John Hanlon Reviews

John’s Monday Tip of the Week: “Rewarding our fans” vs. “Recruiting new members”

Good evening, more about

I have a trivia question for you all. Who is credited with designing the iPhone, stuff the iPod, sick and the iPad? Hint: The answer is not Steve Jobs.

I bring up this question for a specific reason. Every few Mondays, I head over to a local “99 Restaurant” to play trivia with my family. We always have a fun time but one of the incentives we have for going are the prizes involved. Each Monday, the restaurant offers three prizes (totaling approximately $100 in value) that they give to trivia winners. The restaurant managers know that offering these prizes brings customers in so spending this money is worth it.

That leads us to John’s Monday Tip of the Week.

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Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with Larry from Omaha. Larry works for our stations in Omaha and he’s done an incredible job building up his station’s Fan Clubs. In fact, he just accepted an award for his work in building up his database to over 10,000 members.

I asked Larry how he was so successful in recruiting new members. He said he didn’t recruit new members. Instead of “recruiting new members,” he told me he “rewarded the fans.”

Those two phrases may seem similar but there is a world of difference between what I asked about and what he said. Instead of simply finding members to join his Fan Club, Larry did whatever he could to reward members of the Fan Club.

For example, this month the Omaha Fan Club is working in conjunction with a local sandwich shop. If a Fan Club member goes to that shop on Wednesdays during the month with a coupon– accessible on the Fan Club page– they are treated to a free six-inch sub. Larry told me that the key to promotions like this is providing users with something free (a bag of popcorn, a sandwich etc.)

Listeners hear that the Fan Club members are being rewarded with a free goodie and they want to become members as well.

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Larry told me that he doesn’t pay for these freebies. He offers the store he’s working with deals so that they get free advertising on our sites and over the airwaves. It’s a trade deal. Now, his stations have a large number of fans but he knows that not a lot of people will show up to get free sandwiches on a Wednesday.

If only 5% of his fans show up for the free sandwich, that’s only 500 sandwiches. If he thinks that there’ll be only that many members who show up for a promotion like this, he can go to the store and ask “What are 500 free sandwiches worth to your shop? We can offer you that much in free advertising on air and on our site if you partner with us on this free deal.”

Now, many of your stations don’t have that many fans right now so it should be easier to offer local shops the opportunity to participate in deals like this.

If you don’t have a sandwich shop like this you could partner with (and I know that some sites have more partnership options than others), I had a few random ideas to throw out.

-If a local restaurant is a client, ask them if they would be willing to offer either a free dessert or a free appetizer for members of your Fan Club. Some people might come in for the free treat but others will come in for a whole meal (hey, I go to trivia for a chance to win a prize so a free appetizer would be an even bigger incentive for me).

-If a local coffee shop is a client, ask them if they would be willing to give out free donuts to members of your Fan Club. One free donut for one Fan Club membership. Donuts aren’t expensive so for the right number of on-air advertising, they could say yes.

-If a mechanic is one of your clients, they might not be open to offering anything for free but maybe ask them if they would be willing to give a $10 off your next oil change coupon to members of your Fan Club who show up on a given day.

You can make these concepts fit into your market and with your advertisers. You just have to think like a listener and ask what kind of deal you would love to hear your radio station offer.

If you want some help coming up with concepts let me know but as Larry said, you want to reward your fans first and that will make more people want to become members of the Fan Club.

If you want some help with these concepts or ideas, let me know. I’d love to help out where I can.

This has been John’s Monday Tip of the Week.

Fun fact: Apple designer Jonathan Ive is credited with designing the iPhone, the iPod, and the iPad. Yes, that was a real trivia question for me but no, I did not get that answer right.

Have a great week, everyone.