For many businesses, particularly ones whose sales tend to peak in the summer, back to school season means lower sales and lower traffic online and in-store. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to attract an audience of students, teachers, and parents to your business once school starts again. Below are 23 promotional ideas to keep your business at the forefront of your audience’s mind.
10% off classes during the first month of school. Fitness and yoga studios can promote this deal to get out extra energy that students might have once the year starts.
Back to school discount to get ready for the new year. This is good for spas and salons who can offer a discount off a product or service before the first day of school, including mani/pedis, waxing, and massages.
Free coffee with purchase before and after school hours. Encourage students and parents to come to your restaurant or cafe for breakfast or an after school treat!
Teach a class at a school. This can be done by fitness, dance, or yoga studios who want to help the community become more active, while also promoting their business.
Cater or participate in a school event. Schools are always looking to supply food for meetings, dances, or fundraisers, so if you’re in the food industry why not make a contribution? This also helps you promote student deals and delivery services you offer!
Launch customer loyalty program for students, parents, or teachers. Once school starts, there are endless reasons for someone to say they’re too busy to shop, so it’s up to you to give your customers a reason to keep coming back!
Offer discounted or free food delivery for the first month of school. This not only benefits students who might live in a college town, but it can also be helpful for parents with small children who can’t easily pick up an order.
Discount tutoring services for the first month of school, or offer year and semester-long tutoring packages. These different options allow you to reach a wider audience, and students of all ages.
Release seasonal products to gear up for the first day of Fall. Bakeries can bring back their pumpkin and cinnamon themed goods, and salons and spas can light some autumn-themed scented candles for their customers.
Update your displays to reflect the colors and feelings of Autumn. Buy fall-themed signs and decorations to hang around your store or purchase fall-colored shopping bags to wrap items in at the register.
Free school-related gift with purchase. Purchase school supplies with your name and logo printed on them that you give to your customers when they make a purchase.
Daycare at salons or fitness studios. This promotion will be especially helpful for parents or teachers who visit spas, salons, and fitness centers.
Offer part-time positions for students. If students work at your location, not only will they get money and experience, but their friends and family will visit your location and increase your business’s overall visibility. Employees are the perfect people to help your business grow through word of mouth marketing.
Discounted moving services. As students are moving into their dorms and new apartments and out of their parents’ houses, moving can be an expensive feat. Ease the financial (and physical) burden of moving furniture and countless boxes by offering a discount for moving services! You can also partner with moving companies in your area so if a customer buys from your company they will get a voucher for 10% off moving services for school.
Reward students who get good grades. Almost any business can take advantage of this idea. The trick to getting people in the door now is to have a rewards program that students must enroll in at the beginning of the school year! If you’re a salon or spa, offer discounts on services, or free makeup or manicure for prom. If you’re a coffee shop or restaurant, you can offer students a free or discounted meal.
BOGO deals for roommates or new friends. Encourage roommates and new friends to visit your location and bond with each other by taking a class or sharing a meal together.
Hang a map for customers to put where they’re from. This is an especially great idea for locations in college towns and makes students feel a little bit more at home by seeing how many people are actually from their area. This also provides valuable market research into your target audience.
Bundle packages. If you’re holding fitness classes, promote a discount or a special price if a customer participates in multiple classes. If you’re in the food industry, offer back to school catering packages or meal deals. For salons and spas, offer special prices if a customer purchases multiple services together such as massaging and waxing or manicure and facial.
Create a marketing calendar for the Fall to keep bringing customers back into your store. Both in your store and online, let your customers know of any special promotions or product launches that are coming up and encourage your customers to keep checking in and visiting your store, website, and social media channels.
Special discounts for teachers. Give teachers discounts on their breakfast or lunch if they come in on their way to school, or pamper teachers with discounts off of massages and facials.
Host a book or school supplies drive. Ask for book and school supplies donations, and your business can offer discounts to people who participate and donate.
Discounts for customers that interact with you on social media. Hold a promotion where, for a limited time, you give a discount to customers who post on social media and tag your business! If a customer sends you a picture on Snapchat, you can send back a one-time use promo code that can be applied at on next purchase.
Back to school Instagram or Facebook giveaway. Raffle off a free class at your studio, gift basket, free service at your salon or spa, or a week of free coffee before school hours to keep bringing students and teachers into your location!
If you’re still looking for ways to keep busy during this time, try preparing for the next peak season by taking a look at some ways to get ahead while business is slow.