Pros and cons of running a promotion

Everyone loves a sale right? But are you sacrificing the integrity of your brand to make a quick buck? Special offers are a great way of generating new business, especially at busy times of the year such as Black Friday or Christmas. However, they can also attract the type of customer that will never purchase at full price.

The sentence, “I’ll just wait until it goes on sale” is something we’re all familiar with.

This is especially true during the holiday season. Many businesses take advantage of the Christmas rush, January sales, and Summer discounts to boost their sales.

From huge brands to small local businesses alike, running a promotion is likely to get some attention from new potential customers, who will hopefully become repeat customers in the future.

While running a promotion is of course a huge boon to business and adds to the number of happy customers, it can come at a cost too and that cost isn’t only monetary.

So what’s the catch with having a sale? Let’s go through the pros and cons of running a promotion.

We have provided some example points below to get you started, but you might prefer to add your own.


  • Increase in sales – No shit Sherlock! This is an obvious one. Attracting more customers with appealing prices, offers, and bargains is a sure fire way to increase your sales. If your new customers really like your product or service, they might be inclined to make another purchase with you too.
  • New customers – A sale will naturally attract new customers. With social media being a central platform for word of mouth, this is more true than ever. You will likely see your customer base grow significantly.
  • More brand awareness – Whenever you run a promotion, it’s an opportunity to get your brand seen by more eyes. Just from people interacting with your promotion, you’re instilling yourself in their memory.
  • More engagement – One huge benefit you can enjoy is boost of engagement with more people interacting with your brand. If you run your promotion on social media, or one of your offers features a competition that encourages followers to comment, you’re likely to have a lot more people talking about your brand.
  • Grow email list – People are more likely to subscribe to your newsletter if they’ve purchased during your sale. While they might only be initially curious about keeping notified of future offers, you have the opportunity to engage them with your awesome content and nurture a customer for life.


  • Can upset existing customers – One of the pitfalls of running a promotion is that you run the risk of disappointing your existing customers. They have paid you full price and if they see new customers buying the same product or service for significantly less, they are less inclined to feel appreciated by your brand.
  • New customers are price anchored – The problem with running a sale is that your new customers could end up being price anchored. They might not appreciate the true value of the product or service you’re providing and could end up being the type of customer who only sticks around for promotions.
  • Diluting existing audience – If you have an established audience, a loyal following and a customer base who actively engages with your content, inviting an influx of new customers can upset the balance. You can’t be sure these new customers are your ideal audience, as your sale is what initially attracted them and the content you create might not be engaging for them. You want to avoid trying to appeal too much to the new customers and neglecting your existing ones.

So, there are certainly positive and negative outcomes to consider when running a promotion, the most important thing is to focus on your intention. What do you hope to gain by having a sale/promotion and does that intention align with the kind of promotion you’re planning to run?