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5 Types of Sales Promotions to Complement Your Marketing Strategy

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

As a marketer, you know that sales promotions are among the quickest and most direct methods to boost sales and increase brand awareness.

A favourable sales promotion motivates prospects to purchase your product or register for your service. They’re also a great segue into nurturing customer relationships for positive engagement and retention.

Written primarily for financial marketers, read on to learn more about sales promotions that you can adopt. We cover:


4 elements of a sales promotion

1. Monetary value

While other promotions and advertisements may seek to change a brand’s image or product/service quality, sales promotions focus on the monetary value.

Highlighting the difference in price points by offering discounts or providing more products may motivate your prospects to make a purchase that they otherwise wouldn’t at regular prices.

Scroll down to read more about the various sales promotion methods you may consider.

2. Time-sensitive

Sales promotions require an expiration date to drive a sense of urgency and prompt prospects to purchase immediately. Only then can they generate quick cash flow into your business.

Dragging a sales promotion may end up jeopardising your business. It undermines the value of your business, and prospects may start to lose confidence in your offering. Think value dollar shops. With continual sales, prospects may also come to expect a price drop, and the discounts soon start to lose their effectiveness.

Financial marketers need to understand that sales promotions are an interim and momentary solution. We recommend that a promotion should only run anywhere from 24 hours to a month.

3. Communication

Hosting a sale alone isn’t enough. Who’s going to know of the sale if it isn’t communicated to them? For a sale promotion to work, you’ve got to promote it to your prospects.

You need to use the right distribution channel and communicate this information to your prospects. Some familiar media would be television and radio or Facebook and Instagram. As a financial marketer, we also suggest that you even announce your sales on personal finance communities to reach high-intent prospects.

Here’s an exclusive promotion accompanied by an advertising banner on Endowus’ Seedly Product Page:

Inserting Exclusive Promotional Texts on your Product Page is part of the Performance-based Benefits that we offer to all financial products and services on Seedly.

To qualify for the Performance-based Benefits, products/services require:

  1. ≥100 reviews

  2. ≥3.6 ratings

  3. ≥10 reviews growth monthly

  4. SeedlyBusiness Account

The Performance-based Benefits we offer also include the opportunity to display SeedlyReviews and Badges across your marketing collaterals. You may read more about it here.

4. Call-to-action

Don’t just leave your prospects hanging without instructions on how to redeem your fantastic deal. Always provide a call-to-action to direct your prospects to make a purchase or sign up for your product. Provide clear, actionable steps so that your prospects can claim the discount efficiently.

It can be as simple as:

"To apply, click on the "Apply Now" or "Visit Site" buttons"

Benefits of sales promotions

1. Immediate sales

Quite simply, a sales promotion will lead to an immediate increase in sales. A desirable sale often shortens a prospect’s decision-making process. As compared to brand advertisements, sales promotions are often a quick fix to boost revenue.

However, please be mindful that a business should never solely rely on sales promotions and must supplement it with other promotional tools.

2. Increase brand awareness

Good things must share! A sales promotion triggers word-of-mouth, a highly reliable and trusted source of information. It’s useful mainly in drawing attention to a new brand or product. A great sale helps capture a prospect’s attention and places your business at the top of a consumer’s mind.

3. Easy development and implementation

Sales promotions are among the easiest to design and implement. In comparison to brand advertisements or personal selling, they’re usually short-term tactics and seldom require a large inventory list. A sales promotion is direct and is appropriate for almost any stage of a product’s life-cycle.

4. Measurable and traceable

A business can easily measure a sales promotion's costs and revenue because it directly impacts purchase and is often executed over a limited time period. With unique codes and submission of customer details to obtain cashback or rewards, financial marketers can accurately attribute the source of traffic and track who redeemed the discount to determine the sales' influence and significance.

5 types of sales promotions

1. Discounts

Discounts are instant price cuts on products at the point of purchase. Customers receive immediate savings when they participate in a promotion or present a coupon. These are the most prevalent sales promotions as they’re often the simplest and most direct to implement.

Discounts can be offered during a seasonal promotion or to customers at a point along their customer journey. Some popular types of deals in the financial industry include a first-order discount for new customers and fee waivers, especially for products with management fees, to help ease new customers into making their first purchase or registration.

2. Rebates

Rebates refer to a sum of money returned or refunded after a customer has paid for the product/service. Discounts occur before or at the point of purchase, while rebates are provided after.

Even though the net profits are similar, rebates may be a great alternative to discounts that may decrease the perceived value of your product. With rebates, your business may also learn more about the customer as they need to provide more extensive information to process the return.

3. Premiums

There are two types of premiums -- free and self-liquidating.

Free premiums are gifts or other benefits given to a customer when they make a purchase or registration. Customers usually pay full price for the product to receive the gift. A simple example would be receiving a toy when purchasing a Happy Meal at McDonald's.

Like free premiums, self-liquidating premiums also offer gifts or other benefits but require the customer to pay extra for them. Using the McDonalds example, this would mean paying $0.50 more for an upsized meal.

The success of premiums bank on the promoter’s ability to identify the right premium that not only aligns with the product/service but relates to their target customer.

Check out this premium offered by AMEX Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card. Would the Credit Card promotion be successful if the gift were a teddy bear or a plastic cup?

When done well, premiums can serve to boost your product/service’s image. Mature brands should consider them to revive or rejuvenate their product/service.

4. Contests and Giveaways

Customers stand a chance to win a grand prize in contests and giveaways. Contests would require the customers to participate actively and succeed in an activity. On the other hand, giveaways may require customers to submit an entry, and the lucky recipient is selected randomly by chance.

The rewards are often a lot higher in value than premiums to entice more customers to participate. The main goal of contests and giveaways is to spread brand awareness amidst increasing purchases or registrations.

In this example, we organised a Seedly Christmas Treasure Hunt.

The contest helped to drive traffic to our website and the 7 participating Seedly Product Pages. The contest entries also contributed contacts to build our marketing email list.

5. Loyalty Programmes

From its name, loyalty programmes are sales promotions with the intent of customer retention. Businesses offer rewards or incentives to existing customers for a repeat purchase or use of service.

Typical examples in the financial industry include cash for customer referrals or reward points. Reward points are points, miles or credit that can be accumulated to redeem other benefits set by the business.

Unlike regular sales promotions, the implementation of loyalty programmes can span an extended period of time and don’t see immediate sales. However, they ensure repeat sales and even breed strong customer advocates for your brand.


In the aggressive and cutthroat financial industry, sales promotions may be necessary and practical solutions to give you an immediate competitive edge against your peers. Select the appropriate method that appeals to your audience, and you may get the maximum advantage.

Celebrate these quick wins but know that this shouldn’t and isn’t the only way to increase acquisition. Observe and listen to your customers. Identify and analyse what works and doesn’t to review and improve your strategy. As a financial marketer, you must adopt an all-rounded approach and combine sales promotions with long-term solutions.

We’ve got a multitude of ways and features to help increase your acquisition efficiency. Speak with us to find out more!


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