Aisha R. Asare essay
How thrilling it is for customers to imagine being the winning recipient of a raffle. The customers are either given a ticket as a reward for purchasing a product or as an incentive to buy one. As the customers lift the ticket issued before their eyes, they gaze upon the numbers printed on it, hoping that it will be selected as the winner. As they look around to see other hopeful participants, each customer may be uncertain as to whether he or she will win but thinks positively about the business they have chosen to patronize. Customers keep their fingers crossed in hopes that the raffle ticket will win them a car, flat screen television, gift card, phone, tablet, or even cold, hard cash as the grand prize. At the same time, marketing and research professionals begin to realize the true value of utilizing raffles that retain customers and produce more revenue at a fraction of what the prize is worth.
By offering customers raffle rewards, the excitement that the possibility of being the grand prize winner will keep many customers returning for more winning opportunities as they consider the issuing business to actually care about their patronage. In turn, these types of incentives and activities will strengthen customer loyalty while boosting business sales, especially in-store business traffic and face-to-face customer interaction that is captured in a different way compared to an online shopping experience and electronic sweepstakes.
Most people that I have polled confirmed that a raffle alone would not drive them to a store or Web site. However, what would be most appealing to customers is to be offered a raffle as a bonus in-store shopping incentive because it would maximize the value of the overall shopping experience. A friendly, sales-savvy representative who is in sync with business marketing plans that include a solid strategy for a quality product, good service, and an on-site raffle incentive is empowered to be totally customer focused while taking advantage of sales possibilities in a fun, creative way.
This consensus affirms the importance of strategically positioning a regularly scheduled raffle for customers in conjunction with sales and service offers outlined by a carefully produced marketing communications plan that includes the following data mining, business intelligence, demographical analyses to derive promotional benefit and customer retention.
1. Naming the event and announcing the associated raffle, with grand prize(s), in all store and commercial advertising in order to raise awareness of the event.
2. Targeted direct mail sent to new and existing customers who live within close radius to a store and who have been projected to spend a specific minimum dollar amount upon their next visit. These types of customers will be issued coupons and a raffle ticket that will be enclosed within the direct mail letter in order to drive them to the event.
3. Offer additional rewards, such as additional raffle tickets and increased discounts, for customers who bring as many friends and family members to the event in order to boost spending and build raffle revenue.
4. Involve social media and Web site promotion such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the retail store site, and the A – Z Printing site before, during, and after the sales campaign in order to maintain a positive image and buzz about the excitement, value, and importance of the raffle and retail products. This step opens new possibilities and technological advances in possible electronic raffles based on the paper tickets currently produced.
Fusing customer loyalty tactics into a strategic marketing plan has always been the American way of ensuring customer retention through sales, relationship building, and rewards. As retail and service-oriented businesses plan major product and service promotions while offering a raffle drawing as a bonus to the sales and service scenario, both parties win. There is mutual benefit because customers are continually welcomed to buy and in doing so, a relationship of trust is formed. To solidify the relationship further, offering an exciting raffle prize and entry will make customers feel a sense of optimism in what they could win. It also causes the customer to return to the business with a level of consistency whenever another in-store session is offered, which creates an environment conducive to expanding sales and service opportunities.