Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd…
This dictum has a lot of evidence backing it up, including some psychological theories as well.
So how can you use this idea to your advantage?
If you’re in a business where lines are expected and not really grumbled about (as in grocery stores or banks), you can use your lines as a marketing tool all on its own.
It’s so fun and so easy to turn this obstacle into profit!
Club owners do this all the time. It’s standard practice. They keep the club line long enough to make people interested in coming in. Outsiders will think its a happening place by seeing how many people are waiting in line to get. “Just the tip of the iceberg” is the strategy.
But even club owners don’t use this strategy to its full potential.
But you can. Here’s some tips to make your customer lines to attract a crowd from your crowd:
1) Make your line as visible to outsiders as possible
Make it curb to the main street past your parking lot if possible. Everyone, even from a distance, will be curious and wonder what’s going on. Curiosity will lead them to find answers (i.e. check out your place). Some might even get in line too.
2) Keep your line single-file
Single file works best by far. This will make your line longer. Use stanchions as necessary to keep the line single file. The longer the line looks, the more attractive it is to others.
3) Give your people in line the red carpet treatment
Keep the line well lit with nice lighting (makes its more visible from far away too). Keep it clean and on concrete floor. Make sure its easily accessible.
4) Be fair to your customers
Don’t play games and make them wait in line unnecessarily long just to attract others. Chances are good that you’ll have more fed up customers than newcomers. This could hurt your reputation too.
5) Ask people to take surveys or try promotions while they wait in line
This can work for you on so many levels. Coupons, redeemable tickets, short surveys, paid referrals, you name it! Have some fun with this one.
6) Do what you can to put up ads throughout your line
Not just billboards, but maybe fliers and brochures than could be used inside. This is great for observing which of your ads catch enough attention and get customers to pick it up. Pick up fliers work best. You get invaluable response rates for different ads without leaving your venue!
Whatever you do to improve your line usage, be sure to track the results. From there you can see where you have the strongest impact and make even more improvements.
If you get lines consistently, you can market that in your ads. “Get past the line, come before 9/buy before the 9th) This works if it’s actually backed by evidence of long lines. You’ll be able to get more buyers early if you market it right.
So don’t let line trouble discourage you if lines are expected. There’s a silver lining in every cloud.
Don’t just sit around wondering if this works, get in line 🙂