Grand Opening Marketing Strategies - Let’s Hear Your Ideas!

ShowboxersShowboxers Posts: 3subscriber
edited July 2006 in Marketing
     As my online business gets closer and closer to opening (I am aiming for August 1st or thereabouts), I have been muddling through several ideas to use as a marketing strategy to coordinate with my official opening that will entice customers to not only visit my site but to hopefully initiate a purchase as well!
     Some of the ideas I have considered are, for a specified time frame, offering:
*  A 10% discount for a specified time frame
*  Offering a specified product free, such as a magnet or other small item, with a customer`s first order.
*  Offering free shipping for a lesser total purchase (my store will be offering free shipping for purchases of $50 or more already so I would lower this to $30 or $35 for a limited time). 
*  Or perhaps I shouldn`t do anything more than virtually tell the world I am "Open For Business". 
     And as far as the "specified time frame", any ideas how long you would suggest - a week, 2 weeks, a month??
     I am veyr interested in hearing your ideas, as well as your experiences, of what you may have tried and whether it worked well for you or even those ideas that did not work well at all!  I am sure other people out there are pondering over the same - so please, put on your thinking caps and share your thoughts!  

Comments

  • ShowboxersShowboxers Posts: 3subscriber
          I forgot to include - another idea I had was, for a limited time, offering a Gift Certificate for $5 off a customer`s next purchase on orders of $25 or more, $10 off for orders of $50 or more, $15 off for orders of $75 or more, etc. 
  • iouone2iouone2 Posts: 14subscriber
    Engraver, great idea. (Chamber of Commerce) Hey, is there a fee for membership? I am curious. (Of course I could call, but there are too many smart people here, that will tell me. ) 
  • keyconkeycon Posts: 34subscriber
    Beth,
    Glad to hear you are close to opening - I wish you all the best. Some great ideas already coming your way. My $.02 worth:
    Since your venture has a very specific market (Boxers dogs, right?), why not offer a nice Boxer head key chain? I`ve seen very nice ones done in many breeds. If fact, I have a nice one myself of a Lab (no offense to Boxers, but I`m a Lab fan) - done in pewter. Most fans of a particular breed love to show off their love of their dogs. I`m talking something nice - nothing cheap. Offer free for purchases over a certain amount - whatever you determine to be a cost effective marketing expenditure.
    Here`s a trick I like that a pet supply company I deal with does on every order. They include two (2) Tootsie Roll Pops in every order with a note (all enclosed in a small ZipLoc bag) telling you that these are "human treats". Very cute and memorable - helps to set them apart - and who doesn`t like a Tootsie Roll Pop?
    Do you offer a money-back guarantee? Everyone loves guarantees and few people ever take advantage of them. If you do offer a guarantee, make it a big deal on your site.
    Like TJG says, you should treat an online opening like a B&M opening. Have a Grand Opening Sale - maybe 30 days. Count down the days on your website.
    Definitely try to get some free publicity. Visit the PR threads here on the Forum. Ask the PR experts here about some ideas on free publicity.
    Good luck and keep us posted as you become a millionaire!
    [email protected]
  • ShowboxersShowboxers Posts: 3subscriber
        Thank you for the valuable advice!!  I definitely will use your suggestions and appreciate the encouragement! 
         Richard, the key chain is along one of the lines I was thinking.  I want to use a leverage that not only encourages traffic but purchase as well.
          TJ is absolutely right in that it should be treated the same as a B & M store opening.  I completely agree!!!  And thank you for the excellent advise you listed!!  VERY useful!
           Engraver, I totally agree with you on being able to track your advertising through coupons.  Will have to check into whether my shopping cart program can be utilized this way!  However, I don`t see where joining the Chamber of Commerce will assist my particular business in any way.  I think the membership fee in my case would be a waste and better invested elsewhere within the business.
  • ShowboxersShowboxers Posts: 3subscriber
    Hi Taylor!
         Yes, you can shop without registering.  I was hoping the webmaster had made that clear enough but perhaps he didn`t??  I will see what he can do about any confusion.  I personally hate websites where you can`t shop without registering first!
         I am considering a membership later down the road.  Possibly will open it as a club for breeders or something to that effect.  Might make it as a club where you have to be a member of the American Boxer Club or one of their affiliated boxer clubs to be eligible for membership.  It is definitely something I am thinking about regardless.
         I only wish I could create a site myself like the site I will have!!! My web designer is Jay Jones of All Media Net which can be found at www.spads.com</A>  These two designers as one team are truly an incredible pair!!!!   They are also the original creators of GoTruckStop.com which is why you see similarities at Boxerhaus.com but yet these two sites are also unique within themselves as they are each custom built websites!  I couldn`t be happier with the web design team TJ referred me to!   
     
  • tannersoldittannersoldit Posts: 1subscriber
    Hey Beth:
    A friend of mine in Belleville, IL is a boxer owner and occasional breeder for more than 30 years.  It`s a very cool breed.
    After reviewing your site, which I know is not complete, I envision lots of boxer pics.  People love pictures, especially if their kids or pets are part of them.  Consider categories of photo contests for viewers to vote on.  They could be:

    Silly
    Family
    Using your products
    Beauty
    etc.
    Award prizes from your store to the winners and some sort of coupon to everyone who enters.  Feature the pics throughout the site and change them each month.  It keeps the site fresh and people coming back for more. 
    Build a community of boxer lovers.  Try not to restrict it to memberships as the more people that can be part of your community the more likely they are to promote you.  The serious ones will always come forward, but people like fun sites.  Yours could be great fun. 
    I caution you about discounting, instead increase the value with future purchase incentives, extra goodies, buddy shopping incentives, etc.  If you keep the value high, you will keep your margins high.  If you discount as an incentive, people will just shop you against the others.  When there`s no value, the only thing left is price.
    Finally, be quick to deliver a superior customer experience.  You will be measured most by this single element.  Let me know if there is anything else I can help with.
    Good luck.  (Sorry this was so long.)
    Ron
  • TheMarketingStrategistTheMarketingStrategist Posts: 0subscriber
    Beth,
    You have a lot of good ideas and have gotten a lot of good advice from the other contributors.  Any Internet site should be treated like a B&M store front, the only difference is its virtual; instead of renting space, you rent web space with your web hosting provider.
    Like a B&M business, you should develop a marketing plan.  Capture the names of the people who visit your web site with a Free Report or FAQS or maybe a Care Sheet - like, "10 Ways to Make Your Boxer Happy".  Your biggest marketing expense is capturing customers.  If you`re driving traffic to your site, you want to be able to capture it so you can market to your customer base over and over.
    Have a "Grand Opening" sale.  Offer a gift to those who refer others to your web site.
    Plan your membership site carefully before opening it.  Membership sites are a great way to build in residual sales.
    Make sure you are marketing to your target market - owners of Boxers.
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