With Valentine’s Day in the rear view mirror, the next observance you may be looking toward when it comes to themed promotions, marketing and decorating is March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day marketing does not offer you the same types of organic gift and gift certificate sales probabilities as did Valentine’s Day, and as did the holiday season, before that. But with a little creativity, you can still use St. Patrick’s Day to bring new people in to your business, nurture and manage customer relationships among your existing clients and to stimulate sales.

St. Patricks Day Marketing Ideas for Small Business:

St. Patrick’s Day Marketing Themes

When it comes to decorating or creating product sample displays, promotional coupons or graphics for advertising, email marketing or your blog or website, St. Patrick’s Day offers several strong decorating themes:

  • Four leaf clovers and “Shamrocks”) which symbolize luck. Shamrocks are not four leaf clovers. A Shamrock is a 3-leafed old white clover, recognized as a symbol of Ireland. For free / royalty Free St. Patricks Day Clipart to use for marketing collateral, visit Clipartpal.com

Use St. Patricks Day clipart on coupons, mailers and displays, to create St. Patrick’s Day window displays, to decorate displays for sampling stations or for decorations for any special St. Patricks Day themed demo event or happy hours.

Four leaf clovers are considered lucky. In March, use social media to list reasons why you feel “lucky”:

  • to have the customers that you have (why you are grateful)
  • to live where you live (for your business to be located in the community/neighborhood where it is located)

Hold lucky drawings. Create custom messages with quotes about luck and the occasional ‘instant winner’ for scratch off cards or fortune cookies. Reward random “lucky” customers (such as the 10 or 100th of the day, etc.) with a free add-on, gift card for future purchase, or branded mug, t-shirt or another branded item.

  • St. Patrick’s Day Happy hours.From National Beer Day on March 1 to St. Patricks Day, March is a month that provides you with a lot of reasons to have customer and prospect happy hours. Since you don’t want them to feel like stereotypical time share presentations, here are some ways to craft happy hours that make your customers happy at the same time that they make you happy by fulfilling your sales and event goals:
    • Happy hours that target your ideal client types. Create happy hours that are not intended for everyone, but which instead target your ideal client types (men, soccer moms, single working professionals, fashionistas, millenials, Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers, etc.) by featuring activities and demonstrations that would be specifically of interest to them.
    • Offer real incentives. Happy hours in restaurants or bars are hours when appetizers and popular beverages are offered at a special price. Notice that these are items that are popular ones – items that your prospects and customers actually want – as opposed to an attempt to unload unwanted goods or services. They’re also priced compellingly; the discount or add-on offer represents a real motivation to the customer to come in, try and buy.
    • Pick low hanging fruit.Use happy hours to lure customers who love you in for a special appreciation event wherein they’ll have the opportunity to: Purchase more of what they love most, be able to join a VIP club, receive extra loyalty rewards, be rewarded for bringing friends, family or other referrals with them to the event. Or think low-hanging fruit in terms of geography: Invite the managers and employees of businesses near yours in for a private happy hour event, or work together with businesses located near yours to hold multi-business happy hours with cooperative offers and cross marketing.
  • Leprechauns (who guard pots of gold, which can be found at the end of the rainbow).  Believe it or not, a leprechaun is actually a type of fairy in Irish folklore that usually looks like an old man and who – in contrast to the happy, helping way we usually view fairies – enjoys mischief, misdeeds and trickery. Despite that, if you catch one, you receive 3 wishes and if you follow one, you might just be led to his secret store – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.Playing off this idea simply, you might decorate your small business in shamrocks, leprechauns, four leaf clovers and green, and place a pot of gold (chocolate coins) at the point of purchase as a thank you treat for customers.If you want something more engaging, you can create your own Leprechaun hunt for prospects and clients by leaving a trail of clues they can follow on Facebook, Twitter, your blog or in a series of emails. Use engagement responses and posts as entries into a special drawing, or feature a grand prize for the first to complete your contest and prizes for any runners up. To build excitement, you might create your own game of this kind which ends in a special happy hour event at your business.Or go big. Partner with local businesses and make a punch card or game board wherein people receive markers for visiting each of the participating businesses, attending a series of happy hour demo or sampling events, etc.
  • Things Irish (such as Irish blessings).   Print Irish blessingson the back of business cards and hand them out at the point of sale, send them out in thank you notes, “we miss you” mailings for inactive clients, email newsletters, Facebook, Twitter or social media posts, print them on invoices, include them on flyers inserted into customer shipments, or display them as station talkers or at your point of purchase. Here are a few you may be familiar with to choose from (there are more featured at the link above):
    • May the road rise up to meet you • May the wind always be at your back • May the sun shine warm upon your face and rains fall soft upon your fields. • And until we meet again, may Gold hold you in the palm of His hand. (If you are uncomfortable with any religious reference, you can simply omit the last sentence.)
    • Wishing you a rainbow for sunlight after showers • Miles and miles of Irish smiles for golden happy hours • Shamrocks at your doorway for luck and laughter too • And a host of friends that never ends each day your whole life through.
    • May there always be work for your hands to do. • May your purse always hold a coin or two. • May the sun always shine on your windowpane. • May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. • May the hand of a friend always be near you. • May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Read more: Fun Facts About St. Patrick’s Day