Another birthday has come and gone…the BIG 4 – 7!  Yeah, it’s not so big, and it’s no big deal either. But it does seem to be big business.

This year, I received an incredible number of birthday greetings with coupons and special offers from all kinds of establishments. Sure, there was the same old stuff, like the goofy card I get each year from my Allstate agent (over the years, I have memorized how much bread and gasoline cost back in 1962). However, staggering number of other businesses also sent greetings. Companies seem to be taking advantage of every occasion to boost traffic and sales.  Good for them, in this economy, but it struck my funnybone.

First in line was the local O’Charley’s restaurant, plying me with a certificate for a free dessert…when I buy a meal, of course. Then came the coupon for a percentage off my next purchase at Border’s in honor of my special day (um, these coupons hit my email like clockwork every week…my birthday doesn’t seem all that special in light of that). Next, there were discount cards from Kohl’s, Chico’s, Office Depot, and at least half a dozen other stores where I have accounts or a membership, all offering discounts or dollars off with a purchase by a certain date…naturally.

All right, I may have made some snarky remarks above. Fact is, I’ll be taking advantage of many of these offers–just like these companies want me to–because these are places where I shop anyway, and I’m always one to take advantage of a bargain (in case you didn’t read the last blog entry about indulgence).

It’s a great idea to send customers a celebratory perk and drum up some business at the same time. So, I was thinking about some other ways in which businesses could use this gimmick. Take, for instance, the writing and editing services I offer through Z-ink–how could I use this tactic with current and potential clients? Here are some thoughts that came to mind:

  • On your birthday, get one dozen FREE words written with a minimum purchase of 500 words! And, if you act now, we’ll throw in another dozen–absolutely FREE!
  • Feeling festive? Sign up now for a monthly retainer with Z-ink, and we’ll take $10 off your first invoice in honor of your special day. (New clients only.)
  • During your birthday month, receive one FREE page of editing with every chapter you submit of your new book! (Minimum number of pages per chapter required; not valid with any other discount offer.)
  • Happy Birthday! Celebrate now with 15% off revision of your resume. Be ready for anything!

OK, I am ready for the onslaught of new projects!