‘Tis the season of sales, and small business owners everywhere are hustling to make the most of it. The go-to, of course, is to offer a perk, some special incentive to buy. The standard, go-to promos are of course discounts, sales, and freebies. Unfortunately, these options are not always attainable or useful. They can undervalue your product, oversaturate customer demands, and hurt profits. In the case of artisan small business, taking a cut on handmade offerings can even be a little soul crushing. 

Discounting or giving away product isn’t always bad. In fact, it can be downright effective in some cases. That said, it isn’t always the answer and there are lots of viable alternatives. Here are five promotional ideas that your small businesses can offer:

In the era of social capital, access makes for a great perk. Offer early access such as first dibs on new, exclusive, and high demand products; or personal access, for example invites to an event like a pop-up or gallery show. Bring loyal customers into your #smallbiz inner circle & give the fans what they want!

Create a buzz with special + limited editions of your offerings. Limited quantities create a need and feeling of urgency that is sure to drive sales. Plus, customers will want to keep in touch so they’re the first to know about your next exclusive!

Customers buy feelings. Adding that personal touch to products is a great value-added promotion, especially for the season of giving. Offer special gift wrapping, customized products, and personalized elements for a truly unique promotion.

Running a contest is a great promo that has lots of potential to add value, not only for your customers but for your small biz as well. Offer entries to a contest in exchange for sales, subscriptions, social shares or likes, etc. You gain customer information and sales, while the customer gains entries. Even if the prize is a freebie or discount, you’ll have gained something through the process. Be sure to look into your local rules and regulations regarding contests before trying this one!

Keep your customers close and in the know by creating a community around your small biz. Offer members VIP access to content, contests, rewards, product launches etc. Exclusive membership is a great long-term perk and offers you the added benefit of an interested audience.

What promotions are you offering this season? Tell us in the comments!