How to Promote a Sale

Now that you have a great product to promote, enticing customers to buy is the next step. The variety of campaign options is endless. The "Bill Me Later—Try Before You Buy," "Free Gift," and "Sliding Scale Discount" offers are just a few common sale promotional campaigns from which you have to choose. You can also combine two or more different types of offers to create your own special one-of-a-kind sale promotion. Sometimes it may be difficult to brainstorm. To help get the creative juices flowing, review 10 effective ways to promote your next sale.

Offer a "Bill Me Later—Try Before You Buy" option. Neither you nor the customer loses in this kind of promotion. Give the customer between one to two weeks to try the product. Only bill the customer if the product is not returned by the time the trial period ends.

Offer a "Free Gift." Send a promotional gift along with the order as a no-obligation to buy enticement. Give the customer the option to return the product within a specified time frame and keep the free gift.

Offer a "Sliding Scale Discount" between two and 10 percent. This incentive encourages customers to buy more to receive a higher discount.

Offer a "Double Your Money Back Guarantee." This type of promotion lets potential customers know that you stand behind your product 200 percent.

Offer the "Add-on" sale promotion. The main product is sold at a regular price while an add-on product is heavily discounted. For example, an offer may state that buyers could purchase a bicycle at regular price and get a helmet for a fraction of the price or only $10 more.

Offer the "Charity Pledge" sale promotion. Donate a percentage of the sale to a charity of the customer's choice.

Offer the "Trade-in" option. Give customers a discount off a newer product when they trade in their older product towards an upgrade.

Offer a "Free Shipping Upgrade." Give customers the opportunity to get their product faster without paying more.

Offer a "Short-Term Introductory" sale promotion. This offer works best with monthly subscription products like magazines or other similar recurring programs. It is somewhat like the "Bill Me Later—Try Before You Buy" option." The difference is that the "Short-Term Introductory" offer gives the potential customer a longer time to review the product; for example, 3 months is typical.

Offer a "Lifetime Guarantee." This offer is similar to the quality-based "Double Your Money Back Guarantee" offer in that it conveys to the potential customer your willingness to stand by your products over time.


  • Set a validity date when you promote a sale. For example, state something similar to "Offer valid through December 31, 2011" or other specified date. You will encourage a faster response by limiting the time frame of running the promotion. This strategy may also help you measure the effective of a sale promotion over a set time period.


  • If you decide to offer either the "Double Your Money Back Guarantee" or "Lifetime Guarantee" promotion, be sure you can financially back it up. You may want to put a stipulation in the offer in order for it to be valid. Some examples include if the logo is still visible on the product or if it exhibits no signs of rust.

    Review the laws of truth in advertising prior to running your promotion.