Types of sales promotions you must consider for your business
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Types of sales promotions you MUST consider for your business

This comprehensive guide covers the different types of sales promotions with tips to help you drive traffic and increase sales.

Suvanya Suhag's Picture
Suvanya Suhag
Content@Rehook
a year ago
6 min read

Sales promotions refer to marketing activities that typically offer incentives to customers, encouraging them to make a purchase of a product or service. These promotions are designed to boost sales, increase brand awareness, and provide a competitive advantage to any business.

In this article, we will give you a comprehensive understanding of the several types of sales promotions and how they can be used to achieve your marketing goals.

In a survey conducted by RetailMeNot, 80% of shoppers said they would switch stores or brands if offered a compelling promotion.

#1 Price-based promotions

Price-based promotions are sales promotions that offer discounts or other savings on the purchase price of a product or service. These types of promotions are popular because they are straightforward and easy to understand.

Discounts: Discounts are a reduction in the original price of a product or service. They can take many forms, such as a percentage off on the regular price. Discounts can also be used to clear out inventory or to entice customers to make a purchase during a slow period. One of the main advantages of using discounts as a sales promotion is that they can create a sense of urgency among customers, encouraging them to make a purchase before the discount expires. This is particularly effective when discounts are time-limited, as it creates a fear of missing out (FOMO) on a good deal.

The most popular kinds of discount offers out there include:

  1. Dollar-off discounts: Offering a specific dollar amount off the regular price, such as $5 off or $10 off.
  2. Percentage-off discounts: Offering a certain percentage off the regular price, such as 10% or 20% off.
  3. Flash sales: Offering limited-time discounts, such as 24-hour sales or "doorbuster" deals.

Coupons: Coupons are a form of price-based promotion that offer customers a discount or savings on a specific product or service. Coupons can be redeemed offline, 'in-store' or online, and often have expiration dates to create a sense of urgency. In addition to driving sales and traffic to a business, coupons can also be used to target specific customer segments or to encourage repeat business. For example, a business may offer a discount coupon to first-time customers to encourage them to try their products or services, or they may offer a coupon to loyal customers to thank them for their business and encourage repeat purchases.

72% of consumers said they would buy a product they normally wouldn't if offered a coupon. (Source: Nielsen)

Coupons should always be easy to redeem and clearly communicate the terms and conditions of the offer, such as the expiration date, any exclusions or restrictions, and the specific products or services that are eligible for the discount.

Rebates: Rebates are a type of price-based promotion where customers receive a portion of the purchase price back after they make a purchase. Rebates can be in the form of a check, store credit, or a gift card. They are often used to incentivize customers to purchase higher-priced items or to encourage repeat purchases.

#2 Product-based Promotions:

Product-based promotions are sales promotions that offer free or reduced-price products or services. These types of promotions are designed to increase brand exposure and drive sales by giving customers a taste of what your business has to offer.

Free Gifts: Free gifts are a type of product-based promotion where customers receive a complimentary product or service with their purchase. Free gifts can be a great way to upsell customers or to reward loyalty. For example, a customer who spends a certain amount in your store might receive a free gift with their purchase. Free gifts can also be used to introduce new products or to promote products that aren't selling well. By offering a free gift with the purchase of these products, customers may be more willing to try them out. It's important to choose free gifts that are relevant and valuable to your customers, as this can help increase the perceived value of your offer.

Samples: Samples are small portions of a product or service that customers can try before they buy. Samples are often used in the food and beauty industries, but can be effective in any industry where customers want to try a product before they commit to a purchase. Samples are a great way to introduce customers to new products and to encourage them to make a purchase. By offering samples, businesses can provide customers with a low-risk way to try their products and see if they like them before making a larger investment. Additionally, samples can help businesses gather valuable feedback from customers, which can be used to improve their products or services.

Buy One Get One Free (BOGO): The Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) promotion is a type of product-based promotion where customers receive a free product or service with the purchase of another. BOGO promotions can be a great way to drive sales and increase brand exposure, especially if the free item is a complementary product to the one being purchased.


Product-based promotions are a great way to give customers a taste of what your business has to offer and to incentivise them to make a purchase. However, it's important to consider the cost of the free or reduced-price products and services when implementing these promotions.

#3 Place-based Promotions:

Place-based promotions are sales promotions that are targeted to customers in a specific location. These types of promotions are designed to drive traffic and sales in a specific location, such as a store or online platform.

In-store Promotions: In-store promotions are sales promotions that are targeted to customers who are physically present in a store. Examples of in-store promotions include temporary price reductions, product demonstrations, and special events. These promotions can be a great way to drive traffic and sales in a physical store, and can be particularly effective during slow periods.

Online Promotions: Online promotions are sales promotions that are targeted to customers who are shopping online. Examples of online promotions include temporary price reductions, free shipping offers, and limited-time discounts. Online promotions can be a great way to drive sales and increase brand exposure on e-commerce platforms and websites. Online promotions are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people turn to online shopping. They offer a wide range of benefits for both customers and businesses. Customers can take advantage of exclusive online deals and discounts, and businesses can reach a wider audience and track the success of their promotions more easily. One popular type of online promotion is free shipping offers, which can encourage customers to make a purchase by reducing the cost of delivery.

Events: These are place-based promotions that take place at a specific location, such as a convention center, an exhibition or say, a trade show floor. These types of promotions are designed to drive sales, increase brand exposure, and build relationships with customers and potential customers. Trade shows and events can be a great way to reach a large and diverse audience and to showcase your products or services in a face-to-face setting.

#4 People-based Promotions:

People-based promotions are sales promotions that are targeted to specific groups of people, such as customers or potential customers. These types of promotions are designed to build relationships with customers, increase brand loyalty, and drive sales. Here are some examples of people-based promotions:

Referral Programs: Referral programs are people-based promotions where customers are incentivized to refer friends and family to your business. For example, a customer who refers a new customer to your store might receive a discount or a free product. Referral programs can be a great way to increase brand exposure and to attract new customers through word-of-mouth.


Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs are people-based promotions where customers receive rewards for repeat business. For example, a customer who spends a certain amount in your store might receive a discount or a free product. Loyalty programs can be a great way to build customer relationships and to incentivise repeat business.

Contests and Sweepstakes: Contests and sweepstakes are people-based promotions where customers enter to win a prize or reward. Contests and sweepstakes are promotional tactics that require customers to take action to participate, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. They can be a fun way to engage customers and build brand awareness, especially if the prize or reward is appealing to the target audience. However, it is important to ensure that the contest or sweepstakes is legally compliant and that the rules and terms are clearly communicated to customers. It is also important to choose a prize or reward that is relevant and valuable to the target audience, and to promote the contest or sweepstakes effectively to reach as many potential participants as possible. Additionally, it is important to set realistic goals and metrics for success and to track and analyze the results of the promotion to learn and improve for future promotions.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the appropriate type of sales promotion can play a crucial role in the success of any marketing campaign, however, it is also important to keep in mind that while sales promotions can be highly effective, they should be used strategically and not relied upon too heavily. Forced or badly-timed sales promotions could habituate your customers to only buy when there is a promotion, rather than valuing your product or service on its own merit.

Therefore, it's important to balance sales promotions with other key activities that build long-term customer relationships, such as providing excellent customer service, creating high-quality content, and consistently delivering on brand promises.

Ultimately, the key to success lies in finding the right balance between short-term sales objectives and long-term brand building. By using the appropriate type of sales promotion, marketers can drive sales and build brand value at the same time, creating a win-win scenario for both the business and its customers.

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