Tourists and business travelers need ways to save money; small business owners need ways to make money.
Where is the common ground? How can you turn tourists and business travelers into customers?
Attract tourists to your small business
We asked Dave Charest, Director of Small Business Success at Constant Contact, for his best ideas. Constant Contact is a company specializing in email marketing software tools.
1. Create a great experience
Whether someone is passing through the area or spending a few days in the area, make sure the check-in of the traveler to your business is first-rate.
“You’re looking to create a great experience that someone is talking about,” Charest said. “This will make them want to return both during their current and future stay.”
2. Vary the offer
The types of offers you offer may have a different value, depending on the status of the customer. Is the person a long-term or passing traveler?
“For example, a restaurant or bar may offer an offer for several visits in a week, or an offer for people with out-of-state IDs at a certain distance,” Charest said.
3. Be transparent about business decisions
If you’re feeling the pinch of inflation and need to raise prices, offer an explanation. You can do this on social media or on your business site. No wonder customers are experiencing the same challenges as you.
“Customers can often relate and most of them actively want you to succeed,” Charest said. “Giving them a chance to understand what you’re going through and a way to support you through it, is a great way to build strong relationships and cultivate a loyal audience.”
4. Pay attention to small details
Charest described tourism as an industry heavily influenced by word of mouth.
“Focusing on the overall experience and the little details can go a long way in attracting people to talk and refer to a business,” he said. “Give your staff permission to” surprise “guests with the little things that make you stand out, and ultimately make your business the best place to be.”
5. Establish a referral program
Charest said small business owners can launch a referral program, for example, for a customer to earn a small bribe or discount by recommending their business.
6. Expand your email marketing
“Email marketing can help keep a business in the lead and communicate offers, even with customers just passing through,” Charest said.
7. Collaborate with other companies
The right small businesses that partner together, especially through their marketing efforts, can serve to create business for everyone involved, Charest said.
8. Mass advertising offers
Charest advised getting in touch with customers not only through email lists, but also through local newspapers and social media. Using mass advertising is the way to get customers to know and take advantage of offers.
“For example, I learned about a climbing gym right next to a brewery, and a hand stamp from the gym will give you a discount at the brewery,” Charest said. “While these companies have different email lists and customer bases, shared brand promotions end up helping each other.”
9. Highlight the luxury or unique experiences you offer
If it offers something unique in the area, which can’t be found anywhere else, let it be known, Charest said. Or, if your business offers more than one type of “grab and go” interaction, make sure the experience runs smoothly and meets the needs of your customers.
10. Collect email addresses
Collecting email addresses does more than help you provide information about upcoming promotions or events.
“You can also contact them to find out what they liked best, or even what you could improve on,” Charest said. “This intelligence will allow you to attract more people in the future and even drive repeat business.”
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