Free Marketing Ideas Part 20 – Promotions

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Welcome to the latest edition of my new weekly blog series, “Free Marketing Ideas”. Each week I will identify and explain a simple marketing idea that you can employ at low or no cost. Last week’s topic was Make Deals.

This Week’s Topic = Promotions

Pricing and Promotion are two of the 4 P’s of Marketing that are taught in most intro-level marketing classes. The others are Product and Placement.

The price that you set for your products or services is a tool that marketers can use to distinguish themselves from the competition, set customer expectations, affect demand, and control profits. And promotions are special offers that you make in order to drum up more business.

Most promotions don’t have to cost you anything in terms of real dollars. It takes time to dream up and implement them. If you’re offering discounts than there is a cost to you related to lower margins. But offering a promotion is a way to increase sales without spending a lot of money on advertising.

I could spend days listing all of the different kinds of promotions you can try, but let’s stick to a couple simple ones. The first are basic discounts, offering lower prices on one or more products for a limited time. The second is a free shipping offer, which is a very effective way to increase your conversion rates in an online sales environment.

The third is BOGO (buy one, get one free) which will have a similar impact on sales to a 50% off special. The fourth is a bulk sale discount, a discount on orders of a certain size aimed at increasing the value of each order.

A fifth is a free trial or free sample, that allows people to try your product or service before they buy it. You can also drive more sales with financing plans that require a lower up front cost, product add ons, the promise of discounts on future items, etc.

The marketing team should always be planning promotions that will boost sales and revenue at key points throughout the year. Creativity is a part of promotion planning. Some will work, others will fail. The key is to always be thinking, planning, and executing.

Share your thoughts on this idea, and other free marketing ideas in the comments section below and keep the conversation going!