Use Event Marketing to Promote Small Business Sales

marketing sales eventsCreating marketing sales events to fuel year-long marketing efforts for your business

Tying your marketing efforts to specific events – like holidays or special occasions – can help give your marketing a “purpose” and really get the attention of consumers.

Holidays naturally drive sales, with retailers accounting for up to 30 percent of their annual business in November and December alone, reports the National Retail Federation (NRF). The holiday season caps off the previous year’s sales while also setting the stage for the upcoming year’s biggest advertising event, namely the Super Bowl, which the NRF says now generates $14.31 billion in consumer spending. The spending continues into Valentine’s Day, now the second-biggest holiday of the year, and on into March Madness, Easter, and on and on.

It’s evident that sales are sustainable throughout the year, as long as you can create selling events.

Here are a few event strategies to sustain your small business’ sales momentum all year long.

Grand Openings

Planet Fitness recently drew 500 people to the opening of its new Aurora, Illinois club location, marked by the appearance of local celebrity Toma Dobrosavljevic, who won Season 16 of The Biggest Loser. Celebrity appearances, grand opening sales, and exclusive offers are a few ways to turn your first day of business into a promotional event.

This strategy isn’t limited to businesses with physical locations, either. For instance, you can promote a new online business by finding online partners with existing social media followings to co-host digital events like webinars or virtual conferences. Combine digital promotional strategies such as social media announcements with more traditional tools, like press releases, to let your market know about your grand opening event.

Product Launches

New iPhone releases have become such media events that even rumors leaked by DIGITIMES about three expected models were picked up by other sites as newsworthy. If you have a new product coming out, adopt this tactic by issuing announcements through email blasts, press releases, and social media posts.

An effective variation of this strategy is to announce the release of a new or upgraded website, as Apple Rubber recently did with its redesigned website.


One way to sustain holiday selling spikes is to follow up with post-holiday sales, suggests Neil Patel of KISSmetrics. Winter clearance and New Year’s sales are a couple ways to apply this strategy. But you can really run a sale any time of year—all you need is a plausible reason.

Company Events

The cast of the Sound of Music reunited this month to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary. Superman, the Beatles, and Star Wars are a few other franchises that have used an anniversary as an opportunity to do a publicity push. You don’t need a major franchise to use this strategy, however. A company anniversary, corporate achievement, moving to a new location, and going out of business are a few other examples of events you can turn into promotions.

Customer-Centered Events

You can also create promotions around events in your customers’ lives, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Experian research shows that birthday emails get a transaction rate 481 percent higher than promotional emails while generating 342 percent higher revenue. In order to use this strategy effectively, it’s vital to collect and manage birthday and anniversary data as part of your customer database.

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Roy Rasmussen

Roy Rasmussen, co-author of "Publishing for Publicity," is a freelance copywriter who helps small businesses get more customers and make more sales. His specialty is helping experts reach their target market with a focused sales message. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, and business coaching.