Small Business Tip Tuesday: Getting Customers in the Door

by Ken Mueller on April 26, 2011 · 19 comments

Flowers by Paulette signToday I’m launching a new series: Small Business Tip Tuesday. A lot of my friends do special series like Gini Dietrich’s #FollowFriday series, Joey Strawn’s Fun Friday, and Ana Hoffman’s Friday Tips for Keeps. But in talking to some friends I decided not to do my series on Friday like every one else, just to mix it up a bit. The idea behind this series is to give one good tip each week that can easily be used by small businesses without too much effort or expense. If you have any great tips for small businesses as they do business both online and off, feel free to email me and I’ll be sure to give you credit!

Small Business Tip Tuesday

We talk a lot about having a fully integrated marketing plan and branding message. And yet when it comes to Social Media, it seems as though many businesses treat it as if it’s something completely separate. But sometimes the old way of getting people through the doors of your business are perfectly fine, and work even better when you take them online.

This week’s tip for small businesses is to examine your old school offline methods of getting people into your business, and bring them online.

Recently I was in a meeting at a local coffee shop when I got a message from a friend on my Facebook wall, telling me that I could get a free rose. Here’s how the promotion works:

Local flower shop Flowers by Paulette has done a promotion for some time where they put a sign out front on the sidewalk, and each day they have a name of the day. So on my particular day the sign read “If your name is Ken, stop in for a free rose!”. Great way to generate traffic in the store as people walk by and drive by.

Taking offline promotions online

My friends Mark and Laurel of Catalyst Interactive Marketing worked with the store owners to create a social presence for their brand online. This included making sure that the free rose promotion wasn’t limited to just a sidewalk sign. Each day Flowers by Paulette posts their name of the day on Facebook, getting a much larger audience for their promotion.


Previously, people would drive by and perhaps call a friend telling them their name was on the board. Word of Mouth. Now with Facebook, that word of mouth can travel farther and faster. For instance, the day my name was on the board, I never would have known, except for the fact that Mark tagged me in a post on Facebook. I was only a few blocks away at the time, so I was able to get there and claim my rose (and make my wife very happy in the process!)

Owner Mary Beth Shenk told me that people check the Facebook page every day looking for their name, and if they see a name they know, they use Facebook to spread the word. She says the promotion has worked incredibly well, and some of those coming in for the free rose also make purchases. It’s a great way of getting traffic to your business, driving traffic to your online social presence, introducing your business to new customers, building good will, and giving people something fun which they can look forward to.

Oh, and as you can see by the sign, if your name is Edward, stop by Flowers by Paulette today for a free rose!

What older, more traditional methods of getting people into your business do you have that might work even better online? Can you think of any other variations on this promotion that might work for your particular business?



Ana | Traffic Generation
Ana | Traffic Generation

Yep, I like it!

And I love it that it's on Tuesday - you are right, Friday series is overdone. :)



This is a brilliant idea Ken, which will surely be coming to Dave's Ace in Milton and Evansville, WI as soon as the rain stops so I can change our roadside signs! Thanks for sharing.

Dave Warren

KenMueller moderator

@Ana | Traffic Generation haha. I needed to go with the alliteration with "Tuesday" and "tip". And I'll always be promoting your stuff as well! I learn a lot from you.

KenMueller moderator

@ginidietrich @davesace Gini, I tried to post a comment on your post today but it doesn't appear to be there. You asked about people who do Social Media well, I was gonna mention Dave. You oughta check out his page. Very engaging and personable.

KenMueller moderator

@davesace I think it's a brilliant idea as well, but I can't take credit for it. I'm just the guy writing about it.


  1. […] to create awareness, directing folks to your website/Facebook should be the primary goal. Instead, if you’re trying to create a sale, you should be tailoring a message about your product and why it’s worth purchasing. Maybe even […]

  2. […] to create awareness, directing folks to your website/Facebook should be the primary goal. Instead, if you’re trying to create a sale, you should be tailoring a message about your product and why it’s worth purchasing. Maybe even […]

  3. […] but one thing all businesses want are new customers. The right deal for first time check ins could bring new people through the door to check you out and sample what you have to offer. I’d suggest making that deal for first […]

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