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Newsletter #861: The “Bring Them Back” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Every business wants a steady stream of traffic, but that means every customer is overloaded with offers, incentives, and pitches to get their attention. It takes smart marketing to get through the noise and to keep your customers coming back. Here are a few ideas to help you do it:

1. Use your leftovers
2. Fix their bikes
3. Lead a cause
4. Check it out: Are You Watching This?!

1. Use your leftovers

Freebies, giveaways, and contests are tools brands frequently use to keep fans interested in their online communities. Most aren’t worth talking about, but Philadelphia creative agency Red Tettemer actually did it with a bit of spring cleaning. They had a bunch of leftovers from projects they began giving away on their Facebook page, something they eventually called “SWAG FOR ALL.” Through it, fans claimed items like flip-flops, T-shirts, bus passes — even groceries. It was all stuff the agency had laying around, and they turned it all into a great reason to keep coming back to their Facebook page.

The lesson: Giveaways can be a great way to keep your fans coming back — but it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. You’ve probably already got all you need to do this.

Learn more: Facebook

2. Fix their bikes

How can you keep customers coming back, even if they don’t use your core product? One way is to look at what they’re doing to see if there’s a natural way you can support it. At Statoil ASA — a Danish chain of gas stations — they’ve started installing bike service stations. These service stations take up unused wall space at the existing stores and offer complimentary air, water to wash your bike, and even a loaner care kit with oil and tools for small repairs. The concept is a great way for the company to stay relevant in areas that are rapidly becoming cyclist communities and to keep customers coming in — even if they’re not there to buy gas.

The lesson: What could you do with your unused space and extra resources that could bring in a whole new segment of customers?

Learn more: Iconoculture

3. Lead a cause

Bring fans and customers back to your store by making it about more than just another shopping trip. That’s what Starbucks is doing with their Create Jobs for USA initiative. It’s a massive project that will pool donations from customers, employees, and everyday citizens by effectively turning each of their 7,000 stores into a donation hub. Funds raised will be used to support low-interest loans, grants, and tax credits to small businesses. Starbucks estimates that with every $5 raised, the program will be able to lend $35 — 98% of which is expected to be paid back and recycled for future loans.

The lesson: When it’s bigger than shopping — when it’s a real cause worth getting behind — it creates a big reason for customers to keep coming back.

Learn more: CNN

4. Check it out: Are You Watching This?!

This is a great tool for sports fans. Using simple charting, Are You Watching This?! tracks which games are getting exciting in real-time. You can even set it up to alert you with the score, time left, and channel to turn on if a game is getting really good.

Check it out: Are You Watching This?!

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