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Run event at night after hours and mention that only people with an invitation will be granted entry.
Tell them that they're entitled to a FREE gift simply for coming along. Also mention that they can bring one friend along. Make sure you stipulate that customers must RSVP so that you can reserve their bonus gift for them.
For effect, paste newspapers over your windows so passers by can't see in. On newspapers write words "Closed Door Event - admission by invitation only". This adds to intrigue and prestige of event.
The reason that this type of event works magically is very simple.
First — it helps build customer loyalty by showing your customers that you're thinking of them by giving them a first glimpse of your new range, or first pickings of clearance stock, along with refreshments plus a FREE gift just for turning up.
Second — fact that you're limiting invitations makes them feel even more special and compels them to attend.
Third — Because they've been given a FREE gift they feel compelled to buy.
Fourth — Most customers are likely to bring a friend along and when they do, you're instantly building your customer list for future promotional activities plus if their friend buys something, there's a fairly good chance they'll buy too.
Last but not least — you are increasing your sale volume without spending a fortune on advertising.
What to offer as a FREE gift?
It doesn't need to be anything expensive ($5 hard cost will do depending on type of business you're in) but it must be something that has a universal appeal and have a perceived value. If you're a fashion retailer, try some sort of fashion accessory or t-shirt. If you're a nursery, offer a plant.
Kris Mills of Words that Sell ( http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au )is a top selling copywriter and respected author of numerous publications. For more copywriting and direct marketing tips, visit http://www.synergie.com.au/explosion.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~