Company anniversaries are marketing opportunities. At the end of year one, you are still in the development stages, so customer engagement and financial efficiency are important. Focus your first anniversary celebrations on cheap ways to get people into your business. Target each activity towards a specific marketing objective, such as growing your mailing list, increasing walk-in traffic or expanding your social media reach. Take the time to reflect on what worked in year one and what you can learn from.
Increase Contacts with a Competition
Email contacts are invaluable whether you sell a product or a service. To increase your database of past or potential customers, gather email addresses as part of a giveaway. You can do this by requiring the submission of an email address on a giveaway entry form. Make the entry forms available near the cash register or front desk of your brick-and-mortar location or pop up as an alert when people visit your website.
The prize might be a credit toward a purchase or a free consultation. Whatever it is, it should be related to the one-year anniversary of your business. Emphasize the "one" by offering "one" of the prize. For example: "Free one-hour consultation to celebrate our one year in business."
Require a simple entry form that customers will be willing to complete. Be sure to give customers a box to tick that says they either "opt-in" or "opt-out" of the company mailing list. Write the options in an engaging way, such as "Thanks for being our customer during our first year! Do you want updates as we get ready for our second anniversary?"
Boost Traffic with a Party
Anniversaries mean celebrations. If you have a brick-and-mortar retail store where walk-in traffic is vital to survival, use the occasion to invite people in to celebrate. It can be a simple offering of coffee and cake or a free gift for anyone who comes by. Put your best-selling products on display in the most-trafficked part of the store so new customers will know what you sell and will come back.
If you offer a professional service, consider inviting the public into your lobby or reception area for light refreshments. Have company brochures on hand for customers to take as well as sufficient staff to discuss your products and services. Remember: "One year" is key, so consider cupcakes with a single birthday candle or "one shot" espresso drinks to reinforce the theme.
Let potential customers know about the special day through a banner in the front window, a sandwich sign on the sidewalk in front of your business, on your website, or through any advertising you do in community newspapers.
Hashtag Campaign for Online Engagement
Social media is particularly important for businesses that rely on an online marketplace. To increase followers, use your one-year anniversary as an excuse for a hashtag campaign. Link the campaign to a community organization or local cause to encourage participation. For example, you can advertise you will donate 5 cents for every new Facebook follower and 5 cents for all new followers who tweet you with the hashtag you choose. Be clever with the hashtag and link it to your business anniversary and the cause. Remember to cap your total contribution. Your campaign might be 5 cents per follower or tweet to a maximum of $365 to Timmy's Neighborhood House, or $1 for each day you have been in business. Hashtag: #365forTimmys.
Celebrate With Employees and Partners
Your first year was likely filled with ups and downs. If you have employees and a management team, buy them lunch or dinner as an expression of thanks. Invite vendors, partners and members of the business community to come to a small gathering at your store or place of business. This will reinforce your business-to-business relationships, increase your networking opportunities and enforce the positive working relationships you have with others in your industry and community. You might also be able to gather some tips on how to continue on a successful trajectory past year one.