15 Best Sales Promotion Ideas For You to Try

April 7, 2023

The sustainability of most businesses relies on driving new sales and ensuring recurring purchases, which is a fundamental concept that every successful business owner understands. 

However, for these two things to happen, you need to stand out in the market or, at the very least, generate enough interest among your target audience. 

This allows your business to be noticed despite all the other existing competitors out there. Thankfully, this is exactly what sale promotions do. 

If you are interested in generating new sales for your business or are considering ensuring more recurring purchases, here are 15 of the most effective sales promotion ideas you need to remember.

What Is a Sales Promotion?

A sales promotion is a marketing tactic used to increase sales of a particular product or service, often by offering prospective customers incentives throughout the sale or promotional period. Sales promotions can be offered in many forms, including but not limited:

  • Discounts
  • Free samples
  • Coupons
  • Sweepstakes or contests
  • Rebates
  • Buy-one-get-one offers
  • Loyalty programs

A sales promotion’s primary goal is to stir urgency or excitement among buyers, encouraging them to take action to make a product purchase or try a service. As a result, businesses can drive traffic, boost sales, increase brand awareness, or all of the above.

Why Should I Leverage Sales Promotions for My Business?

Reason #1: Boost Sales

Sales promotions can help boost sales by incentivizing customers—either by offering discounts or awarding them for a purchase. In doing so, you create a sense of urgency and the fear of missing out on a good deal.

Reason #2: Attract New Customers

Chances are you already have prospective customers trying to figure out whether to purchase from your shop or not. The hesitation could be due to price changes or unfamiliarity with your brand, but free samples, coupons, and other discounts can entice them to try your products and services. 

Reason #3: Increase Customer Loyalty 

By offering discounts and rewards, you let your existing customers know you treasure their loyalty to your brand. This will encourage them to continue supporting your brand, especially as you launch new products and services.

15 Sales Promotion Ideas to Get Your Marketing Strategy Right 


Discounts are a common but effective sales promotion idea. They are generally popular because the thought of getting the same value (whether for an item or service) at a lesser cost makes anyone feel good about purchasing. 

Offering discounts in exchange for subscribing or allowing notifications from merchants is now standard practice for many online businesses. 


Like discounts, coupons promote products for a lesser than usual cost. 

However, unlike discounts, coupons provide customers with a feeling of appreciation and exclusivity – the feeling that only a selected few are chosen to receive and that everyone else does not get to enjoy.

Flash Sales

Courtesy of Convertflow

Flash sales are marketing events that offer significant discounts on products or services for a brief period, often ranging from a few hours to a few days. 

The term "flash" indicates the fleeting and abrupt nature of the sale, creating a feeling of urgency and enthusiasm among customers. 

Flash sales are frequently used to clear out inventory, generate buzz around a new product, or increase sales during slow periods.


Rebates are another popular sales promotion idea. Rebates work well because people just like getting money back. 

Nowadays, though, this incentive can be in the form of a store credit instead of actual cash, so instead of driving new sales, it also encourages customers to return and buy again. 


Cashbacks are similar to rebates in the sense that they both offer to return money to customers. 

However, in the case of a cashback, customers are often given a criterion to fulfill before they can avail of a cashback. For example, some companies offer a $10 cashback for every $50 spent in the store. 

Free Samples and Trials

One compelling promotion idea is providing free samples for customers to try out. This strategy may cost you quite a bit initially, but it allows customers to build more confidence in availing of your product or service. 

Plus, by letting customers try out your samples, you also improve your credibility as a quality company or business. 


Discounts on bundles are also a great way to promote sales.  

By encouraging customers to buy more than a single item because of the discount, you generate more purchases and provide opportunities for your new products to gain popularity. 


By offering different terms of payment, you can also promote sales. With more options to pay (than just straight-out cash), you are catering to more potential customers - even those who don’t currently have enough money yet. 

Card payments, for example, usually have options for deferred payment terms, giving customers more time to meet their financial obligations. 

This, in turn, gives them more courage to make purchases instead of waiting.

Referral Discount Programs

Courtesy of Bplans

Instead of promoting or reaching out to people yourself, reward those who will do the promoting for you. 

This is the basic concept of referral programs. Simply put, when someone refers a new customer, they can get a discount or another form of reward. 

Review Discount Programs

You can also provide discounts for customer reviews to generate more buzz, build credibility, and maximize sales. 

This strategy encourages customers to avail of your products and generates more promotional materials as customers leave (hopefully good) reviews for your items or your company. 

Loyalty Programs

Another compelling sales promotion idea is to offer loyalty programs

This strategy usually entails rewarding customers for returning with discounts or a unique item that they only redeem through the program.

For example, Starbucks provides cards for collecting stickers. You are rewarded with a sticker every time you buy a drink from them.

However, the most significant incentive there is a special item (like a limited-edition mug or tumbler) that you can only avail of after collecting a set number of stickers on your card. 

Timed Sales

Offering timed sales is another practical sales promotion idea. This is based on the simple fact that items and services become more valuable if they are only available for a limited amount of time. 

One of the best examples of sales promotion would be flash sales, seasonal sales, or closeout sales. 

Timed sales rely on the sense of urgency created by the limited availability of these products.

Charitable Causes and Donations

You can also promote sales by partnering with charitable institutions or donating to charitable causes. 

This strategy encourages people to make purchases because, by doing so, they are extending help, although indirectly, to these charities. 

It makes them feel good to support your business. 

Moreover, it helps promote awareness of your brand and the charity institution you're partnering with. 

Free Shipping and Returns

Nothing boosts credibility more than the willingness to accept free shipping and returns. 

This strategy assures customers your company stands by its products quality – which says a lot about your company and its offerings. 


Like flash sales and free samples, this strategy may cost you a bit initially, but it effectively inspires loyalty to your brand. 

In contrast to free samples, which everyone can get, giveaways are often rewarded to those who remain loyal to your company. 

It can also be an incentive for new people to become loyal customers.

Branded Gifts

Another promotion idea that can help boost sales and promote brand awareness is coming up with branded gifts. While it makes customers feel good about receiving gifts from your company, they also serve as promotional tools to help show off your brands to others.

5 Best Sales Promotion Examples from Real-Life Brands


To encourage repeat business and promote customer loyalty, Starbucks regularly offers promotions that provide customers with a complimentary drink or food item upon reaching a predetermined number of purchases using the company's rewards program. 

This strategy aims to motivate customers to continue buying from Starbucks in order to receive rewards and increase customer retention.


The yearly event, known as "Prime Day," is a popular Amazon promotion that grants exclusive discounts on thousands of products for Amazon Prime subscribers. This sale is eagerly anticipated by consumers and provides a substantial boost in revenue for the company.


Sephora provides a complimentary sample with each purchase, giving customers the opportunity to test new products and promote additional purchases. 

Moreover, Sephora's loyalty program provides exclusive benefits and discounts to valued customers, further incentivizing them to continue shopping with the brand.


Over the years, Coca-Cola has implemented various sales promotions, such as contests that inspire customers to submit photos or videos featuring Coca-Cola products in exchange for the opportunity to win prizes. These promotions assist in increasing brand awareness and engaging customers with the brand.


The "Family" program from IKEA grants members access to discounts on specific products, in addition to complimentary coffee and tea at the brand's restaurants. This initiative serves to promote customer loyalty and motivate repeat business.

Incentivize Customers with the Right Sales Promotions 

Businesses can use many compelling sales promotion ideas to generate new customers and sales, retain existing customers, and promote their brand. 

Sales promotions help to drive sales, strengthen and reward customer loyalty, attract new customers, retain existing ones, and launch new products. 

It can also help increase a product or service's visibility, build brand awareness, and enhance the overall customer experience. 

Discounts, coupons, rebates, cashback, free samples, trials, and others are all effective sales promotion strategies that can help businesses drive sales and promote their brand. 

By using these strategies, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors and increase their visibility in the market.

Feel free to try different sales promotion styles to find the most effective one for your business!

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