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How to support local businesses and get people to subscribe to your email list

During the pandemic, the number of stories on my local town website has gone down a bit. About a year ago, I rarely struggled for material for the daily news I feature on my website because there was always something going on.

Now? Not so much – and my email list has paid for it.

Another issue that makes me feel generally crappy is watching local restaurants and shops struggle. Although my community is supportive in terms of take-out, etc., it’s just not the same… and the shops are seeing a huge decrease in foot traffic.

So many businesses are struggling, really…

Enter a win-win-win creative solution.

I created something called the “great gift card giveaway.” Here is how it works:

  1. Local businesses donate or purchase a $25 or more gift card to a local restaurant or shop, within 5 miles of town
  2. In return, I feature the local business in a story announcing that month’s “great gift card giveaway.” The business also gets plugged regularly in the story on my social media channels.
  3. At the end of the month, I draw a random subscriber from my daily e-newsletter email list.
  4. In order to be eligible for the drawing, a person need only subscribe to the email list.

See how everybody wins here? 

This is a great way to engage the community and generate more customers for local businesses – as people nearly always go beyond the gift card amount. Sponsoring businesses also get eyeballs and generally look good for their donation. And – I get more subscribers plus story content for my website.

How have you gotten creative during the pandemic?

Share it in the comments!

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