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Giving Discounts and Free Shipping on Advertisements

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Everyone loves a good discount – unless you’re the one doing the discounting!

You might be contemplating whether offering a deal on your products/services is worth it, and long story short, there are some situations where it will be and there are some situations where it won’t be.

But if you’re paying money for ads on paid search or paid social, then it’s worth having a think about whether you should include a deal to add a further incentive for a customer to become a conversion and therefore increase your return on ad spend (ROAS).

Let’s give you some advice on what we think are the best strategies when it comes to giving discounts to your customers.

How and when to offer a discount

What you need to keep in mind when giving out discounts is this: your customers are all on their own customer journey. Offering a blanket discount may not have an effect on one customer, it might convince another customer to buy, and it might just decrease your profit margin on another customer that was already going to buy anyway.

That’s why all of your discount codes should be as personalised as possible. If you can track where a customer is on their journey then you can use the appropriate discounts or offers to nudge them along.

While this may be outside of adverts, if you can identify when someone new comes to your site through any channel, you should offer them a discount in exchange for their email address. Not only does this incentivise the customer to return in the future, but it boosts your first-party data which is only going to become more and more important as time goes on.

Discount strategy examples

If you’ve decided that you’re going to implement discounts as part of your marketing strategy, then here are some proven techniques that you can use for the best chance at success:

Free shipping

Offering free shipping is one of the best ways that you can convince a customer to buy.

We’re living in the age of Amazon Prime. So many people are simply no longer used to paying delivery fees, even if they’re paying for an annual subscription to enable this in the first place! So, when a customer comes to the checkout screen and sees extra fees on top of their purchase, it can be off-putting for them.

By offering to knock off even the smallest of shipping fees, you can help your customer rationalise their purchase which may persuade them to follow through.

Seasonal tie-ins

There are two different camps on this one. During big holidays where discounts are common (think Black Friday and Cyber Monday), should you offer a discount or should you not in the hopes that customers are going to be ready to buy anyway?

We’re believers that you should offer a discount to compete with your competitors. There will always be other businesses in your industry that are selling products at half price or with other mega-deals. You’re going to want to compete with this in order to avoid getting left behind.

Seasonal tie-ins don’t just apply to sales holidays either, remember literal ‘season’ holidays! So, when you’re getting ready to stock up on brand new product, you can offer your old products at a discounted rate. This encourages people to buy your products and frees up your inventory space at the same time.

Price bands

If you can convince a customer to spend more money in the same transaction rather than returning when they click another ad of yours at a later date, then this will decrease your cost per conversion.

To do this, you can offer a discount on transactions over, say, £20. Then, offer a further discount on transactions above £40, or another amount of a higher value.

Careful upselling of some of your other best-selling items can help to convince customers to add extra value to their baskets, especially if it means they get access to a higher discount.

Product launches

Offering a discount to celebrate a launch of a new product is a good way to build hype around your brand and give people a real sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).

If you make it clear that this reduced pre-release price is only going to last until the official release date, then it causes the customer to experience loss aversion. What this means is that we, as humans, don’t like to have anything taken away from us, even if what is being taken away from us is only opportunities. In fact, modern studies support the belief that fear of loss is twice as psychologically effective as the opportunity to obtain something is.

By effectively taking away the discount from customers on a specific date, your potential customers will want to complete a purchase before they lose access to the lower price.

Want more advice on discount strategies? Get in touch!

At Blaze Media, we run paid ads for multiple businesses on Google and on socials. As part of this, we have seen how effective running a perfectly-timed discount campaign can be and can advise you on the best strategies that you can use to maximise the success of your campaigns.

For more information on what we can do for you, get in touch now and we can schedule a free consultation!

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