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Promotion management: Business jewel definitely worth your time

Strategies involving promotions are used by virtually all types of markets and SaaS makes no exception to this rule. What separates this market from others is the manner in which these strategies are created, the idea behind them and the purpose. In most cases, promotions have several purposes. After all, we all need to remember the 80/20 rule and stick to it as much as we can. But what is it so different about these strategies? Ok, so it’s SaaS, but we are all looking to reward our customers. Clearly, that’s the main goal here, right? Why complicate a matter more than one has to?

It’s not really about complicating things just for the sake of it. It’s just that the market itself, as well as the audiences, are much more complicated, to begin with. You can’t just throw a 20% discount and expect everyone to fight over it. SaaS promotional management takes a bit more time to plan. But enough talk. Let’s see exactly what’s so complicated about it and why marketers keep on discussing the hidden benefits of promotions.

Upselling vs Cross-selling

And you thought things were simple! Indeed, when discussing promotion in the B2B world and SaaS, you must make the clear distinction between cross-selling and upselling. They might be found under the same umbrella, but they are not the same and sometimes they can serve different purposes. Of course, they can be used in the same strategy, but as mentioned before, they stand for separate things.
Cross-selling is focused on matching offers. When your customer is eager to invest in a product/ service of your making, you focus on matching complementary products/services to his order. In strategies of this kind, you must make use of relevancy. You cannot display other products than those that are complementary to his initial order.

Usually, the aim is to increase the conversion rate and ultimately make a profit, of course. But you could easily use a cross-selling strategy to gain a better understanding of your audience. Based on their behavior and their final decision regarding your offer, you could gather relevant data regarding their interests. How many customers accepted your offer? Did they take the time to find out more about a certain service in your offer? Did they continue with the initial offer? Answering questions of this kind could open the door to relevant insights regarding your audience and you could improve your offer or completely forget this type of strategy. In any case, you are making changes, which could be followed by actual results.

Even after you have established the nature and purpose of each promotion type, you need to take one step back and consider your options appropriately. Promotion management needs to be treated as an art. One need not abuse of it, as it could ruin everything, from the conversion rate to your relationship with your customers. When deciding to set up a strategy based on promotion, be these cross-sales or up-sales, consider the following tips and act with caution.

Know your offer, know your audience

Indeed, you need to plan your strategy carefully. You need to consider several different aspects when thinking about what promotion to suggest to your public. Luckily, it’s a mixture of knowledge and intuition that will give the much-expected results. And you have it of course.

It is true that an upsell functions better than a cross-sell. Obviously, who wouldn’t want a better product, a complex subscription plan, for a lower price? More features for the same price. But, let us ask you this. You are an entrepreneur. Your goal is to make a profit. If you are going to suggest an upsell to each one of your customers, are you really going to make a profit? Because, from where we stand, it just seems that you will be losing your trump card, the features your software has.

However, when you are trying to recover, to win back a customer, then upsells are the correct choice. That’s when you need to be the master of conversion and present your customer an offer he simply cannot refuse.

Now cross-selling is definitely something that can place the profit in your pocket. You are suggesting complementary products to a client that has already said yes to collaborating with you. And yes, this is the moment in which you need to demonstrate that you do know your audience or at least, plan a test strategy that can bring forward adequate insights.

Making sense

As mentioned before, treating promotions with maximum care and attention is essential. Your goal is to make a profit. But if you are going to throw around promotions that make absolutely no sense to your customers, then you might as well give up this idea entirely. You need to bring forward suggestions that are real, that have actual chances of being accepted by your audience.

But how exactly can you be sure that your promotions will be seen with kind and eager eyes by your audience? Well, usually, you need to solve issues. In your each and every customer oriented offer, you need to identify a problem and use your promotions to solve them.

Don’t keep bombarding your customers with useless promotions. They might get tired of your offers. This can only damage your relationship with your audience, your offers will no longer reach their full potential and they will most certainly fail to achieve their purpose.

So, when going ahead with cross-selling, keep everything meaningful. And stick to your point.

Presentation matters

It is important not to bother your customer with your promotions. So, save the best for last, as they say. Instead of bothering your customer throughout the entire shopping process, completely ruining their experience on your website, present the offer, turning it into the grand finale. On the checkout page, your cross-sales and up-sales can make their big entrance. Present them accordingly, use relevant Calls-for-action that will create interest and entice audiences. Simple, catchy, relevant, clean. That’s how you should present your promotions. However, speaking of promotion management, you should know that even though you, yourself know the rules of the game, you should find a solid partner in your eCommerce solution.

Let’s say that you award your customers with a specific subscription plan. Everything goes well and for the sake of retention, you decide that your customer deserves to be rewarded. So, you decide that you want to upgrade your customer to a new, better plan that has multiple features, more than what the current subscription plan offers and the price is similar, which is in the eyes of any customer a solid promotion.

Your customers say “I do”. He accepts your proposal. And then what? The next month, your customers will have to be charged with the new price.

But will your payment provider be up for the challenge? Can the software keep up with your modifications? Because if it cannot, there cannot be any talking about promotion management. Keep this in mind before and after you start working on your promotion strategies. Plan them from all angles. These have to be about your business just as much as they need to respect your customers.