From TriOut to @Foursquare to @Whrrl to @Brightkite and Yelp, some businesses are struggling finding ways to promote their check-in specials and other location-based promotions. Even with the recent news of @Loopt reaching 4 million users, myTown with 2 million users and Foursquare just passing the 2 million user mark last week the main stream adoption of location based services still has a long way to go. Currently more businesses are using Facebook and Twitter for social media marketing but for businesses looking to cash in on the location check-in wave businesses may have to put a bigger investment in offline marketing to show a return on investment (ROI). To help here are 9 offline lead generation tips for business exploring location based marketing.

1. Cash register signs
How Morning Times promoting their Twitter account on the cash register
At @themorningtimes cafe downtown Raleigh, you’ll find stickers that read follow us on Twitter on the cash register. This could easily read, check-in here or join our society. It’s a simple way to reach every customer that purchases items from your store.

2. Check-in here Window clings
TriOut check-in window cling at MarketRaleigh
Window clings have been around for a while with both @Google & @Yelp mailing out free window clings to businesses years ago. Now both @TriOut and @Foursquare are sending window clings to help promote not only their platforms but to help users see that businesses have a check-in special at their locations.

3. Signs and posters
Mobile marketing
Signs and posters are extremely valuable for marketing especially if your business is near a high traffic area. If the signs include the right words like free or coupons it may be enough for your potential customers to walk-in or check-in or subscribe to your mobile SMS geo fence promotion.

4. Receipt promotions/feedback/survey forms
Printing urls to feedback forms/surveys on receipts is a great way to collect information about your customers. But you have to make the incentive valuable enough where your customers would fill out the survey form and give you their information. Suggestions are 15% off the next order or enter to win a free trip, etc. @BananaRepublic have great receipt promotions. After collecting the data you can find your customers on social networking sites and other location-based platforms.

5.Zip code submissions
This is important especially if you’re a national chain. By asking for your customers zip codes you can find areas of your frequent shoppers and focus on location-based promotion based off the data you collect.

6. Email newsletter sign-ups
((nogallery)) photos from @WRAL tweetup #wraltweetup
There are a few ways for businesses to ask for your email address. The most common is during the check out process. The other is by having a clip board or sign-up from near the cash register. By increasing your email list and sending out monthly newsletters it provides more opportunities to let your costumers know about new or upcoming location promotions.

7. QRCodes & Barcodes
IMG_0848
With startups such as @stickybits and neogence both QRCodes & Barcodes will play a big roll in how business use location-based services. You can attach almost any type of content to either one. Currently you can use both to check-in with Foursquare and and by placing QRCodes or Barcodes on printed materials you can simplify the check-in process.

8. Billboards
Hmm.. what would foursquare look like on a Las Vegas billboard?  Ah, probably something like this... Photo by: dennis crowley
Yes Billboards, have seen the @Foursquare billboard in Las Vegas? Again billboards are great for highly traffic / visible areas. But purchasing a billboard with your check-in spacial or sms mobile subscriptions short codes can increase the awareness of your location promotion faster than any yellow page ad and you’re almost guarantee that your local community will see the promotion.

9. Table tents
Location-Based check-in signs
Table tents are a no brainier especially for coffee shops and restaurants. No matter if it’s your sms mobile subscription promotion or posting what location-based apps your customers can check-in too, table tents can lead to instant check-ins.

Have you seen other creative ways businesses are promoting location-based specials? If so let me know in the comments.

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