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Creative Ways to Use Promotions and Discounts to Drive More Sales

by BBB Staff | Sep 11, 2018 11:12:37 AM

As a business owner, you want to do everything in your power to generate sales and bring in new customers. One of the key ways to do this is to offer promotions and discounts. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that this will actually lower revenues, as your prices will be lower temporarily. However, this line of thought is short-sighted. Discounts and promotions can get your customers excited about your products or services, as well as increase customer loyalty. When your customers can buy products that they might not otherwise have been able to, it helps them form a bond with your organization, making it even more likely that they will become repeat customers in the future. Try out some of these ideas to help maximize your business.

Time Your Discounts Wisely

The end of a month, quarter or year is a great time to offer discounts, particularly if your sales were lower than expected for that period. Offering discounts at this time can help your company win the business of customers who may have been on the fence about a higher price point. A drop in price could be just the thing to push them over to the side of making a purchase. Because you are likely to see an increase in sales at a lower price, this can be enough to boost your revenue numbers back into the black.

Reward Customers for Pre-Orders

When you have a new product coming out in the near future, give your customers the chance to order in advance, giving them a discount off the expected retail price as a thank you for doing so. Not only will this give you a sense of how excited your customers are about your new product or service, but it will also help you generate sales before the product is even released. This way, you'll have income already flowing come launch day. You'll also be able to plan your delivery approach more accurately given the extra time in advance.

Offer Upgrades Instead of Discounts

If you are wary about lowering your prices, even temporarily, free upgrades can be an attractive option. Everyone likes getting something for free, and this can make your customers feel like they are getting special treatment. Even if it costs your company a bit of money in the short term to provide the free upgrades, it will boost customer loyalty and make them more likely to purchase additional upgrades in the future. This tactic is especially useful for businesses that follow a subscription model. Once your customers see the value in the upgrade, they'll be more inclined to purchase it in the future once the free trial period has ended.

Give Out Referral Bonuses

Customers like to know that your company appreciates their patronage, and referral bonuses are a great way to show that appreciation. Not only that, but it will also help your business bring in even more customers, as your current customers spread the word about your company's products or services to their friends. You can reward referrers with credit towards future purchases, discounts on your products or services, or even free merchandise. Look for influencers in your company's niche, and reach out to them about promoting your business on their blogs or social media platforms. Because they already have their own followers and subscribers, you'll have a captive audience for your message. This is meant to be a mutually beneficial relationship, so make sure you are rewarding your referrers appropriately for their efforts.

Make the Most of Abandoned Shopping Carts

If your business sells products or services online, you have likely noticed that many customers add items to their virtual shopping carts but don't follow through with completing the purchase. These customers are perfect targets for promotions and discounts. They may have had to tend to an urgent matter and simply forgot to finish their purchase. A little nudge may be all they need to finalize the transaction. When you send a reminder email, be sure to include the specific products in the shopping cart to help the customer remember exactly what it is that they forgot to buy. You can also include a coupon code for a discount or free shipping to entice them even further.

These are just a few of the many options available to you in terms of running promotions and discounts for your business. It is important to note, though, that what works best for one business may not necessarily be as effective for yours. Take the time to try out several methods, and track the results to inform your decisions going forward.

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