Friday, April 25, 2008

Create Your Own "Gas Tax Holiday"

Gas prices have got a lot of people upset. John McCain has gone as far as to propose a "gas tax holiday" from Memorial Day through Labor Day. That is, to eliminate 18 cents/gallon from the price of gas over the summer. Psychologically, this has some appeal. Realistically, it might mean something like $1.80 in savings to the typical driver per week, assuming the market doesn't simply drive the price up 18 cents in response. It's a political move, which is to say it's a marketing move. Here's how you can beat him to the punch.

Team up with a local independent gas station. Send your customer list a coupon or certificate for your "Gas Tax Holiday!". Offer 18 cents off per gallon on a specific day from 8am to 7pm (with this numbered and signed certificate), good for up to 20 gallons. Assuming a mailing list of 200 local clients and a 50% response rate (which would be astronomical) the cost of the discount would be $400, if they all got the max 20 gallons. The cost of printing and mailing, about $130. Split between you and the station owner - total cost, $265 each. Leverage your promotion by sending out a press release to area publications. Take pictures during the event to post to your website. Post banners or signs at the station saying "Welcome Bob's Realty customers!". It could be a relatively inexpensive and "buzzworthy" event for you and bring in new customers for the station owner. Raise your profile. Generate goodwill. Maybe even make some news.

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