Sales promotions that cause customers to flock to your store and encourage some to become regular consumers, are the building blocks of business success. The right ad mix brings customers in without over spending. Knowing what online marketing to add to the equation makes persuading potential clients even more cost effective. Devising repeatable campaigns to turn into annual events to create ongoing customer enthusiasm is key.
Calculate sales needs or quotas. Concrete numbers help develop a comprehensive plan.
Research past successful sales and document what customers bought. Organize the promotion around a product's popularity. Introduce new products to appeal to the existing client base and bring in new customers.
Define the type of promotion to create. Calculate how much of each item needs to be sold to meet quota so you'll know how much inventory to order. Select a theme and define the time line.
Entice customers with a themed promotion. Designing around seasons or other well-known themes allows you to tie in promotions with shopping holidays. Celebrations such as Black Friday -- the Friday after Thanksgiving -- and Christmas -- when customers are shopping for bargains -- provide promotional opportunities. Annual seasonal campaigns often keep customers coming back for more and are cost friendly to duplicate.
Keep the promotion simple. An elaborate program pushing too many products overwhelms many consumers. Focus on a few key sales rather than aisles so full, customers have to negotiate just to move around. Seasoned promoters incorporate purchasing incentives such as samples, gifts, rebates, coupons, contests and sweepstakes to encourage sales, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Select one or two inducements to design the campaign around.
Upsell utilizing a loss leader. This technique offers a low-selling product to promote sales of more expensive items, and hopefully create future revenue, according to Alt Concepts. Offering a percentage off a scarf with the purchase of a sweater is an example. Customers who like the promotion may buy for themselves and a friend, or start a collection which creates ongoing revenue.
Launch an employee-incentive contest. Engage staffers by encouraging competition during the promotion. Offer rewards such as free movie passes, restaurant gifts cards, even cash. Increase sales by awarding a grand prize, but sprinkling enough prizes throughout the contest so most workers participate. Add the cost of the awards to the total cost to run the promotion.
Promote and advertise. Calculate the advertising budget. Balance it with the sales quota. A promotion costing twice as much to advertise than the sales it produces is a disaster. Price shop newspaper, radio and local cable television ads to devise a well-rounded, yet cost-effective campaign.
Multiply the ad campaign by publishing online flyers and coupons. Social marketing has revolutionized the way businesses create buzz. Social sites provide individuals with a voice the smart sales promoter engages. Ask online customers to select their favorite promo items. Include the top picks in the sale. Social media can amplify your message when you get customers involved.
- Alt. Concepts: 2010
- Bureau of Labor Stastics: Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Pulic Relations and Sales Managers: 2010-11
- "The Zen of Social Media Marketing": Shama Hyder Kabani: 2010
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images