Unless you’re a churn & burn type business, you want to be planning for the long haul.
Building relationships with your prospects and customers over time. Maintaining a strong reputation in your industry.
Let’s do a little thought experiment.
Think about Apple.
They’re known for simple, minimalist elegance. Selling beautiful luxury electronics.
Simple, powerful advertising.
Now imagine next year Apple decided to hold its first ever flash sale.
And in typical flash sale style, they used bold, gaudy colors to promote it. Looking like a furniture store holding a “close of business” sale.
“90% OFF! Everything MUST Go!”
I’m no economist, but I imagine this one promo would erase billions in its market value.
And the damage to the brand would be likely be irreparable. Even if they switched back to their elegant brand right after the sale, the sale’s stain on their reputation would remain.
So why am I telling you this?
Because I see a lot of people do exactly this within the same year. Many times, within the same month.
Attempting to be the Apple of their market…
Wanting to command high prices and attract high value customers and clients…
But as soon as they need a quick cash influx…
(or just feel like making a quick buck)
All of a sudden it becomes…
“BUY NOW! BUY NOW! BUY NOW!”
And this flip flopping of positioning hurts a lot of online businesses.
It’s a mistake. It ruins your reputation.
There’s this one guy in my industry who’s always sending out emails. And he’s got a decent reputation among high level people in this space.
But he’s constantly giving away “$2,000 courses” for 95% off (or even 100% off).
And so even if it might actually be good, high quality stuff… I don’t believe him.
Who can afford to spend all that time, energy and capital to create multiple $2K caliber courses, and then just give them away for pennies?
Unless they’re not really worth that amount in the first place…
Now, am I saying it’s never okay to discount? No. But I am saying you should be purposeful and strategic.
And you want to make a clear distinction in the way you go about it.
First: Don’t discount your flagship/primary programs and services.
You almost never want to downgrade the high value of your courses and programs in the eyes of your audience.
Instead, if you’re looking for a boost in sales, add premiums (bonuses) that increase the offer value. This way you make it seem cheaper by comparison.
Second: Discount when you bundle things together.
So rather than discount being applied to only one flagship program, the discount becomes about the bulk buying discount (typical in many industries).
You do this rather than trying to justify why this course is now suddenly worth less during this random window of time.
Third: Be careful about how you do your sale.
Offering a discount can be done with a style that matches your brand. Do flashy lights, gaudy signs work for selling more?
Yes, they absolutely do.
Seriously, all that tacky stuff is effective at moving more product (scammy marketers aren’t idiots — they know what brings in the dollars)
It works really well… at least the first time a customer sees it (hence why many of these businesses rely on churn & burn tactics).
But research shows that of people who get into the consideration phase for a solution to their problem, half will buy that thing within 2 years.
Of those 50% (i.e. the ones you have a real chance of doing business with), 85% of them will make a purchase decision between 90 days to 2 years.
That means if you focus only on the first month or two, you’re losing out on the majority of your sales.
So if you play your hand early and show that you offer outrageous, bogus discounts, your customers will just wait for your next sale. And they won’t believe that what you’re selling for full price is really worth that amount.