Offering discount pricing through either advertised sales or coupons is a common and effective way to attract new and existing customers to your business. While it's easiest to offer a percentage or dollar discount, it's a little trickier to make sure your discounting still allows you to make a profit. However, once you've decided how much of a discount to offer, there are several ways to work discount pricing into your overall pricing strategy.

1. Holiday Pricing

Offering holiday or event-specific discounts or coupons is a great way to attract new customers during traditional spending seasons. Certain days like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are celebrated nationwide, and they tend to coincide with a significant uptick in spending. As such, you may want to create a holiday or event-themed coupon or discount for your product or service during these times. This type of discount pricing aims to grab a customer's attention while he or she is already in a shopping mindset.

2. Perks for First-Time Customers

In an effort to attract new customers, you should offer a discount large enough to get them interested in a product or service that they maybe hadn't thought about before. A 20-percent-off coupon could do the trick (as long as your profit margins can handle it). Once the initial purchase is made using the discount, you could follow up with an additional, limited-time coupon or discount for a smaller amount, like 5 or 10 percent off. If the customers like your product, they'll be ready to buy again, and they'll feel like they're getting another deal with the second discount pricing offer.

3. Referral Discounts

A common but effective discount strategy is to offer an incentive to your existing customers for any friends or family members that they refer to your business. For example, you could offer a $10 gift card or coupon to customers for each new customer they refer. This is a good way to encourage existing customers to play a role in your marketing efforts.

4. Quick Payment Discounts

If your small business provides customers with invoices, you could offer them a small discount on any outstanding bills that they pay ahead of the deadline. For example, you could offer a two percent discount on the amount invoiced if it's paid within seven days. By encouraging expedited payments, this strategy can also help you manage your cash flow.

5. Digital Coupons

Digital coupons are an efficient, cost-effective way for small businesses to offer discount pricing. These digital incentives may even cost less to produce than traditional print coupons. You could offer these digital assets on your company's website, via an online couponing service like Groupon or through email.

In a competitive marketplace where consumers may compare every price and discount available, small and midsize businesses should consider offering coupons and discount pricing. By keeping costs low and targeting discounts toward different groups of consumers, you can reap the rewards of an effective couponing campaign.

Tags: Marketing Campaigns Pricing