There’s a lot that goes into running a successful sales promotion campaign - and if your only sales promotion idea for 2023 is to put up a ‘For Sale' sign and wait for customers, that’s not going to cut it. You need to start focusing on an effective sales strategy and have a constant stream of ideas to supplement the workflow for that strategy.
And that is why we’re here to help! We’re going to take you through some fantastic ideas – starting with video-based promo ideas since using videos is one of the most effective strategies for generating leads and making sales online. We will also look at customizable templates from InVideo that you can use to create your sales promo videos within a matter of minutes.
And if you stick around till the end, we will also share pro tips on making your sales promotion ideas more effective than ever.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Let’s begin by taking a look at what sales promotion is and why it’s important for your business.
Sales promotion is a marketing strategy used by retailers to raise awareness about products, attract new customers, re-engage older ones, and boost overall sales by generating demand. This is done through a variety of strategies and incentives including percentage discounts, free samples, contests, giveaways, and other sales ideas. And the customers can be made aware of these promotions through a variety of mediums including videos, image-based ads, and even print ads.
Besides giving a nice boost to your revenue, sales promotion campaigns are a critical way to build brand loyalty and generate enthusiasm for your brand by ensuring customers keep coming back for more.
Video-first sales promotion campaigns
Putting video first is a critical strategy for any sales promotion campaign in 2023. Video-based promotion ideas are a powerful way to keep promotion sales top-of-mind and increase your conversions. Search engines also prioritize video, so your sales promo videos are more likely to increase your visibility online as well! It also helps that 54% of people want to see more video content from marketers.
Take a look at this example of a video flash sale promotion. Potential customers get a much clearer idea of the products available, plus it’s a lot more fun to view than a poster or bunch of images:
That’s why we’re kick-starting our sales promotion ideas with a bunch of video promotion ideas you can use – which are also super easy to bring to life using a service like InVideo for business where templates can be customized for your exact marketing needs and you also get video editing services on demand. Get your free demo here.
Let’s get to it!
Video-first sales promotion ideas
1. Announce your Flash Sale with a video
Flash sales are one of the most effective sales promotion ideas to use since they offer extreme discounts for a very short period that get people very excited and encourage them to buy many items. Just don’t forget to properly advertise the sale before it starts since nobody will be able to use the discounts if they don’t know about them!
And instead of using static creatives for your flash sale announcements, consider using a video like this which is more engaging and presents all the details to the potential customer in less than 10 seconds.
2. Highlight your End-of-Season Sale with a compelling video
As seasonal sales occur at specific times during the year, customers are usually already looking for discounts and are primed to buy. Summer or Winter sales are a great way to advertise seasonal clothing, while end-of-season sales can help you push older stock and clear out some inventory.
Video templates like the one below can help you stand out from the crowd and easily showcase a 360-degree view of your products unlike static images - so think about using video promos instead when running your end-of-season sales.
Pro Tip: The key to creating sales promotion videos is to keep them short. Good videos are anywhere between 5-10 seconds long and give the potential customers everything they need to know. You can get tailor-made sales promotion videos for your brand with InVideo for business. Get your free demo here.
3. Use a video to show off products during your Annual Sale
As the name suggests, annual sales occur once every year and can be quite similar to end-of-season sales. But while end-of-season sales occur at specific times when most stores will also be running promotions, the timing of your annual sale can be decided by you.
Consider scheduling this sale during the month your company was founded or at times when you have an excess supply or need to move inventory most during the year. You also choose to run the sale during down periods in the year to give your revenue a much-needed boost.
A video promotion could give your annual sale announcements that extra boost - especially if you’re advertising on social media (since video posts get the most eyeballs here). So you should think about including video ads in your next annual promo sale. Use an online video editor to create sales promotion videos since it’s faster, easier, and doesn’t need a whole team of editors to make a video of professional quality.
4. Call out a Special Promotion Sales with video ads
Special shopping days and events are some of the best times to run promotions. Some famous shopping days during the year include Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many people wait for the discounts available only on these days - so shoppers looking through your store will have the highest intent to buy.
Instead of using images or static posters, take your game to the next level with a quick video instead. They’re especially useful when it comes to showcasing your products, making it more likely that customers will buy.
Here’s another template you can use.
5. Promote Calendar Days with an eye-catching video
Calendar Days are a great way to commemorate specific groups by offering them discounts or special deals. These include Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Friendship Day, and others. You should also think about running promotion sales on days that align with your brand. For example, if you sell toys, running a promotion during Children’s Day is ideal.
Videos like the one below can highlight your sales much more effectively than a static image - and convey all your information in a fun format. The animated text also makes it more likely that customers will stay engaged and won’t miss out on the details of your sale.
Use this Valentine’s Day template to advertise your promotional campaign on this particular day.
6. Advertise your Early-bird Sales with a video instead
Early-bird sales are promotions that offer exclusive discounts to customers who access your deal first. Since the offer is to a limited number of people you can offer a more enticing discount to customers. Early-bird sales can be used to offer exclusive discounts by opening a sale early to loyalty program members or giving gifts to the first 100 shoppers or offering discounts on meals to those who eat during down-times in your restaurant.
You can also use this scheme to give increased discounts to those who sign up or buy new products before others - this works especially well for travel packages or concerts and events where you can sell tickets at a discounted rate to customers who are willing to buy early.
Use a video to showcase your offer and give customers a clear idea of what the experience will be like and add even more excitement to your promotion. If you’re sharing this on social media, know that videos get more eyeballs - so don’t miss out on the opportunity to get noticed!
If you’re looking to create videos quickly and without any hassle, consider signing up to a service like InVideo for business where templates can be customized for your exact marketing needs and you also get video editing services on demand. Get your free demo here.
7. Run Real estate promotions using video
If you’re in real estate, running video promotions is a great way to up your marketing game. Real estate videos will also enable buyers to see houses better than static images and make it more likely that they'll get in touch with you.
You can use video promotions to offer exclusive viewings or free services to potential home-buyers.
Video promotions work especially well for real estate since images or static posters can’t convey the space and layout of the house as well as a video walkthrough can. To get buyers excited about your sales promos, you should go with a video like this one:
8. Announce your Opening Day Sale in style with a video
If you’ve just opened a store - whether it’s online or at a physical location - think about having an opening day sale. These sales are a great way to generate interest in something shoppers have never seen before. To overcome initial reluctance and get the ball rolling - think about offering some really fun deals that will make people come back to your store.
You could give out free samples or small gifts to everyone that walks into your physical location or offer discount codes to those shopping online.
There’s nothing that stands out like a video - and if you’re running a big sale that you want everyone to notice, video is the way to go. Plus you’ll be able to quickly go through all the details about the sale - without worrying that customers will have missed the fine print.
9. Tell everyone about your buy one get one free (BOGO) Sale using video
Possibly one of the most popular sales around, buy one get one free sale are a great way for you to move any extra inventory you have. Advertisers also frame buy one get one as 2 for the price of one - so think about how you want to position your sale. Also, make sure you’re offering buy one get one on items that aren’t very large since people are unlikely to buy two of them.
Highlight your products with a video instead of a static image - using animations and video footage of your products will make them stand out more and entice customers to use the offer.
10. Advertise your Product Discounts using video
Product discounts are straightforward sales that offer a percentage discount on items in the store. These range from 10-70% and depending on the season and purpose of the sale you’ll need to set an appropriate discount. For example, offering a 10% discount during Black Friday isn’t going to get you any customers.
You can run product discounts on particular items in a store, on select categories, or for your entire store.
Consider using a video like the one below instead of a static poster since you can make your campaign more appealing with animated creatives and can convey all the details of your sale in less than 10 seconds.
Pro Tip: If you would like further customization for your templates or would like to outsource the creation of your sales promotion videos, consider signing up to InVideo for business. Get your free demo here.
11. Highlight Credit Card Discounts using video
Credit card offers are a great way to encourage customers to buy - and benefit both you and the shopper since you won’t need to wait to get paid, but shoppers can pay for the items in installments. You could also tie up with credit card companies to offer points or cashback opportunities to customers.
Make sure customers know about any new credit card offers with a video ad like the one below. Videos are super engaging and you’ll be able to highlight all the offer details easily using animated text - so customers get all the details in less than 10 seconds.
12. Show off your new arrivals with a video promo
While new arrivals usually mean full price, you can start by hosting a sale to generate initial interest in new items in your store. The discounts you offer don’t have to be large - 5-10% is a good amount to get people interested. Offering a larger discount on new items might backfire and make people wonder why they’re discounted, so make sure you consider this when planning your sale.
Videos are a great way to show off your new products since customers will be able to get a 360-degree view of your product which will make them more likely to buy. With video you can highlight a ton of detail in a short period - so consider using a video template to create sales promo videos quickly and easily.
13. Entice shoppers with a video about your Scratch and Save Sale
This is a fun sales promotion to run and you can offer a combination of deals and discounts using these coupons. To make things even more interesting, you can only give out cards with every purchase so shoppers are motivated to buy and are more likely to return to use the discount on the card. You could also offer a larger prize that’s only included on a few cards to increase excitement.
Call out your sale by using a video instead of a static image. Videos are a great way to quickly highlight offers because customers are more likely to watch them and skip over/scroll past static images. Think about using a video like this one for your next big scratch and save sale:
14. Get your Back to School Sale noticed with a video
These sales are a great way to offer deals to customers that require school supplies and have a high intent to buy. Even if you don’t sell school supplies, you can still offer discounts on clothing or other things that parents and kids might need that aren’t directly related to starting a new school year.
Use a video to highlight your back-to-school products and take your sale campaign to the next level. Videos are more likely to get noticed - plus you can use animated creatives to convey all the details about your sale in less than 10 seconds.
If you’re worried about the time it would take to create a video - templates can help speed things up and you can get templates customized to your business needs with InVideo for business. Get your free demo here.
15. Showcase a Free Delivery Promotion you’re running on video
Delivery and shipping costs are some of the main reasons that shoppers abandon their shopping carts. Offering free delivery for a limited period can help tackle this reluctance and boost sales by welcoming customers who are averse to paying for shipping costs. You’ll also probably make up the cost of shipping by the overall increase in sales.
Use a video instead of images to advertise your free delivery promotions - this way you can highlight your products and get customers excited in a way that an image just can’t do. Keep your videos short - 5-10 seconds should be enough so customers stay excited. Use this template to make your own in minutes!
16. Promote your offers through 1:1 videos
Personal video messages are a great way to put a human face and establish a connection between you and your customers. Using this means as a sales promotion tactic can be very useful for people who run courses or whose persona is a large part of their brand. For influencers and others with a personal brand, a talking-head video that outlines the benefits of your sale or promotion is a great way to get people to sign up or avail of your discount by making a purchase.
Here’s an example of how Big Man Tyrone offers course discounts with a personal recording:
If you’d like to use this marketing promotion example, simply shoot your video and get it customized with InVideo for business. Get your free demo here. And you can learn how to customize any of these sales promotion templates we’ve covered above by watching this video tutorial on how to use InVideo and make these videos your own!
And, if you’d like to learn how to make super effective promotion videos, check out this quick guide:
More awesome sales promotion ideas
1. Use dollar-value discounts to grab a shopper’s attention
This is an alternative to percentage discounts. Instead of offering a 20% discount this sales promotion idea involves discounting items by a flat dollar amount instead - for example $5 or $25 off the total bill amount. Flat dollar amounts entice customers because they’re easily aware of exactly how much they would have to pay for an item, while percentage discounts can seem vague (unless they’re a really large percentage like 50-70%).
You might want to test which works better for your brand, as you want to pick something that sounds like a good deal to potential customers, while also working from a budgeting standpoint.
Here’s a great marketing promotion example from Catherines:
$100 is a large amount - so note how they’ve stressed that this is a private offer. Providing more premium discounts to a smaller group of preferred customers like this is a great way to use the dollar amount discount without incurring losses.
Consider using a video ad to make your discounts more memorable and get people more excited about the offer. Check out these sales promotion templates by InVideo, which will help keep your ads top-of-mind.
2. Experiment with multi-buy sales promotions
Multi-buy sales promos are a great option if you want to clear out excess inventory that you’ve stocked up on throughout the year. This is also why a lot of these types of promotions are used at the end of the year or season. While BOGO is a common example of a multi-buy promotion, you can also include different ‘bundles’ - like 2 for the price of 1 or combos of different products when using the idea of this sale.
Take a look at Juicy Chemistry’s combo packs - they offer a body butter along with a scrub since customers are likely to use both as part of a process and would be enticed by an additional discount here.
Note that such bundling or combos will only work with specific types of products - if you are selling large volume items or products that aren’t meant to be used often, customers are unlikely to want to buy and store large quantities of the same product - especially if they come with an early expiry date.
Pro tip: Multi-buy ads work well on Instagram and Facebook as carousel ads. You can upload multiple product images and create separate descriptions for each to ensure you get maximum return on investment. To know how to use Facebook advertising to your advantage, check out this comprehensive guide.
3. Give buyers free shipping discounts to encourage more sales
This sales promotion idea is especially critical if you run an ecommerce site. Shipping is one of the last obstacles that prevent people from completing their orders. Did you know that almost 60 percent of buyers abandon carts due to additional shipping costs? Buyers are also more likely to purchase when they know they can return items for free since they can’t see or try them on in person. This is true even if they are repeat customers, so by accepting a small additional charge you might significantly increase overall sales and more than makeup for shipping costs.
Check out this eye-catching creative by Fanatics, which advertises their free worldwide shipping:
If you cannot offer free shipping year-round, you might want to do what they did and include it as a limited offer during your sales period. And since you want to reach as many people as possible during that time, a good idea is to create a 5-second animated free-shipping advert using one of InVideo’s templates and then add that to the end of your other sales promotion videos. This ensures maximum visibility.
4. Use a ‘try before you buy' scheme on your online shop
Another really popular sales promotion idea among ecommerce merchants is the ‘try before you buy’ offer. This aims to get around the fact that customers can’t touch and feel products before purchasing - which is the number one barrier to conversions.
Give your customers a chance to experience your product before purchasing by shipping a product to their home at a nominal fee, or they can just pay for shipping, which is typical for such promo ideas. Customers then get a specific trial period (a week or month at most), and if they don’t return the product within that time frame, they’re charged for the full amount.
The cosmetics brand IL MAKIAGE is an excellent example of a company that’s implementing try before you buy. To increase the likelihood of customers keeping the product, they invite shoppers to take a quiz to find a foundation that matches their skin tone.
Once they find a match, shoppers are given the option to “try before you buy.” This gives them 14 days to try the product and pay the full amount if they don't return it within 14 days. and if they don’t return it, they’re charged for the full amount.
It’s important to note that this sales promotion idea does come with some risks. There’s a chance that too many people return the product and you get stuck with used merchandise that you can’t sell. So if you’re considering trying this out, don’t offer it on all your products - instead select only a few which are highly rated, and you know your customers love.
5. Give away gifts to shoppers
This sale idea is exactly what it sounds like: shoppers get a free product when they make a purchase. This is ideal if you have a lot of surplus stock of smaller ticket items that you wouldn’t mind giving away for free.
As this is an extremely effective promotion idea, you can also use it to boost conversions or get new buyers more interested in your products.
Take a look at how Function of Beauty combines the bundle and free sample promo ideas in their offer below:
It’s a good idea to put in some qualifiers before shoppers can receive the gift since this can eat into your bottom line if you’re not careful. Add a minimum purchase (like $50), or make this available for purchases within a specific category (like hair care as shown above).
6. Let customers try new products with free samples
Similar to the free products, giving out free samples is possibly one of the best promotion strategies out there. Free samples allow customers to raise awareness of a new product and overcome any reluctance customers might have by getting them to try it for free. Samples are usually in smaller quantities since they’re only supposed to give customers a taste of the product and encourage them to add this product the next time they order from you.
The free samples promotion idea can be used both in physical as well as ecommerce stores. Most commonly seen in supermarkets like Costo or Whole Foods where brands will promote their new food items, or introduce shoppers to products they may not have considered buying.
Ecommerce stores can also do this by offering free samples along with a minimum purchase — this allows you to send free samples to customers without having to incur shipping costs while also encouraging shoppers to purchase additional products to get the free samples.
Consider advertising your free samples using an animated banner ad on your website homepage. This will make your offer stand out and get visitors excited about the offer. Check out these great banner ad templates from InVideo that you can add to promote your new offer and make your ads more compelling. And if you want to simplify your ad creation process even further, consider signing up to InVideo for business where you also get video editing on-demand in addition to tailor-made templates. Get your free demo here.
7. Run social media contests and giveaways to increase followers
Social media giveaways are one of the most popular ways for brands to engage with customers while also gaining more followers. One way to do this is to host a contest or a lottery to give away free merchandise if followers answer a question and tag 3-5 friends who don’t already follow your account.
If you can get existing audiences excited about your giveaway this is guaranteed exposure. Think about adding your most popular or highly rated products to the giveaway - you could even team up with another brand to include even more products.
Not only does it increase your business’s reach on social media, but it also increases awareness of your brand among your ideal customer base - and quality followers are a goldmine!
Here’s a great example of a giveaway by Ilana Cosmetics - they’ve used cross-promotion to engage even more followers with the giveaway contest:
If you want to boost your engagement even further, consider creating a video of the products you’re giving away by adding your content to this giveaway template by InVideo. More people are watching videos than ever on social media so you’re sure to grab even more attention with a video instead of static images.
8. Conduct loyalty program promotions to increase customer satisfaction
Loyalty programs are a powerful motivator for customers, even if they don’t pay off immediately.
To use rewards programs as a sales promotion idea you can offer to double or triple loyalty points during your sales period. You can also welcome customers who sign up for your loyalty program with bonus points to get them started. Once buyers are on your program, it’s a good idea to nudge them with updates about their points (like new rewards, offers, and what benefits they’ll receive with their current points) to keep them coming back for more.
Esther’s VIP Rewards program allows shoppers to earn more points once they reach a new level of loyalty - rewarding customers that purchase more with even more discounts.
For physical stores (especially those in the food industry), punch cards are a great way to keep customers coming back. You could offer a free coffee or slice of pizza or free add-ons to existing orders.
Take a look at this punch card from Subway that offers a free sub after buying 6.
Treat your customers right by offering rewards or loyalty programs since it benefits both brands and customers. Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than convincing an existing client to re-purchase, so here’s a beautiful loyalty program template from InVideo that you can use to create an engaging video ad for your customers.
9. Connect with influencers for your sales promotion campaigns
Affiliate or Influencer marketing is a great way to promote your brand while also increasing sales revenue.
Get in touch with influencers that you consider to embody the principles of your brand and cater to an audience that would be your ideal customers. It’s a good idea to spend some time choosing an influencer since you have to be careful with whom you associate. Influencers don’t always have to be from the same industry as you - but make sure your target audience is the same.
You can also think about running affiliate programs, where you can simply offer a discount code that buyers can enter during checkout. Then you can check how many buyers used the code and compensate your influencers or affiliate marketers according to the amount of traffic they brought into your website.
Here’s a marketing promotion example of an influencer advertising the lifestyle and fitness brand, Fab Fit Fun.
10. Use Google My Business to promote new sales and offers
Did you know that you can run promotions on your Google business listing? The Google My Business dashboard allows you to create four different types of social posts: Offers, Updates, Events, and Products.
Use the ‘Add Offer’ option to announce a deal or offering right on your Business Profile. This allows your promotion to reach customers who find your business on Google Maps or Search, which is often when they have the highest intent to buy. In addition to boosting your conversions, a sales promotion campaign can also drive more traffic to your website.
Take a look at this Google My Business promotion from Whole Foods advertising-free deliveries and $10 off. This is a great promotion to put right in the search option since people searching for whole foods are likely to want to buy something from there and this incentivizes them further.
11. Show customers you care with special lifestyle discounts
A more niche sales promo, lifestyle discounts are those that are offered to particular categories of people like teachers, students, veterans, senior citizens and encourage them to engage with your brand. This promotion idea is super useful to show support during months or days that highlight specific groups (like Teacher’s Day or National Senior Citizens Day).
Since your sales idea won’t apply to everyone, you can provide even better discounts but you’ll need to set up a barrier like an ID or a verification process that allows only the groups you want to access the offer.
You’ll need to keep an eye out for days and months and plan your sales promos well in advance!
You don’t have to sell wheelchairs to be able to run promotions for senior citizens. Look at Phat Olive Oil, which doesn’t have anything to do with education - still, they promoted their product by offering teachers a discount on their olive oils.
12. Increase your customer base through referral offers
Acquiring new customers is a tough job - and referrals make it so much easier! This is the best promotion idea you could use if you’re looking for more quality customers with a high intent to buy.
Offering discounts to customers when they refer their friends and family can increase your customer base exponentially for a relatively low cost. You can decide to offer discounts at different levels - for example, only offer the discount when a referred friend makes a purchase or you can send coupon codes to anyone that promotes you on their social media. If you choose to offer a discount regardless of whether or not anything is purchased, try to place a threshold on the number of referrals required before the discount takes effect. For example, get 25% off your next visit if you make three referrals.
Take a look at this marketing promotion example from Neiman Marcus that offers referred customers $10 off any purchase.
And if you want to take your referral campaign to the next level, use this referral video template to get shoppers excited about your promotion.
13. Make shoppers smile with cashback offers
Make your customers feel great by giving them some cash in return for making a purchase. It makes them feel like they’re not only getting a discount on their first purchase but also getting free money to make another purchase. Cashback is a great sales promo idea that will make customers come back to shop with you again. Just don’t forget to make your cashback offer in the form of store credit.
Take a look at how Nike does this on their online store:
14. Highlight brand values by running charitable cause promotions
With 91% of global consumers being more likely to switch to brands that support a good cause (given similar quality), you might want to think about boosting sales by promoting a cause. It’s a great way to show you care and allow customers to feel like they’re giving back too.
You can announce that for a limited time a portion of your proceeds will go to charity or create special products which have a larger percentage of the profits go back to a charitable cause that aligns with your brand.
Because marketing in this way is a triple-win: the charity receives donations, you get to express your brand values and attract like-minded customers, and your customers get to feel good about where their money is going.
If you’re passionate about making an impact in your community you could also make charitable giving a core part of your business like Necker’s Jewelers does in the example below:
15. Send one lucky customer on a shopping spree
If your business is focused on in-store promotions a shopping spree is the way to go! Shopping sprees get customers excited like nothing else and you’re sure to increase your customer base with one of these.
All you have to do is offer a certain amount to one lucky customer and ask people to enter to win the contest. Getting customers to sign up with their information also boosts your contact lists and you can send them additional sales promos and updates.
Make sure you price the shopping spree carefully or it could end up costing you too much without much benefit. But generous shopping sprees at physical locations are probably one of the best promotion methods since it’s usually word-of-mouth.
If you’re feeling creative you can even develop a spin-the-wheel sign and get customers to spin for all kinds of benefits! These can also be easily configured for online stores like the one below where customers click to spin the wheel.
You might want to think about animating your shopping spree offers with a video instead - this will give you the chance to highlight products and get customers even more excited about your offer. Try using a service like InVideo for business to create your promo videos with tailor-made templates that make it easier than ever to create videos. Get your free demo here.
16. Tie up with other brands to run joint promotions
Joint sales promotions are when you partner with other brands to promote discounts, contests, or giveaways together.
Joint promos extend the reach of your brand by tapping into another brand’s audience. You can do this with brands in similar or related industries or partner with a business completely different to yours - but which has the same target audience.
This partnership between Red Robin and the X-Men Wolverine franchise is an excellent example of a joint promotion by two very different brands, which have an overlapping target audience.
Red Robin offered discounts to anyone who showed up for a burger with their Wolverine ticket stub in hand. While they may not have received a discount for the actual movie, the film benefitted from attracting people who were more excited about the burger at the end of the tunnel than the movie itself.
17. Use checkout discounts to drive spontaneous buying decisions
Auto-applied discounts at checkout tempt customers and drive them into spontaneous buying decisions. Many shoppers will add more items to their cart to activate the discount, which grows the average volume of orders and increases revenue for a small percentage discount. Cart level discounts are perfect for flash sales and A/B testing for Facebook ads as you can learn a lot about the kinds of rewards customers would opt to use with relatively little effort.
The best part about this is that customers don’t have to do anything to see an immediate drop in price - which increases their satisfaction while making a purchase - making it more likely that they’ll return!
18. Get personal with your sales promotion discounts
Personalization is one of the best ways to encourage conversions and reduce the incidence of shoppers abandoning their carts. While this requires careful set-up, you can configure your email marketing software to send reminders to shoppers when they’ve abandoned their carts - along with a discount code to re-engage them and get them to buy. You can also personalize what they buy next by sending them a discount coupon for related products or categories based on their last purchase with you. For example, if a customer purchased an item from the baby category, you can send them a personalized discount coupon for 10% off the baby category on their next purchase.
Take a look at how Birchbox does this:
19. Send a Birthday Promotion to build brand loyalty
Birthday campaigns are a type of personalized sales promotion that increases customer loyalty. You can offer special prices or discounts on birthdays while also wishing your customers on their special day.
Personalized campaigns are extremely important to build more engaged audiences who will keep coming back with new orders. Many brands use coupon codes, gift cards, or exclusive discounts shoppers can spend online or in-store.
Have a look at this great birthday card Travelocity sends for their birthday promotions.
Now that we’ve taken a look at sales promotion ideas you can use, let’s dive into some tips you should keep in mind to make your campaigns more effective than ever!
Tip #1 - Set clear objectives
For your sales promotion ideas to be effective the first thing you need to do is set clear goals. Do you want to increase foot traffic? Boost your bottom line? Increase your business during slow seasons? Or are you trying to make room for new inventory?
The answer will help you decide on the right marketing strategy for you. If you want to draw people into your store, then an attractive discount or clearance sale might be the way to go. But, if your goal is to move inventory, then you should look into BOGO or multi-buy promotions.
Once you determine exactly what you want to accomplish with your sales promotion, add a specific number to the goal. This will help you get super specific with the type of ad you create and who you push it out to. And that will ensure you’re able to chart your success or failure, and easily identify what worked and what didn’t.
Tip #2 - Select a target audience
Knowing your audience means you’ll be able to design strategies that are most likely to lead to conversions. You may choose to have different target audiences for different sales ideas - but knowing exactly who you’re targeting is key. Skipping this step will cost you more down the line as your promotions might fail to engage people.
Start by surveying existing customers. To encourage customers to fill out your survey and share their personal information, you can offer a simple discount coupon like the one below to thank them for their time.
You should also consider creating buyer personas based on the results of your survey - this helps bring your potential customers to life and gives you a clear understanding of what motivates them to buy so you can design promotions that are more likely to convert.
Learn more about buyer personas and how to use them by watching this video:
Tip #3 - Set a budget for your sales promotion
If you’re not careful with your budget, sales promotions can incur very high costs. Besides the variable costs from the sales promotion discounts, you’ll also need to allocate a budget for design and artwork, media, communication, and advertising fees. Your primary goal should be to achieve your sales objective as cost-effectively as possible.
You might want to cost for a couple of promotions to see which best suits your budget and pick the promotion idea with the most viable budget for you.
Pro-tip: Speak to suppliers and vendors before finalizing your budget since they’ll be able to help with viability and costs - if you do this after you might realize what you planned is out of budget and have to rework your promotion plans.
Tip #4 - Set restrictions to protect your bottom line
To protect your profits and make sure you don’t go over budget, don’t forget to set restrictions on your sales promotions. These can include:
- Product-specific restrictions: Your discounts apply only to specific products or categories, so not everything in your inventory is up for grabs, for example, 50% off dresses or electronics only.
- Spending thresholds: Your promotion will only apply once customers spend above a set dollar amount (for example offer free shipping if customers spend more than fifty dollars)
- Customer-specific restrictions: This is where you offer discounts and promotions that apply to only a specific category of customers - like first-time shoppers, loyalty program members, or children.
While it is critical to ensure you have some restrictions in place, make sure you pick them carefully when designing your sales promos, since if there are too many restrictions and customers feel like they’re jumping through many hoops, they might not purchase at all.
Tip #5 - Offer practical value
While you want to protect yourself from the risks of sales promotions that get out of hand - running promotions that don’t offer a clear benefit to your customers will not only fail but may damage your brand reputation.
Think carefully about your sales promotion ideas to make sure they add tangible value to potential customers. Customers should be able to easily avail of the offers advertised and have a positive experience while doing so. Vague promotions that don’t deliver on what was promised can seriously hurt you and discourage shoppers from coming back to you in the future.
If there are any restrictions on your offers, print them clearly and simply so customers won’t feel duped if they weren't eligible for a discount. This poster by Active has all the restrictions printed at the bottom so customers know the extent of the offer.
Tip #6 - Test, test, test
The best promotion ideas are ones that have been tested and tweaked multiple times. Sales ideas come in many forms so don’t expect to find one promotion idea that works automatically for everyone.
Testing out various strategies, promotion ideas, and budgets helps you get a sense of what works so you can implement sales promotion campaigns with better outcomes in the future. Don’t be afraid to make changes and tweak already successful campaigns since, in a competitive market, the ability to get the attention of the right audiences isn’t easy. What works today might not work tomorrow.
Tip #7 - Align your promotions with shopping holidays
When it comes to sales promos, timing is everything. Aligning your promotions with common shopping holidays is a great way to catch the attention of potential customers when they’re already on the lookout for gifts, special offers, and limited-time deals.
Some shopping holidays you should run promotions for include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Valentine’s Day. You could also run promos when schools are ready to open, and during summer holidays and other seasons. Calendar Days that are meaningful for specific groups like Mother’s Day or Veterans Day are also a great opportunity for you to target specific audience groups.
Just make sure that you engage with customers throughout the year so they don’t only see you as a ‘holiday-sale’ company.
Tip #8 - Create a sense of scarcity or urgency
Sales promotions work because your audience knows they won’t last forever. Adding a sense of scarcity or urgency is one of the most effective ways to promote your products and ensure they sell fast. Do this by making engaging video ads, adding countdown timers, showcasing limited quantities, and running flash sales - all of which encourage shoppers to make an immediate purchase.
Flash sales are particularly effective because the sense of urgency and scarcity are both heightened. Studies have shown that 50% of flash sale purchases happen in the first hour because shoppers know they won’t last long.
Tip #9 - Tie in your loyalty program
Loyalty program members are regular customers - and therefore your biggest champions. Think about rewarding them separately during promotion days. This way you can increase customer satisfaction while also driving member signups and encouraging new customers to become repeat ones. You could run exclusive discounts for members, try out a referral scheme or increase discounts members get on a sale you’re already running for the general public.
Tip #10 - Don’t forget to promote your promotions
For a promotion to be effective, your target audience needs to see it first. So you’ll need to market or advertise your promotions like any other product or service. In-store signage, website, blogs, social media, email marketing campaigns, text messaging, media releases, brochures, and print and online advertising are all effective ways to let potential customers know about your upcoming sales promotions.
Visibility is key. Just don’t forget to account for the marketing cost of promoting your promotion. Otherwise, you might end up spending more on advertising than you’ll make back through the increased sales.
Pro-tip: If you’re worried about overshooting your budget, focus on advertising strategies that have demonstrated a return on investment in the past and are likely to give you good results. Videos will definitely help you do that and you can take the help of a service like InVideo for business to simplify your video creation process. Get your free demo here.
Tip #11 - Offer flexible payment options to encourage buying
Even with all your amazing promotions, some shoppers might still be hesitant to spend their money, particularly if your products are expensive. To nudge customers and make their buying decisions even more painless, consider offering flexible payment options such as lay-away.
Layaway allows you to take a deposit from a customer and set it aside until the price of the product has been paid in full (which usually happens in monthly installments). You could also use platforms like Afterpay, which allow shoppers to buy now and pay later - you’ll receive full payment for the purchased items while your customers can pay in four fortnightly installments. It’s interest-free and when paid on time there are no extra costs for your customers.
Offering flexible payment options like Afterpay or lay-away not only increases conversions but also entices your customers to spend more.
Tip #12 - Review results
Once your sales promotion is over, don’t immediately start planning for the next big event. Take some time to measure your results and see how sales stacked up against your goals. Ask yourself, did the campaign meet its objectives? How did your customers react to the promotion? Bring your service partners into the discussion and evaluation of your promotion, and find out what lessons and insights they can share with you.
Understanding what succeeded or failed - and why - is critical to improving future sales promotion campaigns so you can correct for the failures and replicate successes.
And that’s a wrap!
A successful sales promotion campaign depends on a combination of clever promo ideas, efficient customer tracking, and a lot of testing! Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your promotions to find something that works for your brand - because as we’ve seen, it can pay off. If you want to learn more about other marketing avenues for your business, check out this blog on the most effective marketing strategies you cannot ignore in 2023.
And if you’re looking to learn via video, you should check out our YouTube channel for some creative inspiration for your next marketing campaign.
What are 8 types of sales promotions?
Here are a few product promotion examples you can use in your sales promotion campaigns:
1. Product discounts: One of the most popular (and effective!) sales ideas out there, this offers customers a certain percentage discount on the price of products - eg. 20%, 50% sales
2. Social media giveaways: These sales promos take place online and offer audiences the chance to win a free product or prize by participating in a challenge or competition. This is one of the best ways to get customers engaged with your brand.
3. Flash sales: Similar to product discounts, flash sales are short sales that also offer discounts - but usually at a more extreme rate than normal sales. This motivates people to buy within a short period of the sale.
4. Free products: These work by offering a small free product along with the purchase of a larger product or purchase amount.
5. BOGO: ‘Buy one get one free’ or BOGO and other bundles and combinations of products encourage customers to purchase more at a discounted price - and can help move inventory!
6. Free shipping: This reaches out to the 49% of customers who abandon their carts due to extra costs at checkout. Paying for shipping can be offset by your increase in overall sales!
7. Early-bird specials: Offers discounts to first-time buyers and is a great strategy to convert potential customers into buying. A one-time discount can ensure they keep coming back to your brand for future purchases and won’t cut into your budget too much.
8. Coupons and vouchers: These reward current customers for their loyalty by offering discounts or coupons for free products. This is especially effective when you use punch cards to get customers to make multiple purchases to earn a free product (like a coffee). You can also personalize coupon incentives based on a customer’s browsing or purchasing history, or use them to remind customers about an abandoned shopping cart.