Promotional activities not only increase sales but it also gives you the opportunity to provide positive customer experiences. Here are nine ideas to help you get started in planning your own promotional strategy.
In this article:
- Offer Free Samples
- Add a Gift with Each Purchase
- Organize Contests
- Schedule Sales and Offer Discounts
- Buy One, Get One (BOGO)
- Offer Coupons or Rebates
- Organize Joint Promotions
- Partner with a Cause
- Create a Loyalty Program
9 Promotional Activities to Boost Sales
1. Offer Free Samples
Sometimes, the only thing stopping a potential customer from crossing over is the fear of the unknown. Giving away free samples is a great way to bridge this gap because it provides a risk-free way of introducing your product.
Even if you don’t make a sale every time you give out a free sample, you’ll still succeed in introducing your product to someone who may not have considered it in the past. Depending on where you distribute them, you can also tap into new audiences.
This type of sales promotion is especially suited for food and personal care products. Here are some ways of distributing free samples:
- Distribute them at a location or during an event your target market will be in.
- Partner up with other products that are also relevant to your audience and bundle your product with theirs.
2. Add a Gift with Each Purchase
Adding a free gift with your product will make your customer feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. Here are some examples of this strategy that you may find familiar:
- Restaurants giving away a free toy or dessert with each meal
- Promising a free gift to the first 100 customers in newly opened stores or during a product launch
- Adding a free gift with a product if they purchase it within a certain time period
When using this strategy, try to make the most out of the free gift you’re offering. You miss out on a marketing opportunity if you choose an arbitrary gift to give away.
Instead, make the most out of this strategy by choosing a gift that’s not only useful for your customers but will also enhance your brand recall. An easy way to do this is to find a product that you can customize with your company’s logo or business information rather than giving away generic items they’ll soon forget was from you.
3. Organize Contests
There are certain customers who enjoy the thrill of joining a contest or raffle. You can capitalize on this by using these contests to promote your brand.
Basically, for this strategy, you’ll need high-quality prizes and entry mechanics.
When deciding on the prize, think about your target market and what they would enjoy or find useful. You may also want to consider your product and pick a prize that complements your brand.
It’s also important to work out clear entry mechanics. It could be as simple as sending in a proof of purchase (such as barcodes or bottle caps).
Entry mechanics may also involve social media. You can require customers to promote your product on social media using searchable, pre-determined hashtags or tag more users in their post, maximizing visibility for your brand.
4. Schedule Sales and Offer Discounts
Everyone loves a good sale, with some customers going the extra mile (i.e. lining up for hours, waking up early) just to pinch pennies.
It’s good practice to schedule your sales in a predictable manner. Capitalize on holidays or other events (i.e. payday) where people will probably have more free time or money to spare.
In this way, you give your customers a chance to prepare for it. Just think of how some people hold off on certain purchases just to see if they can get a better deal on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or payday sales.
5. Buy One, Get One (BOGO)
If you’re having some trouble moving your inventory, this will be the perfect promotional activity. While it may seem like this strategy could put your business at a disadvantage, it’s actually proven to increase profit.
The great thing about this strategy is that it works with both products and services. Many service-oriented businesses actually use this strategy during their off-peak hours or season.
Not only does it increase customer traffic, but the customer may also bring along someone who’s never tried your services before. Similar to free samples, this is an opportunity to introduce your services to potential customers.
6. Offer Coupons or Rebates
Coupons are popular, and data seems to indicate they’re here to stay. Studies show that almost 96% of Americans have used some sort of coupon.
Coupons can encourage customers to try new products. A well-designed coupon should give your customers a clear idea of what you’re selling and entice them to buy it because of the built-in discount.
On top of that, it may also lead to customers switching to a competing brand if they think they can get a better deal.
On the other hand, a rebate is when a customer is promised a discount on their next purchase. So rebates encourage your customers to come back and buy more from you.
7. Organize Joint Promotions
A joint promotion is when you bundle your product or service with other products or services. Usually, when products or services are bundled together as promotional items, it’s offered at a lower price compared to buying the products separately.
One advantage of partnering with another business is the expansion of your customer base. Your products will automatically be promoted in another person’s business and vice-versa.
8. Partner with a Cause
Have you ever purchased a product where a certain percentage of the proceeds go to a particular cause or charity? That’s an example of a business partnering with a cause.
More and more people are getting serious about their commitment to becoming socially responsible citizens. In fact, one study shows over 80% of young adults consider a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices when they make purchases.
If your company is already engaged in certain CSR practices, such as fair-trade, support local, or other important causes, find ways to highlight this in your various marketing or advertising activities. You’d be surprised to see how many people actively seek out businesses that are in line with their own values.
Corporate Social Responsibility Definition: A way for companies to ensure their business dealings are ethical. It forces management to consider the social, environmental, and economic impact of their decisions.
9. Create a Loyalty Program
One of the more unique sales promotion activities is the loyalty program. It’s a fun way to gamify the consumer experience.
A loyalty program usually comes in the form of punch cards, reward cards, or special loyalty clubs. It usually works in these ways:
- Earn points for every purchase. The points can be used to redeem other products, services, or prizes.
- Products, services, or prizes are given after a certain number of purchases.
- Extra discounts or special treatment are given to customers who have spent a certain amount or who are willing to pay a minimal membership fee.
A loyalty program gives your customers something to look forward to and a reason to keep coming back.
If you’re just starting your business, it’s very important to establish brand recall among your target market. Why not try to hit two birds with one stone and engage in a promotional activity that will allow you to do this?
There are different ways to promote your product, engage your customers, and, ultimately, increase profit. So choose a promotional activity that will work well with your business and products.
Have you tried any of these promotional activities? Let us know in the comments section.