Finding new and effective promotional ideas to influence your customers is critical. The difference between success and failure often comes down to promotion - it's as simple as that. So how do you tackle the challenge of getting people to find out about your service or product?
Consider a free gift with any purchase -encourage brand activation and repeat sales
If you find a product that is fairly low-cost to produce (e.g. toweling and linen products) it can encourage people to buy at regular prices and yet enjoy the feeling of getting something for free. If you are introducing a new low-cost product, this may be a good course of action that may encourage repeat purchases or draw attention to your brand, if the products feature your logo. Advertise the retail value of the free product to increase the perceived value for the costumer.
Loyalty programs can help keep customers and are an excellent tool to increase the sales of an existing product. e.g. loyalty program "buy 5 and get the 6th for free" or "after 10 purchases you receive a free towel set".
Partner with other businesses
Team up with other businesses on sales promotions. Split the marketing cost and offer a free gift coupon or set up sidewalk sale where customers can instantly exchange their experiences.
Hold a contest
Give something, such as a coupon to everyone who participates in the contest. E.g a coupon with a lottery code and an URL for an online form to register for the contest. This is an excellent way to boost your online traffic and gather information about your consumer.
Give something away for free
Hand out samples of your product, promotional products branded with your logo, or other gifts at a key location. This gives people first hand experience of what you have to offer.
Offer free services or consultations for a limited period of time
Service-based businesses can attract new customers by offering risk-free consultations. Once customers have contacted you, they are more likely to become a customer than through a cold call. You may also consider offering free upgrades or free trial with service-based businesses.
Offer free lessons on certain days
Teaching a sewing class, a beer brewing class or a financial planning class will help get people through the door. You can offer them a starter kit while they are inside or simply encourage them to buy the materials for the course.
Another alternative is to aim your sales promotions at the intermediary level rather than at the end-costumer. For example, you could offer a temporary discount to retailers, or provided sales teams with free branded goods. Many sales ideas which are effective vis-à-vis the end consumer can be adapted to target the distributive trade instead of the customer or perhaps both.
Sales promotions work well for product launches
Although price cuts may increase sales, they may also shrink margins. Short -term sales increase may come at the expense of future sales - e.g. customers have bought two for the price of one. Unless sales promotions attract new customers, the overall effect may be to reduce profits. While sales promotions can work well for new product launches, there often pose a risk with existing products.
On the other hand, well-planned loyalty schemes or saving campaigns are both effective tools to strengthen your image and provide you with useful data on your customers' purchasing behaviour.