Sales promotion is a set of marketing technics aimed to stimulate the demand in particular products and increase brand awareness. Limited in time, it creates a feeling of time-sensitiveness, generates new leads, and keeps existing customers engaged.

Sales promotion is one of the core elements of the promotion mix. To build long-lasting relationships with users, you need to find out the types of sales that work with your target audience. At the same time, you should provide customers with value that’s relative to your field of expertise.

Benefits of sales promotion

  • Helps to generate new leads. Sales promotion can boost your product image since it encourages sharing information about it within social groups related to your business. If you sell training football shoes, people keen on playing football will share the message.
  • Allows re-engaging existing audience. Once a person subscribed to brand’s email newsletters, they will receive regular sales promotions. It is a way to keep the audience engaged and maintain a close connection with the company, which is crucial for building loyalty.
  • Skyrockets revenue. Sales promotions help companies to increase the number of sold goods, even though they need to drop the price to achieve that goal. Of course, simply reducing the price is not enough, people should need your product, while the discount is only another reason to make a purchase.
  • Increases brand awareness. Sales promotion is a way to make a name for your brand because people are more likely to talk about a сompany that proposes benefits and saves their money. That’s what sales promotion does.

Types of sales promotion

There is a variety of ways how to run a successful sales promotion, but let’s focus on some most frequently used ones, using a cup of coffee as an example.

  • Price deal. It is a temporary cost reduction, for instance, 20% off for a coffee during a week.
  • Loyalty reward program. It means that customers collect points or credits when they buy coffee. If they get 10 points, for example, they will have one coffee for free.
  • Bonus-pack deal. It means that a customer can get more products paying the original price. For instance, they pay a dollar for one cup of coffee and get a free candy, which gives some positive emotions and makes them come back in the future.
  • Giveaways. These tactics aim to increase brand awareness. It means giving some items for free in exchange for personal information to use in further marketing. For example, offer a free cup of coffee in exchange for a phone number, which you could use for many purposes: promotion of new sales, sharing updates and news with short text messages, etc.
  • Coupons. You can sell coffee for the original price and give a coupon which will make the next purchase 5% cheaper.
  • Mobile couponing. It stands for coupons received on mobile phones via SMS. To get a discount, a customer needs to show the coupon on their smartphone.
  • Sampling. Choosing this promotion type, companies give a sample of the product, for instance, the first cup of coffee to promote a new taste.

Sales promotion examples

Email marketing

It is one of the most efficient digital marketing channels with the ROI up to 4000%. Marketers use it for lead nurturing, reactivation, promotion, etc. To succeed, marketers combine sales with educating materials. In this sales email, Grammarly offers to upgrade to Premium plan and shows the multiple benefits and suggests taking advantage of the 40% discount limited it time.

Grammarly sales email

Email is also an effective platform for holding giveaways. You can create a giveaway campaign on specialized resources like Rafflecopter, and keep users engaged with giveaway emails along the way. The example below shows how the Apple Music Festival encourages people to participate, using the names of famous artists who are going to perform there.

Apple Music Festival giveaway email

Facebook marketing

Facebook is one of the most powerful advertising platforms due to its global coverage and detailed targeting options. Facebook marketing allows using various types of ads to fit any demand and budget. Here’s an example of a carousel ad with a 10% discount by iHerb.

iHerb Facebook ad

SMS marketing

This channel is excellent for instant updates and flash sales. It works out well for local businesses. The example below shows how sales promotion in SMS marketing can create a sense of urgency, stimulating people to visit a restaurant for lunch.

Dominos promotional text message

Sales promotion ideas

  • Give an adequate range of discounts. Avoid more than 50% discounts, because they make you look desperate. Don’t give discounts, like 2% either, as they won’t thrill your customers.
  • Target sales promotion to the right people. Find out which people are likely to buy a particular product you want to promote. For instance, if you run a sports shop and you want to increase the demand for skateboards, target your promotions to teenagers and young people.
  • Take advantage of shopping holidays. Marketers have developed a system of consumerism based on traditions. As a result, people spend more money on shopping on particular days called shopping holidays. These are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year, Halloween, to name a few. Any holiday meaningful for a specific group, like Mother’s day for women, can be a reason for companies to promote sales.
  • Create a sense of urgency. Create time-limited offers to make your audience feel they are going to miss something important. Time-sensitiveness is a great incentive for people to purchase since it appeals to their emotions.
  • Develop a loyalty program. This technique will help you keep your customers engaged for a long period. Offer to collect points from every dollar spent, so in the future, your customers could use them to pay for new purchases in your shop.
  • Use sales promotion to generate leads. Use a discount as an incentive to subscribe to your email newsletters. Lead magnets help to cover this process during the subscription.
  • Offer free shipping. It is the right motivation for people from distant regions to decide to buy from you.

Watch this video to find out how to increase sales quickly and promote your products at the right place at the right time.


  1. The article “10 Sales Promotion Examples and Ideas” from Medium gives actionable insight on how to run sales promotions online.
  2. The article “6 Sales Promotion Ideas to Leverage or Leave” by HubSpot contains recommendations on what to do and what to avoid when you perform sales promotion.
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