9 Grand Opening & Reopening Ideas to Get Customers in the Door
After countless hours and late nights, you’re finally ready to open the doors and launch your entrepreneurial dream (or to reopen after an unexpected closure). All that’s left to do now? Make your grand opening or reopening something people won’t want to miss.
Whether you’re starting an online-only boutique or are reopening a local cafe, the ideas below will help get your customers excited and in the door—literally or virtually!
1. Build Up Buzz Online
One common mistake for new businesses is to wait until everything is 100% perfect to start working on their online presence. By doing this, however, you’re missing out on the opportunity to generate excitement over time and to gain some clout on search engines or online review sites, which always takes time.
As much as possible, try to get the digital groundwork done in the months before your grand opening or reopening:
- Create a website with a basic splash page that says “opening soon” (or something more clever based on your brand identity and industry).
- Start posting on social media to build anticipation. Social media designs like countdowns, sneak peeks, and mysterious phrases or images all work well.
- Claim your Google business listing and get all your additional online directory profiles set up (like Angi, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.)
- Partner with local influencers or complementary businesses and ask them to link to your website and share you on social media.
2. Reach Potential Customers at Home
Whether you’re opening for the first time or are reopening after a closure, it’s essential to raise awareness. Even those people who happen to stumble upon your bright and shiny new location will be more likely to stop in if they’ve heard about your business before.
One of the easiest ways to do this? Direct mail postcards.
Every Door Direct Mail®, or EDDM, is a USPS program that lets you target all homes within any zip code in the United States. That means you can blanket your entire local area without having your own customer mailing list.
For the simplest EDDM process, use MyCreativeShop to design your postcard and select your target addresses on a map—and then we’ll print and send them! With our direct mail service, you can even plan ahead, scheduling two or three EDDM postcard campaigns to generate excitement in stages before the big day.
Get more EDDM tips in our comprehensive guide or check out these five common EDDM mistakes to avoid.
3. Advertise on Location
Another must-have for any physical business grand opening is attention-grabbing print materials. Every person who passes your location should realize that you’re newly open and that you have something awesome to offer them.
Depending on where your business is set up, these print must-haves might include:
- Grand opening banners, large enough to be read by passing drivers
- Yard signs on the streets surrounding your location
- Sidewalk sandwich boards and grand opening posters (if your store is in a pedestrian zone)
- Table tents and flyers just outside your door or in local hotspots nearby (coffee shops, public posting boards, etc.)
4. Offer Multiple Incentives
Across your various marketing materials, offer clear incentives for people to join in on your grand opening or reopening event. To find out what works best, try out different incentives across different marketing channels, such as:
- A 20% off deal on your direct mail postcard
- A BOGO offer on the posters hung outside your location
- An exclusive “secret” deal for the first 50 online shoppers
- A special referral bonus for anyone who makes a purchase
- A post-purchase coupon for additional $ or % off the next purchase
Be sure to track which incentive is tied to which print marketing campaign so you can calculate return on investment.
5. Tell Your Story
Incentives are important and give people a reason to be intrigued, but to build a long-term relationship with that customer, it’s important to communicate who you are. This comes down to having a clear and compelling story about your business:
- Why do you do what you do?
- What makes you different?
- How did you come into being? What is your origin story?
These deeper-level items will help people resonate with you and want to support you far beyond grand opening day.
6. Get in the Press
If you’re opening or reopening a physical location, you’ve got another ace up your grand opening sleeve: write up a quick press release for local magazines, travel guides, newspapers, or neighborhood newsletters.
Publications are always looking for timely and interesting content. The easier you make it for their reporters to share your news, the more likely you are to be featured.
7. Partner with a Nonprofit
Many people prioritize spending their money with companies that share their values. By partnering with a nonprofit for your grand opening, you’ll bring in more values-aligned customers and help a nonprofit raise more funds. Win win!
Here are some simple ways to support a nonprofit through your grand opening or reopening:
- Do a donation match of up to $____ of first-day revenue.
- Pledge to donate ___% of grand opening day revenue.
- Allow patrons to choose a nonprofit to receive ___% of each purchase.
- Support the nonprofit’s marketing efforts by setting out flyers or brochures at your cash registers.
- Host a “round up” campaign where customers can donate the spare change of any purchase.
8. Host a Grand Opening Event
Turn your grand opening into something fun by making it into a serious event! Small touches like tickets, invitations, wristbands, and programs can make a normal grand opening feel much fancier without drastically increasing the price tag of the event.
Depending on your industry, you could offer tons of different activities at your grand opening:
- A tasting or sampling
- A tour of the facilities (great for hotels or apartments)
- A Q&A session with company leadership
- A free demonstration (perfect for fitness centers and spas)
- A raffle or giveaway
- A free trivia night (ideal for sports bars and restaurants)
9. Collaborate with Others
It’s hard to generate excitement on your own, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of your personal and professional network. Ask around to see how you could include your network in your grand opening event in a mutually beneficial way. For example, you might:
- Invite local artists or musicians to showcase their work.
- Give discounts to any customers of partner businesses.
- Offer to do something in exchange for a partner who advertises your event online or in their shop.
- Allow other local businesses to set up a booth or pass out marketing materials at your event.
- Give local schools or little league teams a way to fundraise in exchange for inviting parents and families to your event.
Open or Reopen Your Business with Success
No matter which industry you’re in or the type of customers you serve, it’s easy to start building buzz for your grand opening or reopening. Take a page from the list above and get started now with a grand opening poster template or a hassle-free direct mail campaign.
Your potential customers are ready and waiting—all you have to do is send them a compelling invitation!