winMost business owners, managers and staff have heard the term #Cross-Promote at one time or another. But many are not quite sure or understand what it really does.

Cross Promoting with other business(es) in your area can extend your (and their) budgets, save you $$$, and generate new customers.

Running contests in your store is a good example.  Find a business that doesn’t compete with you (you would not believe how many times I have heard of contests that have actually LOST customers for the contest running merchant!) – ask them about being part of the contest by providing a prize for the winner.  A small item AND a Gift Certificate to their store (as well as yours) so winner has to actually go into their store to claim prize.   Do not use % Off or BOGO coupons as prizes! Value of prize should be worth enough for people to want to enter and win.  At least $25 but of course the higher the value, the more entries you’ll get.   

Too many prizes are beautiful items or gift baskets OR even worse, I have heard of owners (and marketing professionals) sending prize to winner. HolShprsYou want them back in your business and the other prize contributor stores. Prize(s) should be worth a trip back for the winner.  Contests and prizes are a great way to potentially gain long term customers and create some talk about your business.

Both businesses should hang up signs in the business and on windows facing out explaining the contest, and have both logos, business addresses, web and social media info. You should provide the other business with the signs and flyers – the easier you make it for them, the more likely they will participate in your promotion. I would suggest saying 1 Entry per person per visit. Age requirement. No purchase necessary. There is other fine print you can add to help make contest more successful and run smoothly.

If you want to build or increase an email database, then use forms for people to enter…name, email and/or phone number as well as ZIP CODE. Zip code will give you info on where customers are coming from. Provide the business giving you prizes with the info at end of contest.  Learning how to successfully use the info you gather for future sales, promotions, specials will be in a future blog.

Both of you should promote contest in store, in advertising (if doing any) and on social media.  Contests can also be run on Facebook, and mobile phones or apps but those are subjects for another blog!

Have an entry box in your business, NOT right at front door – you want people to walk through store and see what you have to offer.

  • Contests should not run too long. 1 month is plenty. 
  • Keep it current – be seasonal or topical.
  • Prize should be a good value to winner
  • Prizes should be able to be used soon, so not forgotten by winner
  • Be HONEST when picking winner!
  • Notify winner and give no more than 2 weeks to claim their prize.  

Future blogs will touch on more details and some other ideas to create new customers, and excitement about your business.

If you are interested in talking to me about these and other types of creative and cost effective ways to promote your business, check out my website with contact info.