Perhaps you’ve been in business a while, or maybe you have just started out; either way, keeping up your sales is an ongoing task. Many businesses will hold a coupon campaign or a clearance sale to bring in more customers. While both work well for a short while, what can you do to keep your sales going for the long haul? If you are running out of marketing ideas, fear no more: here are seven valuable tips on how to give your sales a boost that will remain steady. You can use them all or combine a few – whatever you decide to implement is sure to deliver exciting, everlasting results.

1. Reassess your marketing materials

Have you been using the same billboard ads for years? Sending out the same flyers since you started out in business? Have you ever restyled your email newsletter? If you have been neglecting your marketing materials, it’s time to update them. Hire a professional to create some new ads to promote your business: you could be surprised at the increased attention that you attract with your stylish new marketing materials.

2. Improve the customer experience

The quest to drive sales doesn’t end once you have managed to attract new customers to your store or website – in fact, it has only just begun! You need to make sure that customers you have already managed to bring in come back again and again. To achieve this goal, the products or services you offer must be of the highest quality because someone who has had a bad experience with your business is not likely to come back. In contrast, someone who has had a great experience is likely to return or even recommend you to a friend. If customers do have bad experiences with your business, make sure they have access to a well-trained and friendly customer service team who can put the problem right straight away.

3. Offer refer-a-friend bonuses

You can encourage your satisfied customers to engage in a little word of mouth advertising on your behalf by offering discounts to people who refer new customers to your business. There are a number of ways you can do this, but the simplest is to include a line on your order form where a new buyer can fill in the name of the friend who told them about you. Alternatively, if you engage in face-to-face sales, you can train your staff to ask for the referrer’s name at checkout. Send the referring customer an email to let them know that they have earned themselves a special bonus discount by referring their friend to you. This program is extremely effective because it leads to your loyal customers feeling rewarded for the hard work they do on your behalf, so implement it today and publicize it widely.

4. Create a loyalty program

Loyal customers deserve to be rewarded for their own purchases as well as for referring new customers. It is easy to set up a loyalty program that lets your customers collect points on each purchase and redeem them for products once they have enough. The cost to you is relatively low, but customers enjoy the feeling of working toward a reward.

5. Don’t let customers forget about you

Contact customers who haven’t shopped with you for a while to offer them special time-limited discounts. This strategy can be very effective for reminding customers about your business and motivating them to get back in touch. Keep your communications brief so they don’t take up too much of your customers’ precious time.

6. Up-sell

When users buy one product, suggest others that would complement their purchase. If you sell online, you can program your software to automatically recommend other products and explain why they are great choices for your customer.

7. Use social media marketing

Create a buzz around your products on Facebook or Twitter. Encourage users to say what they love about your brand – perhaps by running a competition for the best slogan or explanation of why they love you. If you make the prize sufficiently appealing, you can look forward to seeing your Facebook page go viral, which will inevitably lead to more attention and sales for your business.

Guest post written and contributed by Guy Ascher on behalf of Guy is an avid researcher and freelance writer. He’s recently been researching how companies can use couponing as a powerful marketing tool and publishing his findings on various business oriented sites. 

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