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Issue #769: The “Bring Them Back” Issue

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Earn loyal, repeat customers by bringing them back to your store. A few reasons they’ll return:

1> To recycle
2> To save
3> To pick-up
4> Check it out: Harper’s Index

1> To recycle

Help the environment and your business by inviting customers to bring back the reusable parts of your products for recycling. Chicago’s Wow Bao restaurant invites customers to return their gift-card holders in exchange for a bonus meal. The card holders themselves probably aren’t worth that much, but it’s a fantastic and cheap way to give customers a reason to either come back themselves or pass it along to a friend.

The Lesson: What do you make that could be recycled and used to bring your customers back?

2> To save

Most coupons are used and forgotten, but a coupon you can reuse gets saved, brings customers back, and gets passed around. Starbucks loves to use creative coupons, and a recent promotion involved a daily, reusable coupon for a dollar off a cookie or panini sandwich. It’s not a huge discount, but any day you don’t use it or share it with a friend feels like a waste.

The Lesson: If you’re already planning to run a discount promotion, consider opportunities for the coupon to be used to bring customers in again and again.

3> To pick-up

As an alternative to home delivery (and the associated fees), give customers the option to pick up orders in-store. REI, for example, offers free shipping online if you opt to have it shipped to a local store. The concept makes for an efficient distribution system because these orders are simply added to regular store shipments. It also brings in customers who would otherwise be staying home.

The Lesson: Give customers an extra reason to stop by your store with in-store pick-up.

4> Harper’s Index

To celebrate the 25th birthday of their Harper’s Index — a collection of facts and figures on a wide range of topics — Harper’s Magazine published the entire database online. With a quick search, you can find a bunch of statistics behind issues like health care, Iraq, and climate change.

Check it out: Harper’s Index

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