Finally perfected your product and sussed out your service lines? But just not sure how to market to the masses? Then why not go with a promotion? Everyone likes a promotion. Who hasn’t tried a free food court sample? Or gone with a two-for-the-price-of-one deal at the supermarket? We’ve put together ten effective promotional tactics that you can use to boost your sales figures.
1. Cumulative Discounts
This option is a bit like a frequent flyer program. Each time a customer buys (or uses) your products (or services), they get a discount the next time. The discount really needs to be tailored to your business. For example, if you sell $500 tyres, you could offer customers $50 off their next tyre purchase and then $100 off the purchase after that. If you sell $5 loaves of bread, then 50c off their next purchase might be more appropriate.
2. Product Giveaways
As we said earlier, everyone loves a freebie. Product giveaways and samples allow potential customers to try-before-they-buy. You could go with an in-store promotion, or cut-out-and-return coupons for free samples or simply post out samples of new products to existing customers.
3. Specials via Facebook
This promotional tactic really depends upon how established your company’s social network is. If you are a start-up business with 12 Facebook fans, then this tactic really isn’t going to work. On the other hand, if you have a few thousand fans, then this could prove most lucrative. The idea would be to offer all Facebook fans a certain percentage off purchases. Alternatively, you could offer a giveaway or a discount whenever someone likes your Facebook page.
4. Free Shipping
Obviously highly applicable if you operate an online store. Not a promotional tactic as such, free shipping can often give you a competitive edge over your nearest rivals. Think about it. There are two stores that have exactly the same product in stock. One wants to charge you $15 postage and handling, the other isn’t going to charge you a cent. Who are you going to buy from?
Contests are used all the time to drum up brand awareness and boost sales figures. Sometimes it’s better to run contents without requiring a purchase first. The whole idea of a contest is to promote your business, rather than go down the hard-sell route. You can run a contest yourself, sponsor someone else’s contest or donate prizes for a contest. Whatever works best for your brand.
6. Industry Specials
If you own a restaurant, you could put on industry nights (on a Monday or Tuesday night when most restaurants are closed) and offer half off for anyone that works in a restaurant. If you are a florist, you could give discounts to other florists. If you own a clothing store, you could hand out specials to anyone who works in retail. Just make sure that you have ways and means to check for evidence of said profession.
7. Charity or Community Group Sponsorship
Supporting a charity or a cause can be a super effective means of helping out your local community while also increasing your brand awareness. Instead of taking out that expensive advert campaign in the local paper, why not sponsor the local footy club? Probably around the same amount of exposure (and cost), but by sponsoring the local footy club you help out your local community. It will give your customers a sense of being part of something bigger too. Customers might even be more inclined to use the services of a company with a social conscience.
8. Tiered Bonuses
You can offer any number of different bonuses. There are referral bonuses: if you are referred by an existing customer, then both you and the existing customer get a percentage off the cost of your first purchase. Or, you could offer a repeat customer bonus or even a cash-payment bonus.
9. Corporate Merchandise
Plaster your logo on all manner of items: pens, mugs, magnets, key rings, even stress balls. These types of items tend to end up on people’s desks and in fridges or in handbags. Even subconsciously, people will take notice of your logo, your brand. They can be more effective than just a simple business card.
10. e-Marketing Campaigns
Last, but not least, we have e-marketing. You can implement e-marketing campaigns to deliver any kind of promotion you like: discounts, two for one offers, tiered bonuses, giveaways, offers for samples. The sky’s the limit.
Thanks Sally Wood for this great Top 10 list of promotional tactics that you can consider for your next marketing promotion.
About Sally Wood
Having worked in marketing, communications and public relations roles for over ten years, Sally’s past life includes a plethora of activities, some of which even she can’t believe she was lucky enough to try her hand at. There was the development and implementation of internal communication programs for burly construction contractors; PR campaigns to launch The Simpson’s products (which just happened to involve carting life-sized Simpson figures around the country); people (and media) wrangling at Flemington’s birdcage for high-profile clients during the Melbourne Cup Carnival; CSR program design, implementation and GRI-accredited reporting; and, most recently, copywriting and internal stakeholder relations in a most serious corporate environment. Somehow, in the midst of all that, she also managed to get stuck into some study, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts / Law, completing a Postgraduate Bachelor of Letters in Public Relations and Journalism and recently starting an MBA.
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