Incentives can play an integral role in motivating consumers to buy certain products over others. Here are some ideas for incentivating existing and potential customers to use your product.
  1. Increase product trialing. A giveaway can be used to increase product trialing and brand recognition. For example, at the end of several summer concerts, concertgoers were given sample size bags of coffee in assorted flavours to take home with them. This put the coffee in the hands of a great number of people who might never have tried it otherwise.

  2. Promote website visits. An incentive offer can be used to drive traffic to your website. When the online company wanted to grab the attention of nature lovers it sponsored an online drawing competition. The grand prize of an all-expenses-paid vacation with well known sports celebrities proved to be an alluring incentive.

  3. Increase brand awareness. No matter what business you're in, keeping your name in front of customers is a top priority. Giveaways such as T-shirts and umbrellas emblazoned with the company logo are popular ways of getting the brand advertised.

  4. Level seasonal variations in sales. The dips and plateaus of the business cycle affect most industries. A well planned incentive campaign can lure customers to buy during the off-season. Having an outdoor barbecue is great in the summer. But how many families enjoy cooking out in the colder winter months? To entice patrons to buy grills during the winter months, a major retail chain offered gas grill buyers a valuable steak package and sponsored on-site cookouts where they gave away sirloins and burgers to lucky customers. That promotion yielded a 35% increase in sales.

  5. Boost slow moving products. Being associated with well known brands or activities gives less popular items appeal to a broader audience. Offering a free trial, discount coupon or prize of a slower moving product / service to purchasers of a recognised line can encourage their popularity.

  6. Build continuity of purchase. An incentive campaign can encourage repeat sales of a product. The beverage industry is known for motivating customers to make their beverage purchases in bulk by including sequential contests within large cases. In order to win, you must collect all the game pieces - meaning you have to continue purchasing the product.

  7. Increase volume sales. 'Free with purchase' premiums aim to increase volume sales while also increasing consumers' appreciation for the featured product. Consumers are required to buy a featured product in order to receive the premium. Beauty salons often offer free styling or nail service with the purchase of a premium haircut.

  8. Learn more about customers and identify prospects. Premiums have proven to be highly effective in both direct mail campaigns and direct selling programmes as a way of increasing customer knowledge and identifying prospects. By asking for some demographic information on their entry ballot for a competition you can build a more accurate profile of customers. Prospects can be identified by encouraging participants to submit entry forms for friends and family members as well as themselves.

  9. Reach adults through their children. Kids possess immense purchasing power and can directly influence their parents to buy products. When Kool-Aid wanted to introduce its brand to a new generation, it sponsored a 'More Smiles Per Gallon' tour. In every targeted market the Kool-Aid Man stopped in popular children's play areas such as zoos, museums and amusement parks. Free photos with the Kool-Aid Man, an opportunity to play a soccer game, and, of course, free samples with coupons attached, attracted potential consumers and helped raise awareness of Kool-Aid.

  10. Offset price concerns. One way for a company to take consumer attention off the actual price of an item is to offer a valued premium. Mobile phone companies are famous for creating promotions for new subscribers that include a valuable item when they sign up for an expensive activation package.
When you offer your customers or prospects valuable incentives as rewards for purchases made or enticements for engaging with the business in some way, they are by nature appreciative, so incentive marketing is a great way of cementing customer loyalty and gives potential customers more of a reason to pay attention to your product.