We live by the calendar.
Our year is marked by signposts.
Dates on the calendar around which we plan our annual journey.
In the USA, some of the major calendar signposts include:
• New Year’s Day
• SuperBowl Sunday
• Valentine’s Day
• St. Patrick’s Day
• Memorial Day
• Mother’s Day
• Father’s Day
• Independence Day
• Back to School
• Labor Day
• Veteran’s Day
There are many others, of course, and your list will vary depending on your cultural and religious background.
The point is, the major signposts are easy to identify. And easy to construct a marketing calendar around. What’s the point of that?
We copywriters talk a lot about “joining the conversation already taking place in the prospect’s mind” (a phrase borrowed from Robert Collier).
When you tie your marketing efforts to major mindset changing calendar dates, you go a long way toward “joining” that conversation.
John E. Kennedy identified the power of “reason why” copy: prospects are more likely to respond if you give them a reason why they should. They’re more likely to pay attention to your promotion if you give them a “reason why” you’re doing the promotion to begin with.
Retailers have done this so long (and with so little imagination) we’ve grown accustomed to it. (“The January White Sale”… “The Sweetheart Sale” for Valentine’s Day… “Saving the Green” sales for St. Patrick’s Day… etc.).
The good news for your online business is that all of these “old school” ideas work very well online. And if you can get a little more creative with them (for instance, having a “Click Your Treat” promotion around Halloween) they work even better.
The point is: give your prospects and customers a new reason to visit your website at least once per month.
Planning your promotional calendar becomes very easy when you adopt this model. The list above is not a bad start.
If you’re more ambitious, you can select from hundreds of “reasons why” at 2009 Holidays & Observances Calendar … and have a reason to do a promotion 52 times per year.
Need ideas about what sort of promotions to do? Borrow ideas from the businesses that have made an art form of this method: brick & morter retailers. Car dealers, big box stores, and grocery stores in particular will supply you with a rich “swipe file” of ideas.
Just visit your local library (yes, they still exist) and get the back issues of your local newspaper’s Sunday issues (it’ll have the most ads) for the last year. You’ll have 52 “mini-swipe files” to build your library of promotions from.
What do you suppose might happen to your sales and profits then?