12 Promotional Tactics To Boost Sales


Ready to crank up the sales, but not sure where to start? Well you’re in luck! We asked several entrepreneurs to share the promotional tactics they use to boost sales for their small businesses, and they were kind enough to reveal their sales secrets.

Here are 12 promotional tactics you can use to boost sales for your business: 

1. Cumulative Discounts. I have found that the single most successful sales promotion is an ongoing “Frequent Hiker” program. Every time someone books a trip with my business, they receive an extra $100 off their next trip. What’s more, this discount is cumulative, so it’s $200 off the subsequent trip and $300 off the trip after that. - Steve Silberberg, Fitpacking

2. Special Sales For Facebook Fans. We recently cooperated with Good Morning America and ran a promotion for Fathers Day. It was a promotion where we offered their Facebook fans 50% off all purchases. They have over 300 thousand fans and we were able to get almost a thousand orders from that promotion. -Allen Wei, Tailor Threads

3. Free Shipping. As a marketing consultant for local businesses in the Greater Boston Area, I’ve noticed that free shipping incentives are becoming a trend. It’s very hard for a consumer to turn down. -Liz Downey

4. Industry Specials. I used to own two fine dining restaurants in Seattle, WA, and the best way I found to fill the seats on slower nights was to offer folks a price on something they couldn’t pass up. On Mondays, we hosted half price anything on the menu to industry workers- chefs, waiters, dishwashers, anyone who worked in a restaurants. And on Tuesday, we hosted half off wine nights- where every bottle of wine on the menu was half price. Both of these promotions increased our sales by 15% every month. -Ruby Dee Philippa

5. Flash Promotions. Through flash promotions such as our “10,000 GLASSES GIVEAWAYS” - where customers who become first-time Facebook fans receive a FREE PAIR OF EYEGLASSES, Coastal Contacts has been able to increase its Social Media base, ultimately impacting its number of customers (great brand recognition and brand building). -Roger Hardy, Coastal Contacts

6. Tiered Bonuses. We offer several bonuses. A referral bonus: If you come to us by referral from another customer, both you and that customer get a free cartridge. We also offer a repeat customer bonus. Returning customer who buys ten or more cartridges gets a free one. Another promotional tactic we use is the non credit card discount. When our customers pay via paypal, bank account, check or money order they get a free cartridge. As we save on the credit card fee, we pass it back to them. -Izzy Goodman CCS-Digital

9. Grassroots Marketing. When we still had our little shop in (small town) Brighton, MI, this promotional tactic made the largest impact. The owner has two sons (at the time about 10 and 12) that know how to use manners and be very gentlemanly. During a downtown art fair we sent them out (dressed nicely for a summer day) with half page fliers to pass out. It had a picture of our shop, location, and free gift incentive. The British accent won some ladies over and other came because “the young man asked me to go see the wonderful things his Mom makes.” Our gift was a Rock Candy Stick with a discount coupon good for a few months. We have a line called “Rock Candy Earrings” so there was an extra tie in. -Monica Tombers, Just So!

10. Personalized Invitations. We mail handmade cards to past clients with a photograph from their event on the front. The photo reminds them of the wonderful experience they had and inside the card we offer a special discount if they book another event within the next few weeks. We occasionally invite prospective clients to attend a public cooking class for free so they can experience one of our events firsthand before booking a private or corporate event. We offer a different special in each monthly newsletter, such as $200 off or free floral arrangements, if clients use the promo code within the month. -Crissy Gershey, Parties That Cook

11. Shorter Promotional Windows. The promotion that has worked best for us to win back former customers is a discounted promotion with an expiration. While our normal subscription is $444 for a year, we offer former customers a discounted price such as $199, but it expires after a promtional window of a couple weeks. We predictably see many customers come back with that promotion. -Carey Ransom, Real Practice

12. Affiliate Programs. One thing that helped my sales promotions was to start an affiliate program for my new game Rollors. It’s definitely helped me get the word out in a short time. I’ve sold over 40,000 this year. -Matt Butler, Rollors

Go ahead and use the promotional tactics above to boost sales for your business. And, if you have any other proven strategies, feel free to share them below…

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