Since COVID-19 forcibly shut down much of the world economy, business owners have had to rethink their entire marketing strategies. What started as a typical year has turned into anything but ordinary. Now, it’s imperative to adjust plans to stay relevant and viable as a business during an economic downturn. So what can you do to keep your business moving forward? Here are seven steps to take.
Communicate with Happy Customers
There’s nothing more important during times of economic slack than maintaining communication with the customers who make up your loyal support base. Send them messages that thank them for their loyalty and support, tell them that you’re in this together. Communicate so that they know you value them, and you’re human just like they are. Show them that you care and when the economy picks back up, you’ll have a customer base that remembers you for your kindness and compassion.
Start a Referral Program
In addition to reaching out with general messaging to connect, consider asking for referrals from your happy and satisfied clients. Most people are more than happy to do what they can when times are challenging to help businesses and people they care about. Give them a way to help, and many will. Set up a referral program to reward those who put in the extra effort to send business your way.
Bolster One-Day Sales
When the economy is low, and sales are lagging, one-day sales and flash sales can help drive sales where there otherwise would be none. Advertise sale information through email, texting for customers who have opted in, messaging on social media, and advertisements. Get the word out and make a splash, so you attract as many as possible to your sale.
Increase Online Reviews
Even when your customers don’t have extra cash to buy your products, they can help you by writing reviews for your company. Reviews drive business, and by encouraging your customers to post theirs, you’ll be ready for better economic times when people are looking for a five-star company that offers what you have. Incentivize reviews in exchange for a discount or promo code to drive sales at the same time.
Initiate Payment Discounts for Early Sign-up
When selling a good that is yet to be released or a service ahead of time, encourage early sign-up and payment by offering a special discount price. Communicate the special pricing time frame and encourage customers to get in early on the deal while it’s still available. You can also utilize this concept to sell improved packages or upgraded goods to clients who already purchase from you.
Add Value to Customers
During an economic downturn, your focus will be more on generating leads and keeping current customers instead of breaking through profit goals and milestones. To gain and maintain customers even when they can’t purchase from you, use social media, your website, blogging, and vlogging platforms to keep your customers up to date and educated about your products. Use different platforms to answer these questions:
- Why should customers work with you?
- Why do they need your goods or services?
- How will your services improve their lives?
- How will they benefit by working with you, versus someone else?
Answer the fundamental “what’s in it for me” question and show customers and clients why they need to work with you, versus someone else. Encourage sign-ups for future product launches (or new model homes) and collect a list of leads. Offer educational how-to tutorials on using your products or services and gate them with a sign-up qualifier to ensure you get a list of emails you can use later when the economy is back on track.