Espresso Blog

Coffee shop marketing doesn't require a lot of time or money.

by Julie Beals on June 15, 2017

Get creative, and include your staff in the process to help them take ownership of your marketing efforts:

  1. Drink specials can get customers out of their comfort zone and onto something they'll want to keep coming back for. Specials can rotate daily, weekly or monthly. They can celebrate holidays, seasons or community events. Use a a chalkboard or dry erase board to prominently displays your special(s). Consider offering a coffee-drink special, smoothie special and a sandwich special if you serve lunch.

  2. Bundling, because everyone loves a deal. By selling products that go together as a package—and with a package discount—you'll move more product. Try offering a mocha-and-muffin combo for 25 to 50 cents below the original price.

  3. Punch cards and business cards: so simple yet so effective. Overachievers and bargain hunters of the world will stop at nothing to get that free drink. "Buy 9 and get your 10th drink free" is a typical and worthwhile offer. Business cards can serve a similar purpose. Print a "buy one get one free" offer on the back of the card and give them to out regularly. I had one given to me by a cafe owner, after which it sat in my wallet for months. But every time I saw it I thought, "I need to check that place out." Finally I did, and I've been meeting a friend there once a week ever since. Business cards can also act as an "I'm sorry" coupon to give to customers who may have had a complaint.

  4. Sampling: who doesn't love a free bite or sip of something new? How would you feel if you just spent $3.00 on a new flavor of smoothie, and then wished you hadn't? Sampling eliminates this risk for your customers and may even expand their palettes. It also gives you the opportunity to get immediate feedback. Be sure to encourage honest opinions of your creations. Sample often and entice the positive reviewers to make a purchase.

  5. Displays and celebratory products will get everyone in the mood. Creative offerings of roasted coffee, grab-and-go snacks, mugs, etc. will pique interest and increase sales. Seasonal or holiday themes make the decorating easy—such as with bright foliage in the fall or holiday lights in December—along with the always-expected pumpkin or peppermint lattes, respectively. But you can take your creativity further with an obscure holiday like Bastille Day. Put up A French flag, serve French vanilla lattes or French roast coffee, and offer croissants or "let them eat" cake.

  6. Your neighbors should be easier than anyone else to win over. Offer area businesses a 10% discount or hand out coupons that offer them a reason to visit.

  7. Love thy vendor. Intermix Beverage is here to help you with monthly specials that give you the opportunity to showcase a product at a discount without loosing any margin. And we are always happy to offer recipe ideas for drink specials.

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