Deep Discounts: Smart Move or Financial Suicide?

Last year’s Cyber Monday/Black Friday email tip found us virtually lifted onto the shoulders of grateful customers who sold laps around their usual daily sales. That season, of course, represents one of the few times of the year that it’s obviously not financial suicide to make risky sales.

But that’s not what this is about. This is about those adventurous sales that don’t get enough traction and shave a little too much off the bottom line. The ones that you hope will balance out during your peak selling seasons. What you may not know, is that even the sales that have you smacking your forehead have done more good than you think. Crazy sales are likely to get passed around. Allow me to illustrate. Let’s say that you’re a restaurant and I’m a reluctant recipient of your email. I get them and open on occasion, but otherwise I hit delete before opening.

Now, let’s pretend you’re having a sale where you’re giving away a free drink with the purchase of a main entrée. Being the busy consumer that I am, that won’t really grab my attention. Drinks are often inconsequential to my pocketbook. Will some readers open that? You bet! It’s all about value to the reader, and we want to maximize that.

Let us compare that to a “buy one entrée, get one entrée free” deal. If I like to eat at your establishment, I’m going to open that email for sure. Then I will share it on Facebook and Twitter, forward it, and probably show up with a few friends. If I can’t show up, you can be sure that 50 of my closest friends now know about you - and know that you like to offer great deals. Your email subscriber list grows, your social following increases, and your restaurant traffic picks up. Not a bad situation to be in.

The moral of the story is that there is more to a sale than the immediate, measured financial return. A great sale captures your audience’s attention, increases the likelihood that your readers will share you with their friends, and increases your business over the long term. So make your next sale count!