How to Pull Off Seasonal Promotions


Yesterday was Halloween, the spookiest day of the year for young trick or treaters. Quick quiz—did you happen to run any type of promotion for your customers to play off of this holiday? No “Spooktacular” deals offered? Nothing that your customers might have enjoyed in keeping with the season? During this edition of FranNet’s blog, we’re going to be talking about how to pull off seasonal promotions. And, well, if you did miss out on Halloween, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. Best get to planning things now.

Full disclosure, first. Before you go off and set up the most amazing deal for military families to take advantage of on Saturday, Nov. 11, you’ll need to pump your brakes beforehand. Many franchises may not allow any independent promotion outside the guidelines of your shared franchise agreement. Creating your own special deal or offering something outside of the framework of this agreement could land you in some pretty hot water.

There are also many other franchise brand operations who do allow for local and seasonal promotions—provided that the themes and deals are all pre-approved well beforehand.

Lastly, some franchises give you carte blanche to create and promote whatever you’d like—within reason, of course. The point we’re trying to make is that you’ll need to know ahead of time in which of the three categories your franchise brand falls. Never do anything that would put your own franchise operation at risk for violation of a clearly stated policy. Ask!

Seasonal promotions are self-defining. Ostensibly, you as a business owner, must choose a particular seasonal event or holiday and build a themed promotion around it to attract sales and assist in lead generation. The choices are endless. There are four seasons, but multiple holidays to choose from. There’s even event calendar and awareness days. Don’t know what that is? Here’s an example. We all know today is Halloween. But did you know that it’s also National Doorbell Day? Just think of the promotional offer you could come up with if you owned a Mr. Handyman franchise. For a full list of possibilities, it is our pleasure to direct you to the Official National Day Calendar. Trust us when we say, there is something in here for everybody and every business. You will find a match.

When it comes to promoting something on a seasonal or calendar basis, be sure to keep it simple. People instinctively know that these type of promotions can be a bit corny by nature. It’s the offer that counts. A discount or free samples are the most common examples for whatever your franchised business sells or services. What the promotion does is give you another tool in your marketing mix to attract customers around a commonly understood theme. The idea is to have a little fun with it.

Before you even begin to offer a promotion, have a system in place to track the responses you get. You’ll need to know if this particular promotion is something to replicate in the future, or to trash and start over. See if there was a bump in sales, additional customers, positive feedback. Ask your customers if they appreciated the little extra effort to run your seasonal promotion.

Anything that can help drive sales and assist your bottom line is worth giving a shot. They don’t call it the “Old College Try” for nothing. If you find something along the way that works or was particularly effective in raising your customer’s interest, drop us a line and let us know how you did it. We’d love to hear about it…

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