Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Getting to Know You. Getting Know All About You....

Knowing who your customers is the food of champions for retailers. Not just who comes in to buy "this or that" or only when they HAVE to.

No, I'm talking about the customers that come in because they like your store, what you sell, who you are, what you represent, and so on. These are the customers that you want to get to know VERY well. Why? So you can sell them even more stuff, of course!

One of the ways to do this is to run a contest or giveaway. Contest entry forms allow you to collect name and contact information for those that enter. Typically, folks that enter are going to be customers that are motivated (to fill out the entry thingy), trusting of you (that there will be a "grand prize winner"), and interested in whatever the focus of the contest is (activity, product giveaway, etc.).

I ran across an interesting contest the other day at my local public library. (You knew there was something that prompted this post!)

The Cleveland Public Library System is running an Adult Summer Reading Club event with a theme of "Get an Inside Look". Here's how it works:

1. Read 3 books or listen to 3 audio books between June 9-August 9. (Motivates action within a specific time frame)

2. Write the Title and Author of the three books on the entry form. (They learn what books I'm into reading)

3. Indicate your top 3 choices for an "Inside Look" tour. (They learn more about my interests)

4. Complete name, address, contact info, and library branch. (They find out who I am, where I'm using their services, etc.)

5. Drop off entry form and cross fingers!

They have partnered with some local Cleveland businesses and such to offer some really cool "Inside Look" tours, among them:
- Cleveland Browns Stadium
- Playhouse Square (our historical, multi-venue theater complex)
- Progressive Field--Home of the Cleveland Indians)
- Severance Hall--Home of the Cleveland Orchestra
- FBI Building

How easy would this be to replicate on your campus? Tours of the stadium, concert hall, or other community landmarks. You could focus this kind of contest or promotion about purchases, used textbook buyback, or any other activity that you want to encourage or motivate.

Contest are a fun way to interact, learn about, and reward your customers. And back to school might be the perfect time to try one out!

Tony Ellis, CAE

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