a yearly promo calendar is not hard to do at all. It just requires a few basic steps.

Analyze the market

In addition to researching your customers and past sales data, another important factor is the competition. Follow your competitors and see what they do with their promotions so you can get ideas for your own. Look also at major brands such as Amazon and Apple to see how they run their promos. You’ll find ideas you can use and gaps in your niche that no one is serving. This is where you step in with your offer.


Set your objectives

Identify your goal for your promos. Is it to grow your audience and drive brand awareness?  Or is it to retain customers and strengthen relationships? It’s good to have multiple goals but choose one as your main objective to help with planning. Make your objective as specific as possible so that you can measure it and assess whether you’re reaching it or not.


Set your promo timing

Determine when you’ll hold your promos throughout the year. Pick holidays, events, seasons, and other times that your analysis shows are important to your audience and profitable for you. Remember that you can always invent an occasion for a promo if there isn’t a holiday or event there already.


Choose promo types

There are many types of promos you can hold throughout the year. This includes:

  • Flash sales
  • Product bundles
  • Buy-one-get-one-free offers
  • Loyalty programs,
  • and so on…


Use your customer feedback data to choose the type of offers they will love.


Craft your offers

The last step is to create you’re the offers you’ve decided on. Choose the products and services you’ll include in each promo and create your marketing materials so that you emphasize the benefits to the user.


Once your offer is live, monitor your results and you can then refine your strategy to make it even more effective next time.



Want to Provide the Best Service Possible? Ask the Experts – Your Customers!

Want to Provide the Best Service Possible? Ask the Experts – Your Customers!

Want to Provide the Best Service Possible? Ask the Experts – Your Customers!

How do you improve customer service? You can read epic blog posts, test out new technology, or implement proven tactics, but you’ll never be 100% sure if you’re tackling the core issue until you go to the source.

The most reliable way to improve customer service is to ask the experts – your customers.  

Why Ask Your Customers?

The whole point of customer service is to provide a positive experience throughout the entire customer journey – from research, to purchase, to delivery, and beyond. This limits the number of issues that can arise and increases the likelihood that customers will become loyal brand advocates. 

There’s no better authority on customer service than your customers themselves. Here are some ways you can elicit direct feedback from them. 

Ask Your Customers

There are several ways to get direct feedback. Use an email autoresponder to reach out to customers post-purchase and ask about their experience. Make it part of your sales process. 

You can also create surveys. Ask key questions that will reveal the information you need to know. Keep it short so it’s easy to fill out. Offer it through email or social media. 

If you have the resources, consider holding focus groups. These are sessions where customers get together and talk about their experience with a brand. It takes more work but can yield deeper insights. 

Learning from Customer Complaints

No business enjoys dealing with difficult customers, but if you listen carefully, they can provide you with valuable insight. In fact, if you view customer complaints as opportunities for feedback and growth, you’ll integrate what you’ve learned and upgrade your customer service. 

Remember, a vocal customer may be telling you things that others are thinking, but are too afraid to say.  

Create a system for handling customer complaints. Use active listening, paying close attention to what they’ve said, and then repeating it back to them in your own words. Work on a solution together. 

Monitoring Customer Conversations

You can get indirect information by monitoring discussions online. Use keywords or hashtags to find conversations, or set up alerts so you can tune in when people are talking about you. Check out social media, online forums, and review sites and gather feedback that your customers are hesitant to share with you directly. 

Create More Touchpoints

Touchpoints are all the places where you can connect with customers. This includes your website or social media during the research and sales stages, email inquiries, offline at events, or anywhere else where customers can interact with you or your brand. 

How many touchpoints do you have? Communication, interaction, and engagement can generate helpful feedback, so add as many touchpoints as possible to your sales process. 

How to Use This Feedback

Gather feedback, assess it, and incorporate it into your customer service strategy. Your customers will be happier and your business will reap the benefits and grow. 

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How to Deliver Automated Customer Service (Without Losing the Personal Touch)

How to Deliver Automated Customer Service (Without Losing the Personal Touch)

It’s essential to offer the best customer service possible, but it’s nearly impossible to do this if you run a small business and you’re trying to grow. As you gain more customers, you’ll need to broaden your customer service capabilities. Automation offers a way to do this while you scale. It’s not just labor-saving for you, but it also ensures that every customer gets their needs met. 

Hire a Chatbot

One option is to add a 24/7 chatbot to your website. You might have seen this before. You visit a website and an avatar appears, asking, “Can I help you with anything?”

Your chatbot is available 24/7 to reply to your customers in real time. It’s loaded with data about your company, so it can offer reliable and accurate information related to most customer inquiries. And if someone wants to talk to a human being, they can contact you through the regular channels.  

Site Help with Widgets

Another automation option is to install widgets on your website that personalize the experience for each visitor. These programs can analyze visitor behavior and offer customized content suggestions. This is especially useful for an ecommerce site, where customers can receive helpful product suggestions based on their preferences and shopping history. 

Cut Down Reply Time with Templates

One way to save time and improve consistency is to use templates for common communications and replies. For example, if you have a follow-up email you send to customers post-purchase, you can automate this so you don’t have to send manually each time. Personalization options help make the recipient feel special, even though you’re using a template and email software program to communicate.

Manage Your Customer Relations

A customer relationship management (CRM) program can help you manage customer data through automation. It can also help with things like autocompleting webforms. It saves information about your customers, such as address and email. This saves users the trouble of entering this information manually each time it’s required. 

Automate Ticket Assignment

Automated ticket assignment is a program that directs customer inquiries by topic area. Rather than contacting you and then having to be routed to the appropriate representative, ticket assignment uses keywords and other triggers to send customers to the right person or department. This cuts down on response time and improves customer service by eliminating one step. 

Best Practices for Customer Service Automation

Automation can vastly improve your customer service, but you don’t want to lose the personal touch. To do it well, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Augment, don’t replace. Keep your focus on improving customer service, not solely on reducing your workload.
  • Test everything you’re considering using before you implement. Make sure it’s a seamless experience and an improvement.
  • Choose simple solutions first so that it’s easier for you and your customers. 

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The Top 5 Reasons You Need to Up Your Customer Service Game

The Top 5 Reasons You Need to Up Your Customer Service Game

How is your customer service? If you haven’t assessed it recently, it’s time to start. Customer service can have a major effect on your business. If it’s good, you’ll sell more and retain customers. If it’s lacking, it will be hard to grow your business and achieve your goals. Here are the top 5 reasons you should periodically review and improve your customer service. 

People Talk Online

Happy customers will sing your praises far and wide on review sites and social media. People base their purchasing decisions on what their friends say, so this has a huge impact. 

Negative comments and reviews can have an even bigger effect on your business. No amount of marketing or helpful content will save you if people are telling others that your customer service is terrible.

Overdeliver and exceed expectations and you’ll get people talking about your exceptional customer service.  

Improve Customer Retention

It costs much less to keep your customers than acquire new ones. Good customer service increases retention rates, which is good for both your bottom line and your brand. If you are responsive, helpful, and solve problems, people will keep coming back. 

Establish Your Credibility

When you have a large base of happy customers, it shows others that you’re a legit business. People can see that you offer value and go above and beyond. This will establish your credibility and bring you even more customers. Strong customer service also generates trust, which is helpful when you’re trying to establish yourself as an expert in your niche. 

Build Great Relationships

When you offer great customer service, you’ll build stronger relationships with your customers. This offers a whole range of benefits. When you meet their needs, they engage with you more and provide even more feedback, which you can use to improve your business. This is how brands become an essential part of their customers’ lives. 

A Happier Team

Good customer service creates happy customers. Happy customers are much more pleasant to deal with than unhappy ones. When your customers love you, this is great for you and your team’s morale. It creates a positive environment where you’ll be excited to talk to your customers each time. 

Your Customer Will Be More Forgiving

If you offer great customer service, you’ll reduce complaints overall. But if there ever is an issue, your customers will be easier to deal with. They know you take care of them, so on the rare occasion when their expectations aren’t met, they’ll be more forgiving and willing to collaborate on a solution. 

It’s Not Hard to Do

You may be surprised to discover that upping your customer service game is incredibly easy. There are many simple things you can do that will have a huge impact. 

If you want to learn more ways to offer excellent customer service, then head over to my program, [COURSE NAME], where you’ll find everything you need to meet and exceed their expectations.


An Honest Look at Customer Service – How Does Your Business Measure Up?

An Honest Look at Customer Service – How Does Your Business Measure Up?

What kind of customer service experience do you deliver? Exceptional, functional, or dismal? Improving your customer service can offer a whole range of benefits that will increase customer satisfaction and help you boost sales. But it’s hard to tell how you’re doing by intuition or estimation alone. Here are some ways to assess your customer service and see how you measure up.  

Business Touchpoints

Where do you interact with your customers? On social media, in weekly emails, in person, on your podcast, or on your YouTube channel? Every touchpoint presents opportunities to connect with customers and learn more about their needs. 

If you have limited points of contact with your customers, consider adding more. For example, use Instagram Stories to post a poll, schedule a Facebook Live and open it up to questions, or post a quick video on YouTube with a ‘hot take’ and ask viewers for their feedback.  

Can Customers Contact You Easily?

Is it easy for customers to contact you? How can they reach you? How soon can you respond? 

Provide people with different ways to contact your business, to suit all preferences and needs. 

Consider adding a 24/7 chatbot to answer questions when you’re not available and upgrading your FAQs to cover as many topics as possible.  

‘Time to Resolution’

How many of your customer service issues are resolved in one contact? If your answer was, “all or most,” you’re doing well. If it takes a series of follow-ups to resolve an issue, consider tightening up your responses. 

Track an interaction from first contact to resolution and see how long it takes. Identify the problem that is causing delays and solve it.  

Customer Complaints

If you’re experiencing a high number of customer complaints, you need to discover the cause. Customer complaints should be very rare, and generally easy to resolve. If you receive many complaints about the same thing, this tells you that the issue is on your end, not the customers’.  

Seek Feedback Directly

A great way to assess your service is to contact customers directly. Create a short survey that asks key questions about their experience with your business. If you have the resources, arrange one-on-one interviews or focus groups as they can provide more detailed insights. 

How to Improve Your Customer Service

Are you ready to make improvements and learn new skills that will take your customer service to a whole new level? Now that you have identified potential weak points, you’re ready to make some changes.  

Is your customer service falling short? Check out my program, [COURSE NAME]. It teaches you proven methods to improve interactions, increase customer satisfaction, and ultimately boost sales! 


Stay One Step Ahead – Deliver Enhanced Customer Service by Predicting the Future

Stay One Step Ahead – Deliver Enhanced Customer Service by Predicting the Future

What if you could predict the future? Can you imagine the kind of customer service you’d be able to offer? You could give your customers what they want before they even know what that is. 

The good news is, that while you may not be psychic, you can make accurate predictions about the future that will allow you to improve your customer service and blow your customers away. Here are some ways to do it. 

Know Your Customer’s Needs

The simple key to excellent customer service is meeting or exceeding your customers’ needs. So, the better you can understand these needs, the better you can meet them. 

Make sure you have a detailed customer profile based on objective data about your audience. Use this to grasp their pain points, issues, challenges, and questions. Develop products that meet these needs and tailor your services to them. Keep seeking new ways to do this and you’ll surprise and delight them each time. 

Two-Way Communication

Maintain two-way communication with your audience and constantly seek their feedback. Do this through social media, online groups, surveys, polls, and more.

If you’re receptive to what your audience is telling you, they’ll drop clues about their needs and you’ll be able to make improvements to accommodate them. Remember that if one person tells you something, there are probably more people thinking it and not saying it. 

Know Your Industry Well

Do you want to surprise your customers with ‘futuristic’ features or innovative products? Simply listen to what’s going on in your industry. 

Stay on top of product development by subscribing to trade journals and email lists in your industry. Follow influencers and experts. Keep in touch with people in your network who are reliable sources for up-to-date ideas and new releases. Your audience will think you’re clairvoyant. 

Check out the Competition

Another source of inspiration is your competition. Sign up for their newsletter or lead magnet and, if you have the budget, purchase one of their products, allowing you to experience their customer service firsthand. Observe what works and what doesn’t – and consider implementing their best ideas. 

For example, you might find that a competitor’s website has a chatbot or a generous trial period. If it’s something you can offer, integrate it into your customer service strategy.  

Constantly Seek Feedback

Predictive customer service isn’t something that’s implemented one time only. If you want to meet needs that your customers don’t even know they have yet, you must constantly seek feedback from them and the market. Use this to create an exceptional customer experience, resulting in better retention rates and sales. 

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