Turning Discount Selling into Profitable Business

in Marketing Automation Advertising

Many of my clients use Reach Magazine to generate leads through active discounts. It’s not a bad tactic and deal shopping, even of the paper variety, is far from dead! Online discount selling is also a major advertising tactic through the likes of Groupon, Living Social and even Google and Facebook pay per click ads. Without a strategy, this can very quickly turn into a lot of business that generates little or no profit. The “spaghetti at the wall” approach to discount selling is almost never the right strategy unless you’re just trying to unload inventory that is just otherwise taking up space. Here’s a list of key tactics that can help you turn a discount sales campaign into a long-term profitable and repeatable business strategy.


You have a website, right? USE IT! DO NOT SEND A DISCOUNT CAMPAIGN TO YOUR WEBSITE HOME PAGE!!! You’ve seen the TV ads that always send you to a specific page like www.ourwebsite.com/TVDiscount. This simple tactic can tell you exactly how effective any advertising channel is… just set up a unique page for each channel. A simple review of Google Analytics will show you exactly how many visitors you had to that page. You can even put a counter on the page if you want but I usually like to track via Google Analytics because you’ll get much more information. 



The lack of a capture feature or email signup is usually the biggest error associated with a discount sales campaign. Let’s take a Groupon campaign as an example. It is not untypical for Groupon to REQUIRE that you sell your product or service at a 50% discount level. Add to that the fact that Groupon will take HALF of that as their cut and you’re only getting 25% of the market value. Let’s assume in this example that you’re breaking even. What if you had a form on your landing page that said, “Sign up for future promotions just like this”? Who wouldn’t? But the next promotion SKIPS Groupon; so even if you gave the same 50% discount, you get to keep it all. You just doubled the revenue from the same exact promotion you ran through Groupon!

If you’re giving the client a huge value, the least you should get in return is a name and email address. 



If you follow through with “GROW YOUR LIST”, it is very easy to add an UP-SELL feature to your campaign. This is a matter of adding an autoresponder to the form suggesting that if they like what they just bought, they might also be interested in this new thing too! Another way to accomplish this is to send the visitor to another page after he fills out the form you provided, perhaps a THANK YOU page on the website that offers another product that probably goes well with the first product and if you buy it now, it comes with another irresistible (but tolerable) discount if you buy it now.


This is just the beginning of a strategy used by effecting discount campaigns. Online digital marketers and affiliate sales marketers have been developing these strategies for years. Small local businesses can take advantage of the same strategies and tactics  to increase their profits in a very competitive environment.