If you need money quickly or want a surefire way to increase your cash flow, it’s time to throw a sale. Having a sale is especially easy to do if you sell electronic information products (available as an online download), as your overhead costs are very low once these products are created. However, a sale also works if you have physical products that have to be shipped, especially if you want to get rid of older versions of a product (cassette versions, for example), or if you have slightly used products that have been returned (a scratch and dent sale).
There’s one key rule to remember for your sale — make sure your audience is aware that the sale has a time limit on it. Many shopping cart programs permit you to put an expiration date on price specials for products. If yours doesn’t, check out the shopping cart I use, ThriveCart.
Here are 10 occasions for you to have a sale:
1. Special occasion sale. Your birthday, children’s birthdays, wedding anniversary, business anniversary, half birthday, etc. are all occasions in which you can have a sale. I constantly receive sale promotions commemorating the owner’s birthday or business anniversary. You can even have a little fun with this and create your own special celebratory occasion — your cat had kittens, your child walked for the first time, your daughter lost her first tooth, you repainted your house…..you get the idea.
2. National holiday sale. Those of us in the US might plan for national US holidays like Labor Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day. All you need to do is consult the calendar and determine the national holidays in your country. One of my favorite sales I offered a few years ago was one on Independence Day here in the US. I asked if my readers wanted coaching to help them declare their independence to do such things as finally starting that business of their dreams, change their career to something that gives them joy, creating a new marketing plan for their business that will get results, or reinventing themselves or their businesses.
3. Special event day sale. Do you realize that there are special days to celebrate almost every occasion? In the month of October alone there are Billiard Awareness Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Celebrate Sun-Dried Tomatoes Month, National Cookie Month, to name just a few. The book, Chase’s Calendar of Events, is published annually with the current dates for these special events.
4. Seasonal sale. Back-to-school sales are very popular, as are spring-cleaning sales, winter stock-up sales, and “get ready for summer” sales. Of course, if you have an international audience, those readers on the opposite end of the world from you may not be able to relate to getting ready for summer when it’s their winter season, so you might want to use these sparingly.
5. Brick-and-mortar sales strategy. Believe it or not, what works in the brick and mortar retail world also works online. It’s very common for retailers to hold tent sales, inventory clearance sales, scratch and dent sales, or close-out sales, so you can model that type of sale in your online business. In one of Tom Antion’s workshops I attended a few years ago, he talked about having an inventory clearance tent sale and had a graphic of a red-striped tent that went out with his promotion. The great irony, he explained, is that he has no inventory because the items he had on sale were all electronic downloads. However, it was one of the most popular sales he had held, as the concept of a tent sale is very familiar to the American consumer.
6. Across-the-board discount or coupon sale. Give your contact list 25% off or 50% off of everything you sell or create a coupon code or special link for a sale on certain items. You can make this coupon or discount available exclusively to your VIP list, whether that’s your audience at a conference, your email newsletter list, or your current client base. Everyone feels special if they’re on a VIP list!
7. Pre-release sale. Do you have a product that’s almost ready to launch, a subscription membership site that’s about to go live, or a printed book that’s about to be issued? If so, give your list members the opportunity to buy it at a special price before it’s released to the public. Consumers want to be the first to have the newest information, so give your list members first shot at your newest information.
8. BOGO sale (buy one, get one free). What works for Payless Shoes can work for you, as well. You can offer a buy one, get one free for one of your products, and pitch it so that if one of your customers splits the costs with a friend, they’ll each get a full product for 50% off the regular price. Or, they can give the additional copy to a client or colleague. Another way to create a BOGO offer is for all of your same-priced products, i.e. if you buy one for $29.99, you can get any other product priced at $29.99 or less, for free!
9. Payment plan sale. I see so many furniture store ads proclaiming, “Interest-free financing! No payment until some date that’s 2 years from now.” If you have higher-priced products, you can do the same thing. Offer to let your customers divide payments over 3, 4, or more payments. Sophisticated shopping cart programs will permit you to set up recurring billing so that your client’s credit/debit card is charged automatically on the same day each month for the appropriate number of occurrences.
10. Tax-free or free shipping sale. If your state requires you to collect sales tax on your products, offer to pay the sales tax for your customers. Each August the State of Texas sets the first weekend of August as a “Tax-Free Weekend” for clothing purchases in preparation for sending children back to school. You can create a similar offering in your business, but you’ll need to check with your state tax office on the legalities of offering such a sale. Or, you can offer free shipping if they buy before a deadline you’ve set, or if they buy a certain dollar amount from you. Instead of standard shipping, you can also offer to upgrade the shipping to express if they meet certain buying conditions.
Take a look at what types of sales make sense for you, get out your calendar, and integrate them into your marketing plan. If you have a good sense of when cashflow is tight, a planned sale should significantly boost your revenue.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.