Boosting Conversions With Discounts

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I hope you’ve been celebrating strong holiday sales to top off a very profitable year. If you’re like most marketers though, you’re already hard at work on a plan to keep those sales chugging along in 2013.

You’ve probably considered running a sale in January, right? Discounting a portion of your inventory to entice post-holiday bargain hunters?

Good idea. That’s what all of the biggest retailers are doing… and they’re doing it precisely because it works.

As consumers spend their holiday windfalls and return items for cash, they’re going to be looking for ways to get the most bang for their buck. Whoever offers the best value in the most compelling way is going to benefit handsomely.

Sounds easy, right? Wrong.

The Right Way to Discount

I’d be lying if I told you that we haven’t offered discounts that not only failed to improve conversions, but may have also caused us to lose sales!

It’s true. If you spend too much time on your sales page offering bonuses, or too many payment options, users may bounce.

If you advertise your discount in the wrong place in your sales funnel, value shoppers may never see it… and it won’t even have a chance.

Discount Placement

Like I said before, customers have to see the discount in order for it to work… it’s not rocket science. BUT a lot of marketers are making a big mistake on where in their funnel to announce a discount!

They notice a lot of their shopping carts are getting abandoned. And they think they’ll be clever by surprising shoppers with an unexpected discount on the order form.

Sure, a last-second discount may counteract some of the cart abandonment… but it’s really hard to prove how much. And it will only work for shoppers who click through to your order form.

From our split testing, the best place to offer the discount is right smack on the sales page!

We saw a nearly 75% bump in conversions when we moved our discounts to the sales page. Why focus on cart abandonment alone, when you can get a bunch more shoppers in the check out line?

Once again, it’s better to appeal to value-oriented shoppers directly, because it puts more leads into your funnel. You wanna be right in their face with your discounts!

Don’t believe me? Check out how Amazon lays out its after Christmas discounts!

Full-Pay Discounts

We’ve all seen full-pay discounts on things that we pay in installments, like car insurance. Installment plans increase conversion rates. Every time we test installment plans, we see a significant bump in conversions.

If installment plans increase conversion, then why would you want to offer yet another option in the form of a pay in full? It’s too bulky and confusing. A confused lead never buys.

Still installment plans have their own set of downsides. For a laundry list of reasons, customers often don’t finish making their payments. That’s a total bummer for both parties: Customers don’t get the full product, and the seller doesn’t get the full payment.

Recently, we tested a way to get the benefit of an installment plan, while still making the full-pay discount offer.

It starts by simply offering an “unadvertised discount” on the order form (like the one in the image).

The payment plan option will get more value-conscious customers to click the buy button, but the full-pay discount will entice them to pay upfront — a better deal for you and them.

Using this tactic in a split test, we doubled our conversion rate and made 48% more revenue on front end sales over the traditional installment plan option. Powerful stuff.

Got something to add? Go share your discount offer success stories… Leave me a comment!

Talk soon,


About Josh Loposer

Josh is the managing editor of Digital Marketer, as well an aspiring novelist. Find out more about what Josh is working on on Facebook, Google, or on his website.
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  • Cheryl W. says:

    I like your marketing strategy & love discounts, but I do not have a job at this time.I need to make some money and a website that makes money.

  • john shirley says:

    yo man i have no money 2 get started i m poor and i have no job and i do t know how to make a website or links or a blog

  • James says:

    thanks Ryan. I like the marketing strategy. Well on my side, conversion is no problem. The challenge I am facing is massive traffic. A big time idea on this please

  • Cathy says:

    I always hear that you shouldn’t discount your products. Maybe it is because it is an ebook and you are marketing on Amazon that makes this different. I would think it would really increase conversions because everyone love a discount.

  • Erin says:

    Thanks for this tip, Ryan. What shopping cart do you use. I don’t know if Infusionsoft (mine) offers doing this.?

  • David Rodwell says:

    We have discussed discounting our training fees however, we are concerned what impact that will have on clients who paid the full fee with no discount.

    I know personally, I am aggravated when I see a discount for something when I paid the whole price a month earlier.

    • Josh Loposer says:

      Great point, David! That’s definitely something to consider. If you’re concerned about upsetting current clients, maybe you could offer bonuses or trial options instead of a discount price for the full service?