5 ways to fight sluggish summer sales

Turn up the heat

Summertime is a traditionally sluggish season for both large and small businesses. Clients are on hiatus, projects are pushed back until the fall, kids are on summer break, and many people are spending their money on summer vacation getaways.

So how are you supposed to keep business booming, even in the midst of a lazy, languid summer?

By getting creative, engaging your audience, and giving your customers fresh incentives to try your products and services, of course! Here’s how:

1. Increase engagement

Engagement is the name of the game on social media. Engaging with your customers not only builds relationships, it keeps you at the forefront of their minds on a daily basis. While many people might be away from their desks (and their work email) off and on during the summer months, just about everyone has their smartphone with them.

And you can be sure they’ll be checking their social accounts while they’re poolside, oceanside, or wherever they might be soaking up the sun.

Increase engagement by letting your customers make decisions for you via social. When choosing between two designs, two event dates, or two different potential contests, ask your customers what they want. People love to give their opinion, and choosing between A or B is a quick and easy way to engage, especially on Facebook®.

2.  Hold a contest

Use social media or email marketing to engage customers with a contest. You don’t have to give away $1 million. You don’t even have to give away an iPad®! Simply offer something your target market needs and wants.

That could mean discounted products or services from you, a lifetime membership or subscription, or something as simple as featuring their photo on your website. Get creative and don’t be afraid to “go small” — it’s not about the prize, it’s about keeping your fans involved with your brand during the quiet summer months.

3. Give something away

You can give something away to a select group of contest winners, or you can create and share a giveaway for all of your customers to enjoy. Consider doing a physical mailing of product samples, or offering an additional 30 minutes of your time for free.

Your customers will gobble up the freebies, and you’ll be building brand loyalty and solidifying relationships for later in the year when things pick back up.

4. Re-energize your affiliates

If you don’t already have a team of affiliates promoting your products, what are you waiting for? Create an affiliate program to increase your summer sales and grow your business exponentially. If you already have affiliates working on your behalf, increase their commission during the slow summer months, and make sure they have the tools they need to be successful.

Need inspiration? Here’s some info about GoDaddy’s Affiliate Program.

5. Slash prices

If all else fails, consider slicing your pricing — temporarily. Hold a sale or offer a discount for a limited time, and make sure your customers understand that these prices are for summertime only. The last thing you want to do is create a perception of lessened value for your products or services, so …

When you cut prices, don’t do it regularly and predictably. If you have a “sale day” each week during the summer, your customers will simply wait until that day to make their purchase. Keep price-slashing sporadic and you’ll keep your business revved during the lazy summer months.

Image by: Capt Kodak via Compfight cc