Running a promotion is a great way to drive sales or grow your email list, but a good promotion takes planning.
You know you’ll need graphics, and a way to run the promotion, such as providing a discount code or collecting contest entries. Beyond that you also need to have a plan to fulfill the prizes and ensure everything is above board.
1. Know your goal
We all want more sales, but offering a discount is not always going to spur sales – especially if you have a service-based business with a high ticket price.
If you have a longer sales cycle, and you may need to start with a promotion to get people on your email list, rather than expect an immediate sale.
There are a bunch of different ways to get people engaged, so pick a promotion that will help you meet your goal.
2. Pick a Prize
When it comes to promotions, cash is always king. ALWAYS.
That’s not to say you can’t run a promotion featuring your products or services as prizes – you absolutely can. In fact, promotions can be a great way to clear out inventory as the seasons change, or get people to give your service a test drive.
Just know promotions that feature a cash prize or significant discount are likely to be most popular.
3. Pick a theme
While you don’t need to have a reason to have a promotion, tying it into a theme can make it fun and easier to promote. That might mean you run a Veteran’s Day sale, or simply make it about summer fun.
Once you have your theme, you’ll want to use it to design:
- Landing page with all the details
- Social media posts
- Marketing emails
4. Be Mindful of Timing
There are a few considerations when it comes to timing:
Do you need to do something seasonal?
If you offer chocolate or flowers, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day should be big events for you. This is partly because you know your competitors will be offering deals, so running your own promotion will help you secure your share of the sales.
What’s going on with your company?
You’ll want to promote your campaign on your website, social media and through email, so be sure you don’t overlap the promotion with other things.
As an example, if you are planning a webinar during the month of May, and you want to do a contest to celebrate Memorial Day, that may mean the two campaigns are fighting for space.
It’s generally okay to double up on social media posts, but too many emails in a short period of time could overwhelm the people on your list. Thus, it might be better to focus on your webinar in May, and move your contest back to celebrate the Fourth of July.
When was the last time you ran a promotion?
Perhaps you ran a promotion in June and were thrilled with the results, so you decide to do the same thing every month for the rest of the year.
What you may find is that each time your results drop a bit because your audience is starting to get fatigued by seeing the same thing again and again.
This is especially worrisome if you’re giving discounts because you are teaching people that there will always be another deal. That makes people less likely to pay full price, as they will simply wait to buy until you offer the next discount.
If you feel you must do frequent promotions, change things up so you alternate discounts with photo contests.
5. Make it legal
Every promotion is likely to have a set of rules, which could range from:
- Discounts applicable to new customers only
- Sales that apply to specific products
- One prize per household
- Must be 18 to enter
When it comes to discounts, this is often simply a matter of including the fine print on your landing page. But if you are running a contest, you’ll need a set of official rules, and for that you may want to consult a lawyer – especially if you are doing anything that involves kids or photo rights.
6. Think through your fulfillment
Let’s say you run a promotion and sell 100 products. Awesome! But do you have the inventory to fill all those orders? Or the capacity to get them out in a reasonable period?
Promotions are a way to bring people into the fold, so you want to make sure it’s a good experience all around. That may mean you need to limit your offer, or have extra staff on call to scale up your operations.
7. Consider Your Follow Up
If you used a promotion to increase your email list, consider what comes next. You may want to do a series of follow up emails to help nurture the relationship along. Or you might even offer a discount as a consolation prize to people that didn’t win a big prize.
For the people that did win a prize, or took advantage of a discount, you’ll want to have a plan in place to keep them with you, either to continue a membership, or buy from you again.
Promotions are a great way to give your business a lift, but it takes more than an idea and a cute graphic to make them successful. If you need help pulling all the elements together, we’re here for you! Contact us today!