8 Research-Backed Member Retention Strategies

Managing member retention is an incredibly important part of growing a sustainable business. According to research from Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by only 5% increases a company’s profits by 25-95%.

Poor member retention is similar to filling a bucket with holes in the bottom: sure, you could keep piling on to make up for it, but you’re much better off figuring out what caused the holes and how you can patch them up.

Retaining members costs less than acquiring them, and both add to your club's bottom line. So before you go all-in on tactics designed to get new prospects into your membership pipeline, consider using one of these eight research-backed member retention strategies to grow your revenue by keeping the members you already have.

  • Capture your club’s momentum
  • Don’t just sell — educate
  • Deliver surprise reciprocity
  • Find ways to delight your members consistently
  • But focus on service before delight
  • Accept that speed is secondary to quality
  • Build your member loyalty programs the right way
  • Reward your loyal advocates

1. Capture your club's momentum

When exciting improvements are being made to your club, everyone in feels the momentum. But do your members feel the same way?

Create excitement with current members by showing them what your latest programs, amenities and offerings will help them accomplish.

For example, as we prepared to introduce major improvements to a member dining room, grill, bar and outdoor patio in 2017, we ran a series of preview emails and social media posts to generate excitement about everything members would be able to accomplish with the new and improved areas.

Not only does this build momentum for upcoming opening, but it also helps promote new usage that existing members might otherwise miss. And according to research from CX Solutions (formerly TARP Worldwide), telling members about new products or services they can really use creates an average 30% lift to usage or new member referrals.

2. Don’t just sell — educate

The same CX Solutions study mentioned above also found that “proactively providing information on how to avoid problems or get more out of your product” creates a 32% average lift to repurchase or recommend.

The last thing you want to do is leave members to fend for themselves after they’ve signed up. It’s crucial to offer resources that make it easy for new members to learn how to use their club.

There are a lot of different ways to train new members on how to use their club:

  • Offer individual department onboarding with tips and tutorials designed to help new members get started.
  • Send a series of lifecycle emails designed to guide new members through the process of learning how to use their club.
  • Provide one-on-one training sessions with member support, sales, or an onboarding specialist.
  • Create an online academy of training resources for new members who prefer self-service training. Example, how to make reservations online, what the attire for an event, how to refer a member, etc.
    Build a community of club experts that new and long-time members alike can turn to when they have questions.

Private Club Marketing can also assist you with creating a new member orientation video series, in order for new and existing members to (re)learn more about our clubs and ask any questions they might have.

3. Deliver surprise reciprocity

Reciprocity is the social construct that makes the world go ‘round and keeps members coming back.

The concept of reciprocity is simple: people respond based on how they’re treated. When someone is treated nicely, they respond nicely. When they’re treated poorly, they respond poorly.

It’s no wonder then that consistently good service is one of the biggest drivers of repurchases and recommendations.

Source: CX Solutions

And while reciprocity works incredibly well on its own, research shows it’s far more powerful when it’s a surprise. Recall a time that someone did something nice for you unexpectedly. The gesture probably wasn’t all that unusual, but the fact that it came out of nowhere likely left a strong impression on you.

Brainstorm some ways you can surprise your members with a kind gesture. For example, the Beverly Hills Hotel asked its instagram followers to tell them who they could send handwritten notes and swag to just to say thank you.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

@bevhillshotel 👨🏻‍💻 it’s in the mail!

A post shared by Jordan Dalaly (@jdalaly) on

Thank-you notes are a rare throwback to old-fashioned, personal service; they stand out as a delightful gesture that makes members feel special and cared for. The relationship-building is well worth the relatively minimal investment.

4. Find ways to delight your members consistently

Discounts and freebies are a great way to delight your members, but they can be costly. Instead of leaning too heavily on these delights, you should embrace the art of the frugal wow — creating reciprocity through small, thoughtful gestures.

In fact, psychologist Norbert Schwarz found that as little as 10 cents can create reciprocity between two individuals. It really is the thought that counts.

In a study from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers found that waiters and waitresses could increase their tips by 23 percent through the simple act of returning to tables with a second set of mints.

5. But focus on service before delight

Many companies assume exceptional member service can only be achieved by going above-and-beyond — that loyalty is built on showy gestures.

But according to research from Dixon, Toman, and DeLisi published in The Effortless Experience, the true driver of member retention and loyalty is the ease of getting a problem solved.

Delight isn’t the foundation of a member service strategy; it’s a second-order effect. First, focus on consistently meeting expectations and avoiding unpleasant surprises. Then go the extra mile. Here are a few more tips.

Provide support on the right channel(s)

It’s important to make sure you’re providing support on the channels that make the most sense for your business and your members. Hosting companies, for example, know that live chat is critical when their members’ sites go down; other companies may have members who prefer using self-service (web), or even phone support.

Make member support a communal effort

Countless case studies have made one thing clear when it comes to creating an efficient support system: you need to keep everybody in the loop.

At Private Club Marketing, we use our integration with online/mobile chat to access real-time notifications of what’s happening on the member AND prospect end. We were able to improve our response time by 340% (not a typo!) by creating a support channel for all of our teammates. Members don't have to call the club, they can simply inquire through online chat and notifications are sent to a specific or group of department heads on their cell phones.

6. Accept that speed is secondary to quality

When it comes to highly rated member service, quality and completeness matter more than speed.

According to research from Gallup, members were nine times more likely to be engaged with a brand when they evaluated the service as “courteous, willing, and helpful.” “Speedy” service, on the other hand, only made members six times more likely to be satisfied.

Telling your team to spend more time with members might seem counterintuitive, but numerous behavioral psychology studies have shown that everyone views their service experience as more positive when they don’t feel rushed or ignored.

Whether you’re responding to support requests or delivering new features, speed is only delightful if you’re delivering exactly what your members need. You’ll do more damage than good by rushing and delivering something that creates more problems than it solves.

In fact, research conducted by John Goodman found that members were much more sensitive to price changes — and thus more likely to churn — when they experienced a few problems with the product or the support they received.Source: Strategic Customer Service

7. Build your member loyalty programs the right way

The key to creating loyalty programs that work is to know why members use them and what gets members to keep using them. Luckily, there’s a ton of research on member loyalty programs that you can use to set your program up correctly from the start.

Give loyal members a head start

Consumer researchers Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dreze are known for their studies on the Endowed Progress Effect. Their results have conclusively shown that the biggest pitfall in preventing member loyalty programs from succeeding is getting people started.

In their well-known car wash study, participants were twice as likely to finish loyalty cards when they were automatically started (or rewarded) as soon as they signed up.

Make ideal members VIPs

Additional research by Dr. Nunes on retention programs has shown that people love being VIP or “gold” members. There is one caveat, though — this only works when people know there is a class below them on the totem pole. Speaking to human nature, Nunes saw a notable increase in gold customers’ participation as soon as he implemented a silver class.

Assign your members positive labels

Research on voting patterns conducted by Stanford University revealed people are more likely to participate in something if they are labeled with a positive trait.

Buffer refers to their premium customers as “awesome” customers and even named their upgraded payment plan the “Awesome Plan.”

8. Reward your loyal advocates

When your members go out of their way to recommend your product or service to others, let them know that you see and appreciate it! If you spot someone recommending your business on social media, for example, reply to say thanks. It shows you’re paying attention and that their testimony means something to you.

Another way to recognize your brand advocates is with a referral program. For example, many clubs give their members a club credit when they refer someone who becomes a member (and that new member gets a $X credit on their account).

Retaining members is a balancing act

There are many member retention strategies, but there are no shortcuts. You can’t hack a personal relationship, so why should we assume business relationships are any different?

The bottom line is that the strategies above should hopefully give you some fresh ideas for approaching retention, but they’re not a cure-all. Your product and service will do most of the heavy lifting in keeping members loyal, and there are no shortcuts for that.

10 Marketing and Blog Ideas for July

via ThriveHive

July is here and we have some marketing and blog ideas to heat up your marketing efforts. Don’t just dip your toe in the marketing waters this summer—dive right in with some of these great ideas to promote your business!

1. Independence Day (July 4)

The biggest event this month is obviously the 4th of July. Almost any business can get in the spirit and show off their American pride. If you want to be patriotic, some ideas include:

  • Holiday discount: Many businesses hold special sales or promotions this time of year. Make sure you promote it as a July 4th special.
  • Blog about July 4th: If you run a regular blog on your business website, tie in the holiday to relevant posts. For example:
    • July 4th outfit ideas
    • BBQ and cookout recipes
    • Red white and blue desserts
    • Family friendly activities and venues
    • Firecracker safety tips
  • Participate in local events: Chances are, there are a ton of events in your community for the 4th of July. Whether it’s a parade or a town center fair, make an appearance and promote your business.
  • Show patriotism on social media: Don’t slack online! Keep up your social media accounts and post pictures of your store, employees, or customers celebrating our country.

2. Shark Week

Shark Week is a shark-based programming block for an entire week every summer. Shark Week has begun to be promoted heavily on social media, so get involved with the discussions and get in the summer spirit! Bakeries can sell shark shaped cookies, businesses can throw parties and show Jaws, and restaurants can offer Shark Week specials.

3. International Kissing Day (July 6)

February isn’t the only month for a romantic holiday—International Kissing Day is celebrated in July! Show your customers some love and offer a discount or prize to those who kiss and snap a selfie at your business. Dental offices can also mention this day as a way to promote better oral care—get creative and let us know how you can position this holiday with your business!

Related: The Ultimate Summer Marketing Kit

4. Get to Know Your Customers Day (July 19)

Although you should be making an effort every day to connect with your customers, there’s a specific day dedicated to doing just that! Also celebrated in January,  April, and October, this is a day to engage as much as possible with your customers. It’s important to always show your appreciation to those that consistently support your business.

Increase social media engagement with loyal customers by sharing their posts about your business or spotlighting them as a customer of the week. Make an effort to introduce yourself to customers in store and get to know them on a personal level!

5. National Ice Cream Day (July 16th)

We all scream for ice cream in July! In 1984, former President Ronald Reagan decided July was to be “National Ice Cream Month,” and the third Sunday, which is July 19th this year, to be“National Ice Cream Day.” This holiday is especially great for food establishments. If your business doesn’t sell food, you can still take advantage of the holiday:

  • Have an ice cream sundae party at your business and show the fun on social media.  Your delicious masterpieces are a perfect photo sharing opportunity. You can also bring in ice cream from a local store and give a shout out to business in the pictures you share by tagging them in it. This increases the reach of your post to engage with their customers.
  • Host a post ice cream sundae workout at your fitness center the next day (July 17th) to work off those delicious calories.

If your business does sell food, host a sale or promotion on National Ice Cream Day to show your love for the frozen treat. You can also feature special limited-edition flavors in honor of the month, or offer exclusive toppings and novelties.

6. National Grilling Month

July is National Grilling Month—summertime isn’t complete without a barbecue! July is a perfect time to host a company get together, grill up some delicacies, and share it on your blog or social media accounts.

Better yet, invite customers and allow them to get to know the people and personalities behind your business. If your store sells grilling supplies, have a sale on the essentials or create package deals. You could also give away a grill or grilling gift basket through an Instagram contest or giveaway.

7. Summer-themed Instagram Contest or Giveaway

Whether you give away a gift card or product from your store, Instagram giveaways are a great way to give your social media account a boost. Some examples of what to give away include a free personal training session, summer beach bag full of goodies (food or beauty products!), free salon or spa treatment, or a free cake order for July 4th. Use a hashtag in your contest so that it’s easily accessible on social media searches.

8. Traveling Contests

July is a big month for vacations. Many of your customers might be away, but don’t fear, you can utilize this to your advantage.

Either give away a prize or feature customers in a social media post if they travel and snap a picture of your products along the way. Similar to an Instagram contest, this can be advertised over social media and entered in a variety of ways that notifies your account. At the end of the contest, share all the submitted pictures over social media or in a blog post.

Another way to capitalize on traveling is to produce travel-related content relevant to your business. For example, personal trainers can post about how to get in a good workout without a gym, or financial advisors can offer tips about saving money on vacation.

9. Pinterest Board

Make a summer-related Pinterest board to market your business with ideas and plans for the season. This lets followers know that your business is in full swing for summer and promotes that mindset in store.

  • Preschools can pin fun outdoor activities for children or summer-themed crafts.
  • Fitness centers can pin outdoor exercise tips.
  • Salons can share heatless hairstyles that beat the summer humidity and frizz.
  • Bakeries can share special summer treats.

10. Hot Weather

It’s no secret that July is a scorcher, so market your products to the heat. People will be looking for handheld fans, hats, water bottles, beach necessities, flip flops, and cold drinks, so this is the best time to stock up on that merchandise!

You can also give away some of these essentials in gift with purchase promotions during the hotter days of the month to lure in more customers from the beach. Additionally, make sure to let customers know you have air conditioning to cool them off during the dog days of summer!

Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Membership After COVID-19 Lockdown

Private Club Marketing looks at strategies to maximize your budget to grow and retain your membership after the COVID-19 lockdown

The prolonged lockdown to counter the spread of COVID-19 has been lifted or is being eased in phases. Private clubs are resuming operations in whatever capacity possible, but uncertainty is still staring everyone dead in the eye. The conundrum to save money wherever possible, or to grab the attention of members and prospects, is plaguing GM’s, Membership Directors and BODs all around the globe. Some clubs have eliminated their Membership Director’s position, adding additional stress to the GM and Catering team’s already full plates. Others have frozen membership sales and retention budgets and plan to wait it out until they deem it safe to resume.

FREEZING MEMBERSHIP MARKETING AND RETENTION BUDGETS MAY BE THE WRONG IDEA

Freezing membership sales and retention budgets will land these clubs in trouble. A survey by the American Association of Advertising Agencies states that 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands during this lockdown. Without an allocated budget, the business will not be able to reach out to their customers. So, a competitor could market to the business’ customers and steal them away, leading to a reduction in business. This is a perilous situation for any business (or club).

To maximize these limited budgets and achieve effective targeting, data science and user segmentation can make all the difference. Data analysis can help you set up an optimized member retention and sales program. Machine learning techniques can use insights from buying behavior to segment loyal members into user clusters. A separate promotion strategy specific to each user cluster is an efficient way to leverage member retention budgets. This clustering and targeting technique enables clubs to maximize revenue from existing members while driving new member referrals.

With marketing budgets being tighter than ever, user segmentation will help membership teams use their budgets efficiently. With businesses currently struggling with reduced revenue, loyalty programs operating with efficient member retention budgets can prove to be their silver bullet for growth. Retention is the new growth. With a targeted approach, your Club can be the success story that others want to emulate.

 

10 Marketing & Blog Ideas for June

via ThriveHive

June is upon us and we’ve got a new batch of 10 ways to promote your business through creative marketing and blog ideas. Round out the spring and welcome the summer with these great ideas!

1. Flip a Coin Day

The first day of June is Flip a Coin Day. Coin flipping might not be the most traditional marketing opportunity but with a little creativity, you can turn it into one! The holiday was made to create awareness about math. If math is relevant to your business, then this day is a no-brainer. For other industries, Flip a Coin Day translates into decision making or games of chance. Try out these coin flipping marketing ideas:

  • Flip a Coin discount: For each purchase, have customers flip a coin and call heads or tails. If the customer wins, they get a percentage discount based on the value of the coin. Quarter flips = 25% off, Dime flips = 10% off, and Nickel flips = 5%. discount
  • Blog about decision-making: Write a blog post about decision making in your industry with titles like:
    • “7 Signs You Need to Hire a Contractor” 
    • “Is This an Emergency? When to Call the Dentist/Doctor/Lawyer” 
    • DIY vs. Professional Marketing – What You Can DIY and What You Should Leave to the Pros

2. National Donut Day

As if you needed another reason to love Fridays or donuts, National Donut Day is held on the first Friday in June. This is a great day to shine for bakeries and donut shops. If you’re not in the industry of making round pastries, here are some other ideas:

  • Order donuts for your office and post on social media. Aside from being a delicious treat, pictures of donuts and people eating them are great photo opportunities for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Search for relevant hashtags and use them to get your photos and your business found online.
  • Buy donuts from a local bakery and give them a shoutout on social media. Make sure to tag them on Facebook and Twitter to increase the organic reach of your post.
  • Host an after Donut Day workout at your fitness center. Donuts are delicious but not conducive to marketing a fitness center. Host or post a Day After Donut Day workout!

3. Flag Day

Hooray for the red, white, and blue! Flag Day celebrates the commemoration of the United States flag. Hang those flags and encourage customers to do the same. Participate in local Flag Day events or show off your flag swag on social media.

Related: The Ultimate Summer Marketing Kit

4.  Father’s Day

Promote your business through Father’s Day marketing. This is a no-brainer for businesses whose customers are men, but other types of businesses can join in the fun. Try out these ideas:

  • Father’s Day Gift Guide: Write a blog post with a Father’s Day gift guide with products that you offer or in your industry. Promote the blog post on Pinterest so that it links to your business site.
  • Father’s Day Gift Basket or Coupon Book: Put together a Father’s Day gift basket at your business to make it easy for kids and moms to shop for dad. Think outside of the standard tie box with:
    • Fitness class package – offer a deal on 10 classes just for Dads
    • Gift card for your restaurant with a bottle from a local distillery or winery
    • Gift basket of men’s grooming supplies at your spa or salons. Moms who come in to redeem their gift certificates for Mother’s Day massages and manicures will love the one-stop shopping!
  • Daddy and Me Workout: Fitness centers and gyms often have Mommy and Me yoga classes, but there’s no reason that you can’t do a Daddy and Me workout class too! Host a dad and child workout or soccer game at your fitness center or invite dads to attend their children’s classes at your martial arts studio!

5. Summer Solstice

Promote your business on the longest day of the summer with extended store hours. The extra hours of daylight mean that you can keep your business open for longer on this one day. Promote your extended hours on social media and, if you can, team up with other local businesses to stay open late. By teaming up with other local businesses, you can create more of a buzz together and encourage your community to shop at local businesses during these extended hours.

6.   LGBT Pride Month

Show your pride in June by letting the local Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community know that you are one of them and/or that you support them. Use social media to tweet about local LGBT events and attend your local Pride parade – hang a rainbow flag, dress up your pets, and show some love for love!

Contact local LGBT community organizations to let them know that you’re a supporter and encourage community members to shop at your LGBT-friendly business. Not all businesses are welcoming, so if you are, make it known to both the LGBT community and supporters to encourage people to use or shop at your business.

7. National Safety Month

Safety first always but especially in June. Promote your business through safety during the month by encouraging people to stay safe during the summer as well as in industry-specific situations such as:

  • Promote helmet safety for your bike shop or write a blog post on “Helmet Buying Tips for Kids” or “8 Things to Watch Out For When Riding Your Bike on the Open Road”
  • Hand out sunscreen samples at your doctor’s office
  • Blog about travel safety tips at your travel agency or bed and breakfast

8.  Insurance Awareness Day

It’s not hard to figure out who invented Insurance Awareness Day but you don’t have to be an insurance agent to use this day to promote your business.

  • Lawyers and accountants can blog about the benefits of insurance for individuals and business owners.
  • Doctors and dentists can use this day to encourage patients to check out their insurance coverage to make sure they have adequate coverage or provide tips for connecting with insurance companies about procedures.
  • Massage therapists, chiropractors, and fitness centers should encourage clients to check their insurance benefits—many insurance companies offer coverage for massage and chiropractic treatments or subscriber discounts for joining a fitness center or gym.
  • Travel agents, bed and breakfasts, and hotels can use this day to blog about the benefits of travel insurance.

9. End of School

School’s out for summer! Promote your business for an influx of children, college students, and families.

  • Host an End of School Year sale to clear out old merchandise
  • Write a blog featuring things to do in your town during the summer—make sure to include your business in the list
  • If your town is quiet in the summer, get involved with a summer school or camp to host events for students and campers

10. Graduation

Celebrate the end of the school year with specials geared toward new grads with things like:

  • Discounts for graduates with your moving company to encourage new customers to use your company
  • Special discounts for graduates who post a picture of themselves at your restaurant wearing their cap and gown
  • Sponsor or attend the local high school or college graduation

May Marketing and Blog Ideas

1. National Small Business Week

First and foremost, National Small Business Week is the first week of May! Dedicated to raising awareness about small businesses and celebrating the hard working owners behind them, this week will be packed with ample marketing opportunities. Here are some ways to make the best of National Small Business Week:

  • Run a deal-a-day for the week, promoting different products/services each day.
  • Get return customers: Give out coupons with purchases this week, that can only be redeemed on an upcoming holiday or on the last day of Small Business Week.
  • Get more leads: Offer a downloadable, small business-themed piece of content that is of value to your target audience in exchange for their email addresses.
  • Increase your exposure: Use #NationalSmallBusinessWeek and other relevant hashtags in your social media posts and promotions.
  • Run an Instagram giveaway for a free product or service. Entrants post a photo to Instagram of themselves at your business, using a custom hashtag. Announce the winner at the end of the week.
  • Don’t forget that educating yourself about small business and networking with other small business owners is important for your marketing success as well. Attend local events, SBA events, or follow along via live streams.
  • Build community and expand your reach: Team up with other complimentary small businesses and create an event.
  • Make an extra effort to give back to your community by shopping at, posting reviews, and engaging in social media with other small businesses during the week.

2. Kentucky Derby (May 6)

Use the Kentucky Derby in your May marketing efforts. Get creative with derby fashion or horse-themed decorations, promotions, contests, and events. For example,

  • Change up your storefront with a derby theme to grab attention and attract customers.
  • Blog about derby fashion and outfits for men and women.
  • Throw a derby party with derby hat contests and mint juleps.
  • Host a cooking or cocktail-making class.
  • Run a derby hat contest on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Use derby hashtags such as #kyderby, or your own custom hashtag (like #derbyatjoes) so that people can find you and follow along.

3. Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Cinco de Mayo falls on a Friday this year, which makes it all the more fun. There are many ways to infuse a Mexican-American spirit into your marketing. For example:

  • Food or fitness businesses can post recipes or videos of recipes on social media.
  • Give out coupons the day before or a few days before, redeemable on Cinco de Mayo.
  • Share a festive discount “code word” on social media, customers who mention the code in-store get 15% off.
  • Use a triumph or underdog theme. This holiday comes from Mexico’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Give your customers the victory over high prices, long lines, slow service, and more with particular deals.
  • Use the number 5 in your promotions, such as get the fifth one free, $5 specials, 5% off, 5 for 5, etc.
  • Throw a party or cooking class revolving around Mexican food and culture.

4. Teacher Appreciation Day (May 2)

May 2 is Teacher Appreciation Day—a perfect time for preschools to market themselves to new parents in anticipation of the new school year.

  • Throw a party for teachers or have students write thank you letters to show off on your blog, in email newsletters to parents, or on social media.
  • Update your website content with new teacher bios and pictures.
  • Did anyone receive a new degree or have a teacher accomplishment to share? This is the perfect time to showcase them in an “About Us” page on your website. Doing so not only highlights your teaching staff, but it also can improve your SEO.

5. Mother’s Day (May 14)

Mother’s Day is prime time for any business, not just the flower shops, salons, and spas (although it is advantageous!).

  • Flower shops and bakeries can offer special Mother’s Day products, and discounts for Mother’s Day gift givers, either on this day or the day before as well.
  • Salons and spas can create Mother’s Day themed gift certificates, or offer 2 for 1 deals for mothers and daughters celebrating together.
  • Combine products and/or services into attractive gift packages that make gift-giving easy.
  • Businesses that get a spike in traffic on Mother’s Day can hand out coupons with purchases that are redeemable at a later time (ideally a time when business typically gets slow).
  • Preschools can have their little ones create Mother’s Day cards or crafts to send home. Make sure to post the pictures on social media or follow up with a blog post or email newsletter to communicate with parents!

6. Memorial Day (May 29)

Here are some ways to show your patriotism and love for the good ol’ USA through your business marketing on Memorial Day.

  • Red, white, and blue themed recipes, outfits, flower arrangements, etc. and promote on Pinterestand Instagram.
  • Host a BBQ or picnic for your community, and give out branded swag  like sunglasses or water bottles.
  • Participate in or sponsor a local event.
  • Use quotes, images, and other posts on social media to show your support for those who have lost their lives for our country.

7. Warm Weather

Take advantage of the warmer weather and provide information and helpful tips to your customers in accordance with your business.

  • Contractors, landscaping companies, and painters should boost their May marketing efforts to get new clients for the spring and summer months.
  • Now’s the time to run that gutter cleaning sale or post pictures on Facebook of your most recent outdoor paint job. Increase your SEO with blog posts about seasonal maintenance
  • Create success stories of successful jobs and promote them on your website and social media
  • Word of mouth marketing is important in these industries – offer existing clients a discount or incentive for each new client they refer who becomes a paying customer.

Related: Summer Marketing Guide

8. Flowers

April showers bring May flowers. If you own a flower shop, May marketing is your time to shine! (If you don’t, there are still opportunities!)

  • Host that flower arranging workshop you’ve been thinking about.
  • Start a Pinterest board to see if Pinterest is right for your business, or grow your Pinterest followingwith your creations linked to your online store or blog.
  • You don’t have to be a florist to use flowers in your marketing. Spruce up your office, restaurant, or store front with flowers. Nothing says “spring” like fresh-cut flowers that add a pop of color to your business space.
  • Buy flowers from a local florist and introduce yourself. Supporting other small business owners is the first step to getting more word of mouth referrals.

9. Weddings

May is the start of wedding season and a perfect time to market your business to new people who are in town.

  • Caterers, event planners, DJs, photographers, bakeries, and other wedding friendly services: Use social media to engage customers as much as possible. Whether you’re hosting the bachelorette party at your restaurant or baking their wedding cupcakes at your bakery, take pictures and share them on Facebook and other social media platforms.
  • Many couples ask guests to use custom hashtags on social media so that pictures of the events can be easily searched. For example, the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Burns might use the tag #BurnsInLove2015. Ask if you can use their hashtag to make your photos easily discoverable by wedding guests and the people in their social media networks.
  • Landscapers can capitalize on wedding venue owners looking to perfect their landscapes.
  • Fitness and nutrition businesses can provide workouts, recipes, blog posts, and tips on getting to your healthiest and best version of yourself in time for these heavily photographed events.

10. Final tips for Your May Marketing Events

Make the most of your May marketing events with these final tips:

  • Recap your events, promotions, and festivities in your next email newsletter or blog post so that those who missed out will want to join in the fun next year!
  • Send thank you and follow-up emails to any new leads for your business.
  • Encourage customers to use your custom event hashtag to follow along and/or to help promote it.
  • Post real-time photos of your event through Snapchat or Instagram Stories.

Free Resources, Tools and Financial Assistance for Clubs Hit by Covid-19

  • The Golf Relief and Assistance Fund was created so the PGA of America and other industry participants can support PGA Members and other golf industry personnel in qualified disaster situations. The PGA launched this fund with a contribution of $250,000. The fund will be administered by the largest community foundation in the world, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, of Mountain View, California.
  • CMAA has launched a learning platform called CMAA University: COVID-19 Resources: Include the new Healthy Habits eStart™ course, a 30-minute infectious disease awareness program that provides staff with critical information to prepare for, respond to, and prevent the spread of infectious disease – the common cold, flu and COVID-19/Coronavirus – in the foodservice workplace. Available to all members through CMAA University and to subscribers of the Club Resource Center.
  • The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced the creation of a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) to support U.S. restaurant workers financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and that industry icon Guy Fieri will lead a nationwide fundraising drive for the Fund via a Restaurant Relief America campaign.

  • Google is donating more than $800 million to support small businesses, health organizations, governments, and health workers impacted by Covid-19. The amount includes $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and midsize businesses with active accounts in the past year.
  • Telecom giant Verizon is donating $2.5 million to nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation for its Small Business Covid-19 Recovery Fund, which will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to struggling businesses.
  • Amazon launched a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to small businesses in and around the Seattle area that are impacted by Covid-19.
  • Facebook also created a Small Business Grants Program that will provide $100 million in cash and ad credits to 30,000 businesses in the 30 countries where Facebook operates.
  • To help local restaurants and bars, Yelp announced $25 million in relief in the form of waived advertising fees, free advertising, and products and services.
  • GoFundMe, the social-fundraising platform, has launched the Small Business Relief Initiative, partnering with Yelp to provide small-business owners with grants and resources. GoFundMe and Yelp have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund, and it is open for anyone to make a donation. There will also be $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.
  • The James Beard Foundation, the national nonprofit culinary arts organization, has launched the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The organization will draw support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to offer micro-grants to restaurants, bars, and other independent businesses in the industry.

 

  • Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (L4GG), a nonprofit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates in all 50 states, launched the Small Business Remote Legal Clinic to offer free consultations for small-business owners to help them answer legal questions and better understand the help that's available. The pilot program starts with New York City businesses and will expand to other cities in the weeks ahead.
  • SixFifty, the tech subsidiary of law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, released free legal tools to help businesses manage employment issues related to the Covid-19 crisis, from automated policies developed by employment attorneys to questionnaires to gather employee information, manage tasks, and automate important communications. The firm is also hosting free webinars to guide businesses on how to use the tools.

April Social Media Content Ideas

Spring is in full swing giving you plenty of great opportunities for interesting social media posts (even if we are all quarantined). If you’re looking April marketing ideas—in particular, April Facebook posts, look no further. Let’s get right to it!

The Masters

April 6 through 12 – Unfortunately, The Masters has been postponed this year, but that shouldn't stop us from sharing in the tradition of this historic event and great priced (and simple) foods! Offer to-go orders for lunch with things like pimento cheese sandwiches or grilled chicken sandwich, maybe even the iconic ice-cream sandwich (or recipes for customers to make them on their own, at home).

National Siblings Day

April 10 – Celebrate the bond of siblinghood by inviting brothers and sisters into your shop for a sibling date! Think about running a two for one promotion or snapping pics of all the siblings that come to your shop and posting to social!

National Grilled Cheese Day

April 12 – Holidays that celebrate our favorite foods get quite a bit of social media clout since food is something we all can bond over. For #nationalgrilledcheeseday think about to-go orders for lunch and snapping a photo of your cheesy dish or take the opportunity to cross-promote with another local business.

Tax Day Moved to July 15th!

As the deadline for filing your taxes is looming, try to make light of it! Perhaps you post useful tips for tax season or if you’re lucky enough to have a product or service that coincides with the almighty dollar, use it to your advantage!

Get to Know Your Customer Day

April 16 – Get to Know Your Customer Day is a great opportunity for interacting with your customers. Post questions on Facebook that engage them in a conversation. Ask for their opinions to help improve your services, what they like about your business, etc.

Air Five Day (stay 6 feet away please)

April 16 – High Five Day We'll call this Air-Five Day this year, leaves a lot of room for some good clean fun. We love the idea of asking customers to high five your staff for photo ops to post on social that they’re likely to share if you ask their permission to tag them. Up your Facebook following by inviting customers to tag people they’d like to give a virtual air-five.

Or give your own virtual air-five as a thank you or special shout out to customers, vendors or even a cause you support.

If you’re up for it, think about running a promo that coincides with the number five…it doesn’t all have to be about a literal high five!

Denim Day

April 29 – Denim Day is associated with one of the causes for the month of April, Sexual Assault Awareness. Take a break from self-promotion and educate your followers on the history of the holiday.

Or show your support for victims of sexual assault by asking employees to wear denim to work on this day.

Prom Season

Speaking of the awareness causes for this month… It would have been Prom Season! Virtually every type of business can figure out a post to tap into the prom season frenzy. Getting customers to share their past prom photos seems appropriate for this year!

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Show your support for National Child Abuse Prevention Month by posting a blue pinwheel gif which is the national symbol for the cause.

Or plant a pinwheel garden at your place of business and share it with your followers in hopes of raising awareness.

March Facebook Ideas and Examples

Looking for some social media posting inspo? Search no further – we’ve got a slew of ideas to share. Social media is a place for your marketing strategy to stretch its legs and put its fun pants on! Since there is no shortage of fun holidays and activities in the month of March, take advantage and inject some personality into your business page!

March Awareness Causes

There are many awareness causes that you can use for March blogging and Facebook marketing. These topics can be posted on throughout the month of March so you’re not tied to a specific date. They include:

• Reading
• Women’s History
• Brain Injury
• March Madness
• Youth Art
• Nutrition

Facebook-Friendly March Holidays

There are some really great holidays this month…some are super specific while others are enjoyed by most everyone giving you loads of options for posting to Facebook.

• Read Across America / Dr. Seuss’ Birthday – March 2nd
• International Women’s Day – March 8th
• Daylight Savings – March 8th
• Girl Scout’s Day – March 12th
• Pi Day – March 14th
• St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th
• First Day of Spring – March 19th
• International Puppy Day – March 23rd
• National Medal of Honor Day –March 25th
• Mom and Pop Business Owner Day – March 29th
• MLB Opening Day – March 26th
• Crayon Day – March 31st

Hashtags for March awareness causes and holidays include:

#read2020 #womenshistory #BrainInjuryawarenessmonth #TBIChampion #MarchMadness #NationalChampionship #youthartmonth #youthart #nutritionawarenessmonth #healthyeating #healthyfood #readacrossamerica #drseuss #internationalwomensday #womensday2020 #womensdayeveryday #piday2020 #pinchme #gogreen #internationalpuppyday #puppypic #nationalmomandpop

Examples of March Facebook Posts

Check out how businesses across the country have used these fun holidays and worthy causes to promote their organizations and connect with their followers!

Pi Day

Pi Day can fit in with any business. Choose a special offering on March 14th (3.14) or use the day to grab people’s attention about a promotion. Here's a few examples from Army Navy Country Club, Philadelphia Country Club and Beechwood Country Club.

St. Patrick’s Day Facebook Posts

Get festive and invite your followers to drop in for limited time offerings inspired by the Luck of the Irish for St. Patrick’s day.

Run a Facebook contest and invite people to test their luck! To garner more followers you may incorporate an incentive to share your page for a single entry into the contest.

International Puppy Day

International Puppy Day suits every business. Just toss a photo of an adorable dog up and give a shout out to the special day, or be more strategic and amp up the Facebook marketing factor by calling all dogs for a cutest puppy contest! This tactic increases follower engagement and, let’s face it, is super cute.

Women’s History

Don’t forget about the awareness causes! Highlight Women’s History Awareness by giving a brief history lesson of women in golf.

Here's a great link: https://golfcollege.edu/history-womens-professional-golf/

March Madness

Just because you have absolutely nothing to do with sports doesn’t mean you can’t become a basketball fan for the month. If a bridal boutique, an event planning company, and a dog treat business can find a way to jump on the bandwagon, anyone can.


Here are NBA players who also golf: https://www.wearebasket.net/top-5-nba-players-who-play-golf/

Nutrition Awareness

Work in a health-related field? You definitely should be capitalizing on March being Nutrition Awareness month. Provide links to your blog for helpful tips…

…or encourage people to educate themselves and get them excited about living a healthier lifestyle.

 

Use these ideas and real examples of Facebook posts for the month of March to help you stay creative with your marketing and have fun with it too!

February Marketing and Blog Ideas

via ThriveHive

It’s the start of a new month and we’ve got some fresh marketing ideas for you to promote your business. There’s more to February than just hearts and candy! Here’s a list of 10 marketing and blog ideas for February.

1. Valentine’s Day Promotions

There are countless Valentine’s Day promotions that you can do this month:

  • Fitness centers: Host a special Valentine’s Day class for couples or a post-Valentine’s Day workout to burn off calories from candy and chocolate!
  • Massage Therapists and Spas: Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to run a special offer on massage services. Couples massages, a day at the spa, and a chocolate facial can all be used for Valentine’s Day promotions.
  • Restaurants: Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this month and is the perfect time for a couples cooking class! Come up with a special menu of aphrodisiacs foods to ignite some romance in your budding chefs!
  • Flower shops: This is your time to shine! Think outside of the bouquet and offer customers something other than overpriced, out of season roses.
  • Gift and retail stores: Come up with a Valentine’s Day gift guide – it’s the perfect time to promote some new merchandise. Post gift guides on your blog or in an email blast to give customers ideas for what to buy their sweetheart.

 

2. Valentine’s Day Graphics

February 14 is Valentine’s Day – show your social media and email marketing some love with Valentine’s Day themed graphics. Hearts, candy, and love are good things to use to catch attention from customers! Use holiday graphics to spruce up your Facebook marketing and Twitter profiles but they’re even more useful when combined with Valentine’s Day promotions.

3. Heart Disease Awareness Month

It makes sense that the month of Valentine’s Day is also Heart Disease Awareness Month. If your business is focused on health and wellness, this is a great marketing opportunity for you. Fitness centers and gyms can partner with a local health center for heart disease awareness or screenings.

Host special classes focusing on cardiovascular activity or write informative blog posts about heart health and risk factors. Use this time to market your business by educating your customers to help them lead healthy lives. Any business can sponsor a Valentine’s Day race – there are usually fun runs or 5Ks going on around the holiday and sponsoring one will get your business name out in the community.

4. Black History Month

February is Black History Month and the perfect opportunity to highlight prominent leaders in your industry. Black lawyers, politicians, scientists, artists, educators, and athletes have shaped American society. Take some time to reflect on those who have shaped your business industry.

5. Children’s Dental Health Month

Children’s Dental Health may sound like a boring topic but it can be a great month for marketing your small business. Dentists can certainly have a field day with this one, but other businesses can use this opportunity to teach parents and students about the importance of dental health. Daycares, fitness centers, and churches can host special classes with families about the importance of going to the dentist. Perhaps one of the parents is a dentist and would like to come to answer questions for kids.

This not only helps your business interact with the community, but it helps local dentists market themselves all while educating parents and children about dentistry. This is a word of mouthreferral marketing technique that will give you something to smile about!

6. Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

In the middle of Children’s Dental Health Month is Ice Cream for Breakfast day! Everyone loves ice cream! Use this quirky holiday to market your business. Held on the first Saturday of February, this Ice Cream for Breakfast Day can be a fun marketing promotion for your bakery, ice cream shop, or restaurant! Although it is supposed to be on a Saturday, you can do this any day of the week. Invite customers to come in to eat ice cream for breakfast – it’s a fun way to interact with families and do something new to promote your business.

7. Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are held in February. This is a great opportunity for engaging with your customers on social media. You’ve seen the video of a police officer singing Taylor Swift – get your employees together for your favorite Grammy nominated song and share it on social media!

8. Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is one of the most watched programs on television. Use your geographic location, recipes, or business colors to engage customers for the Super Bowl.

9. President’s Day

President’s Day is famous for sales so use it to your advantage. Most schools are off for President’s Day which makes it a great day to hold a family-friendly activity at your fitness center.

10. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras marks the beginning of Lent but down in New Orleans it’s party time! Host a Fat Tuesday party or sale at your business. Get customers in on the fun by giving a discount to anyone who comes in wearing a mask or beads!

The Preppy 10 Commandments

1. Thou shalt embrace cocktail hour—anytime.

2. Thou shalt invoke your middle name(s)/initial(s) whenever possible.

3. Thou can never be in too many clubs or wear too many layers.

4. Thou shalt honor Ralph Lauren, Slim Aarons, the creator of the Southside cocktail, and C.Z. Guest.

5. Thou shalt not cheat on the golf course or the tennis court.

6. Thou shalt say “it's a pleasure to see you” the first time you meet someone rather than “it's a pleasure to meet you,” because you might have actually met that time at the Chicken Box and you just don't remember.

7. Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's country club, nor his tennis backhand, nor his boarding school alumni network, nor his Ivy League MBA, nor his limited-edition Barbour jacket, nor anything that is your neighbor's.

8. Thou shalt not steal your opponent's custom-made backgammon tournament board.

9. Thou shalt know the names of all of the bartenders and bouncers at Dorrian's Red Hand in New York City.

10. Thou shalt have the latest issue of T&C on your coffee table at all times.