7 Promotion Strategies Every Business Should Be Using
Everyone knows that the lifeline of any business is sales. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, without sales your business will not survive, plain and simple. Salesmen will tell you one of the most tried and true methods of generating sales is the ability to create a sense of urgency by having a sale. Businesses need a way to captivate and incite their potential customers to buy. Sometimes coming up with promotions for your business can be difficult, especially if the product you are selling is relatively dull. Here are 7 surefire strategies for creating promotions for your business and boosting sales no matter your industry.
1. Check the calendar
The first place to start when deciding what to do for a promotion is your calendar. Luckily there are tons of resources online to find out what events and holidays are happening. Try starting with http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/ to see what is coming up. Major holidays are always easy to tie in to promotions such as a fourth of July sale or a Presidents Day sale. You can also use the seasons as excuse to have a sale with verbiage like “Our Annual Summer Sale”. Beyond the normal calendar try looking at your local calendar for events going on in your community. Patch.com is a great place to start to see if there’s anything going for you to tailor a sale around. Many cities have small business weekends for example and here in Massachusetts we also a tax-free weekend once a year to help drive sales.
2. Discount your most popular products
As a business owner you should probably already be aware of what your biggest sellers are. You should be able to easily find this out by looking at your books and seeing what products you most frequently reorder. If you are an online retailer you can also find this out by looking at your eCommerce platform or looking at Google Analytics if you have eCommerce tracking set up. In addition you can also use Google Analytics and go to Behavior->Site Content->All Pages to see what pages people are looking at most on your website. You can even go one step further and use the advanced search bar to see what terms people search for most often on your site and see if they line up with your sales numbers. Once you know what products people are most interested in you can discount them to get on the fence buyers to act.
3. Create incentives for purchasing more
Sometimes you cannot afford to cut down your margins on a sale on all your products or even your highest sellers. In these scenarios it is important to give people an incentive to purchase more in order to get an offer. Some examples might be “Free shipping on orders over $100” or “10% off orders over $50”. Additionally you can experiment with bundling your products together. If your products have natural up sells offer a discount only if you purchase them together. Doing this will allow you increase the average cost of sale and lets you avoid offering discounts on small purchases.
4. Give away something small for free
The strategies mentioned above work great for people with businesses that sell a product, but what about service based businesses? Sometimes you can’t afford to discount what you offer, especially if they are someone you expect a monthly revenue stream. Usually the best approach in this scenario is to give something away for free. Whether it be a free trial, consultation or estimate people always react when the word free is involved. Many businesses already do something along these lines but don’t promote it as a special offer. Create a sense of urgency with language like “Now until the Friday get a FREE half hour home evaluation from ABC company.” It doesn’t matter if you would do this anytime someone asked, position it as if it is an amazing offer. Sure, you might be advertising a free sales pitch but it gets people in your pipeline which will lead to sales.
5. Create urgency towards the end of the month
While for salesmen the end of the month can be stressful as it means your window of opportunity to hit your quota is closing it does provide the perfect excuse for a sense of urgency for why someone should act now. In many industries such as the automotive industry, customers are naturally inclined to hold off until the end of the month to make a purchase, knowing that dealerships will be more likely to offer a deal in order to hit sales quotas. This can be frustrating for business owners, but knowing this will allow you to create the sense of urgency your customers are subconsciously expecting. Offer a special sale with wording like “June 30th is your last chance to save. Don’t miss out on this special offer!” Not utilizing the end of the month means you are missing out on chances to create urgency.
6. Reach out to other businesses
Sometimes other business offer the perfect complimentary service to what you offer. Teaming up with another business can be a great way to offer something that you alone could not. Additionally you will often times be able to reach a wider audience by For example a local gym might team up with a supermarket to offer a gift certificate or coupons when someone signs up for a membership or personal training. Promotions like these often benefit both parties and are a great way to quickly expand your reach by utilizing other businesses networks.
7. Take a look at your competitors
One of the greatest way to come up with a promotion strategy is to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing. Go into their stores, view their website, sign up for their email newsletters, pretend to be a prospect and follow them on social media. You will soon get a sense for exactly what types of things they are doing to drive business. Make note of the promotions they are using and try and implement them in your own business. Often times great ideas are just spin offs of other ideas so make sure you look at what everyone else is doing so you stay ahead of the game.
Ultimately to get someone to give you their business you need to create a sense of urgency and excitement. Spacing out your promotions will give them more credibility but too many promotions is better than no promotions. Just take a look at what happened when JC Penny who was notorious for always having a sale switched to their fair and square approach. JC Penny store sales plummeted 18.9% and online sales took a bigger hit at 27.9% Follow these steps to creating promotions and you will be on your way to increased sales numbers in no time.
Need help promoting your business? Trellis has helped businesses large and small drive sales through data-driven marketing. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.