by Norman Phillips Published 01/06/2010
Don’t Discount, Instead Create Themed Promotions
As we gradually see the recession fade, now is the time to really gear up our advertising and promotional programmes.
Traditionally, studios have tended to use newsletters and mailings to generate business and hopefully to get new clients, and one of the most common themes has been to offer discounts on their base services. But these discounted services really do not work very well for several reasons.
The first is that unless the mother picking up the mailing is an old client, or already thinking of having a new portrait session, a discount is not a strong enough reason for taking up the offer. When doing a mailing we need to get at least a 3–4% response and discounted services usually get less than 1%.
Second, if the potential client is not familiar with your studio, or not an old client, the discount is not an incentive to call. It is virtually meaningless.
Third, almost every studio that mails to the mother is offering a discount, so why should she call you instead of another no matter how attractive your mailing? She may call any number of your perceived competitors and then it becomes what might be described as a ‘crap shoot’.
Fourth, in a weak economy almost every business is offering discounts, from furniture, automobiles, hardware to home décor and home improvement. Discounts are so much part of the business environment they are an every-moment concept. They mean virtually nothing. Add to this the nonsense of the $1.99 deal that is simply $2, price is not always the deal-closing factor.
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