The ever-useful Duct Tape Marketing blog remembers the old Kmart Blue Light Special in a post title What's Your Blue Light Special?
The power of the Blue Light Special was the surprise. Shoppers couldn't predict it, so it had higher value than a "normal" sale. John Jantsch urges modern businesses to harness the power of surprise:
The thing about surprises is they create word of mouth. People will go on and on about getting something extra, something they didn't expect.
How about nonprofits?
What pleasant surprises might we delight donors with?
- A letter or phone call that's pure affirmation -- that goes into great detail about what the donor has accomplished through her giving.
- A valuable coupon -- something from a business partner that donors would like, such as dinner at a local restaurant, or something free or discounted. If you can work a deal like this with a business, it can create lots of good will for them too.
- Cause-related merchandise (but be careful that it not seem too "expensive" or "wasteful").
- Invitation to an insider-only event or conference call.
- Give her an unexpected opportunity to have her gift matched by matching funds.
Think about it. Imagine happy, valuable donors telling their friends about the pleasant experience you created.