We here at APSE are pretty excited about our January promotion. I’ll be blunt. Like any association, we always want to increase membership. Ultimately, we’re in the business of helping businesses improve. The more people we reach, the better we can help the community. We want to reach as many businesses as we possibly can to help them improve their business. We realize the business world is constantly evolving, so we must be even more intelligent in our promotion design.
Why should promotions just help ‘the lead’ and ‘the business?’ Too often businesses have a promotion and make it completely self-serving. I recently attended a conference on marketing to a specific niche where they strongly encouraged squeeze pages. Pages where you can watch a video or get a download, but you need to enter your email to ‘get more.’ They do work, but I tend to think of them as the god-awful-sales-pitch website that has the “obnoxious extra-loud voice playing that stuns you like a deer in headlights before remembering the mute button.”
Those are so typical and they turn people off. It’s like hearing an advertisement on tv: you either fast forward through it or try to use the washroom before commercial break ends. It can be so interruptive and … cheap feeling. So how can we DO MORE for our audience? How can we make our audience LOOK GOOD just for interacting with us? How can we be genuine?
After a brain storming session, this is one idea we decided to try:
First: As business pet service business owners, we have asked ourselves (and have been asked by others): ‘Are service associations worth the money?’ This question has been posed in so many different places, that we wanted to give business owners an ‘example’ of what they can expect to get with us. Let’s give out one of our best webinars. But then we improved it. Just offering 1 thing bores people. It’s not enough incentive. What happens if we give away 5 days of relevant content for ANYONE to look at? Though it’s only 5 days, we decided it might convince people. (Then we added an extra event just to make it better.)
We have hundreds of business offerings inside; will 5 be enough for a good taste? We are putting our name on the line and letting others review it publicly. But that’s still not enough. How could we improve the sitters experience even more? How could we directly help a sitter make a business transaction they might not otherwise do? Then we had the idea…
Second: The Association of Pet Sitting Excellence (APSE) is picking a random pet sitter and donating up to $500 (in the sitter’s name) to the sitter’s shelter of choice. (Click here to enter.) Picture yourself going to your local shelter with a check for $500.00 & showing them your support. Talk about good PR and networking! You might even offer to buy them ‘new parent kits’ for new pet parents (with your name on them.) The sky is the limit.
APSE went out and got a sponsor to split the funds. Rover.com, a nifty pet sitter search engine, is donating up to $250 of the final prize. In return, we mention their name and thank them profusely for caring. We don’t give them any personal information regarding the sitters who sign up. We mention their name and everyone is happy.
The more sitters who enter, the more money you can give your local shelter. (Plus you get 5 days of material that will improve your pet sitting business!)
It is a few promotions in one. The sitter who wins $500 will build a relationship with a local humane society. Pets at the humane society will benefit. The humane society will benefit. The sitter will hopefully get more business from the humane society. Ideally, this is how it will work.
When you do promotions, keep them fun. Follow the advice of Bob Burg and have your actions help others as much as possible. With enough of a reach, good will, and attractiveness, people will start flooding in.
It’s okay to get sponsors and work with others. Be confident. Help others.
(Do you have any promotions that have worked really well for you? I’d love to hear about it! Send me a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org)