Make the Most of Black Friday: 5 Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Shopping Season

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It’s that time of year! It’s time for the sound of jingle bells, the sight of snowflakes floating in store windows…and the smell of the money that retailers will spend on Black Friday to kickoff the holiday shopping season.

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Your Current Customers Are Your Best Acquisition Tool

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While it’s tempting to focus all of your marketing efforts on acquiring new customers, research shows that there is far more opportunity in marketing to your existing customers. Check out the infographic below on the value of an existing customer for some stats!

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Four Ways to Reach Frugal Customers

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Four ways to reach the most frugal customers.

You’ve probably know them…the three basic types of spenders: The preferred un-conflicted who spend normally and regularly. The rare spendthrift, big spenders who tend to throw money around extravagantly. And the tightwad, the most frugal folks who require a bit more arm-twisting to make any type of purchase. [Read More…]

There’s Still Time to Work Incentives into Your Holiday Marketing

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On Christmas Eve, the stingy, bah-humbugging Ebenezer Scrooge learned that ’tis better to give than to receive — that the spirit of the holiday season lies in what you do for others, not for yourself.

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Treat Moms (and Consumers) to an Extra Helping of Gratitude

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As one of the most lucrative retail and busiest restaurant days of the year, Mother’s Day validates how important (and popular!) it is to show gratitude…and how much moms appreciate being acknowledged.

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Will a Restaurant.com Incentive Work for my Business?

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Of course it will! Whether you are a family-run business or a large corporation, our unique incentive and loyalty solutions are proven to entice customers to act. With our low cost and high value solution, the powerful incentive from Restaurant.com has helped thousands of businesses meet and exceed their goals. From attracting new customers, changing consumer behavior, inspiring buyers to act quickly, and rewarding for loyalty, our partners have achieved great results. [Read More…]

Why Your Customers Will Love Their Restaurant.com Incentive

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You are a smart, yet humble business leader. Your decision to reward your customers for choosing your product or service was smart. But your plan to incent reveals that gratitude is a two-way street; reciprocally, your customers will thank you for the valuable gift of Restaurant.com savings! [Read More…]

3 Ways To Promote Your Organization’s Fundraising Efforts

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That famous line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” may have been true for a bunch of ghosts and a cornfield-turned-baseball diamond. But where fundraising campaigns are concerned, simply putting one together may not guarantee that people will flock to your organization’s cause.

These days, getting people’s attention takes a bit more effort — sometimes a lot more.

The good news: Whether you’re holding a silent auction for your local YMCA, a raffle for a theater troupe, or launching a capital campaign for your nonprofit, there are plenty of ways to promote your fundraiser.

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Here are just a few ideas.

In-Person Appeals

In today’s always-on-the-go society, it’s easy to forget just how much a face-to-face meeting can do.

For a really powerful way to drive your cause home, find ways to get directly in front of people who might be willing to donate or be part of your fundraising effort in some way.

Offer to speak at your local Chamber of Commerce meeting, volunteer to talk to a group of Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, attend a local networking happy hour. Essentially: Figure out what groups are most likely to be interested in your cause, then find a way to get in front of them.

Pitch Local Media Outlets

As much as some would love for you to believe that print is dead, the traditional media still hold a lot of sway — especially in smaller localities, where most everyone gets their news and event information from sources like the city newspaper or their local network news affiliate.

Get your local media’s attention with a well-written press release — short and sweet, with all the pertinent information clearly listed. If you have access to their contact information, send it to the reporters who cover the beat or topics most closely related to your organization’s mission or cause; you’ll be more likely to get a response that way.

Someone within your organization should be a point person for interviews, and always have electronic versions of photos or logos at the ready if the media requests them.

Take To Social Media

Despite what we’ve just said about local media, there’s no denying Social media isn’t wildly popular today just because people love to waste time watching cat videos and talking about what they had for lunch.

It’s an amazing way to connect with all kinds of people — across town and all over the world — and, for marketers and organizations with a mission, a pretty effective way of getting things done.

Here are a few ways to use social media to promote your fundraising efforts:

–  Post photos from previous fundraising events as a way to build buzz for your next event

–  Use an online platform like Kintera to house your donation system

–  Create a Facebook or Eventbrite event to invite attendees and sell tickets

–  Create a meaningful hashtag on Twitter to track mentions of your cause, event or campaign

–  Use Pinterest to build boards with photos of your silent auction or raffle items

–  Use your Facebook Page, Twitter account or other social to thank donors and recognize other important people related to your cause

Above All: Know Your Donor Base

No matter how you end up deciding to do it, the key to successfully promoting your organization’s fundraising efforts rests on truly understanding your donor base.

Before you make the decision of how to dedicate your time and energy on promotion, stop to think where your most valued stakeholders spend their time and energy — then try your best to get your message and cause in front of them.

What fundraising efforts are you planning for the rest of the year, and how do you plan on spreading the word about them? Leave a comment here and share your organization’s story.

How Can You Celebrate Valentine’s Day At Work? Show Some Commitment.

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If you’ve ever spent a Valentine’s Day night in front of the TV, a big bowl of popcorn in your lap, with a bad romantic comedy on the television, you know the big conflict in nearly every one of the movies: One of the characters refuses to commit.

With more than 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce and job turnover rates in many industries at staggering levels, you might say we’re in something of a commitment crisis these days. But it hasn’t always been that way: Remember, back in the day, when couples stayed together forever, and students would graduate from college and start a job with the company they’d eventually retire from, some 50 years later?

There’s a lot of talk out there about how employees can be more committed to their jobs, how to rise above their competition and keep their jobs in a persistently difficult employment climate.

Why isn’t there more talk about employers committing to their employees?

According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the biggest challenges facing HR professionals in the near future aren’t in dealing with problem employees. Rather, the challenges are in hanging on to the best employees and developing them into leaders. The other big challenge is fostering corporate cultures that attract high-achieving employees to organizations.

It’s encouraging to see challenges like this — they’re all about committing to employees. So with Valentine’s Day in mind…how will you commit to your employees this year?

Offer Mentorships

Offer your commitment to your employees by pledging yourself to making them better at their jobs. Whether you’re offering your time to individuals directly or putting a program in place to create a structure of leaders educating future leaders, investing in mentorship and staff development shows employees you really care about their success.

Celebrate Your Employees Internally

Make an example of your employees — but not when they do wrong. Celebrate your employees’ achievements instead of only punishing their failures, and make sure other employees know when one of their colleagues has succeeded!

Doing so can create even more of a team environment and even foster a little healthy competition among your employees as they jockey for the next opportunity for your recognition.

Recognize Your Employees Publicly

The comment card and suggestion box may have gone the way of the dodo, but “employee of the month” could still be alive and well. Only now you can tell everyone: Use social media to recognize your employees’ achievements publicly!

Post a photo of a smiling employee who’s done a fantastic job for you, and talk about how important they are to your success — your customers and clients will see your commitment to your employees, and it will lift everyone within your company up in their eyes.

Reward Employees

You don’t have to regularly give out huge raises to your employees to show your commitment to them. Sometimes, a surprise — like a Restaurant.com Gift Card or a small bonus — can go a long way, and it costs a lot less than systematic pay increases.

Offering tokens of your appreciation at random means a lot to employees and may help them strive to be better every day.

Bottom Line: It Pays To Commit

What will it cost you to show your commitment to your employees? That depends, but it probably won’t cost as much as it would to find new ones after losing those you weren’t committed to: The average cost of replacing an employee is up to 20 percent of their annual salary!

I read a quote recently: “The truest form of love is how you behave toward someone, not how you feel about them.”

You can say you’re committed to your employees and their success, but if you aren’t showing them, they’ll never know. The best way to ensure your employees’ commitment to you is to offer them the same.

How are you committing to your employees?

Why Is It Important for Your Business to Make New Year’s Resolutions?

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Everyone makes resolutions at the start of a new year. Whether it’s to lose weight, eat healthier, finally get the garage cleaned and organized, or save up for that big vacation, goals are a huge part of the ritual people go through as they prepare for the 12 months to come.

What’s your resolution for 2014? And perhaps more fittingly, what’s your business‘s resolution for 2014?

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