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Written By Chris Giddins
5 minute read

Promotional marketing helps you stand out, retain customers, and maximise growth. The amount of choice that customers have online only adds to the essential value of effective promotional marketing strategies.  

In fact, 74% of customers admit that promotions are a top factor when making purchasing decisions online, and over half of millennials always “search for a deal” before making an online purchase. You need more effective ways to connect with these audiences and drive sales without damaging your margins. 

This article is about providing some advanced ideas to help you execute more effective promotional marketing campaigns and align those campaigns with business outcomes that matter. 

Note: All of these strategies require the ability to generate unique, single-use promo codes, and validate those codes against specific criteria. Even in the few instances where this might not be technically required, it’s still essential to avoid code misuse and revenue erosion. Make sure that you can stay in control of your codes. 

Most basic tools will be able to generate unique codes. However, a specific “promotion engine” will not only make the generation of codes easier, it can shortcut your ability to execute most of these strategies. 

For an in-depth look at different tool types, check out our free eBook — Do You Need a Promotions Engine? 


1. On-site, reactive promotions

Whilst offering incentives is an excellent way of driving sales, it’s even more effective when you guide customers through the online promotion journey using the right designs and formats.

This is achievable using on-site promotions, which are served to visitors depending on the actions they take on your website. This could be based on single-visit actions or long-term actions taken by a single IP address, and it’s commonly known as retargeting or remarketing.

Why are on-site promotions useful?

On-site promotions boost your sales and conversions by providing product recommendations based on past purchases of your customers. For example, if you run a flight booking site, you could offer package holiday deals for destinations that visitors are looking up a flight for. Since the promotions are based on a visitor’s IP address and preferred destination, they’re usually effective and highly targeted, resulting in better conversions. Customers are 3x more likely to click such promotions, and 70 per cent more likely to convert.

Who needs to use them?

Whatever you’re selling online, you can leverage an effective promotion engine to serve on-site promotions to your visitors. It even works great if you have a high cart abandonment rate, with the potential of increasing your conversions by up to 26 per cent.

How to use these promotions

Running successful on-site promotions requires you to identify and track long-term actions on your website. The actions should be attributed to visitors’ IP addresses. You can then feed this data into a promotion engine, which can be configured to serve promotions based on the scroll percentage, time on the page, or exit intent.


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2. Partner marketing with promotions

Creating partnerships in the form of brand alliances or affiliate marketing can significantly increase the reach of your promotions. Additionally, they allow you to issue promotions and discounts to your targeted audiences through authorised distributors.

Why is it useful?

Such partnerships provide wider coverage for your promotions, allowing you to engage new audiences, build a reputation, and stay ahead of the competition. You can easily run fully controlled promotions with closed user groups, affiliates and other partners using single-use promo codes.

Who needs to use partner marketing

Whether you’re selling products or services, you can partner with influencers, coupon platforms, and discount websites to grow your brand and earn new customers. Examples of services that make great partners include UNiDAYS, Perkbox, Student Beans, and Next Jump. When partnering with such platforms, it’s advisable to use unique promo codes instead of multi-use coupons, which lead to reduced margins when leaked.

How to use partnerships

If you’re looking to attract new audiences, expand your market, grow your brand, or launch a new product, you can work with such partners to capitalise on the opportunities they offer. Be sure to use a promotion engine that generates on-demand codes, which you can quickly share with your partners for timely and seamless promotions.


3. Targeted customer loyalty 

While focusing on acquiring new customers, it’s easy to overlook your existing customers. A more sustainable online promotion strategy should always include your current customers, and you can do this through targeted customer loyalty offerings and programmes. Such promotions should be personalised and customised to keep them engaged, thus turning them into repeat customers.

How is it useful?

This is important because earning new customers is more costly than retaining your existing customers, who can be brand advocates with the right marketing. Keep in mind that increasing customer retention rate by 5% boosts your profits by 25 per cent to 95 per cent. So, it’s hard to achieve substantial business growth if you can’t retain your current customers.

Who needs to use this strategy?

Whatever business you’re running, it’s essential to protect existing customer bases through personalised experiences. It’s easier to do so through customer segmentation, which allows you to group customers based on demographics and other shared characteristics. The result is a more actionable and dynamic loyalty programme that makes your customers feel valued and appreciated.

How to use it

Keep in mind that not every customer is the same, so strive to offer a variety of deals to satisfy different needs. It’s even better when you have large, exclusive offers just for your existing customers. You can customise your programme however you want. For example, you can have a tally system where customers earn redeemable points for every purchase they make or get access to members-only promo codes.

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4. Indirect promotions

It’s possible to boost sales for unpopular products and convert new visitors into buyers without bombarding your customers with ads for specific products or deals. This is what indirect promotions are all about. Such promotions let you use information that influences the behaviour and decisions of potential customers.

How are they useful?

Indirect promotions are effective in converting customers who are already aware of your products, deals, or services. Therefore, the promotions are tailored to remind them about the product, inspiring them to take the action you intended them to complete. Another way is through encouraging customers to buy product bundles to qualify for discounts on a single purchase.

Who needs to use these promotions?

These promotions offer a subtle approach to boosting your sales, particularly if you have large catalogues, such as a travel brand. For example, an airline company with low-volume flights may offer discounts to grow sales, but this might not deliver great profit margins. Instead, the company can offer other deals, such as cheaper hotel rates, which travellers can qualify for once they’ve completed the flight. This is also a great way of increasing conversion rates

How to do it

You can successfully implement indirect promotions by using a promotion engine that offers advanced discounting functionality without eroding your margins. It should use set multi-stage criteria to incentivise customers who qualify for your deals without devaluing products.


The right tools for the job

Delivering promotions to your customers doesn’t need to be a complicated process. And it’s important to remember, you don’t need to offer discounts regularly to hit your sales targets, as this can affect your profit margins, too. Your business goal is to drive growth and improve performance and ROI — and that’s what promotions can help deliver.

A promotions engine like Uniqodo gives you all the tools you need to create profitable partnerships, run customer loyalty programmes, A/B test your promotions, and generate unique promo codes. Whatever your campaign, the right tool should help you achieve your desired business outcomes while delivering a great experience to your customers.

While there are many tools out there, not all have the features you need. The ideal tool should offer simple integration and help you prevent code misuse. If you want to learn more about the different tool types, be sure to check out our free eBook — Do You Need a Promotions Engine? 

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