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Brand Strategy Open Mic Brand Marketing

5 effective campaigns for brands to drive sales during promotional periods

RTB House


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March 5, 2024 | 7 min read

From abandoned cart campaigns to omnichannel campaigns, brands need effective strategies to drive sales during promotional periods. Here are five from the RTB House team.

Consumers are always on the lookout for deals, and the year is packed with opportunities for brands to create ads to drive sales with promotions, from the obvious like Christmas and Valentine’s Day to the obscure such as “Afterpay Day Sale” or “Single’s Day”.

However, catching consumer attention with the right ad at the right time needs a great strategy, detailed planning, and exceptional technology, which needs to roll seamlessly from one promotion to the next and incorporate continually evolving consumer behavior, e-commerce trends, and technological advancements.

But as the landscape gets more crowded and competitive, here are five campaigns that can be highly effective during promotions.

1. Abandoned cart campaigns

There are various reasons why a consumer moves all the way through your store to the checkout and then doesn't make the purchase, but "abandoned cart campaigns" have become an indispensable tool. The mechanics involve tracking user behavior, identifying abandoned carts, and triggering automated messages that strategically target those non-buyers with personalized reminders or additional incentives to encourage them to finalize their transaction. The most common channels for "abandoned cart campaigns" are retargeting and email, among others.

There's good reason to be optimistic about the efficacy of "abandoned cart campaigns", especially as 17% of consumers abandon carts because they were just doing research and intend to come back later. These campaigns showcase a customer-centric approach, and by re-engaging with interested consumers and providing incentives, brands not only recover revenue but can also foster customer loyalty.

2. Teaser campaigns

The "teaser campaign" is all about getting the consumers ready for shopping events, and rather like a film trailer, they use cryptic messages, captivating visuals or exclusive snippets to give consumers a sneak peek into upcoming promotions, product launches, or major events. Thriving on the psychology of curiosity, their main benefit lies in building anticipation and a buzz that can increase brand engagement and make the audience more receptive when it comes to the actual campaign.

By strategically releasing teasers, brands can maintain consumer interest and be sure that consumers will be more positive about the brand when the moment comes to move to conversion. Acting as a catalyst, "teaser campaigns" give brands an advantage in turning a regular promotional period into an eagerly anticipated and highly successful brand event.

To make the most of any "teaser campaign”, it is recommended to build a special landing page that contains exciting, engaging, and shareable content.

3. Less engaged users campaigns

Window shoppers enjoy browsing and comparing products but don’t often make purchases, and while these so-called ‘less engaged users’ may not become frequent or high-volume buyers, they may bring sustained revenue if a brand can engage them over a longer period of time. "Less engaged users campaigns" target these consumers whose engagement with brand content, emails, or promotions has waned and are designed to rekindle their interest.

This type of campaign approach can identify products and categories which are most frequently viewed by these consumers and employ personalized strategies to find the right price point offer that turns them into buying customers.

Essentially, "less engaged users campaigns" are little nudges that remind consumers of the value your brand offers. And whether brands use targeted emails or special promotions these campaigns can help increase traffic during promotional periods and may convert passive observers into active buyers.

4. Omnichannel campaigns

Online, in-store, in-app, email, social media, SMS, etc., so many channels for brands to use, how can brands provide a cohesive journey and consistent messaging for consumers during promotional periods?

Omnichannel communication takes a customer-centric approach to create a consistent and personalized customer experience across all channels, online or off. "Omnichannel campaigns" work the same way, by using and providing consistency across all channels to provide consumers with a synchronized and immersive experience, and using the strengths of each channel, brands can reinforce their message, reach a bigger audience and improve engagement, making them a game-changer during promotional periods. 

According to Omnisend's 2022 omnichannel statistics, brands using three or more channels in a marketing campaign see, on average, a 494% higher order rate than those using a single channel.

By implementing the right kind of "omnichannel campaign", one that is seamlessly consistent across all marketing channels, brands can redirect shoppers back to their products with enhanced offers.

5. Featured category campaign

A "featured category campaign" is a dynamic strategy that allows brands to bring more orders and revenue by highlighting specific product categories during promotional periods.

The mechanics involve analyzing potential customers’ activity and checking what categories they are most interested in before selecting key product categories that align with promotional goals. From seasonal items and best-sellers to new releases, brands can curate a compelling narrative around these categories that can significantly improve sales. 

During promotional periods, "featured category campaigns" can bring value to a brand in many ways, e.g., pushing products that have a high margin, promoting categories that generate the highest volume of sales, and shifting stock from slow-moving categories. These campaigns enhance customer navigation and decision-making, creating a curated shopping experience that aligns with the promotional theme creating a win-win scenario for both brands and consumers.

Top tips on planning the promotional year

  • Planning for any, and all, promotional periods in advance is paramount to success. Anticipating seasonal shifts and peaks in demand can help brands align campaigns with consumer expectations
  • Think about aligning promotional themes with seasonal trends to resonate with consumer preferences and enhance the relevance, such as cozy winter discounts or vibrant spring launches
  • It's worth considering the calendar from a broader, global perspective to identify key holidays, festivals, or industry-specific events that could provide promotional opportunities
  • Once a promotional calendar is mapped out, brands should think about outlining the overarching themes, target audiences, and the promotional channels to create coherent campaigns and allocate resources effectively
  • The smart approach to annual promotional planning is not just about timing, but creating a narrative that unfolds throughout the year. A narrative that engages consumers consistently and adapts strategies based on analytics


In true "teaser campaign" style, how would you like to learn the art of building winning retargeting campaigns around promotional periods and beyond by adopting an iterative ‘always-on, always onwards’ strategic mind-set? 

RTB House will soon release "Always on and out in front: Achieving a winning promo plan for all seasons", a detailed report that is your roadmap for success in the ever-evolving world of digital advertising. Stay tuned, and if you'd like to learn more about it, contact RTB House.

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