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Discounts: An Overlooked Internet Marketing Tactic

June 27th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Internet buyers LOVE discounts, yet most info marketers don’t use them nearly enough.

A case in point: on 4/9/09, we sent an e-mail to my list offering one of my e-books at the cover price of $79.

It generated 32 orders and $2,528 in revenues — not great, not bad.

Thursday of this week we sent the identical e-mail to the same list but added a P.S. offering the book at $49 — a $30 savings — if they ordered by midnight Sunday.

While orders are still coming in, we have already sold 155 copies at $49 each, generating $7,625 in revenues so far.

Does it bother me to let people have a $79 product for only $49?

Of course not. What’s important is not profit per sale, but profit per e-mail blast … which the discounting tactic will more than triple before the weekend is over.

P.S. Of course, discounting works with products where you have a large enough margin to sustain it — and in the case of e-books, the margin is close to 100%.

I wouldn’t do this with my own services, because discounting would lower my revenue per hour.

While my supply of e-books is limitless, time is not: you only have so many hours in the day to work, and when you work for less per hour, you are working harder to make less money.

Who wants that?


This entry was posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2009 at 7:17 am and is filed under Online Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

48 responses about “Discounts: An Overlooked Internet Marketing Tactic”

  1. Chas said:

    Actually what’s important is lifetime profit per client. Keeping the doors open to be the most helpful to each person brings the best results for everybody. For example, when somebody has a “Fire Sale” I unsubscribe them and tell them why. It makes them very angry to hear why I think Fire Sales are bad business.

  2. Bob Bly said:

    Chas: you are making a common error: being guided by your personal preferences. YOU may unsubscribe when someone sends you a fire-sale e-mail, but let me assure you that you are a minority. When we offer a discount, our unsubscribe rate does not spike one iota, AND our sales increase substantially. Offering discounts actually INCREASES lifetime customer value, as customers love when you offer them a special bargain for being just that — a customer!

  3. I.A. said:

    This is actually a TOP technique of another famous millionaire marketer, I’ve got his famous course that outlines how to do “discounts” the right way.

    The name of that marketer… Frank Kern.

  4. Achinta Mitra said:

    I agree, discounts are great for generating extra sales and upsells. Works very well for eBooks and other downloadable digital products. As Bob has pointed out, you are not decreasing your margin or reducing inventory.

    Everyone loves a price break, especially in these tough times.

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    It’s important how well you market. Not all can buy market it as good as you do because you need a base to stand upon.

  7. Howie Schwartz said:

    discounts can work well but beware – if they appear to steep people may be scared away thinking the product has little value

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  9. Increase Website Traffic said:

    Nice Post!

    The Internet provides great opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but doing business online presents unique challenges and requires new skills. Per my experience search engine optimization would be the best practice to improve your online business.

  10. Seh said:

    This style of marketing seems to be the new trend or maybe it’s an old principle. This is a similar strategy to what I am using in video marketing. I create short, catchy videos that lead viewers back to free offers or discounted offers. I accumulate a majority of my traffic from posting my videos free to and letting them help me target specific keywords to boost targeted traffic.

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    I agree with you. The online business is the home based business. you may earn money on your home and part time.

  14. Tanya Verra @ Web Traffic Spider said:

    It is fact that most of the online buyers like offers, and they buy more if there is a discounted sale is offering by a website, compare to non discount sale offering by the same website, even though they hike the rates temporary and give them discount on that. There fore it is suggested to give discounts to increase sales on your website. It will be prove to be a success shot.

  15. sharon said:

    Good Info,

    Driving quality and targeted traffic to a website is the key to success for any online business. I think SEO is the best option to promote any business.

  16. Web Design Services UK said:

    Yes you are right. As we are also having a marketing department so we can understand that what the client needs and what extra from our side we can offer. Discounts are best strategy for the business growth.

  17. Daily IM Savings said:

    I completely agree about discounts when your clients truly benefit and it is a genuine offer, as you can see from what we are doing here: Daily Internet Marketing Savings. Thanks for posting the stats Bob. Very interesting.

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    Full legit and well written Article i read so far today. What a nice author. Keep it up the good work.

  24. Mariagarcia said:

    At Barakatalan, our priority is to serve the customers with updated deals, discounts and coupons for every e-commerce store- in the Middle East especially. To make the user experience comfortable, we have tried our best to keep the navigation easy and simple. Customer also has the option to choose e-commerce stores from multiple categories as per their requirement.

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    I would say you are right, here gross profit matters much than individual loss. I also work for an E-Commerce company named Barakatalan.
    Barakatalan serves the costumers by providing offers and coupons to buy products on discounts by using Coupons like Noon Coupons, AliExpress Coupons, Ounass Coupons, Desertcard Coupon Codes, etc in middle east region.

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    It’s true what you said. With a marketing department, we are also able to better understand what our clients need, as well as what extra services we might be able to offer from our side to meet those needs. There is no doubt that discounts are one of the most effective strategies for growing a online business.

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