52 Promotional Ideas

52 Promotional Ideas


One of the best ways to keep your newsletter subscribers excited and paying attention is by sending them a variety of emails – and that includes sending them a variety of promotional offers.

To that end, you’re about to discover 52 promotional offers to send to your list.

In the first half of this report you’ll discover 26 different ways to create promotional offers based on contests, bonus incentives, discounts, special sales and a whole lot more.

In the second half of the report we’ll focus on incentives, where you’ll discover 26 clever ways to use discounts and bonuses to create excitement and boost your conversion rates.

So let’s jump right in…

PART 1: 26 Ways Different Types of Promotional Offers

Whether you want to make more sales or you’re just looking for a way to engage your audience, there’s a little something for everyone in these 26 promotional offers. Read on…

1.   Offer Buy One, Get One Free

You’ve seen the “BOGO” (buy one, get one free) sales everywhere from your grocery store to your favorite clothing retailer.

Now you can take this same idea and apply it to your business. You can offer a straight buy one, get one free deal. Alternatively, you can offer a “buy X, get Y free.”

For example, buy three, get one free.

Tip: If you’re selling digital information products, people generally won’t need more than one copy for themselves.

This promo can still work for you if you advertise it as, “Buy one copy for yourself, get one free for a friend.”

Here are examples of ways to make this offer:

  1. Buy one WordPress plugin license, and get one free for a second website.
  2. Buy one ‘Amazing Bodybuilding Exercises’ video, and get the second one free for your workout partner.
  3. Buy six months of membership, and get the seventh month for free.

2.   Create a Coupon

People love discounts – and they especially love taking advantage of discounts when they have a coupon code.

Indeed, you can create a lot of excitement by making a discount offer available only via coupon.

The reason this creates excitement is because the offer seems more scarce and those getting the offer feel special, since only those with coupon codes can take advantage of the offer.

Added bonus?

People often share their coupons with others, so you may get sales from people who aren’t even on your mailing list.

Tip: To create a sense of urgency, create a coupon with a rapidly approaching expiration date, such as a 72 hour sale.

Here are examples of ways to make this offer:

  1. Use coupon code SAVEBIG now at [link], and you’ll enjoy a whopping 40% discount off the price of these golf training videos – but hurry, offer ends [date]!
  2. Now you can save $25 on WordPress plugin lists on this page: [link] – just use coupon code SAVE25 at checkout!
  3. Spend $100 in the store and you’ll save 10%. Spend $200 and you’ll save 20%! Just use coupon code SAVENOW before the sale ends on [date]!

3.   Create an Incentive

This is a really popular method for increasing sales, subscriptions or other actions – and for good reason: it works!

The idea is to give an incentive when your prospect performs some specific action.

In the second half of this report you’ll get all sorts of ideas for different ways to use incentives. But let’s start with these examples…

Tip: Here too you create urgency and boost conversions by putting a deadline on the deal.

Here are examples of ways to make this offer:

  1. Buy the Contentaire.com package today, and you’ll get a very special bonus product for free! But hurry, this offer ends in 48 hours.
  2. All you have to do is enter your first name and email address into the form below, and I’ll rush you the first lesson of this exciting weight-loss ecourse.
  3. “Like” the Facebook page right now, and you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to win a free Kindle.

4.   Bundle a Package of Products

Another good way to create some excitement is by taking your individual products, packaging them together and creating a “boxed set.”

Then you offer this bundle of products for a discount.

In other words, your prospects can get the boxed set for less cost than buying the products individually.

Here are examples of ways to make this offer:

  1. Each of these five WordPress Plugins costs $20 when you buy them individually – buy them together in this special set and you’ll get them for just $12 each!
  2. If you ordered a sales letter, five autoresponders and five blog posts separately, you’d pay $1500. But order by [date], and you can get this entire package of services for just $997!
  3. Now you can get all five of these Kindle romance novels for just $5 when you order the boxed set today – you save $10 on the collection, so order now.

5.   Present a Trial Offer

The cool thing about a trial offer is that it works as a presell tool since it allows people to try out the product for very little or even no upfront cost.

The idea is to show people how much your product or service rocks so that they feel compelled to purchase the full version.


  1. Your customers get access to a membership site for one week for just $1, after which time you charge them the full membership fee.
  2. You offer a free two week trial for a piece of software.
  3. You give you webhosting customers a special deal, such as a webhosting package for three months for just $5 total (after which time they pay your full monthly rate).

6.   Three Day Sale

The idea behind the three day sale is to offer a big discount for just 72 hours, which creates a sense of urgency.

Naturally, you can offer this sale for any length of time you choose: one day, two days, five days, seven days, etc.

However, a three day sale works well because it gives everyone a chance to check out the offer, yet the short time frame creates urgency.

Here are examples of ways to make this offer:

  1. Order within the next 72 hours, and you’ll save $50 off the regular price of this marketing workshop!
  2. Be one of the first 500 people to order within the next three days, and you’ll save an extra 20% off the already low price!
  3. Save 25% off everything in the store when you place your order by [date that’s three days away]! Click here to get started…

7.   Create a Private Sale

This is where you create a sale that’s only available to certain people, such as existing customers or even just your best customers.

Offering a private sale creates a feeling of exclusivity, which in turn boosts conversion rates.

Here are examples of ways to word this offer:

  1. Only a select few of our most loyal customers are invited to this sale, so please stop by between now and [date] to enjoy a special 30% off all software!
  2. During this private sale all existing customers will receive a free weight-loss consultation with the purchase of any pre-packaged meal plan.
  3. Use the password “PRIVATESALE” to gain access to an entire suite of ebooks, software and more which aren’t offered to the general public – and thank you for your patronage!

8.   Offer Deluxe Version Add Ons

Here’s where you create a “deluxe” version of a product and sell it for discounted price.

Your deluxe version might include items such as coaching, product licensing, or similar add ons.

Here are examples of ways to make this offer:

  1. Order this resume-building kit today and for an extra $20 you can get a 30 minute coaching session that will show you how to nail your interview!
  2. Order the “Blogging Made Easy” package today for just $97, and you’ll also get resell rights to the product!
  3. For just $10 more you can order the deluxe version of this home study course, which includes a physical copy of the product sent to you in the mail!

9.   Give the Option of a Payment Plan

Here’s a little psychological trick – frame your offer in the smallest monetary amount you can, and people will suddenly find it more affordable.

For example, saying people can pay three easy monthly installments of $100 sounds a lot easier to pay than $297.

Some people will take you up on it just because they don’t have the money to pay for it all at once, while others will take you up on the offer just because three installments sounds less than one big upfront installment.

Here are examples of ways to word this offer:

  1. Order now for just $100, or make two easy payments of $50 – either way, you’re backed by a full 90 day guarantee!
  2. Subscribe to this service now for just $40 per month, or you can choose to make weekly payments of just $12.
  3. You’ll get access to this entire software bundle plus licensing for $395 … or you can make four easy payments of just $99, your choice!

10.   Offer Matching Credit

Want to know a slick way to boost your sales today AND bring your customers back to your virtual storefront again soon?

Easy – you offer a matching credit promo, which means if your customers buy a specific product or a specific dollar amount today, then they’ll get a specific amount of money to spend on their next purchase.

Here are examples of ways to make this offer:

  1. Order $100 worth of any products on this page today, and you’ll get a $25 credit to use on your next purchase!
  2. Order the Premium Product System today and you’ll get a $10 gift certificate to spend on your next purchase!
  3. Order the deluxe version of this package now for just $197, and you’ll receive a $50 gift certificate – use it yourself or give it to a friend, the choice is yours!

11.   Build Excitement With a Contest

There are some really good benefits to holding a contest, including:

  • If people have to register for a contest, then you can further build your mailing list (especially if you use a service like Rafflecopter.com to make your contest go viral).
  • Your contest can also boost sales if you give discount coupons or gift certificates as consolation prizes for those who didn’t win the grand prizes.

For example:

  1. Tell people to share the contest with their friends on Facebook or Twitter, and they’re automatically entered to win a brand new iPad.
  2. Ask subscribers to submit a photo for the “Cutest Puppy” photo contest. Whoever’s photo gets the most “likes” on your Facebook page wins the puppy starter kit package.
  3. Ask subscribers to enter their name, email address and postal address in a form to register to win a year’s worth of free webhosting.

12.   Set Limits and Deadlines

This sort of promotion creates a sense of urgency, because people need to move fast in order to take advantage of your offer.

Your offer might include a special bonus, a discount, a deluxe version for a regular price, or just about anything else.

The key is that you’ve either set a limit (e.g., only available for the first 100 people), or you’ve set a deadline (e.g., only available for three days).

Here are some examples:

  1. Create an early-bird VIP package. For example, “Order the regular conference package by Friday, and you’ll be immediately upgraded to the VIP package which includes a meet and greet with all the speakers, special breakout sessions and more!”
  2. Offer a special gift for a limited time. E.G., “Now you can get this special report for FREE – all you have to do is submit your name and email address below within the next 48 hours, and you’ll get instant access to these eye-opening secrets!”
  3. Set a limit. E.G., “Special bonus for the next 99 people who order now: you’ll get a free 30 minute coaching session!”

13.   Install a Loyalty Program

This is another fantastic way to create repeat business – all you have to do is reward your loyal customers.

Now, you’ve probably seen examples of this plenty of times offline, such as the coffee shop where you get a card – buy 9 coffees, get the 10th one for free.

Another example are hotel chains which reward you with “points” every time you stay with them.

You can exchange these points for free nights or even other rewards such as airline miles or restaurant gift certificates.

Tip: The difference between this “buy X, get Y free” is that those deals happen immediately.

In this case, the purchases happen over time, such as three months, six months or more.

Here are ideas for implementing this in your business:

  1. For every $10 people spend in our virtual storefront, they’ll earn one credit. These credits are redeemable for gift certificates in your store as well as in your partners’ stores.
  2. Tell customers if they buy any five products in your virtual store within the next six months, and they’ll get this sixth product for free.
  3. Tell customers that if they remain a subscribing member for six months, then you’ll unlock a very special bonus gift for them.

14.   Spur Buys With a Social Proof Promo

People often look to others when they’re trying to make a decision.

This is referred to as social proof, and this includes things such as case studies, testimonials or any other evidence that people are buying the product and/or they are satisfied.

Example: Here’s a real-life example: McDonald’s restaurants proudly tout their “over one billion served” message.

That’s social proof – it’s basically saying that if a billion people are willing to buy a burger, then they must be good.

The thing about this is that you don’t even need to discount your offer or create an incentive – just offer social proof and watch the sales come in.

Here are examples of how you might apply this idea…

  1. Take a look at what a former waitress from Missouri says about how she used this product to make her first $50,000 online…
  2. If you’re wondering if this will work for you, consider the following case study from 45-year-old John Walker, who lost 66 pounds using this weight-loss system.
  3. Find out why over 5988 satisfied customers choose this as their “go to” webhosting plan, and why you should too…

15.   Lock in a Low Price

Are you considering doing a price increase?

Well before you do, run a big promo where you offer to lock in a low price to anyone who orders before the scheduled increase.

Here are examples of how you might apply this idea…

  1. Order in the next seven days, and your membership fee will be just $9 per month, for as long as you’re a member, guaranteed!
  2. Our ghostwriting services are increasing to 15 cents per word starting on the 1st of the month – but if you order now and pre-pay, you can lock in the 10 cents/word rate for your next project.
  3. The price is going up to $100 on Friday, but order now and you can get this package for just $67. This is your last chance to get it at this low price, so order now!

16.   Retire or Semi-Retire a Product

Nothing spurs sales like scarcity.

That’s why you may want to consider retiring or at least semi-retiring a product, by removing it completely from the market for as little as a few months to forever.

Tip: Be sure to focus on the scarcity and run this promo for a few weeks before you retire the product.

Here are examples of how to put this idea to work. You might say:

  1. This is the last time I’m ever going to offer this live workshop, so order now!
  2. Contentaire.com is going off the market completely in two weeks, so be sure to claim your copy of this package now before it’s too late.
  3. I’m taking this software off the market for the next six months to tweak it, revamp it and make it more powerful than ever. Order now to start using it today – and you’ll get a free upgrade when the new version comes out!

17.   Crowdsource a Project

People buy from those they know, like and trust. And one way to develop this sort of good relationship with your prospects is by engaging them in an activity.

Here’s an idea: create your next product with the help of your subscribers.

That’s right, crowdsource it – let your subscribers write your next report, for example.

Then give it away for free to all contributors – you can bet they’ll tell their friends about it.

For example, you might say:

  1. Help me create a special report on socializing a puppy! Log into Google Docs now and submit your best tips. All co-authors get full credit and a free copy of the report when it’s finished.
  2. Do you know how to code a WordPress plugin? Then log into the developer’s corner now to collaborate with other programmers on this exciting new project…
  3. Do you know how to restore a classic Corvette? Now you can contribute to a restoration video series by submitting your best restoration demo via video…

18.   Raise Money for Charity

Be careful with this one, as some people will object to you mixing commercial and charitable endeavors.

However, you can use this promo to raise awareness about a charity, raise funds for that charity, and make money and/or distribute a product for your benefit.

Tip: A good idea is to always contact the charity in advance, and let them know about you, your company and your promotion.

Otherwise, the charity itself will think that you’re just using their name recognition to drive new customers to your way.

Examples of promos you might do:

  1. Buy now, because 50% of all proceeds go to the Save Children fund!
  2. Make a donation of $25 or more to the Hurricane Relief fund, forward your donation receipt to me, and I’ll send you a copy of my latest product, absolutely free.
  3. Order before Friday, and a full 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the American Cancer Society!

19.   Make a Downsell Offer

No matter how good your offer is, some people simply won’t be interested in it, perhaps because it’s not in their budget right now.

That’s where the downsell offer comes in – simply email a promo to those who don’t buy and offer them a less expensive version of the main offer.

Let me give you examples of how to word this offer:

  1. I see you didn’t take advantage of the full version of this SEO plugin – so now I’d like to make you an offer. Order the lite version for just $20, and you’ll get access to many of the same great features at a fraction of the cost…
  2. Special offer: get the home study course materials only for just $97 – you can still order the coaching package for an additional $97 later.
  3. Special digital offer – get the home study course download version only and save over $25 off the full physical version.

20.   Create a Group Sale

The idea of getting a volume discount isn’t unusual, although sites like Groupon and Living Social made the strategy more known and easier to implement.

You can submit your discounted offer to Groupon, or you can make your own offer on your website.

For example, you might tell your subscribers:

  1. Order five copies between you and at least two other friends, and you’ll all save 25% off the regular price!
  2. If the total number of orders exceeds 250, then everyone will get an instant rebate of $25 – so be sure to tell your friends to order now!
  3. Order now and refer a friend – if your friend buys, you both get a free bonus product!

21.   Advertise a Free Product Day

Here’s a neat promo – give everyone who orders a product on a particular day the opportunity to get the product for free.

At the end of the day, all you have to do is randomly select a winner and refund the winner’s purchase.

Be sure to check your local laws before doing this sort of giveaway.

Tip: Alternatively, you can offer free bonuses to winners.

Here are three examples of ways to word this promo:

  1. Order the Kindle version of the novel on Tuesday, and you’ll have the opportunity to randomly win a free signed copy of the novel! You have a one in ten shot of winning, so get ready to place your order!
  2. Everyone who places their order on the 1stof the month is automatically entered to win that product for free!
  3. Buy the product today, and you have a 50-50 chance of winning a bonus product!

22.   Highlight a Product Feature

The idea behind this promo is to focus in on a special feature, benefit or use for a product.

Indeed, you can use this promo to appeal to different niches and types of customers.

Let me share with you examples of how you might use it in different niches:

  1. While most people use this weight-loss plan to shed the pounds, users are also noting that it can lower your cholesterol levels too…
  2. Some people use this plugin for the autoresponder feature only and don’t even mess with its other features…
  3. Many people are ordering the Contentaire.com package JUST for the sales letter templates…

23.   Give Away a Sample

Earlier we talked about offering a free trial, which is when you let someone use the product for a set amount of time.

Now here you give a free sample, which is when you let someone look at or use just part of the product.

Tip: This is a great way to presell your product. Just be sure to include a link to the full version along with a call to action inside your sample.

For example, your email might say:

  1. Click here to download the first three chapters of this ebook for free…
  2. To find out for yourself just how powerful this software suite is, simply email me and I’ll send you one plugin for free – just choose the one you want to get started now…
  3. Not sure if this software is right for you? Download the lite version today to sample many of the features…

24.   Set Up a Choose Your Own Price Promo

Here’s a nifty way to distribute your product and make a chunk of change at the same time: let prospects choose their own price.

You can ask them to pay before they download the product, or you can insert donation buttons inside the product.

Tip: You’ll get higher donations if you let people see the product first and then pay an amount that they feel it is worth.

Test it and see which method brings you the most overall number of both customers and frontend profits.

Let me share with you three examples of how to word this:

  1. Choose your own price! Simply enter any donation amount in the PayPal form below, and you’ll get instant access to the ebook!
  2. Download the webinar, watch it completely, and then decide how much it’s worth to you.
  3. Pay what you want… pay what you can. Download the product now and you can choose to send me an Amazon gift card in any amount, based on how much value you received. You risk nothing, so download right now…

25.   Create an Upsell

The classic upsell is when you walk into a fast food restaurant, order a meal, and they ask you if you want to “biggy size” it for an extra amount of money.

Now you can do the same thing with your customers, by creating an upsell offer for a \related product or a package deal at a great price.

Tip: To make this special even more effective, make this a one-time-offer that’s only available at the point of sale.

You can try something like this:

  1. Here’s a great deal – order the weight-loss package now for just $37. For an additional $5 you can get a low-calorie cookbook!
  2. One-time-offer: For an additional $25 you can get the resell rights to this package. You won’t see this offer ever again, so order now…
  3. Special offer: get this entire video series sent to you on a DVD for just $10 more…

26.   Hold a Special Event Sale

There are plenty of good reasons to hold a sale, including holidays (like Christmas), annual events (like the first day of spring) or even more personal events (like your birthday or the anniversary of opening your business).

Need an example of how this works? Look at these three examples:

  1. It’s the first day of spring, and for today only you’ll get a free gardening DVD when you order any of our products!
  2. Take advantage of this Black Friday deal, where all software is 50% off!
  3. Summer is just six weeks away, so order this weight-loss package now so your beach body is ready!

So there you have 26 different types of promos. Now let’s focus in on incentives…

PART 2: 26 Different Ways to Use Incentives in Promotional Offers

Offering an incentive is one of the best ways to motivate people to order your product, which is why the next 26 methods focus exclusively on how to use incentives in promotional offers.

Read on…

27.   Survey Your Subscribers

Here’s a nifty way to not only engage your prospects, but also learn more about their wants and needs: Survey them.

To encourage even more participation, you can offer up a valuable product or other incentive to those who take your survey.

Note: Just keep in mind that when you “bribe” people to take a survey, you may be inadvertently skewing the results.

Here are examples of incentives to offer with surveys:

  1. Give a 15 minute consultation to anyone who takes a lengthy survey. The consultation works as a presell tool, as you can get the prospect on the phone, give them useful advice, and sell them on your other products or services.
  2. Offer a free report, eBook, video, software tool or other easy-to-deliver item to anyone who takes the survey.
  3. Provide a gift certificate or discount coupon to anyone who takes the survey – this helps generate business, too.

28.   Design a Pop Culture Promo

The idea here is to tie your promotion into some popular cultural reference. Today one of the most popular pop culture characters is the zombie.

So, you might create a package of products to “survive the Zombie Apocalypse.”

Tip: To really make the offer attractive, offer an incentive such as a nice discount.

For example:

  1. Get this package of 25 products for an incredibly low price – you’ll have something to read during the Zombie Apocalypse!
  2. Create a promo video where you do a riff on a popular song. Example: “Hey now, this is crazy… but here’s a coupon… use it maybe…”
  3. Create a promo video that taps into some popular Vine or YouTube viral video. Example: Do a “dancing grandma” video promoting your special offer.

29.   Entice Former Customers to Come Back

If you’re like most business owners, you have a list of customers who haven’t ordered in awhile.

You can encourage them to come back by giving them an incentive, such as a bonus product, a nice discount or something else they want.

You can see a good example of this if you order something through Omaha Steaks and then don’t order again for several months to a year.

Generally, they’ll send out an offer for a popular package of steaks at a good discount, plus they’ll toss in a cutting board and some knives.

Tip: Put an expiration date on the offer to create a sense of urgency.

Here are other examples:

  1. Offer your former customers a 50% coupon to use anywhere in your store if they order within the week.
  2. Give former customers a premium bonus, such as free consulting, if they place a new order.
  3. Give former customers an incentive such as a gift certificate to use in your store PLUS a gift certificate to give to a friend. You’ll not only get a former customer back in the store, you may even make a new customer.

30.   Edge Out the Competition

Are your customers buying from your competition? Then bribe them to buy from you instead by offering them an attractive incentive.

Example: At the time of this writing, Certified Steak Company asks people to send in two receipts from their competitors.

This steak company will then give a 25% in-store credit based on the total price of those receipts.

For example, if the receipts from the competitors total $100, then the customer gets $25 to spend with Certified Steak.

Here are other examples:

  1. Give a free ebook to anyone who produces a receipt from a competitor.
  2. Create a special webinar only for people who produce two receipts from competitors (which are dated BEFORE you announced the promo).
  3. Offer an attractive discount coupon to anyone who’s spent at least $100 with a competitor in the previous six months.

31.   Invite New Business

The above tactic works to create new customers as well as to solidify relationships with existing customers.

Now this tactic looks at ways to bring in people who’ve never done business with you. Basically, you offer a big incentive for new customers.

For example:

  1. Offer a low rate on subscription or membership fees for the first six months to a year. (Think of how ISPs, cell phone service providers, cable TV providers and similar businesses offer low introductory rates.)
  2. Offer a discount coupon for new customers only.
  3. Let new customers try the product for free today and then be billed for it next week – it’s a risk free way for them to try the product.

Tip: When you create these promos, it’s a good idea to reward your existing customers with a different kind of promo at the same time.

Make sure your existing customers feel appreciated!

32.   Celebrate Social Milestones

You have specific goals you’d like to achieve, right?

Maybe you want to get a certain number of Facebook fans, Twitter followers, newsletter subscribers or even “likes” or “shares” on a viral piece of content.

Here’s an idea – ask your subscribers to help you reach these milestones, and then reward everyone if you meet the goal.

For example:

  1. Ask your Facebook fans to tell their friends to like your Page – if your page reaches 10,000 likes by a certain date, then everyone gets one of your popular paid products for free.
  2. Create an “experiment” where you ask your social media followers to help make a video or other content go viral. If you get 10,000 shares, then everyone gets a gift certificate to use in your virtual store.
  3. Reward new Twitter followers, such as by giving a free product to the 100thfollower, the 200th  follower, the 300th follower, etc.

33.   Create a Special Theme Package

The idea here is to create a package that fits a certain special event, appeals to a certain market, or accomplishes a certain goal.

Then discount this package to make it especially attractive.

For example:

  1. Create an instantly actionable “tool kit” of templates, checklists or other tools.
  2. Put together several time-saving products and call it the “Busy Mom’s Package.”
  3. Build a themed package of PLR (private label rights) content, such as “Christmas PLR,” and start selling it at least two months before Christmas.

34.   Do a Promo Video Promo

Ask your customers to create 15-30 second video advertisements for your product.

Then hand out prizes to the top three video producers, as well as lesser rewards for everyone who participated.

Note: Not only does this engage your audience, but you’ll also have free ad videos and social proof to use.

For example:

  1. Give a free lifetime subscription into your membership site to the winner.
  2. Fly your winner out to see you for a special daylong or weekend-long one-on-one consulting session.
  3. Offer a prize such as a free iPad to the winner.

35.   Negotiate an Exclusive Affiliate Discount

If you’ve proven yourself as a good affiliate capable of pulling in orders for vendors, then these vendors may be willing to offer you extra perks for your customers.

In turn, your customers get an attractive incentive to buy through your affiliate link, plus they feel special since you’re giving them something they can’t find anywhere else.

For example:

  1. Negotiate with the vendor to give your customers an extra percentage discount off the regular price, such as an extra 25% off.
  2. Ask the vendor to give your customers a special freebie, such as a “buy one, get one free” offer.
  3. Ask the vendor to offer a special bonus report or other product to your customers.

36.   Create a Vacation Sale

If you have a real “hands on” business where your presence is required – such as if you offer consulting or freelance services – then one promo you can do is create a vacation sale.

This is where you announce that you’ll be going on vacation on a certain date and closing down the shop… but you’ll offer an attractive incentive to everyone who orders before that date.

For example:

  1. Give a 25% off discount to anyone who spends at least $100 with you before the deadline.
  2. Give a special bonus product to anyone who purchases anything before your vacation deadline.
  3. Give a special “buy now at a discount and receive it later” promo – this works well with services, like consulting. You can collect the cash before you go on vacation, and then provide the services when you come back.

37.   Provide a Mystery Bonus

This is just what it sounds like you – you offer a bonus gift to purchase a product or service, except your customers won’t know what they’re getting until they make the purchase.

Tip: This works well because not only are you offering an incentive, but you’re arousing curiosity too.

Here are different ways to do this:

  1. Let customers know there is a mystery bonus, but let them choose which bonus they get. For example, when they get to the download page, they can choose from among three to five bonuses.
  2. Advertise a mystery bonus, such as a free report, but give prospects an idea of what they’re getting (e.g., hint at the topic). Also, be sure to let prospects know the value of the product.
  3. Offer a real mystery incentive – customers won’t know if they’re getting a virtual “grab bag” of products, access to a membership site, coaching or some other bonus.

38.   Celebrate an Anniversary

The idea here is to celebrate a business-related anniversary, such as the anniversary of your grand opening or even the launch of a product (such as your flagship product).

You can offer a special sales event or other incentives to help celebrate the anniversary. You might even hold a virtual online event to celebrate the anniversary.

Tip: While this sort of promo will boost sales for both new and existing customers, it works particularly well for long-time (loyal) customers.

That’s because they feel like part of your business, so they’ll be more excited about this type of sales event.

For example:

  1. Create a virtual even on Facebook and give away hourly door prizes to those who’re attending.
  2. Create a special “Anniversary Package” of products and offer it for a steep discount.
  3. Offer a special Anniversary Event, such as a free webinar to all your subscribers and customers.

39.   Do a Wheel of Fortune Promo

This is another fun way to engage your audience and use a special incentive to spur sales.

Simply have all participants spin a special online “wheel of fortune” which will tell them what sort of incentive they’ll receive.

For example:

  1. Let customers spin the wheel to receive a percentage off coupon, ranging from 5% to 100% (free product).
  2. Customer can spin the wheel to find out what bonus product they’ll receive when the make a purchase. Options should include everything from inexpensive reports to premium bonuses like a coaching session.
  3. Let customers spin the wheel to determine whether they’ll receive a bonus product, discount OR some other incentive. (I.E., put a variety of incentives on the wheel.)

40.   Start Low and Go High

There are two ways to do this promo.

  1. The first is offer your products on auction
  2. The second is to offer an incremental sale, where the price goes up every time someone makes a purchase

The incremental sale promo gives people an incentive to buy immediately, because they’ll get the best deal possible if they buy now.

If they wait even a few minutes, they may have to pay more.

The auction sale promo creates a sense of excitement and even scarcity around your product.

Indeed, if you only put a few of your products up on auction, you trigger scarcity which in turn creates higher bids.

For example:

  1. Put together a package of your best selling products and put them on a seven-day auction, starting at $1, with no reserve.
  2. Launch a new product using an incremental sale. For example, start at $20 and add ten cents every time someone purchases, until you reach the full retail price. Those who get in early save the most.
  3. Put together a package of products and hold an incremental sale for a week. Instead of the prices going up for every purchase, the price goes up every day by $10.

41.   Celebrate a Personal Occasion

Earlier we talked about celebrating business-related events, like the anniversary of opening the business.

The idea behind this tactic is to celebrate a personal event, such as your own birthday, with a big sale or other incentive.

Tip: This sort of promo works best if you regularly engage with your subscribers and share personal information.

Otherwise, if your business is branded under a more corporate identity, then this promo won’t make as big of a splash with your customers.

For example:

  1. If you run a dog-training site, then hold a big sale on your dog’s birthday.
  2. If you run a weight-loss site, then offer a free bonus or discount coupons on the anniversary of your own weight loss.
  3. For any site – offer a discount coupon equal to your age on your birthday. (E.G., if you’re turning 41, then offer 41% off.)

42.   Create an “Everyone Wins” Sale

Earlier you learned about offering an incentive to reach a social media milestone, such as getting a certain number of Facebook fans.

Now take that same idea, except here you’re rewarding your customers for purchasing a product.

In other words, if you reach a certain number of sales during a specific time frame, then everyone gets a special bonus.

This gives people the incentive to help you promote your offer.

Tip: The more attractive and valuable your incentive is, the more likely it is that your customers will help spread the word about the offer.

If you’re not using affiliates for this offer, then keep in mind that you can afford to give gifts worth 50% or more of the price.

In other words, since you’re not giving that amount to affiliates, you can give it right back to your customers instead, since they are helping you promote.

For example:

  1. If you’re selling a premium product like a home study course, then offer a Kindle to all customers if you reach a specific sales goal, like 500 sales.
  2. Offer a 25% rebate to all customers if you reach a specific sales goal.
  3. Offer incremental bonuses to all customers depending on the sales numbers. If you reach 100 sales, everyone gets a free report. If you reach 200 sales, everyone gets a free report plus access to a webinar. And so on.

Tip: Be sure to display a live update of how many sales are needed on your website to create excitement about the offer.

Be sure to provide a strong call to action, where you specifically ask your subscribers to tell their friends about the offer.

43.   Do a “Part Now, Part Later” Promo

Do you have a product that’s not quite ready for release, but you’d like to start bringing in some cash flow now?

Then you can offer a discount or other incentive to people who purchase the product before it’s finished.

Tip: Just to give your buyers some instant gratification, you can give them part of the product now, and give them the rest of the product when it’s finished.

For example:

  1. If you’re a home study course with multiple lessons, give them the first half of the lessons when they pay today, with the rest to be delivered in two weeks.
  2. If you’re creating a hybrid product (one that’s part downloadable, part physical), give them the downloadable part today… and they’ll receive the physical part when it comes back from the printer.
  3. Give customers access to all the bonuses today – including incentives like access to a membership support forum – and deliver the main product within a week or two.

One warning: Just be 100% sure you’ll be able to deliver the main product on time.

For example, you may want to have the product finished and just needing polishing touches before you make this sort of offer.

That way you don’t get caught without a finished product on the deadline.

44.   Do a Viral Promo

The idea behind this promo is to give your subscribers an incentive for performing a specific action, such as tweeting about an offer, liking a page, blogging about something, mentioning your content on a Facebook Wall and so on.

For example:

  1. Everyone who tweets a certain page out to their followers gets access to a free report.
  2. Everyone who blogs about an offer gets a 50% off coupon for that offer.
  3. Everyone who shares a post on Facebook gets three months free access into a membership site.

45.   Encourage Customers to Subscribe

Many marketers add all customers to a mailing list.

However, if you’d like to segment your customer list, then you might give customers an incentive to subscribe to your list, such as their choice of a free report across different topics.

You can then segment the list according to the topic they chose.

For example:

  1. Offer weight loss customers their choice of a free report on nutrition, exercise, OR motivation if they join a list.
  2. Offer dog-training customers their choice of a free video on puppy training, trick training OR obedience training if they join a list.
  3. Offer those who’ve purchased a marketing product their choice of free webinar, such as blogging, copywriting or SEO.

46.   Offer a Prelaunch Promo

This is a cool way to reward your best customers and/or reward your JV partners.

Simply offer a pre-launch sales event where these folks get to purchase the product at a discount and/or they get a special bonus.

They also get to purchase a day or two before everyone else, which makes them feel special.

For example:

  1. Create a special event three days before the product goes on launch to the public, where your JV partners get to offer their customers a special bonus package.
  2. Offer a 25% discount to your subscribers who buy before the official launch day.
  3. Give your subscribers a matching in-store credit on a future purchase if they purchase the product during your prelaunch event.

47.   Create a Free Consultation Promo

The idea behind this promo is to offer free coaching or consulting to anyone who purchases a certain product.

To boost conversion rates, be sure to make this offer available only to a limited number of people.

Tip: Not only is this a nice premium bonus, it makes people feel special, like they’re part of an “inner circle.”

What’s more, this personal contact gives you a chance to showcase your expertise and upsell additional coaching or consulting.

For example:

  1. Let customers who purchase your marketing package ask five questions by email within 30 days after purchase.
  2. Give free Skype group coaching to your weight-loss customers.
  3. Set up a private forum to answer questions for the first 200 customers who purchase a certain product.

48.   Offer Free Support

This is a great promo to offer if you sell any sort of software tools. You can offer free installation and set up, as well as free support.

You might even toss in free upgrades for a set amount of time.

For example:

  1. “Order this powerful social media networking platform now, and one of our staff will install and customize the software on your server for free!”
  2. “Order today and you’ll get free support for the first three years – this is a $297 value, so don’t miss out!”
  3. “Order now you’ll get free priority phone support for an entire year…”

49.   Turn Customers Into Affiliates

Depending on what niche you’re serving, many of your customers may not be interested in becoming full-fledged affiliates.

However, you can still recruit them to help you spread the word about your product, by offering them incentives when their friends buy a product.

To see an example from the banking world, think back to what ING Direct (now Capital One 360) used to do – if someone referred their friend and that friend opened up a savings account, both the friend and the referrer received $25 in their accounts.

This promo went viral and you could see folks promoting it all over.

Here are other examples you can use for your business:

  1. When a customer sends you one paying referral, they get the product for free.
  2. When a customer sends you three paying referrals, they get an attractive bonus offer such as access to a membership site.
  3. Anyone who refers at least five paying customers gets a “VIP Customer Package” which includes access to a private forum and free group coaching, plus discounts on future offers.

50.   Do a Quiz Promo

Here’s a fun way to engage your subscribers while also giving them a nice incentive to purchase a product.

You offer a niche-relevant quiz, and then give them a discount or other bonus for taking the quiz.

The cool thing about this promo is that the quiz can act as a presell tool. That is, it can show your subscribers how much they still need to learn about a specific topic.

If taking the quiz educates them about a topic or shows them some cool tips for doing something, then they’re more likely to buy your product on the same topic.

For example:

  1. Give your weight loss customers a quiz about how obesity affects health – once they’ve completed the quiz, they’ll be in an emotional buying state (fear)… so you can offer them an incentive such as a discount to buy now.
  2. Offer a discount coupon that goes with the prospect’s score. For example, create a 50-question quiz. If they get 30 right, they get 30% off. If they get 40 right, they get 40% off.
  3. Present a special bonus offer at the end of the quiz which is available to anyone who purchases a related product within 24 hours.

51.   Create a Regular Feature

The idea here is to create a regular promo feature on set days or dates, so that your subscribers have something to look forward to.

This even makes your newsletter more sticky, because subscribers will open the email on those dates to see what promo you’re offering.

Tip: Offering really juicy incentives, like steep discounts or big bonus packages will make your prospects anticipate these regular promos even more.

For example:

  1. On the first of every month you can offer a 50% discount on one of your products.
  2. Every Friday you can secure a discount on an affiliate offer and present it to your subscribers.
  3. On the 30th of the month you can run a promo for 30% off a particular product. (Or offer 28% off on the 2t8h, or 24% off on the 24th,)

52.   Offer Mystery Coupons

The idea here is to give a coupon code to your prospects, but they won’t know the value of the coupon until they enter it during checkout.

Even big companies like Dell use this promotion, which spurs sales by arousing curiosity and offering an incentive.

Here are examples of ways to do this:

  1. Randomly divide three coupon codes among your subscribers, with discounts such as 20%, 25% and 30%. Let subscribers know the minimum and maximum coupon values. (Note: Those who get the 30% coupon may share it with others – this is a bonus for you since you’ll enjoy more sales.)
  2. Offer a coupon code where most subscribers get a “standard” discount, such as 30%. Randomly mix in a surprise discount of 60% off. Let subscribers know how many of these big discount coupons are available.
  3. Give your customers mystery coupon which takes a specific dollar amount off, such as $25.

And now let’s wrap things up…


Congratulations – you just discovered 52 ways to stir up excitement, boost your conversion rates, engage your audience and make more money.

Specifically, you learned a wide variety of tactics for sending email promotions, including:

  • Offering mystery incentives
  • Holding private sales
  • Securing exclusive discounts from vendors
  • Doing a “wheel of fortune” promo
  • Holding special occasion sales
  • Creating deadlines and limits

And much, much more.

Whether you want to offer an incentive to spur sales, or you’re like to offer something completely unique, you now have 52 ways to do it – one for every week this year!

So pick one, create your promo and get it sent off today – you’ll be glad you did!