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Lloyd Mantong

There is a business down the street from where I live that is the only surviving business in a strip mall. The business is called IPHO and it is a Vietnamese restaurant that specializes in Pho. When the business first opened up there was a mattress store, Chinese restaurant and a family diner in the same strip mall that had been around for at least five years before. Now the only business that remains among the closed up shops is the Pho restaurant.


When the restaurant first opened the owner had a very popular raffle for an Apple IPad valued at $800.  This was at a time when IPads were just introduced and their popularity was soaring. The owner religiously raffled off an IPad every month in the first year of operation and he posted pictures of the happy winners with their IPads in the waiting area.  He also posted the information on social media and it generated interest in the raffle and his incredible food.


This business owner was very astute and he knew what customers wanted. He utilized the raffle and it had great results. Even after five years, his business is still seen as the establishment that gave away free IPads and as an additional benefit, it offers delectable food at a good price.  Customer loyalty is obvious since his establishment was the last new business to join the strip mall yet it is the only remaining business in the center.


Raffles are incredible tools to gain new customers and maintain existing clients. I personally used raffles to attract new customers and build loyalty in my own business. The most important aspect is to have a great prize that draws people in. Something they would gladly give their name and phone number for. With this information I was able to call every prospect and notify them that even thought they didn’t win, we had some great products that might interest them. When they eventually became my clients we would always refer to our first meeting and how they narrowly missed an opportunity to win whatever item we were raffling.  If the client actually won the raffle we would have a bond forever and they would never consider leaving me.


As a customer, I’ve personally been entered in raffles for businesses where I already have a relationship, and I believe it’s a great way to show appreciation. When you are entered into a raffle you want to remain with the establishment at least until the raffle is over to possibly increase your chances of winning. 


One business I patronized had a raffle based on clients that existing customers referred. The more clients you referred the better your chances of winning a great prize. It didn’t cost me anything to refer friends, but my chances of winning this incredible gift were substantially increased with each referral. This is an exciting way to build up to a climactic event and announce the glorious outcome to all customers. 


Consistent and relevant raffles will always encourage prospective clients to participate in an opportunity they might otherwise have passed up. I am a firm believer, contestant and promoter of raffles as a marketing tool and a great way to say “Thank you” to loyal customers.