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βœ‹πŸ» Don’t run your next promotion until you read this.

My son is learning all these strategies with addition and subtraction.

I can’t believe how many different ways there are now.

No I’m not going to complain like most parents, but what I found interesting is that so many strategies come with some tool to use.

Whether it’s an open number line or the hundreds chart, he has all these different tools to use.

As he’s using each, he’s learning which ones he likes to use in certain kinds of problems.

Which got me thinking about how Creators run promotions.

Especially since we’ve just gone through Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

I saw many tools being used.

Unfortunately discounting seemed to be the norm.

Discounting is a tool.

It’s not meant as the primary strategy to drive sales.

Like my son’s hundreds chart or the open number line are tools with a specific purpose.

Discounting can help drive sales, but it shouldn’t be used just to drive sales.

For many businesses, discounting becomes regular, hurting profitability and putting the company in a difficult hole to climb out of.

Discounting can hurt, even tank, your business.

Not using discounting correctly can make your head spin and make you frustrated with why you’re barely scratching by.

  • Training your audience watching for the next one
  • Puts you in a bidding war against your competitors
  • Handcuffs you for when you genuinely want to discount

When done correctly, like when people are accustomed to or surprised by discounts, they can effectively drive sales.

Here are five ways to use a discount.

1. People are used to event-only pricing.

Discounting at trade shows or conferences are a great example.

People often pay quite a bit to be there, so a discount is attractive.

By getting a discount because they are at the event, it makes it exclusive.

When I’m attending or speaking at conferences, I often share discounts with a unique URL so that I know they came from that event.

Virtual summits can be a great place to offer your courses at a discount.

I was recently at a conference where the sponsors gave a wide range of discounts, especially if you had a team.

This leads me to …

2. Bulk discounting

The more you buy or, the longer you sign up for, the better the price.

It’s customary to offer monthly pricing for memberships. But if someone buys annually, give them two months for free.

You’ll see this often with memberships or subscriptions where if you pay annually, you’ll get 2 months for free.

3. Early bird offer

Give early buyers an incentive to take fast action.

It gives them the first crack at getting the results they need while reducing the risk of a higher investment later.

When I introduced ConvertKit Coach earlier this year, it was for a discounted, or founder, price.

Action takers jumped on it because it was essentially having me in their back pocket of their business for a no-brainer price.

(☝🏻 I have one spot open right now at the founder price, reply with “Founder” and I’ll send over the information.)

You can also use this discounting to validate new ideas for products and programs.

4. Rewards or Referral from an existing customer

Think of word-of-mouth.

If a current customer brings on a friend, you both can get a discount.

​Pipedrive, Superhuman, and other Saas companies do this quite often.

If you want to do something like this, try Sparkloop, which will do all the hard work for you to keep track of referrals.

5. Finally, The Introductory offer

I’m not a big fan of discounting your main course or product when someone comes into your world.

But I am a fan of breaking off a piece of your course and offering that as a small, one-time introductory offer.

Think of a worksheet, template, ebook, or resource that can get someone quick results to see what a part of your course can help them accomplish.

Many people will tell you never to discount.

I was one of them for a short time until I realized how to use discounts effectively.

Don’t be like a retailer like Kohl’s where your audience expects to walk in and always receive a discount.

Make it a surprise, make it memorable, or feel like it’s exclusive by being selective about using discounts:

  • Event Only Pricing
  • Bulk Discounting
  • Early Bird
  • Rewards or Referrals
  • Introductory Offers

Following these will delight your new customers and drive more sales when you run an offer with a discount.