Types of Sales Promotions

Savvy business owners are always on the lookout for cost-effective ways to get customers in the door. Running sales promotions creates excitement and urgency for specific products or services. You can run promotions on popular items to increase traffic or to give consumers a reason to try something new and different. Consider several types of sale promotions when finalizing your marketing and sales plan.

Free Gifts, Free Trials

Offering a free gift is a simple strategy that gets people in the door. The offer is usually combined with a specific purchase. For example, give away a free blood pressure monitor with the purchase of a new fitness watch. The markup of the purchased item should more than cover the cost of the gift and still generate a net profit for the business.

At times, businesses give a gift just to get someone in the door. These gifts are loss leaders, meaning the business knows it will lose money on them. For example, a gym may offer a free 14-day free trial. The gym only makes money if the prospect signs up after the free trial.

Coupons and Discounts

Coupons give people a discount on a certain product or service. Usually, an expiration date is on the coupon, but it gives enough time for consumers to shop at their convenience. For example, home goods giant, Bed Bath & Beyond sends regular coupons out for either $5 or 20 percent off one item. Consumers might not flock to the store because of a single coupon, but because they receive regular coupons for discounts on quality items, the choice to shop at Bed Bath & Beyond versus a discount box retailer when a need arises becomes easier.

Free Shipping for Online Sales

Free shipping makes online shopping more attractive. When consumers don't need to worry about the added cost of shipping, the convenience of shopping online while staying home becomes attractive. Most sales promotions offer free shipping after a minimum purchase is reached. For example, all orders of $50 or more might ship free. As an added benefit, a retailer can offer free returns as well, reducing consumers' risks if a product is damaged or not what they wanted.

Limited-Time Offer

Limited-time offers move popular or high-ticket items quickly. Car dealerships have year-end close-out sales. A business that sells children's toys might have a spring clearance sale. Electronics retailers offer promotions when they release a new product to generate interest and new product exposure in the market. Even fast food restaurants offer limited-time promotions such as a seasonal pie or drink. Limited-time offers are designed to get consumers to move quickly before the promotion ends.

Bulk Purchase Deals

Bulk purchase promotions give consumers a deal for buying more of a product. Grocery stores are famous for discounting products that you buy in higher quantities. For example, buy five bags of chips to get 10 percent off. Bulk purchases aren't limited to groceries though. Cellphone providers offer family plans, offering a deal for four phones with service.

It is possible to run this type of promotion on a sliding scale that gives a bigger discount for more items. For example, buying 1,000 square feet of flooring might be cheaper per square foot than buying 500 square feet. The 500 square feet might be cheaper per square foot than buying 100 square feet. The bigger the purchase, the cheaper things become.