Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Merchant of the Month: Baby Boot Camp

At LIFT, we love featuring business owners and their success stories.  Baby Boot Camp, an "innovative stroller fitness program, helps moms regain or enhance pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting by emphasizing strength training in a supportive environment."  Baby Boot Camp was created out of necessity after the owner had her first child and couldn't find the right group exercise class to help her shed those baby L-B's and get back in shape.  Her business is now franchised and in three countries!  One of the things that Baby Boot Camp cannot live without is email marketing.  Check out the video below to see how this Mom-turned-entrepreneur used email marketing to help stay connected with her clients and partners as well as market her business.

 


Are you ready to start your email marketing campaign?  Click Here for a FREE 60-Day Trial. 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Starbucks Gives Loyalty an "Extra Shot"


If you're going to look at any company to model after in product satisfaction, target marketing and customer loyalty, look no further than coffee giant that practically covers every block.  Starbucks announced late Tuesday its release of two iPhone apps, which should ensure continued customer engagement and customer loyalty.

The first app called MyStarbucks, is basically their website on an app.  You can search for locations, beverages, nutritional information, build drinks etc.  The second app, Starbucks Card Mobile, allows you to check your balance, reload your card, view your transaction history, and in select cities you can even pay using your iPhone or iPod Touch.  And if that wasn't good enough, for a limited time on this app, Starbucks will give you $5 when you load your Mobile Card with $25.00.  That's a 20 percent incentive, which is exactly where they should be in a new program roll-out. 

"We're really venturing into new waters in terms of mobile payment," Stephen Gillett, senior vice president of digital ventures at Starbucks, said regarding the Starbucks Card Mobile app.

"The mobile app is really the powering of some of our most frequently used functions on (the Starbucks card's Web site) and our in-store activity in terms of balance and payment and favorite orders," Gillett said.  Estimates vary on just how big the U.S. gift card industry is, but according to the Federal Reserve, it's certainly well into the billions and continues to grow.  As for Starbucks, already one  in seven transactions at the coffee chain involves its array of gift and loyalty cards, Gillett says.  "We see a significant amount of our traffic represented by loyalty cards of some sort," he said.

What is your business doing to continue to be at the cutting edge of what consumers need and want?  Are you one of hundreds of thousands still using paper punch cards to promote loyalty?  Or do you simply believe that providing quality products and customer service will maximize sales and foot traffic?  Think about it:  Why would one of the largest companies in the World continue to be on the forefront of consumer technology and engagement if they did not see the value of the profits it can return? 

What are YOU doing to set your business apart from the competition and truly engage with your customer's needs and wants?

Friday, September 11, 2009

CAUTION When Cutting: Marketing is Muscle, not Fat.


At LIFT, we talk with our customers (small to medium sized businesses) on a daily basis about the economy, engaging with customers and employees, and most importantly, how to ride this recession-like wave and keep customers coming back.  We are always providing our clients with new and innovative ways to stay at "top of mind" with their customers by offering more than just your run-of-the-mill loyalty club card.  Cutting your marketing budget is the fastest way to lose customers, lose market share and drive yourself out of business.  No doubt that the economy has made an impact on your company.  The most important thing to do is stop panicking and know that this too, shall pass.

BusinessWeek.com wrote an interesting article titled, "Five Dont's for Marketing in Tough Times."  Here is what they had to say about cutting marketing dollars during an economic crisis:

Just as the savviest investors view down markets as a time to buy when everybody else is selling, the savviest marketers know recessions are a great time to pick up market share. They understand that by maintaining their budgets (or even increasing them) they may not come out ahead during the down times, but they can pick up market share that will pay off in the long run. Marketing dollars in a recession are like oxygen on Mt. Everest—the less there is in the surrounding environment, the more valuable the amount you possess becomes. Cutting your marketing spending is a sure way to give ground to competitors who may be more aggressive during the downturn. 

For more information on how to get the edge on your competition and give your business a LIFT, visit our website at www.liftmysales.com.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Are Your Customers Cheating on You?

The likely answer would be, YES they are!  Unless you are the ONLY restaurant, dry cleaners, clothing store, liquor store, pet supply shop, barber, or grocery store in town, then your customers are cheating.  In fact, there may be many similar stores in your city who carry the same products as you do, provide the same services as you do and even provide the same customer satisfaction as you.

At LIFT, we know that 80 percent of your business will come from 20 percent of your customers.  Are you one of the thousands of business owners that neglect this loyal customer base?  Are you so focused on spending money to bring new customers in that you have missed out on hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month by simply not engaging with your existing customers?

What are you doing to get consumers to stay loyal to your store?

Here are just a few tips to help build customer loyalty:

1.  Communicate.  Engaging with your customers is the single most important factor in staying at "top of mind."  Collect email addresses and start an e-club where you can send out a monthly newsletter with free information.  Send out a survey and ask your customers what they would like to see at your store.  Use the holidays as a way to offer promotions and specials to your enrolled customers.

2.  Love Your Employees.  If your employees feel well taken care of, they will share the same enthusiasm for your products or services with your customers.  Think about the last time you went shopping at one of your favorite stores and received horrible service.  Did you think twice about returning?

3.  Rewards & Incentives.  In today's economy, it is more critical than ever to offer something special in order to separate your business from the competition.  For instance, a restaurant might offer a VIP Card that instantly credits back 5 percent of the total bill for a future visit.  A car wash could offer a free basic wash after the first 5 paid ones.  Offer your customers a really great reason to come back and they will!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Merchant of the Month: COMING SOON!!

 

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