So you want to offer a military discount? Good for you! A military discount is not only a great way to show your support for our troops, it’s also a smart way to grow your business and reach new customers. The military market is huge. Of course you probably already realize you can’t just decide to offer a discount to military one day, and expect servicemen and women to magically show up at your door the next. We recommend trying these 5 effective tips to help spread the word about your awesome new military discount.
1. Be genuine.
From franchise “opportunities” to real estate “deals”, there are so many scammers out there pursuing veterans and military retirees, it’s no wonder the military market views some special military promotions with suspicion. Keep it simple; offer a discount and a sincere “Thank you for your service.” 94% of present and past military personnel say they notice when companies are “military-friendly” and have a positive impression of those companies. To be perceived as military-friendly, your message needs to be truthful, transparent, and come from the heart.
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2. Reach them where they are.
Active duty military are often posted abroad. Many military families live on bases or in small towns near bases. The downside to these locations? They’re not in close proximity to malls, superstores, or your brick and mortar shop. The upside? It’s easier to target your marketing efforts and meet the military market where they are, whether that’s on base or online.
Here are 4 suggestions:
- Offer your discount online. By making your military discount redeemable online, you allow them to shop anywhere at any time that is convenient for them, regardless of where they’re stationed.
- Take your existing traditional PR or marketing campaigns like print ads, radio ads, billboards, and newspaper press releases, and geo-target them towards cities that have a Navy, Army, Air Force, or Marine base.
- Advertise on base too. Did you know that military bases have their own newspapers? Not only that but surveys commissioned by the Air Force and Army indicate that nearly 90% of active duty personnel read military newspapers.
- Host or sponsor an event.
3. Expand your reach by including military families and veterans.
The military market including active duty, reservists, retired military, and employees equals 8.2 million consumers. That’s a lot of potential new customers.
However, military spouses and veterans represent over 30 million consumers with a purchasing power of $1 TRILLION annually. You can increase your market size five times by extending your military discount to include veterans and spouses.
The tricky thing about including veterans in your military discount campaign is that most veterans aren’t automatically issued a military ID when they leave the service, they have to request one. And even the vets who have a valid military ID rarely carry it on them at all times. The dependents of military don’t always have ID either. Instead of requiring service members to show a military ID in person, use SheerID’s verification system to verify anyone, anywhere, any time.
4. Keep in touch
Military families move. A lot. The best way to encourage them to become repeat customers isn’t through direct mail or in-store promotions. Keep in touch with your military customers by collecting their email addresses and creating a monthly e-newsletter. Remind them regularly that you offer a military discount, and be sure to give them a heads up about any special sales or promotions you’re running for holidays like Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day.
You can collect email addresses through your online shopping cart with an opt-in. Or you can hold a special contest or sweepstakes just for service members and their families. Participants provide their email addresses to enter.
5. Word of mouth.
Part of the beauty of a military discount is that it is one of the few special discounts you can offer that all of your customers feel good about- whether they qualify or not. Your civilian customers won’t resent you for offering a military discount, in fact, they’ll probably applaud you for being so patriotic. Use this rare trait to your advantage; don’t hide your military discount on a secret landing page.
Shout about it! Put signs up in your store, slap a banner on your home page, and talk about it in your newsletter and your social media messaging. Remember to include at least one sentence about it
in your normal print ads, press releases, and traditional marketing materials.
Once you’ve exhausted the obvious channels, get creative! You could offer your customers a promo code if they refer a military member or spouse. Create an e-card for your fans to send to their friends and family who are in the service to thank them for their sacrifices (and discreetly remind them that they get a military discount when they shop with you). Hold sales for Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day for all your customers and offer an extra 10% off to those who bring a veteran with them.
SheerID can help.
- For the first time, you can offer your military discount online.
- You can freely market your military discount, knowing that only military can redeem it.
- Active duty military verification is free- SheerID charges no set-up fees and no per verification charges for active duty military.
- You can verify military spouses and dependents in addition to active duty, veterans, reserves, and retirees.
SheerID’s solution requires no integration, is completely customizable, and the price fits in to any marketing budget.
Call us to receive a free demo and price quote. Let us partner with you to reach your target market and protect your offer.
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