Consumerism: Are Incentives Working?

Discount offer -
There are lots of ways to attract new buyers to your products and services and to incentivize people to buy even more of the products and services you offer. Of course, you don’t want to offer too much or you could wind up hurting your profits instead of helping them!


The buy one get one free incentive is one of the most popular methods of getting people to buy more of your products or services. The trick to this method is to add the stipulation that the free item be “Of equal or lesser value” to the item the customer is willing to buy. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of a customer buying something super cheap so they can get something super expensive for free. Another great way to raise your profits is to, instead of buy one get one free, buy two, three or even four of something and get one free. The number of people who will buy more than they want or need in order to get something for free will astound you…and nicely beef up your bank account at the same time!

Free Stuff

Offering a free “giveaway” to incentivize a customer to buy a product is another popular marketing ploy. Usually the thing that you will be giving away is related to the thing you want them to buy. For example, Ken Graff of offers service discounts off of future service appointments if you buy your next car through them. Grocery stores will often give you a free reusable shopping bag or a reinforced tote bag if you spend a pre-determined amount on groceries. Bookstores will often give free book lights out to people who purchase a certain number of books from a specific author or within a specific genre. The trick here is to make the item you giveaway of a low value—something that’s cheap for you to produce or buy—as a “thank you.” Offering something expensive is a good incentive too but it could wind up costing you lots of money down the road when those buyers and clients want to collect.

Paying to Be Paid

The offering of gift cards to popular retailers in exchange for signing up for a product or service is incredibly common. How many times have you gone to the grocery store and been accosted by someone offering you a $20 gift card to that same store in exchange for starting a newspaper subscription or making an appointment for some portrait photography? Target will offer $5 and $10 gift cards to Target itself if you purchase specific products from its inventory (like vacuum cleaners or a specific Blu-Ray disc). You can do this as well—just make sure that the gift card doesn’t cover the full price of anything you have to offer so that you can still make at least a little bit of money.

Free Product for Service Start-Up

How often do you get fliers in the mail from local cable providers offering free flat screen television sets in exchange for setting up new service? How many times does your cellular carrier offer a free iPad in exchange for running the iPad off of that service? These companies get a really great discount on those products which is how they are able to offer them for free to you in exchange for you setting up your service. They do not buy them outright—you can set up the same deal. The trick is to make sure that the product actually relates to the service you want to promote or the promotion won’t be successful.

These are just some of the most popular forms of promotion. Which one is best for your business?

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One Response

  1. I definitely believe incentives make a major difference. People are instantly drawn to the concept of getting something for nothing. Of course the business incentives has to have some value and be something they can use.

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