I was staying at a local Bed and Breakfast.
They had my room all ready, and along with things, they had an envelope that inside contained two passes for the Hot Springs.
This was an excellent example of cross promotions.
A cross promotion is simply when on business refers or promotes another. It can be one way or uni-lateral promotions.
In this example, it was only one way, although it still benefited both businesses. The Bed and Breakfast could make their clients happy with free passes, and the Hot Springs could get new customers in their door.
Cross promotions can be very cost effective. By coming up with original ideas and including them in your overall strategy, they can bring in new customers that you may not be able to reach any other way.
Cross promotions are also very efficient. Other than the initial set up and possibly some printing costs, there is often very little other cost until you actually have a client in your business.
The best cross promotions are very targeted. If you do not do your research and partner with the right business they can be much less successful. But when two businesses each have very similar target markets, they can be powerful.
A key to getting the most out of your cross promotions is to have a good follow up strategy. This includes getting contact information for new customers, or some other way to follow up with them.
Another important factor is to continue to build the relationship with the other business. Do not think it is something you can start and then forget about them.
Creating something original also can increase the effectiveness of a cross promotion strategy. This could be the marketing material, or it could be your offer. Either way, it can make it more memorable to both your new customers and to your cross promotion partners.
Try out a cross promotion strategy, you may be pleasantly surprised at how much new business comes in the door.