Email is the grandfather of digital communication. And these days, it often seems like the last resort for the worst kind of marketing schemes. But it doesn’t have to be. As the most common and robust messaging platform in the world, email is still a great way to reach customers new and old for many reasons. You just have to make sure it gets to them, first.
Of course, discounts come with their own costs. For one thing, every sale you make from a discount offer nets you less revenue than a regular sale, and even less profit once you consider the costs of marketing the discount in the first. This is just business 101. But if you can evolve your discounts and sales into a “Premium Offer Promotion,” you will be able to funnel visitors into your sales pipeline with minimal cost and effort.
Don’t Discount A Good Discount
What’s a good deal? 10% off? 25%? Naturally, this depends on a host of factors, ranging from your industry and your profit margins to your customer base and the price points of your competition. But what is most important is presenting the discount itself. Depending on how you phrase a promotion, it can have significantly different effects to a reader.
Consider the following, and try to see which represents the biggest percentage discount:
- $500 off a $2,500 TV
- A $35 pair of jeans, marked down from $50
- Buy one jacket for $60, get the second for 50% off
If you did the math yourself, you would find that B—while being the least enticing offering at first glance—actually offers the highest percentage discount of 30%. Strategic marketing uses this phrasing to its advantage to offer seductive deals that aren’t necessarily such a great loss to revenue.
Many brands and industries—like department stores, supermarkets, and car dealerships—rely almost exclusively on discounts for driving sales traffic during high volume shopping seasons. Others completely refrain. Why? Because discounts would “cheapen” their brand identity. One strategy is not necessarily more successful than the other; they each have their role in the financial ecology.
One advantage discounts offer is that they reduce the prospective buyer’s likelihood of searching for other deals and comparing prices. An attractive deal at once satisfies the consumer’s desire to get a good value for their purchase, while also creating a sense of urgency that requires them to buy as soon as possible. SO for industries that rely upon seasonal business, timing premium offer promotions to these timelines can be hugely advantageous.
On the other hand, offering discounts can bring you the wrong kind of customers. A first-time customer you get from a premium offer promotion may come to expect discounts before they make a purchase. Continuing to offer discounts will only cheapen your brand identity to your broadening discount-oriented consumer base. But for contractual business like medical care, internet and phone service, and subscriptions, a one-time discount can also lead to lifelong full-price customers.
The Recipe For A Perfect Digital Ad
Now you’re probably wondering: if the success of a promotion is dependent on so many different factors, how could there possible be a “perfect digital ad”? It’s a good question—obviously you can’t just copy-and-paste a single image, slap your logo on it, and expect to see serious results. But when it comes to digital promotions, there are a few tried-and-true rules that you can’t win the game without:
Step #1: Personalize
The biggest advantage digital advertisement has over traditional media like billboards, television, and magazines is that you get to tailor your brand experience to your customers. The more you know about them, the better. You can sort customers by age, region, purchase history, income level, education, and more, to create campaigns that are targeted directly to their needs.
Step #2: Experiment
The second-biggest advantage of digital advertisement? Analytics. Today, using free email marketing services like MailChimp, any small business owner can do their own A-B testing on their promotions to see what works and what doesn’t. Since every industry, company, and customer is different, the perfect digital ad can not only bring you more sales, but help you learn from your own mistakes in real time.
Step #3: Innovate
In the world of digital advertising, trends can come and go in the time it takes to blink. In fact, by the time either you are your customers are even aware of a trend, it’s probably on its way out. This is a blessing; it means that you have lots of room to innovate. Offer the kinds of deals your customers and competitors have never heard or seen before. If it works, you are one step ahead in a game where that’s the only thing that matters. If it doesn’t, it will forgotten as quickly as you thought of it.
What About ROI?
Obviously, discounts are a way to make money, not lose it. The strategies described above should be able to get you started thinking about the various strategies you can use to promote your business with sales, discounts, and premium offer promotions. To find a sales strategy that works for you, we recommend offering multiple online promotions simultaneously and gauging their relative success. A qualified digital agency can help you determine metrics and run analytics on your offers to maximize your ROI.