What is Promotional marketing? Definition, Examples, and Tips

Ammar Mazhar
Ammar Mazhar

Last updated on

February 10, 2024

In today's world, where attention spans are short, and competition is fierce, businesses need to find innovative ways to reach and engage with their target audience. This is where promotional marketing comes in. Promotional marketing is using creative and effective strategies to promote your product or service and capture your customers' attention. 

From email campaigns and social media promotions to influencer marketing and gamification, businesses can use various tactics to make their brand stand out. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most popular and effective promotional marketing strategies businesses can use to drive sales, increase brand awareness, and build a loyal customer base.

What is promotional marketing?

Promotional marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to increase sales, customer loyalty, and brand awareness by offering incentives, rewards, or discounts to customers or potential customers. This type of marketing can take many forms, such as contests, giveaways, discounts, coupons, loyalty programs, product samples, and referral programs.

The ultimate goal of promotional marketing is to encourage consumers to purchase or take a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter, visiting a website, or following a social media account. By offering incentives or rewards, promotional marketing can create a sense of urgency or excitement around a product or service and help businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Types of promotional marketing

There are different types of promotional marketing, and the five major categories of promotional activities that businesses can use to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals are:

1. Personal selling

This type of promotional marketing involves face-to-face communication between a salesperson and a potential customer. Personal selling is often used for high-ticket items or complex products or services.

2. Advertising

Advertising involves using paid media channels, such as TV, radio, print, or online ads, to promote a product or service. Advertising can build brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales.

3. Direct marketing

Direct marketing involves sending promotional messages to individual consumers through email, mail, or SMS. Direct marketing can be highly targeted and personalized to individual customers, making it a cost-effective way to generate leads and sales.

4. Sales promotion

Sales promotion means offering customers incentives or discounts to encourage them to purchase. Examples of sales promotions include coupons, discounts, and limited-time offers.

5. Public relations

Public relations (PR) utilizes media channels to create positive publicity and brand awareness. PR activities can include press releases, media events, and influencer partnerships.

Promotional marketing strategies

Promotional marketing can be done by leveraging various strategies and ensuring that they work in tandem, and not in isolation, to provide your brand with the maximum exposure to your target audience. Here are some of the strategies that you can use:

Infographic: Promotional marketing strategies

1. Email marketing

Email marketing involves sending promotional messages or newsletters directly to subscribers' inboxes. This strategy is cost-effective and can be highly targeted and personalized, as email marketing provides an ROI of 4200%, you can increase your revenue by spending considerably less as compared to conventional marketing.

2. Social media marketing

You can engage your audience and promote your brand by using social media platforms to promote a product or service. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular for social media marketing. 

3. Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers to promote a product or service to their followers. Influencers can help increase brand awareness and drive sales.

4. Content marketing

You can leverage content marketing to create valuable, informative content that resonates with the target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more. With the right content, you can ensure that your target audience believes you to be an authority on the subject.

5. Referral marketing

Referral marketing incentivizes existing customers to refer new customers to the business. Referral marketing is an effective way to generate new leads and increase customer loyalty.

6. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads

PPC ads involve placing ads on search engines or social media platforms and paying for each click on the ad. PPC ads can be highly targeted and help drive traffic to a website or landing page.

How to do promotional marketing?

Now that you know the types of promotional marketing and the strategies you will need to do it effectively, it’s time to chalk out a plan you can follow to make your promotional marketing campaigns successful.

Infographic: How to do promotional marketing?

1. Understand the pain points of your target audience

Before promoting your product or service, you must understand your target audience's needs and pain points. This will help you create messaging and offers that resonate with them. More importantly, you need to give a plan to your target audience that helps them overcome their issues. 

For this, you can utilize email marketing and target buyer personas with newsletters addressing issues facing that they face.

2. Determine all the objectives

Set clear marketing objectives, such as increasing sales, building brand awareness, or generating leads. These objectives will guide your promotional marketing strategy

3. Choose the channels you want to use

Identify your target audience's channels to engage with your brands, such as social media, email, or direct mail. Choose the channels that are most likely to reach your target audience effectively. Moreover, create content tailored to that channel to attract your target audience to your brand.

4. Develop a promotion mix

You won’t find your target audience limited to just one marketing channel; assuming they are, you can lose a lot of marketing potential. So, it’s best to develop an ideal mix of channels to reach out to your audience. This might include email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and other tactics.

5. Come up with your promotional message

Develop a clear and compelling message highlighting the benefits of your product or service and addressing your target audience's pain points.

6. Allocate budget

Determine how much you will allocate to each promotional marketing tactic and set a budget for the entire campaign.

7. Monitor the results

Monitor the performance of your promotional marketing campaign and track key metrics, such as website traffic, conversion rates, and ROI. Use this data to adjust your strategy as needed and optimize your results.

How to create a promotional marketing campaign with Mailmunch?

With Mailmunch, you can leverage email marketing and automation to take your promotional marketing campaigns to the next level. Here’s how you can do it:

1. Pick the campaign type

After signing up to Mailmunch and setting up your account, you must pick a campaign type. Whether you want to create a broadcast email or a behavior-based automation campaign to retarget dormant customers, you can do this and more with Mailmunch.

Mailmunch's email builder

2. Create your emails

You can choose from over 1,000 email templates to create your email campaigns. With a whole suite of new AI features, Mailmunch allows you to create top-notch email campaigns. These features include:

Mailmunch's email builder

3. Choose who to send

After designing your email, you can choose whom to send the email to. You can choose a list or a segment. Moreover, you can enable UTM tracking to track the email open and click-through rates.

Mailmunch's email builder

4. Review & send

You can review your email in the review tab and can also send a test email to how your email looks.

Mailmunch's email builder

Some promotional marketing tips to inspire you!

Promotional marketing can look simple on the surface. But when you start implementing it, only then find out how complicated it is. But you don't need to fret! We have a few tips for you that can supercharger your marketing efforts.

Infographic: Some promotional marketing tips for you!

1. Gamification

Gamification is using game-like elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to engage customers and motivate them to take action. Adding gamification to your promotional marketing campaign can help increase customer engagement and boost conversions.

Promotional marketing: Gamification example


2. Include gifts

Offering gifts, such as free samples, branded merchandise, or discounts, can be a powerful way to incentivize customers to purchase. Gifts can also help build brand loyalty and encourage repeat business. Take a look at how Sproos promote its brand in this email example. They offer a 10% discount on the first purchase and tell their story in the email copy

Promotional marketing: Include gifts example


3. Reward cards

Reward cards, such as loyalty or gift cards, can incentivize customers to make repeat purchases. These cards offer discounts or rewards for frequent purchases and can help increase customer retention. Here’s an example from Amazon to illustrate the fact.

Promotional marketing: Reward cards example


4. Free shipping

Free shipping is a popular promotional tactic that can help reduce cart abandonment rates and encourage customers to purchase. Free shipping can also help increase the average order value. This strategy works best when selling high-ticket items because the large profit margin on your products will cover the shipping cost you incur.

Promotional marketing: Free shipping


5. Upsell & cross sell

Upselling and cross-selling involve offering customers additional products or services that complement their initial purchase. This can increase the customer's order value and improve the customer experience. Moreover, you can upsell and cross-sell to promote your brand. 

This example from On is a great example of cross selling. In it, they are suggesting, alongside the shoes, thermal shirts that are great for exercising during winter.

Promotional marketing: Upsell & cross sell example


Promotional marketing: Upsell & cross sell

6. Show video testimonials

Video testimonials from satisfied customers can be a powerful promotional tool that helps build trust and credibility with potential customers. Video testimonials can be shared on social media, email campaigns, and other marketing channels.

7. Demonstrate your products

Offering product demonstrations, either in-person or online, can help customers understand the features and benefits of your products or services. Demonstrations can also help build trust and confidence in your brand.


In conclusion, promotional marketing is a powerful tool businesses can use to connect with their target audience, increase brand awareness, and drive sales. With the right mix of promotional strategies and a clear understanding of your target audience's pain points and needs, you can create a campaign that resonates with your audience and achieves your marketing objectives. 

By continually testing and optimizing your promotional marketing efforts, you can stay ahead of the competition and build a solid and loyal customer base that will help drive the long-term success of your business.

Author Bio

Ammar Mazhar

A voracious reader and a music lover, Ammar has been writing engaging and informative content for over 3 years for B2B and B2C markets. With a knack for writing SEO-optimized content, Ammar ensures the results speak for themselves.


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