The bottom line of virtually every business is to bring in customers. Coffee shops are no exception to this rule, and a steady flow of paying customers is their backbone.
But it’s not as simple as just opening your doors and waiting for the lines to form. You’ll need to work to promote your business, just like any other.
To help you on your way, we’ve written this guide with some coffee shop promotion ideas. Read on, and we’ll discuss what we feel are ten great choices for giving your shop a signal boost.
What reasons are there for promotions?
Generally, customers don’t just find your shop. Although that’s certainly possible, it’s not very likely – you need to help them discover you.
At its core, that’s what promotion is: putting yourself on the map so new people can find you. Good promotion is like a bright, flashing neon sign that lights the way to your front door.
When it’s done correctly, promoting your company will not only draw new customers to you, but keep old ones coming back. That’s why it’s so vital to any business with its sights set on success.
Coffee Shop Promotion Ideas
Promotional Drink or Food Collections
Different times of the year call for different foods and drinks. Huge chains take advantage of people’s varying preferences, and you can, too.
For example, make a collection filled with warm, comforting foods and drinks during the winter. You could have hearty soups, sweet peppermint mochas, and soothing hot chocolates clustered together.
You could even model these promotional menu collections after holidays. In July, you could sell parfaits with red, white, and blue ingredients.
That’s just one illustration of all the potential fun menu items you could make.
Bring a Friend Promo
Refer-a-friend promotions are used everywhere, especially in businesses that charge subscription or monthly fees. What better way to bring in new customers than offering someone and their friend a discount to join?
There’s plenty of evidence to show that these promotions work, too. Customers that come to a business through this kind of program have a higher rate of retention.
While this may sound like it only applies to subscription or long-term services, there’s no reason why you couldn’t adapt the concept for a coffee shop. Maybe you could have a bring a friend day where if a guest comes with a friend, one or even both of them gets a cheaper drink (or something similar).
Host a Promotional Event
Events are particularly effective for introducing new patrons to your company. They’re so effective, in fact, that 70% of guests at events become customers afterward.
And coffee shops, which often become social centers, are the perfect places for all kinds of exciting events. Live music, art shows, and club meetings are just a few things that would work well in one.
If you need some more inspiration, check out our guide to possible coffee shop events.
Secure Your Foothold on Social Media Sites
It’s been established many times over that a social media presence is vital in today’s day and age. Most people have accounts across several different popular platforms.
Social media has a powerful impact on marketing. It’s been shown that social networks inspire 37% of customer purchases.
It’s not just important for getting people to set foot in your shop, either. If you’re selling merchandise, you could potentially think about having an online storefront to make sales through for long-distance fans.
Want to really take it up a notch and get the attention of younger followers? Think about using memes in your marketing online.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that specific memes very rapidly come into and out of fashion. You’ll need to research them appropriately and make sure you pick trendier ones that fit with your business’s voice.
While a very large portion of business is conducted online these days, there are still people out and about on the town. For that reason, advertising in the area for your shop is worth thinking about.
Flyers are incredibly affordable to make. Consider teaming up with nearby offices, restaurants, or bars to see if they will allow you to put up a flyer in their building.
You could even think a step ahead and make several different designs for different settings. A flyer you’d put in a bar, for example, could vary from the one you’d put in an office.
Bustling Sales and Hot Deals
There’s a good chance you’ve gone Black Friday shopping before. And if you have, why did you do it?
The answer is most likely this: deals. When something that is otherwise a little more expensive is available at a lower price point, consumers leap at the chance to get the bargain.
Sales work at bringing in anyone who might be unsure of whether or not they want to come to your shop. We’ve also written a guide about a few creative sales ideas if you want to try your hand at having one in your shop.
Give Your Menu a Facelift
The psychology of marketing is really in-depth. If you have an understanding of what mental factors causes someone to buy one product over another, even if they’re virtually identical, you can use it to your advantage.
One thing that makes all the difference in restaurants in their menu. You can take these menu concepts and transfer them to your own as a way of inspiring sales.
An example of a common trick is not including currency symbols or spelling out the prices completely. These tactics cause customers to not associate the cost with actual money, so they don’t feel as guilty about spending.
Another tip is to give items on your menu names that catch the eye and induce an emotional response. Naming one after a relative is a common strategy you’ve probably seen before.
There are plenty of other options for renovating your menu. With a little online research, you’ll no doubt find tons of useful suggestions.
Have you ever walked past one of those artsy handwritten chalkboard signs on a sidewalk? They’re much more than meets the eye.
Superficially, they may not seem like much, but they’re actually a very useful way of advertising for yourself. A majority of customers said that they have actually entered stores based on their signs.
Do you have any artistically inclined employees? It might be a good idea to have them design an eye-catching and vibrant sign to put out in front of your coffee shop.
Punch Cards and Customer Rewards
Reward your customers for their business, and they’ll want to keep going back. A good loyalty rewards program could even be the reason why a regular continues to choose you over your competition.
Punch cards are just one common example of rewarding recurring patrons. Each time they come in, you add a mark or a hole on the card, and once they have enough, they get a free drink.
It’s a simple concept, yet a motivating one. It gives your customers a reason to come back time and time again.
Turn your Shop into a Late-Night Coffee Bar with a Happy Hour
It’s almost unbelievable how hugely impactful Happy Hours are. Just how much of a difference do they make?
How does the majority of your weekly sales sound to you? One study found that 60.5% of weekly sales in bars and restaurants came from Happy Hour.
While this isn’t a custom that’s yet widely associated with local coffee shops, you can still take it and make it your own. We’ve actually written about it before if you need a few ideas to help you brainstorm your own Happy Hour.
When you open any kind of business, you can’t just let it grow stagnant. Unless you’re really lucky, customers aren’t going to just trickle in on their own.
You need to convince them to come in and make it worth their while once they’re there. That’s the essence of promoting your coffee shop.
Solid promotion will be an absolute game changer for your company. Never stop thinking about new and creative ways to make yourself stand out from your competitors.