How to use a sale to get more business

Small BusinessCategory
9 min read
Dylan Culhane

A good sale is sustainable to your bottom line and welcomed by customers looking for value for money.

It’s also a great opportunity to remind people that you’re still open for business and attract new, loyal customers.

Here's how you can build up your customer base using a sale.

How to use a sale to get more business

The sale is a tried and trusted way to promote your business, boost revenue, and make people feel good about their purchase. Ultimately, everyone likes to feel like a winner when they walk away with a bargain.

Planned well, they’re a great short-term booster to:

  • Spike interest
  • Gain customers
  • Get some product moving

All of these can be as valuable for motivation as they are for your bottom line.

Why launching a sale is important for small business

For small businesses, a strategic sale can be the gentle nudge to convert a new customer from “I’m interested” to “let’s do this”.

If you’re just starting out and trying to gain a foothold in a crowded market, you can start with a tempting introductory offer.

This is a brilliant way to:

  • Get your business noticed
  • Promote your brand
  • Attract some of your competitor’s more fickle followers

For existing customers and followers, you can present discounts as exclusive rewards to help build loyalty.

Treating your core customers right is most important.

And with the right message, a sale could be your brand’s way of helping folks out in a time when money is hard to come by.

Avoid common pitfalls ‍when pricing

Make sure you’re being careful when tinkering with the price of your product. Your product is inextricably linked to its perceived value and a “90% off” or “Five for the price of one” sale could raise a few red flags for savvy shoppers.

Similarly, if you’re always running a sale, people will start to question if your discounts offer any value. Remember to use sales sparingly and set a specific goal in mind. This could include a seasonal tradition or a 24-hour flash promotion. Whatever route you decide to take, do it thoughtfully and make it count. ‍

Design tips to get you noticed‍

The most important thing is that people know about your promotion. Take the time to design some eye-grabbing posters and spread the word far and wide. Use the tips below to help get you started.

Be bold, but stay true to yourself: If ever there was an excuse to use bold colours and display fonts, this is it. But stay true to your brand’s identity above all.

Utilize motion to grab attention: It’s worth it to use GIFs or a video template to stand out in people’s social media feeds.

Make sure your call-to-action (CTA) is clear and unmissable: Potential buyers need to know exactly what the special is and what they need to do to get it. Making the mechanism too complex, or burying terms and conditions in the small print, is the easiest way to lose a lead and cause frustration.

Generate hype ahead of time: Creating fear of missing out and building hype is critical to your sale’s success and promoting your brand. Anticipation and limited availability serve as fuel for the fire when it comes to promotions.

Avoid recycling the same poster design: This might make it invisible over time. Instead, try planning different design phases that lead up to your sale. You can use similar aesthetics to maintain interest and create the impression of something growing day by day.

Additionally, spreading similar promo designs over different platforms can also only help build awareness.

Here’s how GoDaddy Studio can help

Luckily, GoDaddy Studio has specific layout collections to help you design your own sale promo. It allows you to easily create a multi-platform campaign leading up to your business promotion. Simply pop your own images and text into these pre-designed templates for a clean and beautiful design in minutes. GoDaddy Studio is free to GoDaddy Website Builder users. (This guide explains more about how to use GoDaddy Studio to create great visuals.)

Beyond the specific promotion at hand, wrapping up your marketing material with a coherent and professional design makes a great impression for your brand.‍

Utilize a marketing calendar‍ to help with promo planning

Take advantage of seasonal opportunities. Many industries (most notably fashion) operate by the shifting seasons.

Clearance sales are the perfect time to refresh your inventory and offer customers a few benefits in the process.

Special celebration days might range from Easter to National Pancake Day. It’s important to be aware of dates like these in regards to sales, especially if they align with your audience’s likes and interests. You can also use them for extra promo power to help encourage meaningful engagement with your target audience.

Key marketing tactics to try‍

These are a few variants of the discount promotion you might want to try for your own brand or small business. Let’s review them below.

The seasonal sale‍

The seasons shift in very convenient three-month phases, enabling four foundational sales every year. These shifts are essential for fashion (or anything fashionable) to keep offerings on-trend.

The upside is that consumers expect these, so you’ll have an eager audience looking out for discounts. But you’ll need to work hard to stand out and out-promote the competition.

Off-peak deals also work well for seasonal industries like:

  • Tourism
  • Swimwear
  • Restaurants

They often do this to keep business ticking into the quiet times.

Special days

Whereas seasonal sales are quite generic, special days help you find and target a relevant crowd to which you can promote your brand. Most brands plan these days ahead of time on a marketing calendar.

But besides obvious holidays like Christmas and Halloween, you’ll want to look out for celebrations that align with your product and your audience. There are many special days for the following niche audiences:

  • Yoga
  • Craft beer
  • Mental health
  • The environment
  • Women in tech
  • Bulldogs
  • Hot dogs

Your company’s anniversary and other milestones count too, so take advantage where you can!

The exclusive sale‍

You’ve worked hard to gain the followers you have, so it’s worth making them feel special to keep ‘em coming back for more.

Never underestimate the marketing power of a happy customer.

An exclusive sale is more likely to have a higher engagement since you’re selling to folks who already know (and hopefully love) your brand.‍

Mystery deals

Intrigue new customers by offering a range of variable discounts or special offers to promote your business. These promos can range from 10% to 50% off and entice the customer to click the offer to see if it’s their lucky day or not.

If they end up being offered a discount at the higher end of the spectrum, there’s a decent chance they’ll see it as a sign and jump on the opportunity. Done right, mystery deals can be more engaging and feel more personalized. ‍

Sign-up specials‍

One of the most failsafe ways to acquire a potential customer is with a sign-up offer. You can think of it as a very clean and mutually beneficial agreement. While you gain a new lead, they gain a wicked deal on their first purchase or session. Everybody wins!

Activating a new customer is one of the hardest things to do for a small business, so it’s worth the cost and effort to incentivize this. Simply bringing them into your orbit (via a newsletter sign-up or social media follow) is worth offering something in return. If a customer feels noticed or taken care of from the start, it bodes well for the ongoing journey.‍

Buy one get one free

Aah, the classic BOGOF technique. There’s a reason we all know the phrase “buy one get one free” so well. It works like a charm at ramping up sales because free or discounted stuff is very hard to say no to.

A good BOGOF promo works great for introducing a wider range of products to your customers.


Before you go live, make sure you have the essentials in place. Use the checklist below to help launch your sale effectively and better promote your brand.


Create a timeline to plan ahead and use the following questions as your guide:

  • When does it kick-off and end?
  • Are there different phases to the sale?
  • When will you start advertising it?

Answering these questions will set up the frame for the rest of your parameters.

Measuring success

Zeroing in on goals and objectives will give you a clear direction on how to measure success. Ask yourself the following questions before getting started:

  • What are you hoping to achieve with this promotion?
  • Is it just about the number of units sold?
  • Are you more interested in new leads or retaining customers?

Once you have these answers, work out how you’ll measure success (Google Analytics is a good start). You’ll learn plenty for future promotions by monitoring this data. ‍

Terms and conditions

Don’t wait for a disgruntled customer or a devastating loophole to pop up. Take a moment to think through the basic terms and conditions and make them known. Post them on your website or somewhere in your social post. ‍

Unmissable social media posts

Visibility within your social media posts can’t be overemphasized. And while attracting attention to your sale is one thing, making it seem enticing and well-organized is another.

Make your sale look professional with GoDaddy Studio

A professional design evokes a quality product or service. Nobody needs to know you made it yourself in GoDaddy Studio. Try it out for free and see how it’ll save you time and money.

All images are available as editable templates in GoDaddy Studio.

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