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Written By Claire Van der Zant
5 minute read

Uniqodo has literally thousands of historic and live promotional data points. And what we’ve learnt is that the most successful promotions are not your standard discounts. Where we see tangible return and standout results is where our clients compliment their BOF, sales-driving offers, with promotions that reinforce and change customer behaviour at every stage of the customer lifecycle. 

These promotions include enticing a new customer with exclusive product launches, engaging existing customers with VIP experiences, driving loyalty with rewards and early access, or just doing something that's more fun and engaging than the 10% off trick. Using promotions to encourage customers to take action at every stage of their engagement with your brand is a much more human and relatable way to inspire results. And results are aplenty if you get this right.

One of those ways is to pick the right discount format before sending or presenting promotional codes to your customers. While it may seem like a small detail, there’s a psychology to pricing that plays a big part in driving conversions. 

Because customer behaviour is constantly changing, it’s worth tapping into that psychology and keeping up with what your consumers want — and the right promotions can help with that. Let's talk about some formats that could help you bring some variety into your promotional strategy.


Promotion formats that work

One thing that we know for certain is that a discount remains one of the single most powerful ways to drive action. When measured against the effectiveness of simply lowering prices, the humble discount wins out every time. 

There's a psychological need for reward that customers desire and love. It's not just getting a great offer, there's also a feeling of intense satisfaction — a hit of dopamine in the shopping moment. As the old adage goes, they won't remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel. Yes, discounting works, but what we'll share with you is the best way to not just give customers a short-term 'hit', but inspire long-lasting engagement with the right promotional formats.

The formats presented below are part of most marketers’ promotional approach. They are a given, and you should already be implementing them. Two common discount formats are:

  • Buy the product at the regular price and get a free extra e.g. BOGOF, free shipping or a free gift with a purchase

  • Buy the product at a markdown — regular price is £9.99 with a 33% discount to £6.66

Each discount promotion has its own audience. Other psychological factors come into play when thinking about promotions. For example, a pricing of £9.99 sounds less than £10.

Although these promotions do work, customers have seen them all before... 

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Elevating your promotional formats

The best promotions in these times of increasing online buying are no longer just about using standard promotions like 10% off or £10 off. It’s about providing consumers with a great experience that will drive them to convert and delight them. Brands also need to ensure these promotions have an easy discovery and redemption process — but more on that later! First, let’s look at five promotional formats that drive genuine engagement:

  1. Acquire

Don't just rely on the discount to do the hard work — why not use a product launch to attract a new crowd? Flip the discount code on its head to become the access key to exciting new products. With this technique, there’s no actual discount required, so you don’t even have to worry about the promotion eating into your profits.

  1. Subscribe

We know having a community of customers you can market to and engage with is hugely valuable. Why not incentivise the sign-up? You’ll:

  • Get a whole host of new customers to start a conversation with 

  • Have encouraged them to make that first important purchase

  1. Spend more

Unlocking deals based on visitors' search behaviour or what's in their basket not only feels like a more personalised approach for the customer, but it can help you achieve timely goals: selling distressed stock, increasing AOV and hitting quarterly revenue targets.

  1. Spend more often

Again, just throwing money (or discounts) at the problem won't always encourage your customers back to shop more often. Have a bit of fun with your promotions to gamify the experience — mystery discounts, time-based offers or even diminishing discounts can mean the difference between a click-through or a delete.

  1. Loyalty holy grail

Get the above right and you're well on your way to becoming a promotion black belt. Once you've identified those customers who have been most engaged with the rest of your lifecycle promotions, reward them with a loyalty code that just gets better and better the more they use it. Loyalty can be incredibly complex to deliver, but with the right promotional format, getting started doesn't need to be hard.

If you’d like to learn more promotional ideas you can implement into your promotional marketing strategy, our blog can help. 

These kinds of formats can be easily implemented with a Promotions Management Platform — like Uniqodo — to deploy codes through a variety of channels and based on smart data solutions to automate the promotions.

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Experiment with your promotion ideas

These promotional ideas can open doors in finding the right formats that work for your customers. You should try out various formats and measure their effectiveness. Figure out what works for what kind of customer and on what kind of platform. 

The right Promotions Management Platform can help you with this by doing two things: 

  • Control your promotions — this means you can deploy promotions to exactly who you want to, reducing promo codes leaking. It also means when you partner with influencers and affiliates, you can manage distribution through an easy-to-use platform. 

  • Measure your campaign results — this allows you to see granular results with advanced reporting and A/B testing features. You can then tweak campaigns as you go in order to optimise them or pause them as needed. 


It’s all about the customer

Giving your customers a great experience that will delight and bring them back again to spend more is a key ingredient to making your brand succeed. Brands that succeed now are the ones that elevate the customer experience, e.g. Uber providing customers with more options and flexibility, better promo codes with referral links etc.

You need to do that with your own promotions, and ensure that whatever promotions you provide your customers, in whatever format, are also delivered the right way.

Questions you need to ask to make customers happy

  • Do you have control over your promotions? Will they leak and be misused? Leaking promotion codes in the wrong hands defeat their purpose. Codes need to be available for one-time use and dedicated to specific sets of users.

  • Are they delivered in the right way on the right platform — e.g. on-site while they shop, on your homepage, on a social media platform, or by an influencer? You need a platform that puts the round pegs in the round holes and provides a seamless fit.

  • Are your promotions enticing enough? However they are delivered, they need to land with the targeted specific audience. That is what promotion formatting is all about — providing advanced promotions that lure customers in.

  • Are customers able to use that promotion easily? Your process has to make it easier for the customer to do what you want them to do. Make it complicated or time-consuming, and the customer will close the door and go elsewhere.


How a Promotions Management Platform can help

Uniqodo is a Promotions Management Platform, part SaaS, part consultancy. It combines the sophistication of a promotion engine with bespoke activation solutions. It helps you target the right people in the moments that matter and stay with them right through the buying process. This is all about delivering a great customer experience for your promotions. We call it Promotion EX.

The four key stages in delivering Promotion EX:

  • Control – preventing code misuse means that you can have the confidence to deliver strong and unique offers to drive the right behaviour without the fear of codes being leaked and disrupting other marketing activity.

  • Discovery – With control comes the ability to leverage your channels. Whether that’s creating exclusive promotions with your partners and affiliates, or creating great promotional content for your owned channels, the opportunities are limitless with complete control.

  • Advanced Promotions – This is twofold: 1) Leveraging any available data — customer, product and trading data — to create even more sophisticated promotions to deliver business objectives. 2) Advanced coupons such as mystery codes or loyalty codes help you deliver engaging promotions.

  • Activation – Curating a customer’s promotional journey from code discovery to redemption. Signposting your customers online promotion journey, whether they’ve arrived from a partner site, from their email or based on their search behaviour, delivering a curated experience is what exponentially drives conversion.  

Customers love promotions that save money or offer more for the same price. Choosing the right format is the first step to delivering a great promotional experience that customers take note of. It’s a matter of knowing your options, experimenting with promotion ideas and finding ways to delight and retain customers. A Promotions Management Platform like Uniqodo can be the key to delivering the best promotional outcomes and conversion results.

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