What Kind of Promotional Events Are We Talking About?
Is your product going to be featured on The Morning Show or even a local Talk Radio show?
Are you being interviewed for a Wall Street Journal article or some respected industry publication?
Maybe your company is being recognized by the Inc 1000 Fastest Growing Companies.
Do you have a major announcement to make – a high-profile partnership, a significant new product launch, or a major technological breakthrough?
Or you’ve decided to jump on the Groupon bandwagon with an awesome deal to acquire a few hundred (thousand?) new customers.
Participating in a major trade show or sponsoring a conference?
Launching a print advertising or broadcast campaign.
Pretty exciting. And somewhat terrifying, if you don’t prepare for the surge of traffic likely to hit your website and place exceptional demands on your business infrastructure.
Can Your Website Handle the Surge?
If your site is hosted on the Cloud, you can scale virtually instantly in anticipation of a significant increase in traffic. Cloud hosting allows you to adjust your resources on the fly so that you can not only meet changing demands but also control your costs. But if you’re on a physical dedicated server or shared platform, realistically you should plan 10-20 business days in advance to make adjustments for a sea change in traffic. Call Appliedi at 866-706-8691 for a free consultation regarding your best options.
What Else Should You Consider?
Are there any known bottlenecks in your infrastructure that might negatively affect the outcome of this promotional opportunity? What can you do to minimize the impact of potential log jams? Limited phone lines, slow fax reception, insufficient or untrained customer service or technical support personnel? These challenges may all be easily remedied, given sufficient planning and staging.
1. Make sure you communicate thoroughly across your entire organization regarding the event and any special offer associated.
2. Consider expanding your hours, training additional staff or cross-training existing staff to handle additional demands on customer service or technical support.
3. Add toll-free numbers, phone lines, online chat, or virtual support.
4. Change your voicemail message to offer alternative means of contact and relieve the burden on staff during peak hours.
5. Create unique landing pages for the website and specialized email aliases to track traffic.
6. Audit your online shopping cart to ensure no obvious cracks exist in the sales funnel.
Taking Care of Your Bread and Butter
Don’t forget about your existing customer base in all the excitement. Be sure to communicate to them any considerations that will affect them during or as a result of the promotional event. Will they be impacted in any way? Will they receive similar pricing or discounts? Consider establishing a loyalty program for customers that offers an incentive for referrals, stocking up or advance purchases.
Fully Capitalize on Associated Lead Generation
You may not be able to “close” every sale, but don’t forget to establish a targeted harvesting plan to follow up with all leads generated as a result of any promotional event. Develop a comprehensive staged plan that reaches out to leads with progressive offers and opportunities to engage. Effectively doing so will extend the wave and provide ongoing referral sources for new customers.
Measure, Document and Analyze Results
Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from every promotional endeavor to maximize future results. Even a financially ineffective campaign or lack-luster promotional effort can offer rich insights into your audience and customer base. Be willing to take a risk, but remember to dig deep to question all previous assumptions and premises. Next time, you’ll be fortified by a more educated perspective, greater clarity and focused objectives.