Can you win customers with sales perks? Here are six ways other brands have tried
Getting the sale is an increasingly challenging task. The internet is a crowded space, and there is a lot of competing noise. Here are six ways other brands have tried to win customers with sales perks.
Even if you mostly sell from the high street, you are still looking for that online buzz to generate the leads that can end with the sale. But getting noticed is difficult in this environment, and this is where the sales perk can be a useful tool.
Such has become the standard nature of perks, 33% of 18-24-year-olds in Britain expect a perk before they opt into a brand.
While we explore some of the perks you might offer to win that sale and create a low-risk entry point to your brand, we also consider the greater demands of achieving customer loyalty.
Sales perk 1: A trial period
If you are sure of your service and know your customer will be won over by your brilliance, you can offer a free trial period. This is a sales perk most widely used by subscription services such as Netflix and Apple TV.
The bonus of this free trial period is that you ask the customer to sign up and, in the process, require billing instructions. The billing only kicks in after the free trial, but to prevent this, the customer must proactively decide to cancel your service. Some brands make this cancellation more difficult by requiring 30 days’ notice.
There are multiple risks here. First, it is an expensive strategy, as you are earning no money on these clients. Second, if the quality of the product is less than stellar and the customer feels tricked into paying for a subscription they didn’t want, your brand value will diminish quickly. It is a strategy you use if you are certain the customer would feel enough delight that cancellation doesn’t enter their mind.
Sales perk 2: Competitions
Mass giveaways are expensive. Even if you give your product a free trial, you are expending a lot to win each customer. A more cost-effective giveaway could be better achieved through competition. For instance, if you are not Apple and cannot afford to give millions of year-long free trials to customers, you could instead offer 1000 free annual subscriptions for lucky winners.
While competition might not win you the billing instructions, it will gain you the email of many potential customers that lead to a potential sale.
Sales perk 3: Money off
Few people shopping around today expect to pay full price when they first use a brand. People love the feeling of getting a bargain. Therefore, offering a discount is a great way to inspire a buzz around your product.
However, there are a couple of problems here. Discounts for new customers make loyal customers feel betrayed, and the loyal customer is your bread and butter. Second, you devalue your product with each discount. Sometimes the price you charge is a badge of your quality. People, for certain purchases, look to pay more to feel they have got the best. If you are too cheap, well, you appear cheap too.
Sales perk 4: A freebie
While you might not offer money off your highly professional plumbing service, you do give every customer a key ring and a fridge magnet. While this feels trite, people are psychologically lured by the idea of getting something for nothing – even if that something isn’t much to speak of.
It is a quirky gesture that leaves the customer feeling good. A good example is Honda, who would give away umbrellas to car buyers on rainy days – considerate, a branded item – and the customer has just spent thousands with them. What’s an umbrella in this deal?
Sales perk 5: Make it easy for your customer
T-Mobile made it easy for clients to switch suppliers by paying the early termination fees from the previous company. While incurring an initial cost, T-Mobile won a long-term contract with the customer and made them feel valued. On a smaller scale, you could offer to match the quotation of your competitor or even give the service or product for a cheaper cost. It is a strategy that works best where you are sure your experience will be superior.
Sales perk 6: Cash back
Last but not least, why not encourage the customer to buy much more than they intended with the promise of some cash back if they do? The £50 customer becomes the £100 customer with the promise of a tenner back. It is a quick way of giving your buyer the sense that they have had a great deal. You can also connect with banks and credit cards and leverage their brand value for a percentage cashback to their customers.
Whatever perks you offer, make sure you build a relationship
While each of these sales perks wins a sale, they do not gain your customer loyalty. It can cost a fortune to win new customers, and if what you offer is below par, your business will suffer.
To really win the customer, you need to garner a relationship with the people that have already chosen you. Quick sales perks won’t work so well here, but the quality will.
Laura McLoughlin is a Digital PR based in Armagh, Northern Ireland. She has previous experience as a website editor and journalist, and currently works with Chorus Commerce.
Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris