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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 08, 2013 • Issue 13:07:01


Creative use of commemorative occasions

Many ISOs and merchant level salespeople find sending out emails in conjunction with festive occasions to be an effective tool for staying in touch with merchants. Some may have just conveyed Fourth of July messages, for example, along with special offers to help celebrate the day. Many send out holiday greetings at year's end. Others email individual birthday greetings to their customers if they have that information on hand.

The thing is, however, that so many businesses base their marketing on these types of occasions that it is easy for their messages to get lost in the crowd. Why not give some of your marketing efforts a different flavor by connecting your greetings and offers with lesser-known occasions?

Championing every cause

The list of commemorative days, weeks and months designated by various governing bodies and organizations is long, indeed, and growing. Here's a mere fraction of the topics and issues already singled out:

Financial Wellness Month
Customer Service Day
World Youth Day
Healthy Vision Week
Families in Business Week
Procrastination Awareness Month
Bicycle Safety Month
Suicide Prevention Week
National Parks Month
Character Counts Week
International Day of Peace
Hispanic Heritage Month
Older Americans Month
World No Tobacco Day
Dear Santa Letter Week
Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month
Putting them to use

Just reading this might have piqued your imagination. Noting the arrival of Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month in December could be a novel way to approach your merchant customers about the importance of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

To strengthen ties to Spanish-speaking clients, you could let them know what your business is doing in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. If one of your niches comprises businesses that serve senior citizens, you might send them greetings during Older Americans Month.

Or, if you are dedicated to a specific cause such as cancer prevention, you could tell your customers you'll be donating a percentage of all transactions to lung cancer research on World No Tobacco Day.

Going local

Possibilities along these lines abound. But if you don't find what you're looking for on national lists, check your local government. Many cities dedicate particular days to individuals who have made a difference in the community or to causes of particular importance to their citizenry. A local day or week just might tie into something you're already doing in your area.

And, if nothing else grabs you, commemorate your own day, week or month. For 50 years, the United States has celebrated National Small Business Week in June. Next year, why not designate a day within that week to be Small Merchants Day, and give your customers free receipt rolls or something else they will value?

As with anything else, it makes sense to do this kind of promotion in moderation and in ways that are appropriate to your clientele. Like condiments at a summer barbecue, these communications will add flavor and grab attention; however, they won't be the main dish, which is your stellar products and services. end of article

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