When you're trying to sell something, whether it's real estate or the cupcakes from your new bakery, you need to give people some incentive to take a chance on you. One type of incentive that you can use to attract more business, especially in the early days of your business and during gift buying season when competition is high, is to offer a promotion. This article will discuss several different types of promotion and how they work so you can see if it would be the right move for your business.

First Timer Discount

If your focus is on getting new people to try out your business, offering a discount for new customers only is a great way to entice people in. The trick is to have such an effective product or service that will be the number they call next time they need anything. You also need to be careful that you don't alienate your repeat customers by failing to provide them with some reward for their continued business, such as a points card. For instance, if you owned a dental office you can offer a free teeth whitening treatment with a new client's first dental exam.

Referral Reward

Many businesses get their new customers by word of mouth. A customer who has had a good experience will talk about it to their friends and family, who will then think of you when it comes time for them to hire a professional home inspector. If this natural process isn't happening quickly enough or your customers aren't quite blown away by you, you can encourage them to talk by offering them rewards (such as gifts and discounts) if they refer a new customer to you.


People love coupons. Whether they're for a certain percent off or they entitle them to buy one and get another at a discount, people who have coupons will want to spend them, even if they're not quite sure they need or want the thing that the coupon is for. Coupons can be distributed in a variety of ways but the most effective ways are to give them out with receipts to encourage repeat business, include them at the end of your flyer to encourage people to read it, and to attach them to your e-newsletter so that people will want to subscribe.

Limited Time Offer

People have a natural tendency to procrastinate, which means if your promotion has no time limit on it, they will likely wait forever to claim their discount. You can encourage them to come in now by giving them promotion a deadline. So make sure your coupons have an expiry date, that your advertisements feature a phrase like "three days only!" or that you change your promotions often in store, otherwise it won't seem special enough to get customers inside.

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