Hesitant about lowering your prices? It’s understandable, but a timely discount can help increase your sales.

Running an effective sales promotion goes beyond just lowering prices or offering a coupon. You have to implement a promotional strategy to see a real, lasting benefit from your efforts.

Step 1: Set your objective

You can’t run an effective promotion without knowing what results you’d like to see from that promotion. Determine whether you’d like to attract new customers, encourage your existing customers to order more items or more frequently, create a dramatic boost in sales or a combination of a few of these factors. Once you know what outcome you’d like to see from your promotion, you can start to strategize.

Step 2: Home in on your target customer

Once you know what your objectives are, you can start to determine who will have to take advantage of your promotions to help you achieve your objective. If you’re looking to get your existing customers to spend more, you’ll create a promotion that will appeal to them. If you’re looking to attract new customers for the long-term, evaluate your existing customers to determine what types of clients you do business with most and build a promotional campaign around that demographic. If you’re looking for a one-time sales boost, you might simply consider who is most likely to make a purchase from your business when they’re presented with the right offer.

Step 3: Create your offer

Based on your objectives and your target customer, you can choose the promotional discount you will offer. If you’re looking to get your existing customers to purchase more or to purchase more frequently, you can offer them a tiered percentage of discounts or a loyalty program that saves them money the more they order. For new customers, consider offering a one-time discount. Creating a referral program that rewards existing customers for bringing new customers to you can help to attract new customers while gaining more orders from your existing customers. Flash sales – deep discounts offered for short periods of time – have become popular online promotions, and can help bring in a slew of orders that earn you profits based on volume, rather than on customer creation and loyalty.

And while we often think of sales and promotions in terms of dollars or percentages off, a promotion could be a free gift with purchase, free shipping or a free add-on, such as custom artwork, individual packaging or hang-tagging, with an order of a certain price.

Step 4: Set a timeframe

You also have to determine how long your promotion will last. As with the other parameters of your promotion, your goals for the promotion will help to determine the timeframe. If you’re trying to boost sales during a typically slow season, holding a flash sale that lasts a few hours or offering a weeklong discount to existing customers can help bring in orders. If you’re looking to attract new customers, a longer promotion might be in order, but you should consider a set time frame; new customers will be more likely to place an order if they know there’s a time limit on a money-saving promotion. Meanwhile, a referral program or a discount on large orders might be an ongoing promotion that you use to encourage your customers to refer new clients or place larger orders.

Step 5: Publicize your promotion

Running a promotion doesn’t do your business any good if no one knows about it! Once you create a sales campaign, you have to market it aggressively across multiple channels. Exactly where and how you publicize your promotion will be determined by your goals and your target customer, as well as the parameters of a promotion. You should publicize a promotion in advance, but not so far in advance that customers hold off on placing orders. During the promotion, you should publicize it several times, depending on the exact duration of the promotion. And if you have an ongoing offer, such as a referral program or a bulk-ordering discount, make sure you keep publicizing those discounts so that new and existing customers can take advantage of them.

As a business owner, it can be intimidating to lower your prices for any reason, but businesses offer sales and promotions because there is a payoff. By strategizing a promotional sales or gifts, you can increase your screen printing orders and attract new customers, thus growing your screen printing business and your profits.

Think it might make more sense for you to adjust your prices in the opposite direction? Check out this blog:

The Delicate Matter of Raising Your Screen Printing Prices