Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



New Student Midnight Markdown: Monthly Marketing Plan

Posted by Lori Reese on 7/3/17 5:30 AM
Topics: bookstore events, MBS Monthly Marketing Plans, Bookstore marketing

The start of the school year is prime time to cultivate loyalty among new customers. Don’t wait until rush to reach out. Plan a treat for newcomers now that you can advertise during orientation and schedule early in the year.

New Student Midnight Markdown: Monthly Marketing Plan

New Student Midnight Markdown

Download: July Marketing Kit
Download Kit

It’s a sale and an event, in which doors are closed to all upperclassmen except transfers. It’s a chance to introduce customers to your store and set yourself apart from online competitors. It also lets newbies experience your store as a destination and ask associates for help with course materials.

Reach out to all

New students come in different stripes. Some will be freshmen, eager to explore their new-found independence. Some will be transfers. A substantial number will be nontraditional students — adults working two jobs, first-generation students or veterans recently returned from overseas.

The after-hours sale will appeal to younger students’ sense of adventure, while offering nontraditional first-years a chance to bargain-shop in a community setting. The event will make them feel special.

Make it a welcome party

Use social media, your store website and paper flyers to promote the New Student Midnight Markdown. Start the sale at 10 p.m. with discounted prices on spirit wear, school supplies and gifts. Have a flash sale with extra discounts on select items at midnight.

Make announcements throughout the evening to build excitement.

Partner with a local business to offer free snacks. Or, if your store has its own café, provide free samples of your most popular offerings. Nothing appeals to students more reliably than the chance to fill their stomachs on a budget.

If your store has a loyalty program, promote the it with every purchase. Consider offering a discount for those who sign up on-the-spot.

The attached marketing kit includes a flyer, a poster, two Nightowl Masks and a sign. Staple the mask and sign to popsicle, or craft, sticks. Let students choose one to use for a selfie. Encourage them to pose with their purchased bargains and post the pics on social media with the hashtag #whoneedssleep. 

The rationale

Studies show cultivating student loyalty is harder than ever. You can’t count on newcomers to wander into your store — or even locate it on the campus map. For that reason, you need to show them you can offer more care and attention than the competition. It’s your mission to support students. No non-school retailer can say that. 

Social media marketing plan

Use all your social media channels to promote the sale — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat.

Tip: Post three times daily the week before the sale, morning, afternoon and evening

Examples:

Facebook

Photos of your merchandise — different items pictured every day. Or, if you have images of students modeling your spirit wear, that’s even better.

Twitter

Instagram

Images of your food offerings. Alternate with pics of sale merchandise. Caption: Who Needs Sleep? If you have many sale items, create an Instagram story or album to share multiple pieces of merchandise in one post. #NewStudentMidnightMarkdown #{yourcollege}

Foreword Online Monthly Marketing Plans

About Lori Reese

Lori Reese is a Marketing Copywriter with MBS. She has more than 15 years’ experience teaching in college and K-12 classrooms. In her free time, she loves reading, creative writing and playing with her three-legged cat, Boss.

Article comments