Many marketers and business owners are wondering how to keep the gears of their marketing efforts in motion. People are staying in their homes and avoiding public places for the foreseeable future, so you may be thinking that you shouldn’t be advertising at all, or may be confused as to where to reallocate those dollars.

While changing your digital creative to focus more on awareness and keeping in touch with your existing customers via email is great, how are you setting your business up to hit the ground running when the world starts moving again? 

Running promotions at a time like this is an effective way to build your database and generate leads. There are particular types of businesses that can get creative with interactive promotions and build campaigns that are targeted and effective at achieving their goals. (Though we’d be remiss for not pointing out that generating qualified leads should never be a short-term goal).

We like ideas, so let’s look at some concepts for businesses to run promotions during this time. As you’ll see, using promotions in creative ways is an option that is relevant for nearly all business types, regardless of category.


Financial Management and Services

In businesses that rely so heavily on face-to-face meetings, financial service providers need to be creative in how they are developing new leads. Running a promotion such as a financial literacy quiz with an enter-to-win component (using an incentive as simple as a gift card) can help build a database of qualified leads. Another unique execution is the opportunity to offer online consultations or sign ups for webinars from a financial expert, with the primary goal of collecting qualified data.

Pro Tip – If you run a quiz using a registration form for a sweepstakes, add an opt-in question like “Are you ready to hear from an expert about your financial needs?”. Using our “Hot Leads” program, you can be notified immediately when someone submits a quiz with the box checked and your sales agents can follow up right away!



Home Improvement and Services

With people spending so much time in their homes, they may be considering ways to improve it! Companies that offer remodeling, siding, roofing, landscaping and other essential home services can start messaging right now to capture data from people that are considering making these purchases. Engaging quizzes to assess home improvement needs or a simple enter to win sweepstakes is a great way to capture prospective customer information now that you can act on when the time is right.

Pro tip: Ask a marketing qualifying question during the registration process so you can prioritize your lead follow up–something like, “Are you planning to do a home improvement project in the next 3 months?”

See How Promotions Work for Home Improvement Providers


There has arguably been no industry affected more during this crisis than the hospitality industry. Local, independent restaurants have especially felt this pressure. While many are staying open, they are pivoting to serve carry out, curb-side pickup and delivery only. Additionally, many smaller businesses are encouraging people to purchase gift cards for later use. Spending money right now on advertising seems counterintuitive, but remember, people are paying such close attention to how this is affecting local economies, it makes a lot of sense for smaller business to get out in front of customers. Simple enter-to-win sweepstakes for gift cards are a great way to keep in touch with the community and offer a way for them to support you during this time. 

Pro tip – Take advantage of the bounce-back “Thank You” email to offer an incentive to purchase gift cards. For instance, allow people to purchase a $100 gift card for $80 using a promo code exclusive to this campaign. 


Everyone has seen the eerie photos of empty shelves in grocery stores. But grocers know that the supply chain of food hasn’t experienced much of a disruption. Grocers are still considered an essential business and are unlikely to face mandated closures. Letting people know how you are serving the local community can be a welcome sign of better times ahead. One fun idea would be a photo contest in which users can upload a grocery item they consider “essential” for them and winners can be drawn at random. And take advantage of the bounceback email to distribute redeemable coupons that have a delayed redemption date to encourage foot-traffic once people feel safer entering public spaces.

Pro tip: Make sure you’re capturing the data you need to add those people to your marketing or loyalty database

See How Promotions Can Work for Grocery Retailers