Do you know the main reason people subscribe to business newsletters? It’s for coupons and discounts. Your member-to-member deals can be a great benefit to your members but only if they know about them and take advantage of them.
This, of course, requires marketing.
Your marketing likely centers around letting members know what the program is. But don’t stop there. There are many ways you can incorporate your member discounts effectively so that they will be used more frequently.
The ideas in this article will help you highlight the participating businesses in a fresh way and will get more members using their discounts. The more members who participate, the better revenue opportunities for them and discounts for your members.
If “discounters” see a lot of traffic referred to them as part of the program, they will be more likely to continue with it. If those searching for discounts find a good selection of discounts and coupons, they will continue to give the discounters business.
Both of those groups will be satisfied with the chamber because one will be getting more revenue and one will be saving money. These positive feelings then transfer to the chamber in the shape of potential membership renewals and continued use of the program. It’s a win-win for everyone.
While people probably won’t join just for this benefit, when they add up the amount of money they’ve saved
10 Ways to Market Your Member-to
–Member Discount Program
- Create a holiday circular. If there’s a big shopping holiday coming up, consider putting together a list of participating merchants and their discounts categorized by gift recipient or type of gift. For instance, for Christmas create a list of merchant discounts organized by type of business such as toy stores, women’s boutiques, restaurants, etc. This makes it easy to find the type of discount they need to quickly.
- Anticipate the need. If there’s a special day like Valentine’s Day coming up, think about how people will celebrate (along with what they need) and market accordingly. For instance, on Valentine’s Day people often go out to a special dinner. They frequently buy jewelry, chocolate, or flowers. They may even want to look special for the occasion. You can then create a list of places to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Include businesses that offer discounts for common Valentine’s Day gifts, and highlight businesses like salons and spas that focus on beautification.
- Add it to your e-mail signature. Include the URL to your member-to-member discount program and/or participating businesses listing page to your e-mail signature. That will drive interest, and hopefully traffic, to your page.
- Advertise your member-to-member discount program at your next event. Create a table tent with a QR code leading people to the participating businesses listing page. At events, you have a captive audience while they’re seated. Adding a QR code to the table tent will mean they can quickly find the web page without the frustration of having to type it in.
- Highlight some examples of member-to-member discounts on social media. Rotate these examples so everyone feels like they’re getting some attention.
- Use your data. If your program allows you to track what discounts are being used, consider sending out a periodic email that highlights some of the top offers. This can be very effective in calling people’s attention to what’s out there without making them peruse a long list. Plus, people often want to select what is popular with others.
- Offer a giveaway for participants. Offer a special drawing for those who took advantage of the member-to-member discount program. Place a time constraint on it. For example, people using the discount program in December are eligible to enter a drawing for chamber bucks.
- Send a birthday edition email. Send members a special discount on their birthday. Limit the time in which it can be used to drive action.
- Create combos. Organize deals that go together under a fun banner to market them creatively. For instance, send out an email that includes member discounts for “date night” that includes restaurants, bars, beauty salons, movie theaters, etc.
- Share the savings. Tell stories about how members are you using the member-to-member discount program. Make sure you include personal and professional stories since the savings can be used personally or for business. This will help people to think of the program as stories are easy to remember and share.
5 Things Every Member-to-Member Deals Program Should Include
In addition to marketing your program, there are a couple of other things you want to make sure that you do as part of a successful member-to-member discount program.
- Exclusivity. Ask the discounting business member that this discount be exclusive, or nearly so, to the member-to-member program. If anyone can get it, there won’t be
valuein the program.
- Encourage the use of codes for discounts so the usage can be tracked. Some chambers use discount cards for this reason. It’s helpful during renewal time to be able to show how much the member saved or at least how often they used the discount program. Showing participating businesses how many people you referred to them can also drive renewals.
- Consider using push notifications. Push notifications get opened much more than emails so there’s a greater chance that members will see your discount notifications if they come over text. However, texts can become tiresome. You must create a strategy around using them. For instance, select a specific day to use push notifications for discounts. Also, allow members to opt-in to these alerts so you have fewer people complaining about spam texts.
- Create excitement. By creating flash discounts (discounts that are offered for a few hours or a day), you can cause people to pay attention to your program and program notifications. Plus, you may not be able to get a member business to agree to offer a 25% discount all the time but you might be able to get them to agree to offer a 25% discount for anyone who places an order within the next hour. This is fun for your audience but it also drives emotional purchases, which can cause someone who has been sitting on the fence to act quickly.
- Offer unlockable discounts. Consider partnering with one of your business members to offer a special discount to members who perform a certain action. For instance, you could create a special that can only be unlocked through event attendance or renewing your dues. These types of actions can create excitement in your program and incentivize certain desired behaviors among members.
Bonus marketing tool for member-to-member discount programs: tracking is incredibly important to the success of your program. As mentioned earlier, you want to allow discounters and those taking advantage of the discounts to have some visibility into the traffic sent their way and the amount of money saved. If you have the ability and the budget, you can create a tracker for each member that would allow them to see what they had saved as they saved it.
If you can’t, you should still be tracking it and should share that information with your members periodically.
A Final Word About Member-to Member Deals & Discount Program Marketing
Enticing people to use your member discount program involves breaking through the white noise so that your marketing can be heard. We hope these ideas help you. Keep in mind the program will be at its best when discounts are updated periodically.
You can work proactively with your businesses when you know that something like a major holiday is coming up. Ask them if they want to change their discount with you. There is no reason the discount needs to remain the same throughout the year. Encourage them to switch it up to ensure that your members will keep returning to your member-to-member discount page to see what’s available to them.
You should also consider there may be businesses that want to offer discounts at some point during the year but not throughout the year. It is not uncommon for discount programs to feature some merchants and businesses on a rotating basis. This too, will drive interest as long as you can get people in the habit of checking your member-to-member discount page.