No doubt, everybody likes a deal. And the Downtown Akron Partnership (DAP) offers a pretty sweet one for both consumers and business owners who do trade in the heart of the city called Do Downtown, a web-based marketing program.
For consumers, Do Downtown costs nothing more than an initial trip to DAP’s website to sign up for its newsletter. Business owners in the downtown footprint, for a nominal annual fee, can offer consumer discounts through Do and, among other perks, have the opportunity to promote their business with DAP’s email updates, which currently reach 13,000 Do Downtown members.
“Once you’ve got the card, there’s no need to renew it,” said Sharon Gillberg, communications director for DAP. “And you can use the card multiple times; it’s not a one-time discount. So if you go to Cilantro once a month, you can use your card over and over.”
At any given time, there are 25 – 30 participating businesses that are a “good representation of what’s downtown,” Gillberg added.
Do Downtown businesses include eateries, the Akron symphony, clothing stores, a florist, the Akron Zoo, bakeries, Akron Aeros, the Library Shop on Main and a hair salon.
To sign up for a Do Downtown card, simply visit www.downtownakron.com, click the Do Downtown tab on the homepage. Once signed up for the DAP newsletter, email them to request a PDF version of the Do card. Holders can also stop in at DAP’s office at Greystone Hall to pick up a plastic card or at participating a business, such as the Akron Zoo.
“It doesn’t cost anything to get the newsletter, the card or the discounts, and you get to find out what’s going on,” Gillberg said. “And you can cancel the newsletter at any time.”
On the business end, owners have a couple of options.
Businesses for $75 annually can offer a merchant discount, that can be changed upon request. Additionally, they may purchase ads in DAP’s email newsletters, exclusive email blasts and sandwich board promotions. For $250 a year, without offering a merchant discount, businesses have the the same opportunity to purchase email newsletter ads and blasts, sandwich board promos as well as increased exposure on the DAP website.
Both options allow Do Downtown business members to list their discounts exclusively on DAP’s promotions calendar on both it traditional and mobile websites.
Additionally, businesses can customize their own web page, complete with contact information, mapping, hours of operation, parking options and a web link.
Businesses interested in becoming a Do Downtown member may contact Gillberg at [email protected] or (330) 374-7676.
“Last year, www.downtownakron.com had 110,000 unique visitors,” said DAP.
So if you’re hankering for a bag of mixed nuts at The Peanut Shoppe, an elegant lunch at 3 Point or maybe toot the horn of your neighborhood with a T-shirt from Rubber City Clothing — all at a discount or for a free gift — Do Downtown.