I ran a sales promotion that fell flat. What should I do?

This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by sales guru Debra Templar:


I’m hoping that you didn’t have a couple of external ads and point of sale stuff and think that would do the trick.


If this was my promotion, here’s what I would have done:


External ads


I would have ensured that this was a platform where my customers hang out and made sure the ad stood out with a strong message.


If the ad was placed in a newspaper or magazine I’d have blown up copies of the ad, laminated them and dotted them around my store. If it was a radio ad, I’d be playing it through my store.


If the ad was TV, I’d have the ad running on TV sets in the store. I’d have also emailed copies of the ad (whether video or print) to my customer database alerting them to the sale and inviting them for a VIP Customer Only preview, before the ads went live.


Social media


I’d have made sure that my ad was promoted over my Facebook page and I’d have had a couple of Facebook-only specials running.


I’d ensure my website had strong graphics and the first thing you saw was the sale.


I’d have catalogued the products onto an online catalogue using Pinterest and promoted this throughout my email blasts and social media sites.




My staff would have worn special shirts emblazoned with the sale graphics. We’d ensure the atmosphere in the store was alive and enthusiastic and that all staff were turned on to the sale and talked it up every chance they got.


We might have even done something very old-fashioned like hit the street with coupons and flyers inviting people into our store to check out our sale.


My point of sale stuff would have included bounce-back coupons to be given to customers who bought during the sale period, rewarding them for their purchase and enticing them back into the store in the future.




I’d have run a competition in conjunction with the sale asking my customers to send in photos or videos of their time away, which I’d publish on my social media sites and website.


I would have considered running a competition for the best video, best photo, biggest fish caught, best meal cooked in a camp oven (get my drift?), with the winner getting a decent gift voucher, for example, $300 — something big enough to make them want to enter the competition.


Or if you have a product that is wildly popular and you know everyone wants one, I’d offer that as the prize.


We’re in a multi-channel world now. We can’t just do what we’ve always done. It doesn’t work that way anymore.


That’s what I would have done. Perhaps there are some ideas in here that you could try for your next promotion.


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