Buy One Get One Free!
You can leverage these media by offering a buy-one-get-one FREE offer. People love free. It’s the most powerful word in advertising. In fact many times people will hold on to a coupon for weeks and see your ice cream shop name several times before visiting your shop and forgetting the coupon at home!
Coupons are wonderful because they can be very effective and they are easy to track. If you receive a number of coupons back from your customers you can tally up what your results were. The key is to up-sell the purchase once you have them in the door. The coupon redeemers will hopefully bring friends or family. You can also tell them about the ice cream cakes and treats you have available.
We’ve all been to a sub shop or a film processing shop that gives us a card which offers a free bonus after a certain number of visits. These can be very effective in the ice cream business. It gets customers to come back to you for their ice cream cravings because they seek the reward. My advice here is to make sure you don’t require too many visits for before they receive the bonus or it won’t work. To get a free cone or sundae a good number of visits is 5-6.
PR (It’s easier than you think)
Good PR can work wonders for your business and it’s free! Make sure you announce your grand opening to the local newspaper and television stations. These media outlets are always looking for something new and exciting to cover. Also consider sponsoring a local little league team or fundraiser.
Seek to become a part of the community. As a business owner it’s important to get out there and meet your customers. You can do this at school functions, church, a business expo, and fundraisers for your community. The most successful businesses are run by people who make an effort to embrace their community.
Here are some ideas to promote your business through PR…
- send a press release of your store opening to all the local media outlets, newspaper, TV, radio, etc.
- send a free ice cream cake to the local radio station for a local DJs birthday (you might get an on air mention)
- get involved with local charities
- sponsor a school ice cream party
- teach classes on making ice cream
- sponsor a bike race
- create a new holiday-inspired flavor
A great piece of advice a business guru gave me was to build a relationship with the press. Read the local paper regularly and get a feel for who reports on what.
Offer yourself up as a resource for articles any time they wish to speak to a local business owner. By giving them what they need you can generate substantial PR exposure over time.
If you want to read more about marketing your ice cream shop, a great guide for you to read is called “Double Your Dipping” and you can read more about it by clicking on the link below.