Archived Webinar

How to Retain and Grow Current Customers


Presented by Julie Foley and Liz Crider Huff, directors of affiliate success, Second Street

No same old, same old: You can’t, at this juncture, go back and pitch the same thing over and over. (Looking at you, sales rep!) We’re banging our head against the wall.

Let’s talk. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your current advertiser over fear that you’ll lose their current spend. They are likely advertising elsewhere — and doing something different.

May I have more? There are advertisers out there who want to own a franchise in your community. They want to be in front of your audience with something that feels good.

Survey says: Among consumers who have postponed a major purchase or service, some 14% say they are ready to buy as soon as possible.

Gordon Borrell said it: “Promotions will explode by mid-summer and remain strong through the holidays — and perhaps for the foreseeable future.”

En fuego! A fire table supplier told a LaCrosse, Wisconsin, TV station that the company is cancelling all advertising. The reps convinced them to do a promotion — a “fire table staycation” — that resulted in 55 hot leads for the advertiser.

Keep your customers. That’s a big selling point with advertisers. They already have lists of existing customers. Why not aim a promotion at them — to get them back into the store.

What’s your ROI? Another beauty of promotions is that your advertisers can measure the effect of a campaign — in leads, in sales from leads and in expanded databases of potential customers.

Promotions play in Peoria. Here’s a perfect example from The Journal Star in Peoria, Illinois. A local furnace outfit with a history of spending practically nothing on Journal Star advertising was approached about running a furnace giveaway promotion. It was a $10,000-plus buy — and paid off big time for the company. In the first week, the client sold two furnaces valued at $13,000. The company is now running giveaway promotions with The Journal Star every quarter — a $14,000 buy.

Also in Peoria: A number of existing sponsors ran a campaign to honor “health care heroes,” by seeking nominations for these workers with a gift card prize at the end. The promotion generated $20,000 in revenue for the media organization.

Talk benefits! Here’s the way to address objections about being busy or not wanting to advertise more: “I know you’re busy — but I’ve got a way to get you leads on roof jobs.” “I know you’re busy — but I’ve got a promotion that will get you solid leads for (whatever their product or service is).”

Don’t think of promotions as one-offs. Instead, they are continuing campaigns that go for three months or a year. Teacher  of the Month and Hometown Heroes promotions are all supported by your core product, in other words, the newspaper.

Down the funnel. It’s important to have an email strategy to further push consumers down the sales funnel.

A sample sales one-sheet. Start with the benefits: We’ll help you find leads, we’ll help you find new customers. Go with the email and print campaigns. List prizes, total sponsor investment and expected ROI.

Sample a sample sales one sheet: Go to for sample sheets, and many more resources. The sales sheets are editable so you can put in your specific contacts, promo details, etc. Great for spec promotions.

You asked: Can you run more than one promotion at a time? Of course. Consider this: One consumer may be in the market for a roof, another for an HVAC overhaul, and another for backyard mosquito control. Run different promotions to reach all those customers.

You also asked: How about this objection from an advertiser? How do I know you will reach my customers? Because the promotion’s prize is designed for someone needing a new roof, say, or mosquito control. The advertiser shouldn’t care that they’re not reaching the thousands of people who are not interested in a new roof or mosquito control.

Yet another question: Could you sell a promotion by the worth of a lead? Julie Foley would love someone to try that. The value of the lead will vary by the business or industry. But you should be asking the advertiser: What is the value of a customer to you? Also, how many leads do you need before you get a sale? With those two numbers you can overcome any objection.

You asked: How should you prepare when moving into a new rural territory? Find out the type of advertisers in your markets. Julie and Liz have seen agri-business run promotions. They have the same problem: They need new leads, they want to win back past customers. And remember, rural or urban, you’ll have insurance agencies, financial services, etc. 

Here are Second Street leads: Contact Liz Crider at and Julie Foley at


Additional Resources:

Julie Foley, Liz Crider Huff, Second Street