Planning for profits
You know that promotions are a powerful tool for drawing customers to your shop. But what promotions will resonate with your customers? You don’t want to waste time or money on promotions that don’t add to the bottom line.
Would you believe that mapping out the promotions for your shop can be as easy as looking at the calendar? Seasonal promotions are a proven way to attract customers and drive sales. Discover how promotions based on the four seasons could be a winning formula for your shop.
Strategy for success
From spring cleaning to returning back-to-school, much of your customers’ lives revolve around the calendar and the changing seasons. This is why seasonal promotions are so effective. Think about other industries for a moment – through repeated advertising campaigns we are conditioned to change our furnace filters in the fall, buy sheets in January and shop for mattresses and furniture during President’s Day weekend.
Put seasonal promotions to work for your business. Take a moment and think about the natural tie-ins between the products and services you offer and the calendar. Your goal is to convert one-time customers into loyal repeat customers. Seasonal promotions typically fall into one of these categories:
Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day
Back to school, spring cleaning
Industry awareness months
To get your creative juices flowing, check out the following sample promotional calendar.
A year of promotions
The cold and snow of winter has much of the nation in its grip. Consider offering free battery checks and a discount on the purchase of a new battery.
While Valentine’s Day is typically associated with florists and jewelry stores, get in on the fun with a Show Your Car Some Love promotion. Offer savings on a routine maintenance job like an oil change.
With spring showers moving in, it’s the perfect time for a windshield wiper promotion. Offer savings on replacement wiper blades.
The Car Care Council sponsors National Car Care Month in April. Build a promotion around getting ready for spring driving with discounts on preventative maintenance like cabin air filters.
Summer road trips are right around the corner. This is an ideal time to offer free air conditioning system checks and a discount on AC recharging.
Time to treat dad! Promote oil change gift certificates as the perfect present for dad.
The dog days of summer are in full swing but don’t forget about promotions. Are you an independent shop? Do a tie-in with Independence Day celebrating your business.
Time to think about students going back-to-school. Target parents of younger drivers with an inspection special to get their student’s car ready for the upcoming school year.
After a busy summer of road trips, it’s time for your customers to put the focus back on their vehicles. Run a special on engine air filters, spark plugs or other services to keep their engine running its best.
Each October, the Car Care Council holds its Fall Car Care Month. Hold an educational clinic for your customers to tie into the event. You can pass on some knowledge and you’ll get them into the shop to see how you can help them. It’s a win-win!
With the time change that occurs on the first Sunday of the month, drivers are facing shorter days and more time traveling in the dark. Encourage customers to upgrade their headlights and taillights.
As driving on snow and ice becomes a reality for many, offer brake inspections and a discount on brake service.
Commemorate your shop’s anniversary with money-saving specials. You can celebrate all month long with specials or pick the week the shop opened to offer discounts.
Celebrate your customers’ birthday by giving them a money-saving offer that is good during their birthday month. Everyone loves to open a happy birthday email!
It’s your turn to brainstorm and come up with seasonal-based promotions for your shop. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try some new ideas. You might hit on a great idea that brings new customers and sales into your business.
Repeat for effectiveness
When you find a promotion that works, maximize its effectiveness by holding it in the same month year after year. Before you know it, you’ll have your customers looking forward to the annual free air conditioning inspection promotion that happens each May or the car care clinic you hold each fall.