In honor of Memorial Day, I think we need to have a frank conversation about military discounts.
1. It’s not fair to only offer a discount to a small subset of customers. Normally I’d agree with you here. It is very tricky to offer a discount to a segment of your customers without angering the majority of customers who aren’t getting the bargain, “hero” discounts like special deals for military, veterans, teachers, police, firefighters, and first responders are the exception to the rule. It’s highly unlikely that a customer is going to resent you for offering a hero discount. In fact, most customers will actually applaud your for supporting our troops, making a military discount a good PR move for most companies.
2. You used to offer a military discount, but nobody ever used it. I’ve got 2 questions for you. Question #1. Did you advertise it? That sounds like a dumb question, but you’d be shocked at the number of businesses that offer special discounts and then hide them on secret landing pages or make customers ask for discount. Offering a hero discount is a smart PR move, but um, well, you need to actually tell people you offer the discount to get any buzz going. Here’s the other thing. Our service men and women are also fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sisters and brothers. Many veterans have long careers after they leave the military. They don’t necessarily self-identify as someone who qualifies for a discount, and many would never ask for one. Read Christy’s interview with her uncle if you don’t believe me.
But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate one. Or that they wouldn’t be more loyal to a company that offers one as a token of appreciation for their service. You could even get clever and create a campaign to encourage your existing customers (the ones who are now proud to shop with such a patriotic company), to support our troops by sharing the news of your new military discount with their friends and family members who serve through Facebook, Twitter, or even an e-card with a link back to your site. Work that word-of-mouth! And for Pete’s sake, post your hero discount front and center on your web site for everyone in the good ole’ U.S.A. to see.
Ready for question #2? Continue reading