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5 Steps to Make the Most of a Sales Promotion

1 minute Read

sales promotionWhether it’s a coupon, giveaway, store-wide sale or an exciting new contest, sales promotions offer one of the oldest and most effective ways to move products, get your name out there and attract new customers.

In order to make your sales promotion a success, however, you need to do some planning. Follow these five important steps and you will surely enjoy an effective campaign.

1. What’s your purpose? Not all promotions are done for the same reason. Whether your goal is to move surplus merchandise or attract new customers, identifying your goal will ultimately determine what kind of sales promotion you ought to run. For instance, if your goal is to create buzz and get people talking in order to raise brand awareness, you might want to do something more creative or unexpected.

2. Who’s your audience? While you want to cast a wide net and maximize your customer base, identifying your specific audience is key to running a successful sale. For instance, if you’re trying to attract families, offer free giveaways for kids.

3. Promote your promotion. These days you have a variety of online outlets to choose from, such as social media, community message boards and more. It’s useful to build a mailing list and inform loyal customers about your promotion, as they’re likely to to spend more than casual customers. The previous two steps, which involve whom you are targeting and identifying your goal, ought to affect where you promote your sale and whom your reach.

4. Create a sense of urgency by “limiting” what you offer. One reason sales are successful is that they promote scarcity. Just like you learned in Economics 101, scarcity usually creates demand. In a classic 1975 study, psychologists found that scarcity also increases the perceived value of an item. Researchers presented people with two jars. One contained two cookies, the other ten cookies. When asked which jar had the better cookies, an overwhelming number said the jar with only two, even though the cookies in each jar were the same.

The takeaway here is that even if you can run many promotions each year or give away an unlimited number or variety of discounted items, restrain yourself. Try to create a sense of urgency by limiting your promotions and sales.

5. Take measure. After your sale is over, you will need to analyze the results. This involves more than calculating your total sales or profit. Look at what your goals were. What worked, what didn’t work and what could you do to improve your next promotion? By carefully assessing the results, you’ll be in a strong position to begin the process again and prepare for your next promotional sale.

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