Essential Types of Promotion

Out of the four elements of the promotion mix, sales promotion is the one that places the most emphasis on opening channels of communication with your target audience. By providing information about your product, you can raise brand awareness to make customers aware of how it fulfills their needs.

To run an effective promotional marketing campaign, you need to learn about the different types of promotions and how they help you reach your consumer base.

General Advertising

General advertising reaches the widest audience through many types of mass media. Your advertisements can appear in newspapers, billboards, or radio and television commercials. This strategy works well for raising brand awareness and reaching new customers due to the large numbers of people that it exposes to your product.

These advertising promotions tend to be general rather than targeted, so actual return on investment may be low despite the benefits they bring to building your brand image. It is difficult to create an ad that is relevant to your audience without alienating other possible buyers. Advertising through the most popular channels also puts you up against more competition for potential customers’ attention.

Personal Selling

Personal selling is both one of the oldest forms of promotion and one of the most effective. By communicating face to face, on the phone, or through email, you ensure that the message is custom-made for each client. Real-time communication also makes it easier for salespeople to adapt to the customer’s needs or try a different approach if the current one is not effective.

While this personal touch is useful for cultivating partnerships and long-term customer relationships, personal selling promotion tends to be more expensive and has high labor requirements. Direct interaction with sales reps may also be less effective if the client perceives the sales pitch as pushy and repetitive or even if the salesperson’s personality does not resonate with them.

Direct Marketing

This type of promotion also involves reaching out to the consumer base but focuses on appealing to a select group of customers. Direct mail and email are the most prevalent forms of direct marketing and are usually much cheaper than general advertising meant for larger groups.

Sending direct mail lets you selectively send advertisements to part of your audience with tailored messages that fit their exact needs. Because you control which customers see certain prices or sales, direct marketing is useful to test the effectiveness of other promotions. It can also be one of the quickest promotion tactics as you can finish designing and sending out a mail campaign within a few days or weeks.

However, you must be careful to differentiate your marketing from mail sent by other companies. Advertisements that are too obtrusive or repetitive run the risk of turning into “junk mail” that lowers the customer’s opinion of your company.


Sponsoring a group or event involves providing resources such as your products or money for increased publicity. You could fund teams or individual athletes and ask that they include your logo on their clothing, contribute to local community events, or work with influencers.

Effective as sponsorships can be in bringing your company to the public eye and reaching a new demographic of loyal followers, they are usually expensive. The popularity and success of your sponsored team or event also have a direct effect on your return on investment, so sponsoring a losing team or an individual who behaves poorly can reduce your promotion’s performance.

Public Relations

Unlike sponsorship, public relations promotions develop a positive image of your brand through third-party media such as newspapers without directly funding them. The most popular public relations strategy is creating a press release, which raises public awareness through media outlets by providing professionally written promotional material that they can feature as news. You can also attend industry events to network with other professionals or organize your own public relations conference.

There are many other ways to improve your brand image, such as winning industry awards and building a portfolio of positive testimonials and reviews. Humanizing your brand through fair-trade promotions and collaborations with charitable causes will also improve your company’s public perception. Traditional public relations strategies may be less effective due to the uncertain popularity of traditional news outlets, so operating through multiple channels is a vital part of these promotions.

Sales Promotions

Sales promotions that mix elements excel at producing short-term improvements for your business’s bottom line. Companies can use various deals and offers to incentivize immediate purchases while raising brand awareness.


You could include vouchers or coupons in more general advertisements through newspapers and magazines or as part of a direct mailing campaign. These savings reward loyal customers if you include them as a part of packaging or newsletters—plus, they influence buyers to start thinking about their next purchase.

Coupons can also increase customer engagement by being a surprise or part of a game. Interactive mystery coupons should lead customers to a tailor-made landing page that entices them to use it immediately. They also contribute to the feeling that your buyer is receiving a better discount than they would from normal vouchers.

Free Shipping

Shipping fees can be an obstacle that causes customers on the verge of completing their purchase to hesitate. Even if they prefer your business and your products fit their needs, a shipping fee that the customer views as too expensive may cause them to consider your competitors.

By making all shipping free, you will reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts on your online store. Free shipping allows customers to make repeat purchases instead of being pressured to buy everything at once. It also makes returns less expensive, which allows them to buy your products even if they have any remaining doubts.

Contests and Giveaways

Chances to win free products generate interest in your business, but contests are especially effective when combined with social media. Requiring customers to share your content in comments, stories, and other posts to enter a giveaway easily spreads brand awareness.

This type of promotion method is particularly effective because you can tailor it to promote your brand to your preferred audience, increasing your future return on interest. Contest winners are usually excited to showcase their prizes through user-generated content or word of mouth as well.

Free Samples

Handing out free samples to all visitors, whether they initially intend to purchase anything or not, is a great way to introduce customers to new products they would not have tried otherwise. These promotions also help customers verify your product’s quality to encourage a potential buyer who may have been hesitant.

Samples work particularly well for restaurants, grocery stores, and farmer’s markets. Other service businesses such as spas can hand out samples of the products they use like lotions.

Buy One, Get One Free

Buy one, get one free promotions, also known as BOGO, offer two of a product at a reduced price to increase sales. This type of promotion creates a sense of urgency with a limited-time offer to reliably clear stock with minimal revenue loss.

BOGO offers work well for both product- and service-oriented businesses. Service business promotions typically require time more than any other resource, so a buy one, get one free deal is especially useful for filling schedules.

Flash Sales

These types of promotion strategies take limited-time offers to the extreme to create an even greater sense of urgency in your customers. Sales that only last for one day and offer significant discounts are especially effective if your company conducts most of its business through online sales.

Flash sales work best annually or on a set schedule that builds anticipation and lets customers prepare to make purchases quickly. They also require dedicated email or social media marketing campaigns to raise awareness and emphasize the need to act quickly to enjoy these limited offers.

Loyalty Programs

While sales promotions incentivize immediate purchases with offers that are available for a limited time, loyalty programs reward repeated purchases to improve your long-term profits. These incentives can include referral bonuses, points systems, or anniversary discounts. Loyalty programs create a personal bond between your brand and the customer, who feels appreciated and important.

To make sure they are effective, you need to carefully balance the rewards with the customer’s purchases to make sure the system is enticing without using too many of your resources. You could also complement your loyalty programs with sales promotions for more purchasing incentives, such as a sale that offers double loyalty points.

In-Store Promotion

Several types of promotions continue to raise awareness of your products as stores stock them. Packaging that is convenient as well as informative is important for attracting customer attention. It can include selling messages as well as other information to influence a buying decision.

Securing key sections of stores like end caps and checkout areas is another way to improve product promotion. Stores feature products they want to move quickly at the end of aisles to draw attention and make them more accessible for customers. Point-of-sale promotion near the register increases impulse purchases from customers who are already prepared to buy other products.

Digital Advertising

Not only is digital advertising one of the most cost-effective types of promotion; it also makes targeting specific demographics and adapting your campaign in response to analytics simple. There are various interactive online advertising channels that your company can use to boost conversion rates.

Social Media

Social media promotion resembles direct marketing in that you reach out directly to a specific part of your audience, but it aims to connect your company and the buyer on a more personal level. Feeds on social media expose users to all content on related pages, giving you more reach than specific searches in online engines.


Your social media page can use demographic information such as interests and geographical location to target more customers with buying intent, increasing brand recognition and improving conversion rates. Promotion on social media pages requires regular content updates and engaging discussions to remain effective, however.

Content Marketing

In content marketing, your business creates unique and informational content that you share online to acquire new customers and keep the interest of repeat buyers. Providing useful information builds trust in your company as a helpful resource to its customers and a knowledgeable professional in the industry.

Content marketing is one of the most flexible types of promotion. You can promote your content through channels including email subscriptions that keep potential customers up to date and industry blogger outreach programs that build backlinks. This also includes cost-effective digital advertising and videos or infographics on your company website.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) modifies your company’s online content to make it appear in a higher position on your target audience’s search engine results pages. While these practices mostly involve incorporating keywords with high search volumes, you can also improve your search result ranking by cultivating an inbound link catalog or improving online responsiveness.

SEO creates brand awareness by increasing your website traffic without having to use active advertising campaigns. There are many online tools to help optimize your content, but relying on a professional online marketing service like ours is the best way to appear in more organic results pages.

Mobile Advertising

Smartphones are overwhelmingly prevalent among internet users, so mobile advertising is an important part of any online promotion campaign. This includes automated SMS or MMS advertising as well as click-to-call ads, website banners, and push notifications. Mobile advertising also targets local demographics using location-based services.

The most important aspect of mobile marketing is to optimize your website for mobile devices. Difficulty navigating your webpage or inability to read text that resizes based on screen dimensions create uncomfortable user experiences that significantly decrease conversion rates. Search engine algorithms also use mobile website performance as a metric to determine result relativity, making mobile advertising a vital component of SEO practices.

Finding the best types of promotions for each business is one of the many steps we take to create a custom-tailored advertising solution for your company. Contact us at Gold Promotion to increase the return on investment of your digital marketing strategy today.

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