7 Business Hacks for Effective Cross Promotions

7 Business Hacks for Cross Promoting

Cross promotions are a GREAT way to foster an ongoing partnership with another company to send business your way year-round.

An effective cross promotion:

  • Costs little to nothing financially

  • Mutually benefits both partners

  • Can function as your best lead magnet

But, it's important to think strategically before running out to every business you meet to offer a partnership.

So let's start with the 7 Hacks, and then we'll explore some real-life examples of how to implement these strategies.

Don’t Even Bother if You’re Not Going to Do These 7 Things...

1. Ensure it’s the right clientele for you both.

The trick is to partner with a company that has the same target market without competing with each other. Consider shops that are geographically near yours but in different industries, or different services that pair well together. An ice cream shop next to a casual restaurant that doesn’t offer dessert offers coupons or date night bundles. A massage therapist and a nail salon joining forces to offer spa day packages. A photographer and a quilt shop offering newborn portrait packages with a custom baby blanket featured in the photos.

2. Darlin', darlin,' stand by me.

Find a partner whose products/services you stand by. You are staking your reputation on someone else’s business, so be sure to test out the products or services at any company before you seek a cross promotion partnership. I want my clients to know that I would never promote a brand I didn’t support.

3. Make ‘em an offer they can’t refuse.

Create an ignore-proof incentive. Do not use a generic 10% Off coupon. Do not use a generic 10% off coupon. Do not use a generic 10% off coupon. Are we clear? Why? Because it WILL end up in the trash or the bottom of her purse. 10% barely covers taxes or gas. Show me the money. Show me the freebies. Show me an excuse to come see you.

4. A brand in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Now that you have that offer that your potential new customer is excited about, give her a way to remember it. Put a coupon in her hand. Something she’ll be able to hang on her refrigerator and remember to use later. Design a simple coupon that is branded for both businesses. And remember, simple coupons are more effective visual reminders than complicated ads.

A not-so-good coupon looks like this:

A better coupon looks like this:

5. Have a re-engagement strategy in place.

The goal here is to convert a lifetime customer, so be sure you have a plan to latch your greedy paws on her credit card forever when she shows up to use her coupon. Oops, I mean, “give her fantastic customer service and encourage repeat business.” Woo her. Smile a lot and ask her about her day. But most importantly, make her want to come back over and over again.

6. Track your ROI.

Your Return on Investment should be checked at least twice per year on this cross promotion. Make sure it’s worth the time and money you invest in making unique coupons, meeting your partner on occasion, having unique events, and fostering the partnership. Which means you need to be keeping track of your time and money spent on any promotions.

7. Keep buttering up your partners.

It’s totally crappy to have spent a year talking up someone else’s services and handing out their coupons to find out that they aren’t returning the favor. It’s all about reciprocity here, so if the relationship becomes one-sided, it’s time to bail. Usually, though, the partner has simply forgotten about you or fails to make it a habit to mention your cross promotion. That’s why it’s important to find ways to keep buttering up your partners. Offer THEM discounts or free trials so that they remember how great your services/products are. Buy their products and make sure they know you've done so. Tag them in social media blasts to let them know you’re still shouting their praises.

Real, Usable Examples: How 6 Businesses Partnered to Make More $$$ Together