KPI-Crushers: Marketing Offer Examples You Can Replicate for Success

Marketing Offer Examples

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Would seeing real-life marketing offer examples inspire you to rethink your existing offers?

Recently we shared several reasons why your standard discount offer or generic reward probably sucks and offered 6 best practices to improve your marketing offer, whether you’re an enterprise, mid-market, or small business:

  • Align the offer to the prospect’s step in the customer journey
  • Be specific enough about your offer that it attracts your ICP and repels all others
  • Use tools to better engage to drive stickiness
  • Reinforce a key benefit
  • Give “consolation prizes” to non-winners in games of chance
  • Add a deadline time limit to create a sense of urgency

Offers that didn’t suck, and what made them so good

We’ve been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to create promotional ideas and campaigns for F500s and everyday name brands for over 30 years. Our portfolio is filled with great examples of sales promotion offers created for successful companies. So we’ve selected some of the most relevant sales promotion examples to demonstrate how you can adjust your marketing strategy to make your offer not suck, and reap the rewards of attracting and motivating potential customers to take action. The best part of these marketing offer examples is that the client’s campaign objectives varied so greatly:

  • increasing brand awareness to generate new leads
  • driving a free trial
  • boosting new product sales to new customers
  • promoting a customer loyalty program to current customers

No matter the step in the customer journey, special offers are an effective way to give people a reason to take the next step forward. Each of these limited time offer examples tapped into different things creatively, yet the most important thing was that each marketing campaign delivered a positive experience for the customer, while providing a good reason to take action and also connect to a particular product.

Use benefit analogies as tangible offer rewards

It sounds much more complicated than it is, ironically. Look at your product or service benefits through the eyes of your target audience or ideal customer persona (ICP). If you have a tight unique selling proposition (USP), you know exactly what problem your product solves for your ideal customer persona, and why it matters to them. In this Sage marketing campaign targeting high-value ABM prospects, we tapped into the growing popularity of FitBit trackers to reinforce the benefit of business intelligence reporting.

We sent Sage’s c-level potential clients an old-school pedometer via direct mail with a mini-brochure comparing standard reporting to business intelligence: the rich details of a FitBit to the basic number count of a pedometer. The message in this marketing offer example was received loud and clear. This limited-time offer rewarded prospects who took a meeting a free FitBit. This free gift program delivered 150% of goal. The Sage sales team conducted 190 total demos and exceeded targeted business won. We supported this ABM effort with multiple touchpoints including email marketing, and follow-up calls as well.

How the offer could have sucked with the same reward budget

The FitBit reward cost was a higher than the standard $25 for a demo, but the ABM budget for targeted c-level meetings is also much higher. This premium reward, approximately $100, was eagerly accepted by prospects who didn’t see it as an attempt to buy their time. It was a great way to create a strategic analogy that clearly showed the benefits of the product.

Offer a bonus that fills your ICP’s need (or desire)

When we suggested that Fleetwood Homes bundle a Home Entertainment package for FREE with purchase, they were hesitant, but willing to give it a try. Anecdotal insights showed that the customer base of new homebuyers previously responded positively to electronic add-ons; most Fleetwood buyers had limited disposable income, so innovative electronics were a highly desirable luxury and the offer was perceived as a good deal.

Thanks to Fleetwood’s purchasing power, they paid less than half of the $2,000 retail value for the package which include a flat screen TV, Xbox gaming system, computer, and DVD player. No one expected the respond. Fleetwood TRIPLED their quota sales, making The Entertainer Home the single best-selling unit in Fleetwood’s history.

Fleetwood Entertainer Home
Marketing Offer Example: Ultimate Entertainer Package bonus delivered 3X quota and made the Entertainer Home the best-selling unit in Fleetwood’s history.

How the offer could have sucked with the same reward budget

Offering a reduced price, like a $1,000, or even $2,000 discount on the home purchase might have been an easy way to check the promotions box, but that kind of marketing plan wouldn’t have moved the needle for Fleetwood. Why? Because buyers wouldn’t have emotionally connected with the discount. They tried that before and found that a discounted price was not the best way to drive purchase.

Of course, an online retailer or SaaS companies relying on transactional sales can use a discount code, coupon campaign, free shipping offers, flash sales, or even daily deals to drive traffic to an online store. These limited time offers can deliver effective short-term boosts from online shoppers during a specific time period. But there are more effective methods: good sales promotion offers find creative ways to connect to create with target customers to build customer satisfaction and reward loyal customers.

Don’t overthink obvious offers

This offer wrote itself. We helped Philips Media launch several movie titles to support their new digital video platform. Naturally, for the release of the iconic Forrest Gump film, we offer a FREE box of chocolates with purchase. This marketing campaign was delivered at the right time; the obvious offer was a good idea that didn’t need to get overly clever, it just needed an expiration date to entire prospects to act. Logistics on chocolate is challenging, so we negotiated with a manufacturer to send consumers free coupons to redeem at retail.

Forrest Gump FREE Box of Chocolates
Marketing Offer Example: FREE Box of Chocolates with purchase of the movie was the obvious offer, as it leveraged Tom Hanks’ iconic line from the film.

How the offer could have sucked with the same reward budget

At the time, most video mail-in offers were for $5 rebates. A cash offer wouldn’t have enticed buyers in the same way that this more engaging, thematically relevant offer did.

Making the reward memorable, specific, and relevant

Stremicks Heritage Organic Milk’s Win a Team Trip to Hawaii. Stremicks was a minor sponsor of club soccer in their home market. Why? Because club soccer families aligned with the Stremicks ICP. We made them the most recognized brand locally in the sport for years with this offer. It had a big ask: tell us why Stremicks is good for you. But when you did, you had an opportunity to win a team trip to play in the Hawaii Invitational Cup. It was the holy grail for club soccer kids, thanks to the destination, which also made it cost-prohibitive.

We negotiated with the organizers to get a team entry and reasonable travel deal, and then offered this bucket list prize. Families took notice, as we promoted this good marketing offer with great results through social media platforms, a blog post, email campaigns, and on-site. Sales popped, recognition exploded and club soccer families spoke about Stremicks for years after.

Win a Team Trip to Hawaii
Marketing Offer Example: Stremicks increased market share by 6% as this bucket-list offer endeared sponsorship families to the organic milk brand.

How the offer could have sucked with the same reward budget

Most sponsors fail to capitalize on their assets, believing that field boards or banners are enough, along with logo placement on the IP’s website. If you’re going to spend your budget on sponsorship, make the most of it! Spend at last 50% more to strongly connect with the audience you’re reaching. Use QR codes at events to offer reward or gather surveys. Send text messages (SMS) with sponsor-specific offers. Be engaging on-site, offering more than cheap pens as prizes. Stremicks could have just bought field boards or banners, or even emailed families coupons. But we didn’t. We used a portion of the budget to create a dream prize that resulted in every Cal South family remembering the brand.

Match a reward to a prominent brand benefit

We helped boost sales for LA Gear’s light-up shoes for kids by offering a FREE light-up watch with purchase. The LA Gear shoes lit up in red, so we insisted that the watches do the same, much to the chagrin of our international factory partner. This small reward offered a high value at a low cost and helped LA Gear clear inventory for the following season.

How the offer could have sucked with the same reward budget

Without the reward, LA Gear would have had to provide key retailers with mark-down money to clear inventory. Those dollars would have not helped build the brand or reinforce a key benefit.

Borrow interest for the offer from a seasonal event

We helped Kids Mart tap into Earth Day by giving away FREE tree saplings in-store with any $30 purchase. Kids Mart promoted this Earth Day idea in their normal circulars. Within 72 hours of the ad dropping, Kids Mart sold out of all 30,000 trees. The chain had their best Monday sales day ever, and they increased their average transaction size 50%, from $20 to $30. Leveraging the incremental buzz surrounding any holiday season is another great way for large and small businesses to boost offer results.

How the offer could have sucked with the same reward budget

Kids Mart would still have promoted Earth Day in their circular, with or without the tree sapling. They could have offered a $5 coupon or voucher for another purchase, which would have resulted in sales, but not the highest single-day sales in history.

Make cultural connections

When accounting software giant Sage asked us to create a demo signup event for their annual conference in Atlanta (after an award-winning program the year before in Las Vegas), we leaned in to the market to get clever with the offer. “Share for a Share” offered prospects who scheduled a demo a custom Sage Coca-Cola bottle and a Stockpile fractional stock share gift card (valued between $25 and $100). Sage emailed attendees the offer before the conference. Half the slots filled within three hours, and all were gone within two days. What made it work? This campaign relied on stacking several types of offer tactics that resulted in success:

  • It connected to the destination, since Atlanta is the global HQ for the beverage giant
  • A “share a Coke” theme was disarming
  • The stock gift card was innovative, it associated Sage with blue chip brands
  • The gamification made it more fun and engaging for prospects.
Sage Share for a Share
Marketing Offer Example: This on-site demo offer for B2B SaaS Sage filled half the slots within 3 hours of the email drop.

How the offer could have sucked with the same reward budget

Like many B2B SaaS companies, Sage often rewards prospects for doing demos. $25 Amazon gift cards seem like the industry standard. Perhaps they would have gotten a few takers using these basic sales promotion ideas, but chances are they would not have filled all slots in two days, nor would they have had a chance to show off their innovation and association with other blue-chip brands.

Positive Results Across Industries, Journey Stage, Business Sizes

What can you take away from these 7 sales promotion strategies that leveraged offers to drive results? First, that leveling up your offer works whether you’re B2B or B2C. In these examples we shared some CPGs and retailers. Big brands and emerging ones.

We gave marketing offer examples of huge nationwide offers and small targeted ABM offers. Our examples build awareness, drove demos, and encouraged purchases. Some sales promotion techniques leveraged local audience landmarks and cultural icons.

What does that demonstrate? It shows that you can use offers to motivate prospects to take action all along the customer journey. These types of offers, in the right environment, can give prospects the final push they need to take the next step in their buyer journey.

What’s more, the value of your offer can be small like a tree sapling or big like a trip to Hawaii. More important than the dollar value is how the offer reward tells your story and connects to your audience.

We shared marketing offer examples that connected in all different ways. Why? Because there’s no single way to make the connection between your brand, your audience, and your offer. Yes, some type of promotions are better used at different points in the customer journey. But what each has in common is the connection it makes with the target audience. It’s not as important HOW you make the offer relevant, but THAT you make it relevant.

It’s not as important HOW you make the offer relevant, but THAT you make it relevant.

Are you ready to have your offer not suck so that you can boost the success of your short-term campaigns?

Let’s talk about how to fix your offer that sucks. This quarter, you can get a limited-time Offer Evaluation at a 53% discount.

How it works

We will ask for:

  • your campaign overview timing, objective and goals
  • step in the customer journey
  • product overview with USP
  • ideal customer persona
  • current or past results
  • offer budget
  • your planned outreach support

We will take the time to review all your provided information, brainstorm internally and present 3 concepts, in under two weeks.

Find out more here

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