limited time offers

Warning: You’re Losing Money By Not Using Limited Time Offers

Many organizations run occasional promotions so that they can attract new customers or encourage existing ones to return. These promotions usually come around every now and again – like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Valentine’s Day. However, these events give businesses just a short amount of time to promote limited time offers before shoppers move on to another retailer. As a result, some retailers may find themselves missing out on potential sales.

As a result, many companies are turning towards more creative marketing strategies in order to remain competitive in an increasingly saturated advertising market. One example is the use of influencers. Instead of relying only on paid advertisements where the consumer has little to no say on what products they will receive, marketers are taking advantage of social media sites such as YouTube to create videos about their brands.

However, in the online world, limited time offers can run “evergreen” aka, continuously, as they are seen once by first-time shoppers and then disappear from their screens. Limited-times offers work well for online shoppers because they provide them with a compelling incentive to buy by creating an urgent need.

When an offer is made available at a certain date or within a certain timeframe, it becomes more appealing to potential buyers because they’re afraid to miss out on something good. In order to make sure your business gets maximum exposure using time-limited offers, you’ll need to learn how to use them to your advantage. Here’s the lowdown on how you can use these deals to your advantage when creating promotional material.

1. Use Limited Time Offers Strategically

If you are running an online shop and you are using quiz funnels then you need to make sure that when a quiz taker finishes he will be presented with an outcome – with a recommended product that matched his answers.

It is recommended at this very moment to present a discount as an incentive with a limited time (i.e. in the next 5 minutes) and then when the clock hits zero, even if he has saved the page in his bookmarks he won’t be able to see this offer again.

If you are not using quiz funnels and you simply taking advantage of seasonal holidays for limited time offers, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ve planned your promotions properly. While some retailers choose to run promotional activities simultaneously over several days, others prefer to restrict them to specific dates and times. By doing this, you can limit the number of products that go unsold while ensuring that your brand stays visible to consumers.

2. Promote Multiple Products at Once

It’s worth mentioning that not all limited-time offers are created equal. Some may offer substantial price reductions for items that are not selling fast. Others don’t really care so much and they do wide-site sales just to increase their sales and cover their current expenses. 

Sometimes, it is worthwhile to bundle many products together and make a “pack” a “bundle” or a “kit” and then reduce the price for purchasing the entire thing. Customers will recognise this as a value for money and most of the time will purchase it especially if you add a limited-time promotion there.

Another example is your company may offer a free shipping deal to customers who order two or three items at once or you may offer an additional product at a discount when a customer buys something and tie that into a limited-time offer – i.e. “Thank you for purchasing our past spoon, get the wooden spoon tray to rest the spoon when mixing your pasta, at a 20% off – a great value for money! Available only for the next five minutes”.

These types of offers work best because the customer has already shown interest in buying from you by visiting your website, so the next step is to reward them for doing so. 

3. Tie Your Deals Into Social Media Posts

Creating limited-time offers is one thing – promoting them is what makes them successful (but you already knew that, didn’t you).  Tying your limited-time offers with social media posts is currently one of the best free ways to promote them. Many companies engage with users via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok allowing them to share information regarding the sale and communicate with fans about upcoming offers.

Here is how to do it:

a. Set Up Social Media Channels for a Limited Time Sale

Set up a separate Twitter handle and Facebook page for your limited-time promotion. On your social media pages, you can tell followers about your promotion for only a certain amount of time, letting them know exactly when and for how long things will last.

This kind of communication with customers is key to keeping them interested and coming back for more. You also get to build excitement around your special event before it happens.

b. Create and Promote Limited-Time Offers Using Multiple Platforms

Promoting your sales through multiple platforms allows you to reach out to different audiences and spread your message across various networks. For example, if you sell products on Amazon but also offer discounts on your website, you can run ads targeting both sites promoting your deals. Then at the end of the promotion, you evaluate which medium and sales channel was more effective and adjust accordingly next time.

Also, try to make sure that different promotions go live at different times so that your audience sees something fresh every day.

3. Use Social Media Posts to Tie Your Sales To Customers’ Lives

Tagging a repeat, loyal customer in a photo posted during a special promotion is a fun way to connect with your clients. Showing them that you’re thinking of them helps build trust and loyalty. It also encourages them to come back to your store or shop again.

Here is how to do it: 

Step 1: Create Your Photo Album With Tags

Let’s assume here that you’ve already created an album on Facebook called “Customers,” but let me explain first the process of tagging your customers’ faces and adding custom text to every image in the album.

First, log in to Facebook, click on your “Customers” album and hit the Edit button so you can view the images and comments.

Step 2: Next, select a group of six to 12 images that represent your best day’s sales activity and upload them to your computer.

Step 3: Drag the images onto a blank background (you can use a white background or another color if you prefer) and place them in order. Finally, click Save and continue editing your album.

Now that you’ve uploaded your photos, it’s time to add tags for every face in the pictures. To do that, go to the Tools tab and click on the Tag People icon.

Enter a name for each customer; make sure the names are meaningful and descriptive. Click Add Person and enter additional information about the customer, including gender, date of birth, location, occupation, etc.

Finally, after saving your changes, click Share now to publish your album.

Step 4: Post a Picture and Tag Customers

Now, it’s time to actually tag your customers! Select a picture from the album you just created and edit it to fit the desired look. When done, save the edited image.

Go to your Timeline and click Post Now. Scroll down to find the Manage Tagged option, and click it.

Under the section titled “Create a new tagged photo”, click Use Existing Photo and browse to the saved image you just edited.

Click Use As Tagged Photo and proceed to type the appropriate tag for every customer. If necessary, zoom in to read the description and change its font size.

Once you’ve finished typing out all the tags, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Done Editing. Finally, click Save Changes.

4. Add Content Related to Your Promotion

Not all content needs to revolve around making money. You can still add value to your fans and followers by sharing helpful tips and tricks, answering questions, talking about customer service experiences, or anything else related to your business.

For example, let’s say that you sell vitamins, i.e. vitamin D. You could create a blog post around all the benefits of vitamin D and then the link to your quiz or a promo. Prospective customers who actually read the entire blog post (you can see that through Google Analytics) have more chance of taking the quiz that is embedded into your article and then ending up buying the limited-time offer, rather than those that didn’t.

This way, you can measure how content plays a role during promotions vs normal time and how content contributes to limited-time offers vs normal sales.

5. Pay Attention to Customer Reviews

Showing appreciation for reviews left by happy customers is another way to build rapport with your audience. When you see negative reviews, respond promptly and honestly, explaining what happened and what you plan to do in order to address issues. 

Offer a discount or a free product in order to redeem your brand in your customer’s eyes. 

6. Share Exclusive Photos & Videos With Fans

For some reason, posting exclusive photos and videos makes people feel like you care about them. They’ll be even more likely to buy from you knowing that you put effort into building relationships with them. Plus, they’ll be able to relive the experience later whenever they’re feeling nostalgic.

7. Send limited-time offers to your email list

This is a biggie. We see, time and time again, even with small lists of around 10,000 people that limited-time offers convert around 10-15% depending on the product, the discount or the type of promo that is sent.

The best time to do this is on weekends, but in reality, if you are running a quiz funnel, anytime will do – it all depends on the size of your email list. In our experience, lists with over 10,000 people work best.

If you run a quiz funnel, you have two options:

– Run the discount immediately after the welcome email

– Run the discount at the end of the workflow

We totally prefer the latter as we use the workflow to build a product and brand awareness (DigitalMarketer.com calls it indoctrination, but we hate this word), explain the brand values and present reviews, customer testimonials on the way and THEN send them the limited-time offer.

One of the best ways we found of doing so is to have a countdown timer within the email which really adds to scarcity and urgency factors. In fact, we saw more conversions when we did have the countdown timer, rather than when we simply stated it.

IMPORTANT- Always, always include a P.S. in your emails previous to sending the limited-time offers via email. This preps the reader and sometimes they are eagerly awaiting the email to take the offer. If you send the email with a discount without the warning (the P.S.) your chances of getting the sale are less |(unless you run the offer for a few days).

Speaking of days, not everyone is ready to buy when you decide to sell. This is why it is important, apart from prepping the recipient to remind the customers with two or three emails that the offer continues and that they will miss out on X day unless they act now. Works most of the time 🙂

Creating Marketing Personas: Boost Your Traffic More Than 300% Knowing Your Ideal Client

Get to know your customers.

A phrase that means so much, but yet very few companies use it fully.

This post is specifically addressed to “Mary”, “David” or “Zao”.

All these people are “marketing personas”, working and living in the USA, Europe and Asia. Their names are fictional and may represent your ideal client.

These people could be your customers. For example, David could be working as a Marketing Manager for a manufacturing company in Germany. Zao may be working as a Comms Manager for Acme Steelworks in China, and similarly, Mary could be a Marketing Executive for a US-based online retailer.

All these fictional characters are part of what we call, personas. You may have heard them by other terms, like avatars, buying personas or ideal clients. The names don’t really matter.

What matters is that to find, attract, convert and qualify these people, you need to personify your ideal client(s).

Building marketing personas for the audience you address can help improve the way you solve challenges for your customers. The process of creating personas is well worth the time.

Here is a blueprint and beginner’s guide to getting started.

Starting With The Basics: Creating A Persona Sheet & What It Must Contain

As with every “war” plan, everything should start with pen and paper. So, all you have to do is jot down all the information that you think a persona may “need” to be created.

However, before we continue, there is a question going on in your mind, and that is “but wait! I have more than one buyer! Would that apply to me?

To which I respond, yes, that would apply to you.

If so, how many of these buying personas do you need to create?

What I always recommend is that, in order not to waste your time in creating several personas that may have different characteristics, sum up everything into three to five personas the most (unless your marketing department can waste their time in creating more than five, which is totally fine). Over the years, I have found that this number is just the right size to represent your buyer’s characteristics and at the same time, be as specific as possible.

Start with basic information. Ideally, what you need to know is who the person is, what they care about, and how you think you must “speak” to them. Here is a list of what you should include in your marketing persona template:

Persona Name, i.e. Jennifer Higgins

Job title

  • Provide information about the ideal company you would like them to work in (size, type, etc.)
  • Details about their role

Demographics

  • Age
  • Gender
  • What is their salary and how much do they take home?
  • Where are they located? Is it a big city? A suburban area? At the countryside?
  • Education
  • Family

Goals and challenges

  • What are their primary goals? What is they are trying to achieve within the scope of their role? Remember, your business exists to make your ideal client’s job easier.
  • Secondary goal
  • How you help achieve these goals
  • Primary challenge
  • Secondary challenge
  • How you help solve these problems

Values / fears

  • Primary values
  • Common objections during the sales process

In addition, you should write what your core marketing message must be that encompasses all the above. And that is the hard part.

Elevator pitch: Last but not least, when you approach them, what do you say that is memorable, stands out and makes an impression, leaving your competition that simply says “we are the leading blah, blah, blah”

If the above is unclear or overwhelming, no worries, we have examples below. For the moment, please keep reading.

Step 2: What additional persona information can you think of?

As Dan Kennedy points out, all businesses are the same. However, deep down, you and I agree that each business appeals to different buyers, that have different characteristics. In my 20 years in marketing, I never came across creating the same personas for different businesses in the same industry, so take my word when I say that personas can vary from business to business and industry to industry.

With that in mind, you might consider adding some additional, more specific bits of information that you may know or suspect is appealing or used by your personas.

  • Hobbies/interests
  • Where do they get their news from
  • Blogs they read
  • Influencers they follow

Step 3: Obtain the information for creating your persona

Having said the above, I assume that you created your sheet of paper with all these titles and you have possibly added a little info there. What about the rest? Where do you get all the information you need to “formulate” a persona? There are too many sources where you can get vital information for your audience, maybe too many to count –  these range from data logged in your site statistics to even talking with real-life prospects or customers.

Let’s explore three for now (the most important ones):

A. Start by analysing your website statistics

Your nr. one source of free, unbiased marketing information is, and probably will always be, Google Analytics. Log in to your dashboard and from there:

  • Scroll over to the audience insight tab
  • You will see subcategories where you can gather interests, locations, demographics and anything else you may find relevant to your research.

B. Continue with social media research
Social media provides an excellent resource for what exactly your audience thinks, speaks about and feels. Buffer, the popular social media management tool, has a very extensive post on how to use social media to understand buyers’ conversations.

Therefore, you can also use social media listening to find your potential customers asking questions in real-time.

For example, this is a screenshot from our dashboard, monitoring conversations all around the web (including Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, Reddit, Blogs and News sites) for Vitafoods Europe 2019:

And this is how mentions are forming during the month:

C. The obvious: Ask your audience questions.
No one knows better about what your customer wants than your customers themselves. To understand your audience better, there are three ways: pick up the phone, and talk to them, create a quiz to find out what they need.

A quiz is one of the cheapest, most-qualifying methods for learning more about your audience. If you do not know what to ask, try these questions that will help you start:

  • What’s important to them in their current role?
  • What would they like to change?
  • Who do they turn to for advice or information?
  • How do they make decisions? Who else is involved?
  • Do they assign any values when they obtain the necessary results?

Unfortunately, this is a very large subject to go into detail and there are a lot of moving pieces to elaborate on. However, if you are stuck or unsure, simply connect with me on LinkedIn and I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Step 4: Suppress your inner self by challenging creating personas!

While making personas, you may go into whole new trouble identifying, qualifying and connecting with people – investing time that you may not have. At some point, either your inner self, or someone else from your team may question the entire process, and you start wondering if all this trouble may produce something tangible to help your business go forward.

Well,  It might seem like fluff, but details like this do serve an important purpose:

  • First, creating personas will force you to go deeply into your audience’s shoes. You will start experiencing customers and prospects differently and you will begin to understand the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of your customers.
  • Second, by going through all this trouble, you will unearth tactical opportunities for your product or business that you may never have paid attention to before. See these opportunities as a way to improve your customers’ lives. If you know what Jane cares about, and your product or service solves what she cares about, then you just discovered ways to provide solutions for Jane.

Putting it all together: Examples of marketing personas

As mentioned above, marketing personas will vary from company to company. There will, of course, be similarities that run throughout all personas. Hubspot, the online CRM company, has gathered lots of amazing examples in one place where companies have shared one of their own marketing personas. Buyer Persona is also a platform where you can see examples and also create marketing personas.

Takeaways

Marketing personas will help you identify and connect with your ideal clients, enabling you to better solve their problems. When you solve your client’s problems, you are the go-to person and no one can take that away from you – your competition is irrelevant.

One thing I haven’t mentioned so far is that creating personas is, as with everything with marketing, tough 🙂 So, if you have a team and co-workers, make sure that they are on board and get involved at every aspect of the creation process; each member team will bring a different perspective and different information to the table.

Once you have your personas ready, it’s easier to communicate your marketing message and craft different elevator pitches for the sale, marketing and hiring teams.

Have you tried creating marketing personas? What elements of your persona template have been particularly helpful?