The primary activity of a marketing team for any company is to promote its products and services. A sales promotion is an additional strategy for raising brand awareness, attracting new customers, increasing sales, and retaining current customers.
There are countless sales promotion ideas that might be effective for your company. In practice, however, not all promotions are successful. Hence, you must explore multiple choices to pick the one that matches your businesses' objective.
In this article, we will go through a few effective sales promotion ideas to help you attain your business goals:
- Why does your business need sales promotions?
- 10 sales promotion ideas with examples
- Explore more industry-specific promotion ideas
You may believe that doing sales promotions will lessen your profit, but the truth is – it will not!
A Sales promotion is a method of marketing that prompts faster customer decisions and boosts sales in the short term.
Customers' behavior will alter in response to special offers, which could include limited-time deals, discounted prices, or premium products.
As a result, the following outcomes are possible from your customers:
- Impulse buying - trigger their emotional needs to purchase your products without prior planning.
- Bulk buying - buy your products in larger quantities than usual as the cost gets reduced.
- Overspending - spend more money on your products than they need.
- Product trial - become eager to try new or existing products they haven't bought before.
- Product switching - instead of buying competitors' products, they will switch to yours.
1. Discounts/Flash sales
Discounts are reductions in the price of goods and services. It might be a fixed amount such as a $100 discount, or a percentage, such as 50% off.
Discounts: percentage discounts during New Year (source: Skinella)
Flash sales are a form of discount that lasts for a certain period to induce a sense of urgency, such as for only two days or until midnight today. You will often see this type of promotion on e-commerce platforms.
Flash sale: website flash sale only from 4-8 p.m. on December 17th (source: BookXcess)
Flash sale: in-store flash sale in only 30 minutes (source: Birdie's Pie Shop)
Discounts and flash discounts are simple sales tactics, but they efficiently stimulate impulsive buying, and – they always work!
According to a study, discounts are one of the most efficient techniques to boost consumer response. For example, remember the chaos that unfolds during Christmas deals, Black Friday, Back to School, or Mid-year sales. Almost everything is on sale, and you feel compelled to buy it, right?
2. Free samples/Giveaways
Customers are given free products through free samples and giveaways.
The sample can be a small version of your product or service, allowing your consumers to test it and give their feedback. For giveaways, special activities are included usually, such as sharing the post with their audience, tagging three friends under the post, or the best comment wins, etc.
These types of promotions can help you attract potential customers, raise brand awareness, and enhance engagement. Therefore, if you want to introduce a new product – provide free samples to your audience.
Free samples: on purchases of ₹999 or more, customers will receive a special gift box with
a variety of free samples to try and choose their favorites. (source: Wellbeing Nutrition)
Giveaways: Receiving a free set of cozy essentials by 1. following Vera's account 2. liking the post,
and 3. leaving a comment on your favorite holiday movie. (source: Vera Bradley)
3. Free shipping
Free shipping – customers do not have to pay a shipping fee on an online purchase.
Customers may perceive the fee to be excessive and unreasonable. As a result, they don't proceed with the checkout and leave the website.
By offering free shipping, the possibility of a customer's decision to buy from you increases compared to someone who does not. Thus, the total price of shopping appears to be lower. Try adding a giant banner of “free shipping” on your website!
Free shipping: offer free shipping for jewelry on Christmas (source: Julie Vos)
4. Lucky draws
Invite customers to participate in a game where they must pick random prizes to win. For example, they can spin the wheel to win discounts for their next order.
Another popular style of lucky draw is the "Lucky bag/box", which differs from traditional lucky draws where the seller selects the reward. The buyers have no idea until they receive the package.
Both techniques create a sense of anticipation as customers have no idea what they will get and would love to take part.
Lucky draws: the winner of the Crepe Maker and Casino products will be chosen randomly
by a lucky draw. (source: Casino Asia)
When people shop smartly, they earn their money back, which is why cashback is so popular. It feels comparable to a discount, but it's not the same. When the products are not on sale, cashback is really beneficial.
Customers win their money back as they purchase more things – doesn't free money make everyone feel good?
Cashback: send GrabGifts to your loved ones and get P250 cashback with
a minimum GrabPay spend of P1,000. (source: Grab)
6. Loyalty programs
The loyalty program rewards the customers with special discounts or accumulated points when they make multiple purchases.
Loyalty cards or member cards are great tactics for convincing customers to move from competing brands and - keep them returning to your brand on a regular basis!
Loyalty programs: Tell them about the benefits of being a member so they can come back
and claim their membership card more frequently. (source: Hoton Express)
Referral promotions increase brand awareness and sales among your current customers. This type of promotion is designed to turn your customers into brand advocates.
Use their word of mouth and connection to advertise your brand in exchange for an incentive such as discounts or freebies on their next purchase, etc.
Referral: Get ₱50 for referring a friend by sending ₱1 to a friend who’s new to ShopeePay.
Using incentives to encourage them to promote the product for Shopee. (Source: Shopee)
8. Pre-order promotions
Encourage your customers to pre-order the products before the official release and possibly offer them exclusive deals. This marketing strategy is helpful for forecasting manufacturing demands, maintaining inventory, and – most importantly – piquing your audience's interest!
Pre-order: Pre-order cookies on the website by Monday for pick-up on Saturday.
Helping businesses in estimating the number of cookies to be made. (source: Brew & Brew)
Arrange an activity that requires effort and stimulates creativity for your target audience. Challenging people with a big prize can help your company gain a social media presence that links to brand awareness, and you never know – it could turn into a viral challenge!
Challenges: To share an experience with others, challenge followers to complete 50 calories on a Rogue Echo Bike in 5 days, using the hashtag "#ryourogue" and tagging Rogue Fitness. (source: Rogue Fitness)
10. Charitable promotions
Charitable promotions, such as contributing 5% of every transaction to a non-profit organization, are a type of marketing strategy that benefits a cause.
This method of promotion enhances your company's image while also increasing sales from customers who share similar values or interests.
Environmental issues are more serious than they have ever been in recent years. According to a survey, 75% of consumers are more likely to begin purchasing from a brand that voices similar issues.
When compared to environmentally friendly business practices (71%), social responsibility (68%), and giving back to the local community (68%), 44 percent think a product price is one of the most significant attributes of a company.
Therefore, monetization with social and environmental concerns in mind enhances your brand's image.
Charitable promotions: To win the World's Biggest Reese's Cookie, make a $10 donation to any local animal shelter or animal-related organization and forward the confirmation email. It is an example of how to enhance brand image and attract prospects. (source: Ohio Pie Co.)
Let's explore industry-specific promotion ideas that are more personalized to your business.
Mandala Analytics is a social listening and analytics tool that collects large amounts of data from social media mentions across a variety of platforms. Mentions can come in the form of comments or posts that contain keywords relevant to your business and industry.
Keywords entered can be anything specific to your products, market, competitors.
Create a Chinese New Year campaign on Mandala Analytics by entering keywords and a time frame.
You might want to look into promotion ideas for the upcoming Chinese New Year in 2022. For example, you can search for "Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year" and pick a date range between February 2021 and January 2022. Most importantly! — to be industry-specific, containing product/brand name with the keywords.
A result of Mandala Analytics' campaign on the Top Mention function.
As a result, you can see an example from 2021 in which a promotion plan works successfully and can considerably entice people to engage with.
Before launching your Chinese New Year promotions in 2022, you also can observe what topics are popular, what people are seeking, or the needs of your target audience.
With a massive pool of social media promotion ideas, the key point is - "Is it going to work effectively for your brand?"
The answer is to look for examples of success and failure from your competitors.
Mandala Analytics helps you create a great marketing campaign from – start to finish. This is a social media era, so sign up for a 7-day for free to seize business opportunities from social data.
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