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Written By Chris Giddins
5 minute read



There’s huge and undeniable value to promotional marketing and its increase of sales. In fact, promotional code users spend 37% more than other shoppers. Your customers now actually expect you to offer promotions and you could lose their business if you don’t provide the right promotional options.

Offering promotions is crucial for companies looking to remain relevant and meet their customers’ demands. Knowing how to use these different types of promotions will be critical to optimising your promotional marketing strategy. So, the real question is: do you understand the different types of promotions and the best ways to use them? 


1. Percentage discounts

Offers like 50% or 20% off are increasingly popular and successful options. They’re used for specific products or product lines as well as store-wide offers. 50% off discounts have been proven to encourage sales with an impressive 8.6% conversion rate. They’re also preferred by a high 74% of online coupon users!


When to use this promotion:

  1. You’re looking for a promotion that’s simple to deploy

  2. You want to use it across your stores.

  3. On cheaper products.


Advanced tips:

  1. Keep an eye on your profit margins when choosing which percentage to offer. 

  2. Only discount an item beyond its margin to move stock that would otherwise go to waste.

  3. Consider gamifying percentage off discounts with ever-increasing percentages for loyal customers.

  4. To do this, you’ll need to use a single-use promo code generator to get access to customer account details.

2. X pounds off

Offering a specific amount of money off a product is an alternative to percentage-off deals. It’s been proven that X pounds off deals can actually be more appealing to customers. For example, a $50 off voucher wins over a 15% off deal. 


When to use this promotion:

  1. On more expensive products because the higher amount of money off is more appealing to customers.


Advanced tips:

  1. Remember, if you offer a fixed £10 on any product, don’t expect to sell more expensive products, like those over £100.

  2. Pay attention to your wording.  “Get £10 off” focuses on getting a gain.  “Save £10” focuses on avoiding a loss. Test which one works better on your customers and roll with that. 

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Now for the trusty By One Get One Free or Buy One Get One Half Price. 66% of shoppers say that they prefer BOGO to other discount promotions and 93% have taken advantage of BOGO offers at least once. Psychology has a part to play in their success, as customers can feel like they’re getting one item for 100% off, instead of two items for 50%. 


When to use this promotion:

  1. To move inventory when you’ve got a lot of stock to shift. 

  2. To sell edible products with a sell-by date.

  3. On unit-based and bulk products


Advanced tips:

  1. Cater your BOGO promotion to holidays. You can offer “Buy One, We’ll Give to Others on Your Behalf” during the Christmas season, like Chronicle Books did. 

  2. Ensure that your BOGO offer is easy for your customers to access. Efficiency amounts to sales. 


4. Multi-buys

Multi-buy options focus on deals that require your customers to buy two or more discounted products, like “2 for the price of 1”. It encourages your customers to buy more products in one visit.


When to use this promotion:

  1. To move inventory.

  2. On products sold in sets, such as beer or socks. 

Advanced tips:

  1. Use multi--buys on products that are similar — for example on certain product lines organised by brand or type e.g. skincare. 

  2. Clearly display multi-buys where your customers select the quantity of products online.


5. Conditional 

Conditional offers involve any promotion that is multi-stepped and that doesn’t fit into other categories. Some examples of these are: “Spend X Amount to Unlock Discounts” and “Spend and Earn Loyalty”.


When to use this promotion:

  1. To achieve goals and incentivise specific customer behaviour.

  2. In partnership with loyalty programmes81% of customers say loyalty programmes make them more likely to continue with a brand. 

  3. To increase checkouts and the price of them — discount users spend an average of 46% more at checkouts than regular shoppers. 

  4. To retain control over promotions by instigating conditions. 


Advanced tips:

  1. Offer related products to make the offer matter to your customers.

  2. Set limits that help you achieve your business goals

6. Free shipping

If you have an online shop then you want to consider offering free shipping. It has the highest number of discount user attempts and 34% of shoppers believe that free shipping should be mandatory for online shopping. 


When to use this promotion:

  1. To improve shopping cart abandonment.

  2. To eliminate the stumbling block of shipping costs.

Advanced tips:

  1. Consider avoiding confusion and disappointment with blanket policies or communicating the offer’s conditions

  2. Offer free shipping when customers buy a certain amount e.g. ‘free shipping when you spend over £50’. 

  3. Use social media to offer free shipping, especially if you’re a company that attracts a millennial or younger audience. 

How to use promotions more effectively

1. Be clear about your objectives. 

Let the first question you ask be: “what do I want to achieve? And who do I want to sell to?”. Your answer could be to get more people into your brick and mortar store or to shift more inventory. 

The benefits of this include you avoiding wasting money targeting the wrong customers and you can spend your time efficiently.


2. Tie in your customer loyalty programme

Let your second question be: “which promotion should I use to achieve my goals?”. Offer welcome sales to potential customers. Detect and target your loyal customers with promotional software that has analytics reporting functions. Provide exclusive promos for loyal customers. 

Targeting loyal customers means you can decrease customer acquisition costs, saving you money. Loyalty programmes also improve your customer retention — increasing retention by just 5% through customer loyalty programmes can boost revenue by 25- 95%


3. Gamify your promotions 

Make use of the novelty effect of this form of promotional advertising — promotions can lure more customers in if you make them fun. For example, you could use mystery coupons and surprise award codes. Alternatively, interact with your social media followers with questions and competitions.

It’s important that you base gamification on customer data and preferences. Using single-use promo code generator software — like Uniqodo’s promo engine — can assist in creative gamification strategies that you can experiment with through A/B testing to see what works best. 

This technique works as it compels users into the spending mood through natural drives for competition, socialisation and fun. It also helps improve customer retention success — 50% of organisations include gamification into their strategies. These methods nurture brand loyalty and interaction.


4. Create a sense of urgency

Use limited times and limited numbers of offers with a promo code generator software — this will create vouchers that reduce in value over time. Think about setting a time limit on your promotion — a couple of weeks is standard. Never extend your time limit and make the most of the Fear of Missing Out mindset.

You should also think about streamlining the messaging of your sales promotion across all of your channels. This will help drive the sense of urgency home for customers. 

This strategy protects profits and avoids customers taking advantage. It also encourages customers to purchase products faster — 48% of shoppers say that a discount sped up their purchasing decision. 


5. Personalise your messaging and promotions

Don’t just personalise your messaging, personalise the promotions themselves — this can be done with auto-generated single-use codes. Remember that personalisation only works if the data is collected and analysed in real-time. Advanced promotion software brings with it automation capabilities and analytics reporting functions, making it easier to generate personalised forms of promotions and understand their results. Using themes around holidays or seasons can also work well. 

Make the most of the effectiveness of personalisation — 79% of consumers say they are only likely to use a brand’s promotions if the offers are tailored to previous interactions. Do this by using promotion generator software that creates vouchers tied to the purchase history of specific customers. 

Avoid losing the 50% of consumers who will likely switch from a brand who doesn’t anticipate their needs or who treats them like a number rather than an individual. Using single-use promo codes reduces the expensive problem of misuse of promotions as it stops your codes from going viral and being used for unintended purposes.


Pick the right promotions for your customers

There are huge benefits to using the right promotions for the right outcomes. The real solution to achieving this and meeting the demands of your customers is to use an advanced and up-to-date single-use promo code generator (like ours — Uniqodo’s promo engine). 

This kind of software can combine a solution to your challenges with promotional marketing communications as well as allowing you to deliver more of a mix of creative, attractive and lucrative outcomes. This means if you offer the right messaging and promotion, your customers are more likely to shop with you, helping you gain business and grow your brand. 

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