Do you run regular promotions and sales events? How far in advance do you plan them out? You may start planning a promotion several weeks or even several months ahead. But have you ever considered scheduling a full year ahead?
It might seem like a strange idea but it’s a very effective way to achieve business goals through promotions. It’s also not hard to do. In fact, planning in advance saves you time later and allows you to run more strategic promotions. Here are the 5 reasons you should create an annual promo calendar.
1. Boost Revenue
The main reason businesses hold promos is to boost revenue. If you offer your customers a great deal with fantastic value, you’ll see more sales. Promos are offered for a limited time only, creating a sense of urgency that pushes people to buy.
One effective strategy you can use is to offer promos during times of the year where you see a sales slump. Your offer will boost sales during this period, and you can make up the lost revenue. This allows you to ensure that your earnings remain stable all year long and there is no lull.
The key to earning more with promos is to offer them at times that are relevant to your customers, such as holidays they celebrate or events they attend. The other secret to success is that you must offer excellent value. It shouldn’t just be a reduced price, but something that will benefit the customer. This is why it’s important to plan the year’s promo calendar in advance.
2. Attract and Retain Customers
You can use your promos to attract new customers and retain existing ones. Advertise your deals broadly across social media platforms and other marketing channels, and you’ll see an increase in first-time buyers. They’ll experience the value you offer firsthand, and you can then continue selling to them.
Some businesses use promos to strengthen relationships with existing customers. You can offer deals to people who have already purchased from you as a way of saying thanks and rewarding their loyalty. You can also use them to bring back customers who have not purchased in a while.
Before deciding the exact promotions and sales to run, you need to first choose your goals for each. You’ll then plan the specifics of your offers depending on its objective. If you want to attract new customers, you might run a promotion on a flagship product to bring in new business. For customer retention, you might offer exclusive content for buyers only.
3. Drive Awareness of Your Brand
In addition to growing your customer base and boosting sales, your promotions can help you establish your brand in the marketplace. Brand awareness allows the public to understand who you are and what unique value you can offer them. When your market has the right idea about your business, you will see more sales and higher customer satisfaction.
There are many ways to drive brand awareness through your promotions. One example is to give something away for free. This could be free content that helps people solve a problem they’re facing. By offering this content for free, it highlights to customers that you have expertise in solving problems in your topic area.
4. Increase Customer Satisfaction
Promotions can increase customer satisfaction by providing what customers with what they need exactly when they need it. For example, as the holidays roll around, everyone is looking for ways to save on products they’ve had on their wish list. You can create a sale with the right timing around this holiday that provides just what your customers are looking for.
You’re also giving your customers more options. Your yearly promotional calendar includes a variety of offers at different price points. This provides more ways for buyers to enjoy the value of your products while also giving them the delight of knowing they’ve saved money.
If you want to keep your customers happy and coming back for more, you need to understand them so well that you know what they need and when they need it. Pay especially close attention to problems and issues they face. To gain this understanding, conduct direct and indirect research, and create opportunities for your market to give you feedback. Then use this feedback to plan your promotions and offers.
5. Create the Right Promo for the Right Time
Designing your promos in advance allows you to create the most powerful, effective, and timely promotions with the least amount of pressure on you possible. With an understanding of your audience’s needs and the annual sales cycle, you have a chance to plan strategically and generate offers that are guaranteed to be profitable.
Best of all, you won’t be stuck at the last minute having to pull something together. You’ll have plenty of time, months ahead of each promo, to get ready. You will also have ongoing feedback from your market so you can make changes as needed. Your calendar will enable you to stay on top of things and offer the maximum value.
What Are the Best Times for Promos?
Off of the top of your head, you can probably identify some times of year when you see companies holding promos. In addition to holidays, you might see seasonal events, like spring and summer sales, or back-to-school specials. Anything whatsoever can be a good opportunity for a promo. If you can identify some yearly event that matters to your customers, you can use this for a promo.
However, the appropriate times of year for sales events depend on your market, your industry, and your business itself. The best way to find these opportunities is to get a deep understanding of your customers and analyze your sales data. Look over the last few years and you’ll see patterns. There are certain times of year where sales lag. These are the best times to plan promos so you can make up for any slump in revenue or cash flow. You may choose other times as well that are likely to be profitable.
If you’re just at the early stages of your business, make a good guess. Once you start doing more sales, you can monitor your results and see what’s working and what isn’t. If a promo isn’t successful the first time round, try to analyze why and learn from it. If you see success with an offer, add it to your repertoire and repeat.
How to Plan an Effective Promo Calendar
Planning a yearly promo calendar is not hard to do at all. It just requires a few basic steps.
Analyze the market
In addition to researching your customers and past sales data, another important factor is the competition. Follow your competitors and see what they do with their promotions so you can get ideas for your own. Look also at major brands such as Amazon and Apple to see how they run their promos. You’ll find ideas you can use and gaps in your niche that no one is serving. This is where you step in with your offer.
Set your objectives
Identify your goal for your promos. Is it to grow your audience and drive brand awareness? Or is it to retain customers and strengthen relationships? It’s good to have multiple goals but choose one as your main objective to help with planning. Make your objective as specific as possible so that you can measure it and assess whether you’re reaching it or not.
Set your promo timing
Determine when you’ll hold your promos throughout the year. Pick holidays, events, seasons, and other times that your analysis shows are important to your audience and profitable for you. Remember that you can always invent an occasion for a promo if there isn’t a holiday or event there already.
Choose promo types
There are many types of promos you can hold throughout the year. This includes:
- Flash sales
- Product bundles
- Buy-one-get-one-free offers
- Loyalty programs,
- and so on…
Use your customer feedback data to choose the type of offers they will love.
Craft your offers
The last step is to create you’re the offers you’ve decided on. Choose the products and services you’ll include in each promo and create your marketing materials so that you emphasize the benefits to the user.
Once your offer is live, monitor your results and you can then refine your strategy to make it even more effective next time.