Sales promotion – Definition & Examples | Must Know


Sales promotion is a tool of promotion mix consisting to promote a product or service through incentives or activities such as offers, discounts, coupons, gifts, sweepstakes, contests, prizes and free samples.

These incentives are known as activities or sales promotions and often aim to promote the sale of the product or service, encourage, induce or encourage the consumer to decide on the purchase or acquisition.

The use of sales promotions is an effective strategy commonly used when launching a new product to market when you want to win market share from competitors, or just when you want to have a rapid increase in sales, but it has a cost disadvantage to be evaluated well before using.

Here are some examples of sales promotions classified by type of promotion they belong:


The offers are offers or proposals made to consumers to buy a product or acquire a service.

Examples of using offers:

  • When we offer consumers the possibility that they may be two similar products for the price of one (two for one offer).
  • When we offer consumers the possibility that they can be free by purchasing a product of a different one.
  • When we offer consumers the possibility of acquiring a second product at the half price for the purchase of the first.
  • We offer one of our services free of charge to people who visit us for the first time.
  • We offer one of our products or services for free to the first 10 people who buy us or visit way.


Discounts are reductions regular price of a product or service that is performed for a period of time.

Examples of using discounts:

  • When we offer a discount on our services to customers who recommend us and bring us a friend who also wants to acquire another friend…
  • When we offer a discount on our products or services to the first 10 people who buy from us or visit us.
  • When we offer a discount on some of our products or services to people who visit us on a certain or specific day (This type almost used when a company wants to generate an income quickly cover their budget. Normally comapnies choose a weekday)
  • We offer a discount of 15% on all our products to the people who buy over the Internet.
  • We offer a discount of 10% on all our products to be the month of our anniversary or a special date for being related to the type of product we sell.


Vouchers or coupons are bonds that give the person who has the ability to change them or exchange them for certain benefits.

Examples of using coupons :

  • When we published a coupon in a newspaper or in a magazine that lets people who cut and we present at the time of visit, the right to obtain a 20% discount on our products or services (coupon).
  • When we published a coupon on our website or send one via email, which gives the people who print and present at the time of visit, the right to obtain a 15% discount on our products or services.
  • When we give our customers a coupon for every $ 30 of consumption that gives them the right to consume US $ 10 in any of our products on a certain date (coupon consumption).
  • When we give our customers a coupon that gives them the right to obtain a 10% discount on our services at your next visit.


The gifts consist of small gifts that are given to consumers or customers to show affection or to entertain them.

Examples of using gifts :

  • When we send a small gift to our major customers for their birthday or for a festive date.
  • When we give our customers a small gift for the purchase of a particular product or the acquisition of a particular service.
  • When they are giving you to all our customers merchandising articles such as pens, bottle openers and shirts that carry a logo or the name of our business.


The drawings consist of activities where it is chosen at random to one or more customers or clients to give them a prize.

Examples of the use of draws :

  • When all customers who visit us on the day we give a coupon to fill it, it deposited into an amphora, and participate in a raffle to be held before the closure of the premises.
  • When we give our customers a coupon for every $ 20 of consumption that gives them the right to participate in the draw for a car to be held on the day of our anniversary.
  • When we make a draw among the followers of our Facebook page they have given a “like” one of our publications, whose prize is one of our products.


The competitions consist of competencies that are made with consumers or customers, and where it is given to the winner or winners a prize.

Examples of using contests :

  • When we create a competition among customers of our gym where we reward with two free months of membership to lift the heaviest weight on a given machine.
  • When we organized a competition among the followers of our Facebook page where we reward that tell the best story related to our type of product, or to publish the best photograph taken at the premises of our business.


The following are examples of sales promotions that are not classified into types just mentioned:

  • When we do tastings of our products so that consumers can try before they buy
  • When we do exhibitions or demonstrations of our products so that consumers can appreciate its operation
  • When we send free samples of our products to potential customers so that they can meet the product
  • When small talk or provided free courses on something related to our products; for example, where each week we do a little workshop where we teach to make some sort of craft we sell in our business.
  • When we give to our main clients membership cards that allow them to access certain benefits such as special deals and discounts. (5%, 10%, 15 or more % off for visiting us more than 5 times a month or for those who visit us in a weekly or monthly bases.)
  • When we give our customers accumulative points cards with which they can accumulate points every time they buy our products and then, once accumulated a certain amount of points, redeem for products or discounts.

The examples we have just seen are sales and marketing promotions targeting consumers in order to encourage them to buy or acquire products or services; however, it should be noted that sales promotions may also be addressed to distributors, dealers or sellers in order to encourage  to reach higher levels of sales of our products or services.

Examples of the use of these sales and marketing promotions are when we give them free products to our distributors to buy from us certain amount of products when we send gifts to our main intermediaries, or when we organized a contest among our sellers where we reward those who achieve the greatest achieve sales or sell a certain quantity of goods over a period of time.

Tips on using sales promotions

To end this article, here are some related to the use of sales promotions tips:

Make sure the sales generated will be higher than investment

Before launching a sales promotion make an estimate of the sales generated, it calculates your investment (including advertising necessary to make it known), and make sure the sales generated will be higher than the investment; and thus it reduces the risk that the end opposite happens.

Clearly defines the conditions

Before launching a sales promotion, clearly define the rules (terms) and conditions that consumers must meet in order to benefit from this, and thus avoid possible confusion, complaints or discomfort from consumer; for example, that you claim for a promotion is over.

Set a time duration

It sets a time duration for any sales promotion you make, which is recommended that not so very long periods, but it lasts long enough so that all consumers who make up your target market have access to promotion and can benefit from this.

Make sure everyone knows the promotion

For a sales promotion is effective make sure this is the knowledge of all consumers who make up your target market; for example, communicating through all your advertising. There is no point having a good promotion if few consumers know this.

Make sure that the promotion can be effective at all points of sale

Also make sure your sales promotion can be effective in all your outlets, and thus avoids the painful situation where a consumer goes to a retail outlet in order to benefit from a promotion, and is given with surprise in that outlet they can no longer give it or know anything about this.

Biding  time

The effectiveness of a sales promotion may vary according to the time it is released, so always wait for the right time to launch, which may be, for example, when it starts to be a greater demand for your product type.

Search loyalty customer

Any sales promotion can be quite effective, but in general, tend to have better results, at least in the long term are those that seek to increase customer loyalty;  for example, those based on membership or accumulative points.

Invest in sales promotions rather than advertising

Finally, if you hesitate about whether to launch a sales promotion or advertising, please note that simple sales promotions such as offering a gift by purchasing a product, tend to have a greater effect on the purchase decision of the consumer, and lower costs.

Want to know more, please comment and I will get back to you with more tips to help you on your request.

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is strongly seasoned and hard-working Graphic Designer with extraordinary creative thinking and project design abilities. With 7 years experience in print and digital, including art direction, web/mobile design and consultation, illustration, packaging and copywriting/editing for clients in fashion, pharmaceutical, furniture, automotive, food & beverage, design, hospitality, financial, broadcast and NGO. I love sharing ideas and writing articles.


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