Attract More Customers Through Cross-Promotion

Cross-Promotion Can Expand Your Customer Base

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Even the most time-pressed business owner can attract more customers with less effort through the right cross-promotions. Why? Because when you join forces with other credible people who also reach your market you can reach your customers more efficiently, credibly, and memorably with the right offers and services.

To stand out from their competition in a crowded advertising marketplace, businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies are enthusiastically adopting this nimble approach to "outmarket" bigger competitors.

Their cross-promotions include "bundled" offerings, joint media appearances and events, and unconventional cause-related marketing. It might also include collaboratively produced how-to's and other resource e-booklets and videos, co-branding, coop advertising, and shared space.

Cross-promotion has the potential for a big marketing payoff because partners can successfully expand through each other's customer base. They can gain an inexpensive and credible introduction to their customers more effectively than with the traditional "solo" methods of networking, advertising, or public relations.

Get in the habit of doing business promotion for you and your partner businesses wherever you go and you'll be surprised how word-of-mouth builds.

Here are some low-risk and high-opportunity ways to jump-start your first cross-promotion:

  • Writing articles on topics related to your business expertise is an excellent business promotion technique. Well-written articles or blogs can provide free advertising and build positive word-of-mouth for you and your partner businesses. If you're a realtor, for instance, you could write a piece on a newly constructed house, mentioning the builder, roofer, landscaper, etc. If you're a website designer, you might write a piece about assessing website usability and mention the photographer who takes images for your sites.​

  • Sending out press releases is another great way to get some free business promotion for you and your partners. The caveat to using press releases as a business promotion tool is that your press release must contain newsworthy information, such as a recent business expansion, the introduction of new products, sponsoring a charity event, or winning an award. Press releases can be published online or in print.

  • Offer a reduced price, special service, convenience, or customer reward if customers buy products from you and your partner, or give your partner's product to your customers when they buy a large quantity of your product and ask your partner to do the same.
  • Hang signs or posters promoting one another on your walls, windows or products.
  • Mention one another's benefits when you speak at local events or are interviewed by the media.
  • Drop one another's flyers in shopping bags, mailboxes, or on vehicle windows.
  • Pool mailing lists and send out a joint promotional email or postcard.
  • Share inexpensive ads in local shopping papers or a nonprofit event program.
  • Give a joint interview to local media.

Here are some cross-promotion strategies that can really help your company stand out:

  • If you are skilled with taking video (or know someone who is) you can create video promotions of your products or services with your partners and post them on YouTube.
  • Have a contest, with the prizes contributed by your partners. For the next contest, roles change, and you contribute your product or service as a prize for a partner's contest.
  • Give customers a free product or service from a participating partner when they buy something that month from all of the partners listed in an ad or on a promotional postcard.

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