5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Sales Promotion
Free gifts, money off vouchers, samples, competitions, loyalty schemes… There are countless different initiatives that a business can devise in order to push sales. Special offers like this can not only boost your sales, they can help attract new customers as well. They’re an extremely useful tool in business, which is why they’re so popular.
But sales promotions only work if they make sense. They need to be well thought out and present a sound investment that works for both the business and the customer. Come up with a special deal that no one cares about or that loses huge sums of money and they can not only fail, but be quite detrimental to the business. Long-term discounts, for instance, may lead to increased sales, but they can also lead to smaller overall profit margins. Run them for too long and all you end up doing is altering expectations as to how much your product or service should sell for. You devalue your offering.
It’s a tricky business, getting sales promotions right. So, without further waffle, let’s get into our top five tips for coming up with high impact sales incentives:
- Plan your goals – It’s tempting to just dive into the deep end from the start. You need to push sales so you just pluck ‘25% off for three months’ from thin air and run with it. But that could be a big mistake. You need metrics, goals… Something to aim for. After all, how will you know if the promotion was really successful? You need a target for success. Treat your sales promotion like any business goal and plan it meticulously. It pays to work out a budget for the scheme and stick to it too. Costing is important, so try to tie it in with your overall goals for the promotion (eg ‘we will spend no more than £25,000 on this promotion, etc.’).
- Pick the right type of promotion – Planning, budgeting, creating, implementing, monitoring and analysing are all important. But, if you select the wrong kind of scheme in the first place, it could well prove to be a big fat dud. A little research could come in handy here – ask some of your customers about the kinds of sales promotions that would appeal to them. Ask potential leads the same question. See what they say.
- Employ them at the right time – When should you wheel out a well thought-out sales promotion? Well, it’s entirely up to you. But it makes sense to coincide them with your business’ slow periods, doesn’t it? You know when they are. It could be Christmas, it could be summer. Perhaps a timely sales promotion is just the ticket for boosting your figures during your trickier spells.
- Aim at leads that are likely customers – This tip sounds obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Let’s say that you opt for a free gift. It doesn’t really matter who you are or what you offer, people will take a freebie. So you’re looking at a target audience of about six billion. You need to target potential customers. People predisposed to like your brand. Target prospects that are close to buying and your promo might be enough to tempt them into that craved big sale with you.
- Don’t give away too much – A really generous sales promotion will make you look generous and really spread the word, right? Well, perhaps. But go too far and it can just look desperate. That negatively impacts your brand identity and could isolate your loyal customer base who are paying full price. Plus, you may risk attracting the ‘wrong kind’ of customer (ie one only interested in deals and seeing what they can get for free or heavily discounted). Think long term.
- Don’t give away too little – Okay, so we’ve established that a 90% off deal is likely to make you look a little needy, but there is a flip side. Imagine a salesperson trying to entice you with a 3% off deal. Or ‘buy a hundred get one free!’. It’s not exactly an exhilarating offer, is it…?
Sales promotions might be the shot in the arm your figures need. They can be a great way to close leads and reinvigorate existing customers’ enthusiasm for your brand. If you follow our tips, we’re pretty confident you’ll see an upturn in sales.