So you’re probably wondering, “What’s the best way to use promotional codes?” Well, reach into your marketer’s toolbox and pull out two proven tactics: Limited Time Offers and Exclusive Offers.
Limited Time Offers
In the psychology of selling, limited time offers provide the consumer a strong incentive to act immediately, as they promote a sense of urgency that counters natural inclinations to procrastinate or forget.
VitalSite has a built-in mechanism for publishing and archiving promotion codes automatically on specific dates. By using this feature, you can create your promotion codes and start your campaigns with the assurance that site visitors will only be able to use the promotion codes on the dates you specify.
My favorite limited time offer campaigns include early-bird discounts to registrants who sign up at least two weeks before the class, and special one-day promotions to motivate registrations with the offer of a steep discount for acting immediately. Of course you can (and should) experiment and find the types of limited time promotions that work best for your organization and events.
As with any promotion, you’ll want to target specific communities, use the codes appropriately, and pay attention to the results. Too many limited time offers and your audience will quickly grow fatigued. Too few and you may miss out on revenue due to fewer registrations.
Next to limited time offers, exclusivity is also a strong motivator for action. Chances are you have a number of opportunities to use exclusive offers to drive event registrations:
- Direct mail – Identify a target market and send them a promotion code for a discount that is not publicly advertised or announced outside the direct mail campaign. Make sure to tell your readers that not everyone has access to this promotion code. Otherwise, the strong motivational component of exclusivity doesn’t exist and won’t work in your favor.
- Social networks – Offer incentives for people to follow your organization on your social media outlets by periodically offering promotions and discounts exclusively through those channels. Not only can this drive registrations, but it provides your audience with tangible value for following your social media stream.
- Organization blogs – Have mommy bloggers or doctor bloggers? A great way to reward blog followers while driving registrations is to promote relevant calendar events through these channels. Provide your bloggers with unique promotion codes they can offer their readers. Used effectively, this approach can drive registrations and readership at the same time.
VitalSite’s Calendar & Event Directory is a powerful tool that can help you contribute to your organization’s bottom line while helping with patient education, public health and community awareness of your organization’s expertise. In addition to the approaches indicated above, there are a plethora of other ways to use promotion codes (such as running combination deals, core SEO principles, and other approaches to marketing and promoting your events).