3 clever marketing ideas for the month of November

Keep the momentum going after Halloween with these marketing ideas

Halloween spending was close to $7 billion in 2015. By 2017, consumers spent over $9 billion. A lot of excitement and fun goes into decorating your store for Halloween, but what can you do to keep the momentum going during the month of November? Here are 3 clever marketing ideas for November fun.

1.) Pick a new holiday

November’s calendar is filled with more “holidays” than Thanksgiving. Here are just a few that would make a social media splash.

Tuesday, November 13     World Kindness Day

What a perfect occasion to offer a special discount or extra Rewards points. Use this day to celebrate your customers. Perhaps make a donation to a particular charity for every dollar spent that day. Or, just send an extremely uplifting email to each of your customers thanking them for their kind support.

Thursday, November 15     America Recycles Day

Hello! This one is right up your alley. Choose a particular charity and ask for donations. For the humane society, request donations of old towels and blankets. Send donations of children’s used winter coats to the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation. Collect gently used shoes to give to Soles4Souls. Or, provide a bin for donations of women’s clothing to Dress For Success.

Saturday, November 24    Shop Small Saturday

This one speaks for itself. Promoting the sustainability of shopping locally is the key to success for small businesses. Take part in the Shop Small Saturday festivities in your area.

2.) Run a November contest

Facebook Contests are one of my marketing ideasUser Generated Content (UGC) is more valuable than any other type of advertising. Read Customer content is the best way to promote yourself. The following 3 marketing ideas come from ShortStack. They offer free templates for each one of these contests. No matter which one you choose, make sure the prizes are worthy of your customer’s efforts.

Create a digital holiday cookbook

Customers submit holiday recipes through a ShortStack recipe contest form. Narrow them down to the top 3 and have your followers vote for their favorite. The winner receives dinner at a local restaurant. Create a pdf of all the recipes and offer it free as your store’s holiday cookbook.

Holiday photo contest

Choose a theme. The Perfect Fall DayFamily Holiday Feast or Our Thanksgiving Tradition make for fun photo contests. Use a free photo template from ShortStack. Customers upload a past or current photo for the chance to win 1 of several prizes.

Win a prize

Sometimes the easiest contest for everyone is just an entry form. Use a ShortStack contest form to gather email addresses. Give away a holiday gift basket, merchandise or a combination of the two.

3.) Motivate from within

Instead of offering incentives to your shoppers, offer them to your employees. When your employees are excited, everyone’s happy. Focus on the people who make your business a success. Show them how thankful you are for the hard work they’ve done. Read 4 incentive ideas to energize employees. Up their sales goals for the month of November and reward them handsomely when they reach them. Encourage them to take care of themselves with pampering gift baskets or gift cards. Feature each employee on your social media and post why you’re especially thankful for them.

6 spring consignment promotions to wow your customers

Add a little spring flair to your consignment promotions

After a long, often dreary winter, your customers are ready for a fun challenge. Why not build your brand, sell merchandise and add some excitement at the same time? Choose one of these 6 ideas to bump up you spring consignment promotions.

Idea #1  “The best part about spring is…” contest

  • For greater Facebook coverage, the goal now is engagement. Run an easy fill-in-the-blank Facebook contest finishing the sentence, “The best part about spring is…” Get your customers engaged and get them talking. This is one of the easiest spring consignment promotions to run.
  • This contest should be short and sweet. Tease with 48-hour notice. Run the contest for 48 hours total and announce the winner within 48 hours. Randomly, pick one entry and award a gift card to your store.
  • Make sure the value of the gift card is large enough for customers to take the time to fill in the sentence. When the winner is announced, arrange to have their photo taken for use in all of your social media.

Idea #2   Spring makeover

  • Whether it’s re-decorating a living room or changing someone’s personal look, a spring makeover giveaway is one of the best consignment promotions. By spring, everyone’s ready for a change. Capitalize on the fame of Extreme Makeover or What Not to Wear. Offer several prizes so there’s lots of chances to win.
  • For instance, if you’re a furniture store, offer your customers a $2,000 total room makeover. Involve a local designer, paint store and contractor to team up with you. A $1000 2nd prize could be for a select grouping of furniture and 3rd prize could be a $500 gift card to your store.
  • For clothing stores, create a complete makeover for your customers that includes a $1,000 wardrobe update. Tie in with a hair & nail salon, a makeup representative and a personal stylist. A $500 2nd prize could provide a beautiful new wardrobe and your 3rd prize could be a $250 gift card.
  • Set specific dates for entry forms and use all of your social media to generate a buzz. In Facebook, choose the “Advertise Your Business” tab and then “Promote Your Business Locally.” Your ads will specifically target your local community. Take lots and lots of photos of the winners to use in future marketing.

Idea #3  Spring photo contest

consignment promotions for spring should be fun

  • There are so many creative opportunities at this time of year for a photo contest. When winter is over, your customers venture back outdoors (unless of course you’re already in a warm, sunny location).
  • Choose an imaginative theme and create a hashtag specifically for this event. For instance, Easter is April 1st. Use a hashtag like #EasterMemories and invite people to submit photos of their family celebrating this special day. April 1st is also April Fool’s Day. Create a photo contest around shopper’s silly shenanigans. Or, just celebrate the fact that it’s spring with an outdoor nature photo contest.
  • Begin teasing your contest around March 16. Let people know the rules and time frame. Start accepting photos on April 2nd. Once again, your prizes have to be worthy of someone taking the time to photograph and upload their photo. For more information about Facebook contests, read Why you should use Facebook contests. As I mention in the post, I chose Heyo to help me organize my contest. For only $25 a month, Heyo helps you track and complete your contest easily. You’ll have a good idea within 4 days how well your contest is doing. So measure the length of time for your contest by the engagement you receive.

Idea #4  Spring by the bunch

  • Sometimes it’s more fun to offer lots of little giveaways rather than one big one. Build one of your spring consignment promotions around bundling merchandise. Run a spring sweepstakes that only requires an email address to win. Be sure to post the full contest rules too.
  • Obviously, the perfect tie-in to this consignment promotion would be a local florist. Together, you can cross promote one another and the contest. Your store and the florist offer a small giveaway (i.e. accessories from your store and a small bouquet from the florist) then provide a discount coupon for a future purchase. Make sure the florist provides you with fresh flowers daily as part of the overall promotion. In turn, create special store signage that provides your business cards to their shoppers. Both of you will benefit.
  • Bundle small items and randomly choose winners from the email addresses you’ve been receiving. Tuesday, March 20th is officially the first day of spring. Begin choosing daily winners on that day through Friday. On Saturday, March 24th, offer a little larger prize and a beautiful bouquet to one lucky winner. Make sure you take lots of photos of each winner to use in social media later.

Idea #5  #SelfiesInSpring

Consignment promotions should include a selfie in spring hashtag

  • User-Generated Content (UGC) can boost brand recognition faster than anything else. Read Customer content is the best way to promote yourself to find out more about its’ effectiveness. This particular consignment promotion doesn’t even require a giveaway.
  • Use a wall in your store as the perfect selfie station. Create a special spring backdrop that includes your store’s name and the hashtag you want to promote. Have a long selfie stick available for everyone who comes into your store.
  • In return for the person’s first name and email address, post their photo on your Facebook and email the photo to them. Encourage them to post it on their Facebook page too with your special hashtag.

Idea #6  Sowing seeds of friendship

  • Spring is the perfect time for a gardening giveaway. Flowers seeds are an inexpensive way to build your email list of potential new shoppers too.
  • Although National Friendship Day isn’t until August 5th, you can still create a special “seeds of friendship” event. Host an evening of food, beverages and shopping. If a shopper brings a friend to the event, both get a special discount or gift card to your shop. Everyone leaves with a packet of seeds. For additional impact have your store name and logo imprinted on the seed packet. We’ve used Bentley Seeds for a special giveaway at the NARTS conference.
  • Once the seeds are sown, hopefully it will be an all-summer reminder of your special evening.

4 iPhone photo basics for the best consignment store photos

You can never get enough iPhone photo basics to make your merchandise pop

Snapretail put together a fantastic list of mobile phone photo tips that are perfect for shops looking to promote your merchandise through social media, email and your website. Here are the highlights of some wonderful iPhone photo basics.

1. Know the Stats

  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text
  • 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook are photo posts
  • 65% of users prefer emails that contain mostly images, while only 35% prefer emails that are text heavy

2. Know the Basics

  • Always wipe off the lens so that it’s clear of fingerprints and dust.
  • Avoid zooming. Move closer to your object instead.
  • Add as much natural light as possible. Avoid using the flash.
  • Take product shots from multiple angles and then choose the best photo.
  • On most phones, just touch the screen to focus on a single item.
  • Increase the exposure to take a brighter photo.
Get my Free Trial of SimpleConsign

iPhone photo basics to share3. Know how to make the most of it!

  • Build Product Bundles – If you own a clothing consignment or resale shop, group together an outfit and snap a quick picture. Use the hashtag #OOTD which stands for Outfit Of The Day. It’s one of the most popular hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Then, offer a discount to whoever purchases the entire outfit. If you have a furniture or design shop, use the same bundling idea to group complimentary design items or pieces of furniture. Again, offer a discount to the shopper who buys it all!
  • Host a Quick Contest -Contests are by far the best way to build engagement with your shop. Why not take a photo of a candy jar and ask your fans to guess how many pieces are in it? It’s that simple!
  • Celebrate milestones – Is it an anniversary? Did an employee get engaged? Find a reason to celebrate and use photos to build excitement.
  • Look What’s New! – Whether it’s still on the intake counter or you’ve created a beautiful display, let your shoppers know what just came in.

4. Know how to add pizazz

  • Instagram      A photo-sharing social media site that lets you add filters, etc.
  • Pic Monkey     I love this one. You can add text, filters, special effects and more for free!

Currently, SimpleConsign offers our own Photo App which makes taking photos for eCommerce so much easier and faster. Check it out!


3 lessons learned from my Facebook contest mistakes

Facebook contest mistakes…the hard way

This is the second newsletter regarding using contests on Facebook to build your shopper’s engagement with your store. In the first article, I reviewed why it’s important to use them and the different categories of contests. In this issue, we’ll look at what not to do and some examples of contests you can try.

1.) Make it easy to play

My current photo contest is titled, “The Marsala Merchandising Challenge.” According to Heyo, the 3rd party app I used to set up my contest, over 745 people viewed the contest. However, only 8 stores have chosen to participate. Why? I think my challenge was too time-consuming. Several people responded to me that they didn’t have enough Marsala-colored items or they loved the idea but just didn’t have time to submit a photo. One of my Facebook contest mistakes…don’t make it too complicated!

2.) Offer an appropriate prize

In the past, whenever I’ve offered Barcode Warehouse Gift Cards, the response has been tremendous. I have a total of 5 prizes with the top prize for the winner of the Challenge being $50 in Barcode Warehouse Barcode Bucks. Everything I read about a photo contest said you should offer more than one prize because people entering feel they have a better chance of winning at least something. Perhaps my prize is not as much incentive as I originally thought for the work that is involved. My second Facebook contest mistake…make sure you are offering a prize worthy of the participation you’re requiring!

3.) Know the rules

In spite of not having done a contest like this before, I did know, “If you start it, they will come” is not the way they run. I knew I had to promote the event. So, after putting my contest together, I set out to advertise it on Facebook. I chose a total ad budget of $55. However, I didn’t pay close enough attention to the rules of engagement. I merely attempted to boost the actual contest itself. Made sense to me, right? Wrong! I received a response from the Facebook Ads Team with very clear rules. It turns out an ad cannot include more than 20% text in its image. They sent me a handy calculation tool. The last of my Facebook contest mistakes…learn the Facebook rules!

Easy contests to run directly on your timeline

Facebook now allows you to run contests directly on your Timeline where before you had to use a 3rd party app. Here are several great ideas for easy and engaging contests you can do:

 1.) Fill in the Blank  Enter a sentence with a blank and ask your fans to fill it in. Randomly pick a winner among the comments. Make your sentence specific to your shop such as “My favorite thing about XYZ Shop is _________________.”

    2.) A Quiz Here’s a fun idea when you’ve just received a lot of new inventory. Ask the question: “Guess what just came into our store? a.) Coach Purse  b.) Manolo Blahnik shoes c.) NWT Armani Dress d.) All of the Above”. Randomly draw a winner. Not only are you promoting new items, but you’re engaging your shoppers.

    3.) Share a Photo Have your shoppers share a photo of themselves wearing or using an item from your store. Request they tag themselves so the photo will appear on their timeline and you will receive a lot of additional free publicity. Again, randomly choose a winner from those who enter.


Why you should use Facebook contests

Well, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve jumped headlong into Facebook contests. Everything I’ve read says Facebook contests are the best way to build traffic, engage with your fans and add likes to your page. Needless to say, it’s been a brain challenger ever since.

Begin by setting goals for your Facebook contests

What do you want to accomplish? If your goal is to boost sales, use contests to create urgency, offer a coupon or give away a specific product. A sweepstakes helps to build your fan and email list because it’s very easy to enter. If you are looking to generate content that can be used in other ways, then you’ll want to do a photo, video or even a Pinterest contest. I chose a photo contest, but for all the wrong reasons. My goal is to boost engagement but also add to my email list. Starting with a Sweepstakes may have been a better choice and here’s why…

Choose your contest

A. Starter Contests – The participant is only required to enter their contact information and click a button to enter. Examples are a Sweepstakes such as a random drawing for a prize. Or, a Voting Contest where participants enter their vote on your current merchandise or possible future offerings and then receive a coupon.

B. Intermediate Contests – The participant is required to submit some type of user generated content in order to enter. Examples are Photo Contests where participants provide the photo, Photo Caption Contests where you provide the photo and participants title it and Essay Contests.

C. Advanced Contests – These Facebook contests require participants to do more time-consuming activities and should involve a major prize or cash award. Examples of these include a Video Contest. Or, set up a Pinterest contest that asks participants to create a board and submit the link to enter. Never one to do the easiest thing first, I thought a photo contest would be a great way to get started. Unfortunately, I learned about the challenges after I had already started.

Using your Facebook timeline vs. a 3rd party contest app

At one time, Facebook required you to use a 3rd party app in order to run a contest, but that has changed. Now, you can run a contest directly on your Facebook page timeline. There are, however, specific rules to follow. I chose to use a 3rd party because they offer a tremendous amount of assistance. Plus, the contest ultimately looks more professional. There are a variety of them to choose from. I chose Heyo.