Mortal Kombat eCom Edition: Straight Discount or Percentage Off – Who Wins?

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The success of any promotional campaign (FB ad, email, random small town bakery…) is dependent on 3 things:

  • The Strength of The List/Audience (if the people on your list/you drive suck b00lz, it won’t matter
  • The Strength of the Copy (if the words and pics you use on ads/emails/… are bad, your conversion will be bad too)
  • The Strength of the offer (also product/service)

This strength of the offer is arguably the most powerful one.

Have a look at the Nike AF1 ad, bruh!!! It’s really bad copy and “poor design” does not do it justice. But guess what. If you like Nike, I’m guessing you’d probably click that and grant a pair for yourself. ?

After being sure it’s not some kind of spam of course.

If the offer is really good, the copy almost doesn’t matter. The list/audience still kind of does (I can explain this one next time).

I could go on a long rant about which brands are pulling this off today etc… but let’s get practical.

Your classic offers are discounts. The oldest trick in the book. People simply can’t resist a good bargain. I primarily deal with emails, but this goes for various ad offers too. 

What sort of discount should you give to people, and should it be % off or a fixed fee $$ off?

There’s a two-word answer to that. It depends

The concept of perceived value would be offended at me explaining it with this example, but let’s do it anyway, who cares about offending anyone anyway. 

Let’s say your product list price is $23.99.

You can give the people a 20% discount on the item.

Or you can give them $5 off.

Pretty much the same for your pocket – but might be wildly different results. I haven’t done any research or tested this with ads – but it can work wonders in email.

With lower-priced products, the fixed fee off usually needs to be done with a bundle, otherwise, it doesn’t work for obvious (marginal :D) reasons.

Let me give you another example – the usual discount scheme we had for a client was 60% off on the website, and an additional 20% off on that.

Then we changed it to $50 OFF (but only orders above $189). Campaign crushed it. (check the example) Btw if you wonder about the segmentation used in the campaign or the epic open rates, check some of my other posts on the blog.

So look, it really depends on what you’re doing and to who you’re selling. A Mexican client is doing great with an offer of 100 pesos off. It’s like $5, but it seems a lot in a different currency.

Just play around, do some testing, and you find some really cool stuff.

And another tip – mix them up. Don’t always just go percentage discount mode, and don’t always just go fixed fee off. People get tired and bored, so if you mix it up, it will be better.

As said, I’m rocking this with email, but haven’t tested on ads, so anyone that has lots of experience with that plz do share. ?

Email marketing success of a promotion

If you want me to address the strength of the list/audience and/or the strength of the promo copy, do mention that in the comments. I can bust some stuff out next week. Any questions also welcome of course, will try to answer as much as I can.

Bostjan ✌️⚡️


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