A marketing promotion to bring in potential customers needs to be enticing enough so that people will go out of their way to visit to your business. You cannot feasibly give items away all the time, but you can dangle the chance of getting something for free to get the customer to stop by. Once the customer comes through the door, your promotional theme needs to stand out and lure them to buy your products.

Weather Theme

Have a weather theme for a promotion, equipped with all the things to fight off the elements. Use clouds that have a silver lining for your biggest giveaway prizes or discounts. Umbrellas, sunglasses and ice scrapers can be integrated into your promotional theme as giveaways.

A promotion using weather gives you so many options. If you run a business with big-ticket items, use the weather as a game of chance for your promotion. Run a special for one week in which any item sold during that time will be eligible to be fully refunded if it snows or rains more than a specific amount on a date you pick. Take out an event insurance policy in case this does happen to cover your losses.

Have "lightning sales" that are announced at random times to your customers while they are in the store.

Sports Theme

Ring in the sales with a sports theme promotion. Every visit to your establishment gets the customer a try at a putting green, with a made putt earning a prize. Have a basketball hoop where the visitor get three tries to make a difficult shot (like at a state fair). Each basket the customer makes gives them a 10 percent discount off their purchase. Throw a baseball through one of a series of holes in a board or curtain. Each hole can be a different size, and the smaller hole is for a bigger promotional prize or discount.

Place golf balls in a large glass fish tank and have patrons make a guess of how many are in there. A grand prize can be tickets to a pro sports event in your region. Giveaways can be baseball caps, T-shirts, a sleeve of golf balls and other sports-related items.

Carnival Theme

Have an old-fashioned carnival-themed promotion for your business. No matter what you are selling, you can use the “wheel of chance” for your customers to spin before their purchase. The wheel can offer all type of discounts off a purchase, with a very small area on the wheel for the big discount or even making the merchandise free. Giveaways can be cotton candy, popcorn and balloons for the kids with the discounts for the adults. Depending on how much work you want to put into this promotion, the choices can get as big as a dunking booth for prizes and pony rides to keep the kids busy.

Good Neighbor Theme

Recognizing good neighbors is a promotional theme that will work well in a restaurant or grocery store setting. Instead of the customer winning a prize for just himself or herself, with each purchase customers can nominate a person in their neighborhood who has been a helpful or a good neighbor. A weekly grand prize drawing provides two winners, the person being recognized for good deeds and the person who nominated them.

Advertise the winners in the newspaper each week. It is great way to get your business name out there and works well as an advertisement. It's a "feel-good” promotion that promotes your business and people in your community.