Effective Sales Promotions In Three Simple Steps

Coming up with attractive promotions is key for luring potential buyers and getting them to spend money on your product or service. Great promotions can get customers out of a holding pattern by giving them an incentive to take action before an offer expires. However, promotions can only be useful if they are done correctly and here’s how:

Target your effort

Rarely can one promotion accomplish every objective, so the first thing you must do is decide which one is currently the most important.

  • Do you want customers to purchase more frequently, buy in greater volume, or be attracted to new or different offerings?
  • Are you looking to lure new customers into your business?
  • Do you want to boost business during slow hours, weekdays or particular seasons?

Plan your incentive

An effective sales promotion will prompt customers to take action by offering one of these incentives:

  • Price offers – Must be strong enough to compel, but reasonable enough to keep your business
    out of red ink. Avoid very deep discounts unless they’ll attract valuable, new customers.
  • Coupons – Both young and affluent shoppers (groups that you may expect would shun coupons)
    are using coupons, boosting the typical 1 to 2 percent redemption rate by nearly 20 percent. While printed
    coupons are still the most widely circulated, printable coupons, distributed on web sites such as and via e-mail, provide a terrific way to test price offers with business friends and fans
    before incurring costs in other media.
  • Samples – Allow customers to try before buying with the end objective being to wow them so much that it will lead to repeat business.
  • Online-based businesses need to promote free samples prominently to attract links, visitors, site
    registrations and publicity.
  • Retailers can turn sampling into promotional events, like what Costco does on weekends.
  • Service businesses can give away mini or limited versions of their offerings.
  • Events and experiences – Draw customers with activities that combine entertainment with brand
    and product presentation. Make sure to go all out, because hosting a poorly attended event is worse than hosting
    no event at all.

Know what you want to achieve

Make sure to be clear and know what objective you want your promotion to achieve. By knowing the number of sales you want to ring up, dollars you want to bring in, customers names you want to collect, or buying patterns you want to change, you can then determine what that desired change will mean financially to your business.