Andrew Raso December 18, 2018

By 2021, global retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion.

Whether you’re planning for Black Friday or Father’s Day, the excitement is all around. Your team is likely full of sales promotion ideas and colourful digital marketing campaigns to build the momentum.

But one successful sale is never enough.

The guarantee of ongoing wins comes from getting the right marketing engine in place, and making sure it’s finely tuned to accelerate towards your goals.

Truth is, this kind of success starts months and months before. Preparing far in advance will ensure your every efforts will reap maximum benefits.

This article reveals all the sales promotion examples, campaign ideas and marketing essentials to skyrocket your sales.

Every. Single. Time.

Sales Promotion Ideas

1. Buy One, Get …

It’s got to be one of the oldest sales promotion examples in the book: the Buy One, Get… offer.

The reason it works comes down to basic human psychology:

We always love to get more for less!

And that’s exactly what this promotion does. It makes your consumers feel like they’re getting something for nothing – and that’s hard to resist.

From a business point of view, you can also use this offer to unload stock you no longer need, while still bringing in revenue.

Stuck for ideas?

Take a look at these Buy One, Get sales promotion examples:


Why it works 

P&O uses imagery that transports you to where you want to be. It’s eye-catching and calming, putting you in the frame of mind to think about holidays. The deal itself is especially appealing to the brand’s target audience – families.


Why it works

Who doesn’t love a free drink? Starbucks share the holiday joy with this promotion with oozes festive spirit. The promotion taps into the Christmas emotions, prompting the consumer to think about who they’ll share their drink with. The brand also runs the same offer in summer, so it must be working!

Jax Tyres

Why it works

Shoppers don’t like to do the maths when it comes to sales promotions. Here, Jax Tyres makes it as simple as possible: you buy three tyres and get one free. What could be easier? Chances are the shopper was going to buy four tyres anyway, so this isn’t about encouraging them to buy more. It’s about ensuing they choose Jax Tyres above the competition.

2. Discounts

There’s a simple truth about shopping: discounts have a huge effect on purchase behaviour.

Studies show that offering a coupon or discount can dissuade consumers from searching for other offers.

How do they do it?

The discount creates a sense of urgency to purchase, which prevents shoppers from looking elsewhere.

In today’s hugely competitive market, where there are hundreds of other brands vying for their dollars and all just a few clicks away, this is a huge triumph for your business.

Another advantage of discounts is that you can attract new customers. Better yet, you can win them from your competitors *evil laugh*.

Once you’ve won them over, it’s much easier and more cost-effective for you to use your marketing prowess to retain them as loyal customers.

Enough small talk – let’s get down to business.

How much discount are we talking about?

While there’s no set rule, there is psychology around discounts that you should know:

  • Avoid anything more than 50% – you’ll wind up looking desperate and your products will appear to be low quality.
  • Don’t go too low either – you need to entice customers. Anything less than 15% won’t grab their attention.

Here are some discount sales promotion examples to inspire you:

Matt Blatt

Why it works

It’s big, bold and pink. The 20% discount is enough to tempt buyers without making it appear like a clearance sale. Everything about the design compels the visitor to act, from the urgency of the text to the strong yellow arrow and Show Now call to action.

Nine West

Why it works

It’s a clever twist on a Buy One, Get offer. The more shoes you buy, the more discount you get. The discounts immediately draw the eye and there’s a sense of urgency with the “limited time” banner. Plus, the red design stands out on the minimalistic black-and-white web page.

3. Joint promotions

Want to create a bigger, better promotion but don’t have the budget?

Team up with other brands.

Creating a joint promotion means you can double your reach (maybe more if it’s a bigger brand) for less investment.

Make sure the partner is complementary to your brand. This guarantees you both have the same target audience and the promotion will be a natural fit that makes sense to the consumer.

Here are some sales promotion examples to show you how it’s done:


Why it works

This promotion brings together brands that just make sense. There’s a big prize to aim for, as well as more achievable smaller prizes for every store. With Shane as the face (and prize) for the promotion, it has human appeal too.

Customer Loyalty Perks

Australians love a loyalty scheme. Research by comparison website found 82% of Australians were in a loyalty program.

But here’s the really important statistic: 60% of Australians say what program they are part of can influence where they shop.

What does this mean for you?

It means you need to give your loyal customers a reason to keep shopping with you.

That’s where customer loyalty perks come in.


Why it works

Woolworths Rewards is one of Australia’s leading loyalty programs for a reason. They know how to keep their loyal customers spending. This is just one of the many daily email blasts that offer extra points and extra savings. It has all the elements of a great offer email: strong call to action, a sense of urgency, personalisation and an eye-catching (and mouth-watering) image.


Why it works

This one is much simpler than the sales promotion example from Woolworths. But it still pulls in the same winning elements: urgency, a good discount and a strong call to action. One improvement we would make is to the image, putting more focus on the tasty product.


Why it works

Carman’s is very good at making their loyal customers feel special with exclusive offers and trials, and this is one example of that in action. There is a sense of fear of missing out (FOMO), though it doesn’t feel as urgent as other examples.

Creating Your Marketing Engine To Optimise Sales.

Have these sales promotion examples inspired you to create your campaign?


Now it’s time to get everything ready behind the scenes to accelerate your campaign ROI.

1. Craft messaging that inspires immediate action.

Every part of your message needs to be crafted to make your audience act now.

That means creating a sense of urgency and FOMO in every element of your campaign, from ads to emails.

An astonishing 91% of shoppers want to hear from companies they do business with via email.

It all comes down to human psychology. People don’t want to miss out. Plus, people are wired to act immediately in urgent situations.

If there’s a deadline, they’ll hurry to meet it. Even if they know rationally that there will be other promotions down the track.

Your aim is to tap into this by creating a sense of urgency and FOMO. This example from Hype uses both really effectively:


Why it works

Hype makes you want to be one of the first 25 people. You don’t want to miss out, right? Everything about the language they use and the incentives compels the visitor to act.


Why it works

What you can’t see in this image is that the clock is counting down, while the email sits in my inbox. So, when I open the email, I watch the time run out on the offer. This is very powerful!


Why it works

There’s no getting away from this deadline! It’s loud and clear.

2. Set up remarketing ads

Next, set up remarketing ads on Facebook to reach interested buyers again.

When you invest in retargeting, you can make sure that your sales promotion pops up as a reminder when they’re scrolling Facebook.

Did you know that website visitors who are targeted with display ads are more likely to convert by 70%?

The trick here is to use an irresistible offer to bring them back to your site.

Check out these sales promotion examples:

Hello Fresh

Why it works

The clever thing about this Facebook remarketing ad is that they use a brand ambassador to promote the product. Then to really seal the deal, they offer 40% off the first box. The branding in the ad is brilliant, showing the ambassador in her home preparing fresh vegies.


Why it works

This retargeting ad is done well, in that it displays the items I have been browsing on their site. But there are a few things that could definitely be improved. Where’s the incentive? Where the sense of urgency? Come on, Kathmandu, give me a reason to buy.

Who Gives A Crap

Why it works

There’s a lot to love about the Who Gives A Crap brand, and this retargeting ad shows it all. It’s quirky, colourful and fun, while educating me about the brand values. Best of all, they bring the sales home with a free trial box. Genius.


Why it works

Thankyou gives the shopper a good incentive to come back and shop their products – free delivery. They use a clear product image as a reminder, along with urgent language to make the shopper act now.

3. Optimise your ‘abandoned shopping cart’ reminders

Are you sending out abandoned shopping cart reminders when your shoppers leave something in their cart? If not, you’re missing out on a huge revenue opportunity. Data from Shopify says that 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale.

You’ve done all the hard work getting people to the shopping cart – don’t lose them now!

There are a few ways you can remind shoppers there’s something in their cart and compel them to complete the purchase.

Start before they’ve even left the website:

Avert Watches

Why it works

You haven’t even left the website and you’re being enticed to stay with a special discount code. And because it’s for “today only”, Avert Watches isn’t giving you time to go away and forget about it.

Facebook retargeting is another great way to get in front of interested buyers. It works the same as normal Facebook retargeting, except you need to be even more personalised with your ads.


Why it works

Red Balloon is not only reminding you that you have something in your cart, they’re also incentivising you to complete the purchase with a special discount. And if you’re cart didn’t total $69, this is a great way to get you to return and spend even more dollars.

Customers still not biting?

It’s time to pull out the big guns: send an abandoned shopping cart email.

Salesforce data show that 60% of shoppers returned to make a purchase within just 24 hours of receiving personalised emails after abandoning their shopping carts.

All it takes is one little email nudge (maybe two) and you’re looking at a huge number of extra sales.

Marketo suggests sending a sequence of three emails, starting an hour after cart abandonment. This email addresses any technical barriers that might have prevented the purchase.

Send the second email within 24 hours and include a warning that the cart will expire.

If this doesn’t do the trick, send a third email within 48 hours and include an incentive or reward, such as a discount or free delivery.


Why it works

This simple email gets straight to the point. It reminds you instantly where you were shopping and what you were shopping for. Plus, the call to action button is unmissable. It takes you straight to the checkout without delay. The only thing we’d do to improve it is to add an incentive to “buy now”.

4. Finetune all your tracking

It’s all well and good having brilliant sales promotion ideas, but if you don’t know where your sales are coming from, how will you know the campaigns are delivering the ROI you want?

Set up your tracking to make sure you know exactly where every sale comes from.

Here are 4 ways to track your sales promotions:

  1. Google AdWords tracking – follow Google’s step-by-step guide to set up tracking.
  2. Facebook Pixels – go to Facebook Ads Manager and click “Set Up Pixel”.
  3. UTM Codes to “tag” your URLs and get extra data about where traffic is coming from. Use Google’s Campaign URL Builder or the URL options tab in your AdWords account.
  4. Track phone calls – use tools to track call data. CallRail is a great way to measure phone call conversions.

There is one more thing you can do to track your promotion: create a killer landing page.

A landing page can help you convert more visitors into buying, and makes it easier to track results.


Because you’re sending everyone to the same place.

Over To You

Ready to prepare your sales promotion? Follow these steps to accelerate your sales and revenue.

Start by looking at the best sales promotion examples for inspiration.

Choose which sales promotion idea you’ll execute, whether that’s a Buy One, Get offer, loyalty rewards, discount, joint offer or something else.

Make sure your marketing engine is finely-tuned. That means using the powerful language to drive urgency, Facebook retargeting ads, abandoned cart emails and conversion tracking.

With creative sales promotion ideas and a finely-tuned marketing engine, you’re guaranteed to bring in new customers and keep them coming back.

You know what that means…

A bigger sales season every single time.

We know it can seem stressful trying to get all your digital channels working in sync for your campaign. But it doesn’t have to be – find out how to create your digital game plan in our free eBook.

It’s filled with all the tips and hints you need streamline your campaigns and invest in marketing that gets you the results you want – sales!

Download your free Digital Game Plan eBook now.

About the Author

Andrew Raso

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