In my opinion, and if done well, Host beneficiary or HB promotions have the potential to be the best type of marketing that anyone can instigate.
The way they work is simply, one business approaches another business that has a similar but non-competitive client base and promotes their product and service through them:
Sound simple enough? Then why aren’t they all doing it? Are you?
The reality is that it has to be planned, organised and carried through. Many businesses know of HB promotions, they may call them Cross Promotional or by some other name, but it’s all the same thing. However, many businesses fail to implement HB strategies because they can be time consuming in setting them up. However, it’s vital that you push through that perceived barrier and get it done.
The main thing to be aware of with a HB promotion is that Business A doesn’t actually advertise its wears through Business B, Business B actually purports to be giving away Business A’s products or service to their own database, usually as a way of saying thanks. Let me give you an example:
A hair salon approaches a beauty salon, (a similar but non-competitive client base), to ask the beauty salon if they would like to ‘give’ their clients a FREE haircut (for example). The beauty salon agrees to send out on ‘its’ letterhead to ‘its’ database a letter saying how wonderful they all are and that by way of saying thanks for being a great client for all these years, here’s a free hair cut voucher.
Normally, you would offer to ‘Business B’ that you would write the letter and even post it and pay for it if necessary.
So, the beauty salon’s clients receive a letter from ‘their’ beauty therapist, and they think she’s wonderful. And the hair salon begins to receive heaps of qualified leads that they can then add to their database, up-sell to and a whole lot more.
A HB letter might look something like this:
Hi there [name]
I decided a couple of weeks ago that I felt like doing something really special for my favourite customers. You’ve all been terrific over the years and supported me and my business through the good times and the bad:
In return I would like to give you all a gift.
I get my hair done at the XYZ salon, and they’re just great. I was talking with Maryanne, the owner the other day telling her about how loyal and supportive my customers have been. So, I’ve organised to give everyone of you a FREE cut and blowdry:! Its just my way of saying thanks:
All you need to do is to take this letter with you or mention it when you call and Maryanne and her team will show you a great time. As I said, I’ve had my hair done they’re and they’re a delight.
I look forward to seeing you again, when you come in next, and I can’t wait to see you with your new ‘do’s’:
Once again, thanks for being a great customer:
See you soon: