Email Marketing 101: How To Sell More Without Relying On Heavy Discounts

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When you see an offer on your favourite product at say half price, would you think twice before you get your hands on the deal? Probably not! 

The observation here might sound like you were triggered by price, but what if we said that some other product was at half price. Would you still jump at buying it because it’s on a discount or pass? Probably the latter.

So there you have it. Yes, a discount on a product you need or like helps push the customer further in the direction of making the final purchase but it’s not the only motivational factor. Some products sell more when the price drops, while some still sell regardless of a high price. In economics, this is called the “price elasticity of demand”. So the question arises, how to promote a product with a low price elasticity of demand without being heavily reliant on heavy discounts all the time?

After all, a product always on discount isn’t the best look either. Not to mention, the huge toll it takes on your profit margin.

So, as email marketing specialists, who are tasked with coming up with regular campaign ideas, but not always having the additional support of a discount code, we have a few nuggets of wisdom to share on selling without discounts.

1. Focus on building a brand

Let’s face it. Brands attract a premium price. In fact have you seen your favourite brands on a huge or regular discount? An excellent example would be the Apple products. Apple has created and nurtured such a brand identity that its products get sold out on the launch day at a premium, leave alone without a discount. People buy good brands, even when they’re not on discount. In fact, some brand loyalists wouldn’t touch a brand that’s always on discount for the fear of it being a substandard or a “bourgeois” brand.

But building a brand is easier said than done. It takes time and consistent effort. We fall in love with brands because of the stories behind them. And we get more hooked on brands when we learn more about you, the person behind the brand name. How have you started your brand? We want to know why you are in this business. Basically, open your heart and dive deep into your initial drivers; You might surprise yourself when you recall that a conversation that you had with your dad when you were young was the reason behind you starting this business, Share your story and own it.

2. Live up to your customers’ expectations and delight them

Commit to grow based on your customer’s experience. Keep a close eye on each review and do regular surveys; Keep an open mind to accepting negative reviews. These are coming from people who might be your future loyal customers if you take their opinions into consideration, They will turn into your future loyal customers and will open their wallets and heart to your products, with or without a discount.

Reward your loyal customers; Build a community of your most loyal customers so they can share their experiences together and stay connected to your brand through the community. You can prompt it on your website and social channels. You can also organize small gatherings if possible and make them feel even more special.

Sell Status; The benefits here can be early notification of new products coming out, customized requests, and special bundles, coupons for future use, and free shipping.


3. Highlight the uniqueness of your product

A product relies on discounts when it operates in a competitive market, but what if your product was unique or at least projected to be so? You could command a price without objections.

Find the unique selling point of your product; It could be one of the ingredients, the design, or the quality. Find that competitive edge, and use it. This is a very effective strategy that a lot of empires build on. Build your entire marketing strategy around that USP. Sell that. It matters more than a discount.

4. Offer equivalent discounts or other incentives other than price discounts

Offer competitive after-sale services such as long term warranties and free replacements. That will bring more integrity to your brand and will encourage first-time purchases.

A financial non-discount incentive can be offering a BOGO (buy one get one) free offer, a free gift with a purchase, or even free shipping. Sometimes a clever way to offer a discount while not really offering a real cash off is to offer a subset or a smaller sample of a product at a cheaper price. If you can convince the buyer of the product, they’ll come back wanting more, and at its original price.

5. Play into the customer psychology

Sometimes the buyer psychology is such that they don’t trust heavily discounted products! So instead of helping push more product, sometimes discounts can backfire. “What’s the catch if the product is so discounted? Maybe it’s old stock.”

If you decidedly don’t offer regular discounts, highlight the “why” in your marketing. Many brands are known to never offer discounts other than on Black Friday sales

Think of your brand as your child. Do you want to spoil your baby by offering too many gifts? Instead, define your customer persona, spend some time building the ideal customers and learn more about your buyers by testing and consistently evaluating their behavior and adjusting your marketing plan accordingly.

Rinad Hussein

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