How to Use Promotions to Give Your Online Business a Boost

Sometimes, no matter how great your product or service is, your online business can lose momentum, stagnates or falls. It could be that a new competitor has arrived in the market with a big advertising or SEO spend. External economic factors might affect the whole sector you operate in. It might be that your own website looks a bit tired and could do with a refresh. Whatever the reasons, it is no good just hoping things will improve on their own; you need to take action to bring back the sales.

You might consider a complete revamp or a massive advertising campaign to remind your customers that you are still there and attempt to bring new customers in. However, using sales promotion techniques could be considerably more effective and create a smaller dent in your wallet.

Before you embark on knee-jerk copycat price-cutting to ward off your new competitors, stand back and build a proper campaign. If you put promotion at the center of your activity, you can give your business a boost and delight your customers.


Segment Your Market

Consider who you need to be talking to and create targeted activity for different sectors. What you want to do for existing customers differs from what you need for lapsed customers. If your online business offers more of a one-off purchase, like an artwork or event ticket, you will need to attract new customers. So, start by segmenting your market and any data you hold. Remember that data could be your followers on social media, not just mailing lists. The promotion you offer to customers on Facebook might need to look different from one on Instagram or Twitter.

Add Value

The golden rule of sales promotion is to aim for value-added promotions rather than just money off. There are times to slash prices or offer money off coupons, but this should not be the go-to offer. If your capital is tied up in slow-moving stock, a sale is a great way to free up your purchasing power. This is how the fashion industry has historically worked by selling desirable items at high prices at the start of the season. The high price covers incredibly high-profit margins. When the stock stops moving, those margins are decreased, and we see prices go down. By the time they announce ‘End of Season Sale,’ the stock is often being shifted at around cost price. However, the profit has already been taken earlier in the cycle and the sale is calculated into the business model.

Another business that cleverly uses value-added promotions is the online casino industry. The best no deposit bonus casinos such as Borgata and BetMGM allow customers to try out slots and games without having to deposit any of their own money, giving customers a genuine chance to win with minimum risks themselves. The casinos allow their customers to ‘try before they buy’ but with minimal actual cost to themselves.

Reward Loyalty

If you offer your customers blanket money off promotion, they will expect to get money off on all their future purchases. It is better to try and build customer loyalty. For example, suppose your business offers customers a product that they need to buy on a regular basis, like animal food or vitamins. In that case, you could encourage your customers to set up a subscription at a slightly lower price than one-off purchases. You will have tied your customer in and rewarded that loyalty. If you prefer not to do a straightforward subscription, loyalty schemes are a great idea. Every time customers buy from you; they bank points they can use in the future. You can choose if the rewards are a free gift when sufficient points are accumulated or a Money Off Next Purchase coupon.

Whatever techniques you choose to employ, remember to track and evaluate each offer so that you can determine what works best for your business.