Have you been struggling to generate highly qualified leads? Then, let us ask you a question: have you considered including sales promotion techniques as a part of your strategy?
Sales promotion is a great way to increase brand awareness, improve customer satisfaction, and raise revenue.
From free food samples and bundled offers to freebies on retail products, sales promotions have been used for decades to improve sales numbers and incentivize purchases. But does the formula still work in today’s digital-first world? If yes, what sales promotion techniques should every growing business bank on?
Are you looking for a way to bump up your revenues and introduce efficiency into your selling process? Then your growing business needs a Sales CRM to streamline your sales. Schedule a Demo to talk to an expert today!
What Is Sales Promotion?
A sales promotion is a marketing tactic in which businesses use offers or a temporary campaign to increase interest in their products or services. Companies use sales promotions for two main reasons- to motivate buying behavior and increase short-term purchases.
While you may feel that sales promotions may hurt your purpose of earning profits altogether, the reality is that it benefits your business just as much as it helps the client.
Why Are Sales Promotions Important?
Besides increasing the demand for a particular product, sales promotions do the following for growing businesses.
1. Generate New Leads
Sales promotions are a great way to generate more leads. Say you are a software company and want people to use your app or platform. Giving a week-long or a month-long free trial could encourage more people to try out your app.
Several potential customers would feel encouraged to download your app to see if it is the solution they were looking for. You could convert these qualified leads into paying customers with a little nurturing.
2. Grab Attention
Sales Promotion can help you grab all eyes in scenarios where isn’t enough social proof.
Suppose you are launching a new product. How do you create buzz around it?
You can offer an ‘introductory price,’ available for a limited period only. By doing this, you will boost sales as people try to take advantage of the discounted price. You will also increase awareness about the new product and social proof.
3. Get Repeat Customers
Sales promotion techniques also help increase repeat customers. An existing customer is 60% to 70% more likely to buy your products. You can increase repeat purchases, customer loyalty, and high-quality referrals by offering your current customers discounts or incentives.
Repeat customers are also suitable for your sales pipeline as they move quickly through the sales funnel because they are already happy with your brand.
4. Gain Valuable Insights
Sales promotions help you understand what your customers need and what influences their buying decisions. Understanding customer interest is essential for designing sales promotion campaigns that perform well. You will also need to look into what your competitors are offering.
You can’t run a sales promotion offering a 10% discount when your competitor is offering 15%. Researching these things can help create campaigns that resonate with your target audience. By spending some time researching, you will eventually create campaigns that attract new customers and improve customer service.
5. Increase Sales During Slow Periods
Is your business seasonal? Or are you experiencing a slow period? If you are, consider implementing a sales promotion campaign during slow periods or off-seasons to increase customer interest and sales.
6. Clear Out Inventory
If you are left with extra inventory at the end of a sales period, you can use sales promotions to clear them out. Many retail businesses use sales promotions to sell off products that are becoming redundant or going off production.
10 Sales Promotion Techniques to Help You Close More Deals
Regardless of the industry you operate in or the size of your business, there are several sales promotion techniques that could work wonders for your business.
Here are ten such sales promotion techniques:
1. Buy One, Get One Free
Buy one, get one, or BOGO is perhaps one of the most popular sales promotion techniques. Pizza Hut, Subway, and several other businesses use this technique to drive sales. Offering two products for the price of one increases sales because the perception of freebies attracts customers.
It is also an excellent way to clear stock, which is why you will see a lot of retail businesses using this technique. A lesser-known benefit of BOGO promotions is that it increases brand awareness because, many a time, customers share the free product with their loved ones.
BOGO deals are not limited to only product-based businesses. They work equally well for service-based businesses as well. For instance, if you run a spa or a gym, you could offer BOGO deals on your classes and training to acquire new clients.
Service-based industries are based on time and not product value. If you have the time to spare, this is one sales promotion technique you must try.
For product-based businesses, it is important to choose the right set of products for BOGO promotions. You do not want to end up making a loss, do you? You should also pay attention to the timing of the offer if you want to boost sales. For instance, offering BOGO during festivals or the holiday season could help your business attract more customers.
For example, Subway offered a great BOGO deal on their sandwiches to celebrate World Sandwich Day in 2018- buy one 6-inch sandwich, get one 6-inch sandwich for free.
2. Free Trial or Samples
If you have opened a new store or introduced a new product, sales could be slow in the initial days. Sales promotion techniques are a great way to boost sales and succeed immediately.
Offering free samples is a popular technique used in many industries, especially the beauty and retail industries. Many beauty brands offer free samples to their customers. For instance, Sephora allows you to add any two samples to your order.
If you have shopped with Big Basket, you may have received free samples of new cereals or snacks. Free sample promotions help customers “sample” the quality of your products, making it easier for you to convert them into buyers.
If you have a physical store, consider setting up a sampling station in your store. You could also offer some free samples at your checkout counter. For online businesses, you could give your customers free samples on the purchase of certain products.
Service businesses could offer free trials on their products to boost sales. According to a report, 62% of companies get 10% of their business from free trials. 16% of businesses get more than half of their business from free trials.
For example, Kylas offers a 15-day free trial to its customers. As it does not ask for any credit card details, the customers can freely explore its features without worrying about any commitments.
3. Flash Sales
A flash sale is a sale that lasts for a concise time but offers enormous discounts. Usually, the quantity is limited, which is why you get higher discounts than standard promotions. You will often come across flash sales on e-commerce websites. This technique is worth trying if you want to create a sense of urgency among your customers. Online businesses must really leverage flash sales to increase sales.
How often you should run a flash sale is entirely up to you. Some businesses run a flash sale only once or twice a year. Some do it more often, such as once a month. If you want to conduct a monthly flash sale, consider scheduling it simultaneously each month.
Doing so will help people anticipate the event and be prepared to make purchases on short notice. Whatever schedule you choose, remember to constantly announce the flash sale through social media and email marketing campaigns.
For example, the Mac flash sale clearly conveyed the amount of discount along with the information that the offer was valid for a limited time. The “Shop” button was meant to encourage shoppers to click and directly see the discounted items.
4. Referral Discounts
92% of people trust a brand if someone they know recommends it. Also, 70% of people will likely recommend a brand with a good loyalty program. You are missing out if referral marketing is still not in your sales strategy.
Referral discounts offer dual benefits. One, you get more sales, and two, word-of-mouth about your brand. If you still don’t have a referral program, consider implementing one now because it can significantly increase sales. Word-of-mouth is an ongoing process, and a well-crafted referral program will ensure that leads keep pouring in.
The best thing about referral discounts is that they bring in warm leads. When deciding upon the referral discount to offer, pick a number that is affordable for your business but desirable for the customer.
For example, Evernote lets its customers earn 10 points for their first three referrals. These points are enough for three months of Premium or 3 GB of additional monthly upload and if a referred friend bought Premium, the customer can earn 5 points.
5. Loyalty Programs
Do you have a loyal customer base? If you do, implementing a loyalty program could be an excellent sales promotion technique. A loyalty program primarily rewards existing customers for sticking around with the brand.
Not only do they retain existing customers by thanking them for being committed to the brand, but these programs also encourage new customers to become loyal.
Your loyalty program should make your customers feel special. The cosmetic brand Lancome is the perfect example of a good loyalty program. It offers three levels of loyalty rewards. After you have made a specific number of purchases, you can qualify for a different tier.
Different tiers offer different benefits, which not only work to boost customer loyalty but also create a positive user experience.
For example, with Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, customers could earn points for every purchase they made and redeem these points for rewards in the form of samples via the Rewards Bazaar.
6. Vouchers and Coupons
Getting a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. To boost sales, you should also look at ways to increase repeat business. Vouchers and coupons are a great way to encourage your customers to make repeat purchases. You can offer them through emails, product packaging, catalogs, and more.
However, vouchers and coupons can also be used to acquire new customers. You could offer a discount on the first purchase, encouraging visitors to turn into paying customers. You may also use your email marketing campaign to inform prospects of the first purchase discounts.
For example, KFC’s coupon offered Rs.100 off on all orders above Rs.499. The customers only had to show the coupon at the KFC outlet to get its benefit.
7. Free Shipping
What is the arch-enemy of e-commerce stores? Cart abandonment. Moving a buyer through the sales funnel can be incredibly frustrating, only to have them abandon the cart at checkout. Did you know that over 60% of carts are abandoned over shipping-related issues? Offering free shipping could be an easy way to tackle this.
If you are a small business, offering free shipping on every purchase may not be feasible, especially if the product price is low. In that case, you could offer free shipping over a certain amount. Your customers will be encouraged to shop for more to avoid shipping charges.
For example, Benefit offered free shipping on its cosmetic products. The customers needed to apply the code to apply for the free shipping of their favorite products.
8. Social Media Giveaways
Social media is powerful, which is why most brands work hard to build a solid online presence. If you want to boost sales, social media giveaways, and contests can be a good sales promotion technique. It can also be a great way to get people interested in your brand and acquire new followers.
Most contests and giveaways on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or other social media platforms have one common condition. You need to tag a certain number of people on the post to be eligible.
When people tag their family and friends, they introduce more people to the brand, helping it gain new followers. You not only increase brand awareness but also boost meaningful engagement on your social network, which eventually leads to more sales in the future.
For example, Sweepstakes’ offer was not easy to overlook. By participating in the contest, people could earn several benefits like a $350 Airbnb gift card or $500 in additional prizes.
9. Product or Service Bundles
People can get pretty excited about getting more value for less. So, why not leverage it as one of your sales promotion techniques? Consider bundling your related products or services for a reduced price. You will be able to sell more products and get people talking about your business.
Product bundles can be especially beneficial for people who are confused between several of your products or services. They can try two or more of these products with product bundles at a reduced price.
For example, 3 Wise Men was offering several bundles of their apparel and accessories at a price that no one could resist.
If you do not want to use discount promotions, you could opt for cashback promotions. You may not give your customers a discount upfront, but getting some of their money back could encourage them to spend it on other products sold by your brand.
Cashback promotions are a win-win for both you and your customers. Your customers get extra money, and you get more loyalty and business from your customers.
For example, Savyour offered a percentage of the purchase amount in the form of cashback to its customers to buy through their platform.
Top Tips for Successful Sales Promotion
When creating your sales promotion strategy, it’s important to consider the following elements and make them work.
1. Know your Target Audience and Set Achievable Goals
Why are you planning the promotion? Are you focusing on your existing customers or new customers with your promotion strategy? Are you going to launch a new product or increase sales of an existing product? Based on the answers to these questions, you can choose the best sales promotion technique for your business.
Also, determine what you are actually planning to achieve with your promotion strategy and concentrate on specific, measurable goals. This will help you analyze the success rate of your promotion and guide you with future promotions.
2. Create Limited Availability and/or Urgency to Draw Attention
The sales promotion you run must be short-term. You have to make your customers believe that time is running out, which may lead to them missing out on product or service benefits.
3. Choose the Right Promotion Channels
You can promote your products/services anywhere you want – on your company’s website, in blog posts, on social media, brochures, email campaigns, newsletters, etc. But whatever you choose, the goal is to become visible to your target audience. Choosing the wrong channel can result in spending more money on promotion than you will make from the sales.
4. Make Practical Offers
If your customers can’t see real value in your offers, they will likely pass on them. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they would expect from a brand before making a purchase. Based on these insights, determine what you can afford to offer that will appeal to your target audience while sticking to your budget.
5. Market your Promotion
Spread the word about your promotion to draw customer attention. You don’t want people to miss out simply because they didn’t know about it. Just like your products or services, promote your promotional offer.
6. Consider the Market Time
Dig through your previous year’s data to determine the period during which your customers buy the most from you. It’s the right time to schedule your promotions.
Where can you Run Your Sales Promotion?
When it comes to running your sales promotions, you have many choices for your campaign. Just make sure to consider your target audience, budget, and marketing goals. Let’s now take a look at some of the most common options where you can run your sales promotions:
1. Your Website
Your official website should undoubtedly be the primary platform to run your sales promotions. When customers learn about your offers, their natural inclination is to visit your website to verify and explore them further. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your website showcases the latest promotions, providing customers with the confirmation they seek.
2. Social Media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are undoubtedly some of the best options to promote your sales. With these platforms, you can run targeted advertisements to reach specific demographics and engage with potential customers.
3. Email Marketing
Based on previous sales, you can build a list of interested customers and send out promotional emails to inform them about your sales and exclusive offers. Email marketing allows for personalized communication and can be an effective way to drive sales.
4. Affiliate Marketing
You can also collaborate with affiliate marketers or influencers who can promote your products/services to their audience in exchange for a commission. This can help expand your reach and drive sales.
5. Paid Advertising
Paid advertising channels such as Google Ads, display networks, or native advertising platforms work great when it comes to reaching a wider audience and promoting your sales.
Why Should You Be Careful While Running Sales Promotion?
When you run a sales promotion, you obviously expect your sales to increase. But sometimes, it may come with a cost. So, when planning sales promotion, keep in mind the following risks:
1. Sales Promotions Can Harm Your Brand.
It shouldn’t be true for your business, but it’s a common assumption that if a brand goes on sale, it’s probably because they are facing issues in selling their products or services. While promoting offers on a single product or service at a time may not become a big issue, sales promotions that cover the entire brand may be detrimental.
2. You may face Issues in Selling your Product Back at its Original Price.
It’s likely that you will attract customers who never paid the full price for your product/service. When you return to the full price after the promotion ends, these customers may be turned off. It’s best to set strict timelines for the promotions so that you don’t disappoint your customers.
Sales promotion techniques are proven to attract your customer’s attention and boost sales. Combine your techniques with sales strategies, such as urgency, exclusivity, and proper timing, and you have a winner.
Using the best sales promotion techniques along with a sales CRM is key to closing deals and filling your sales pipeline. Use this effective sales promotions list to enhance your outreach efforts, build meaningful relationships, and have a much more powerful impact on your sales.