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20 sales promotion examples from real brands (and why they boost response and conversion rates)

Use these sales promotion examples and a bespoke promotional offer formula to boost engagement and drive more sales from your audience.

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“Promotional offers” seems like a pretty broad term, but that’s precisely why I’m telling you about it today. 

See, promotional offers can be adapted to any and every business and a nearly unlimited number of use cases. 

Not only that, but they also work. Let’s look at a few key numbers.

TL;DR: Sales promotions and special offers can help you bring in more customers and keep them engaged with your brand. 

You don’t have to take my word for it. Here are 20 sales promotion examples from real brands (plus a recipe for creating your own).

20 types of sales promotions and offers

What are promotional offers?

Promotional offers are propositions to customers that offer a reward in exchange for specific customer behaviors. 

Those behaviors can include:

  • Clicking a link
  • Providing an email address or phone number
  • Completing a survey
  • Visiting a store or website
  • Making a purchase

Without further ado, here are examples from actual businesses you can use for inspiration as you craft your own promotional offers. Many examples take the form of promotional text messages, but you can use these kinds of offers for any medium or channel your audience prefers.

1. Flash sales

Flash sales are, quite simply, sales with a time limit attached. Here’s a business text I got from apparel brand Chicwish with a flash sale offer and a discount attached. 

Chicwish's flash sale text message reads, "Santa's on his way, make it a stylish holiday! 20% off $50+. Ends in 24 hrs!"

Why we love it: This text tells me a few important things very clearly:

  • The brand’s name (this is a compliance requirement)
  • A compelling offer
  • The coupon code I need to take advantage of the sale
  • The details of the sale itself
  • When the sale ends
  • The link I can visit to shop the sale


BOGO stands for “buy one, get one,” but BOGO offers can also encompass any offer where you make a purchase to receive a free or discounted item.

If you’ve read any of my previous articles here, you know I live and breathe Halara products. Here’s a text they sent me with a tempting BOGO offer.

Halara's BOGO promotion text message reads, "Halara: Buy 2 get 30% off | Pre-Black Friday Sale | Long Sleeve Tops 60% off"

Why we love it: Halara gave me a more general idea of the terms of their offer as well as an extra offer below the first. That gave me multiple reasons to click. It’s also worth noting that I ended up buying two pairs of pants and a skirt from this text, so the results speak for themselves.

3. Text-exclusive

One of the ways you can make your SMS program even more effective is by giving your subscribers the sense that they’re getting offers no other customers have access to. This is an excellent example of that strategy.

Sherwin Williams' text-exclusive promo example reads, "S-W: Save BIG with this PaintPerks exclusive! Take your DIY off hold, there's 30% off paints & stains. Ends 12/11"

Why we love it: Simply put, this kind of text-exclusive offer induces a strong sense of FOMO — as a text subscriber, you’re getting a unique deal, and that makes you much more likely to click through and act on it.

4. Buy to get

This is similar to the BOGO strategy we talked about but with slightly different phrasing. In this example, subscribers are being offered a free gift with their purchase.

RTIC's buy to get promotional offer reads, "Last chance to get a free 20oz Tumbler when you spend $100. Offer ends tonight, 11/27 @ 11:59PM CT."

Why we love it: People like free stuff. It’s as easy as that. Offering them a gift when they buy from you can (in my experience) help justify the cost of their purchase and even make it feel like a special occasion.

5. Early access sale

Here’s another strategy you can use to make your subscribers feel like VIPs. When We Were Young is a music festival that decided to offer its SMS contacts early access to tickets ahead of release to the general public.

Why we love it: People (myself included) are pretty desperate to get their hands on tickets to their favorite events. Getting easy access to tickets without having to beat the rest of the public to the punch is a pretty irresistible opportunity.

6. Holiday sales

Holidays can be a profitable time for businesses, as folks rush to buy gifts for loved ones. This text shows that TeePublic understands that urgency.

Why we love it: TeePublic opens this text with the tantalizing offer that you can get all your holiday shopping done at the included link. They even note that purchases will ship in time for your holiday festivities.

7. Upsell/cross-sell offer

Upselling and cross-selling involve showing your customers products they might like based on purchases they’ve made in the past. Since I’ve shopped so much with Halara in the past, they’ve honed in on pieces I’d love.

Why we love it: They showed me this selection of products as I was checking out of my last shopping spree. All these products are slight variations on pants I’ve bought previously so they were a natural choice to add to my cart. Spoiler alert: I bought the pink ones on the far right.

8. Loyalty program perk

The data tells us that 49% of consumers say that they spend more with brands once they’ve joined a loyalty program.

Anecdotally, there’s something very exciting about seeing your points rack up over time, especially where it concerns essentials like gas, as in this example from Chevron.

Why we love it: Chevron’s app makes it very easy to gain points toward gas discounts and track those points as they grow. I can also see exactly how much I’m saving on my next fill-up at any time.

9. Welcome offer

It’s essential to start your relationship with your subscribers off on the right foot, and there’s no better way than with a friendly welcome text and a discount.

Why we love it: Fabric brand Spoonflower has done an amazing job here of introducing both their brand and the actual human I’m corresponding with. In this one text, they’ve given me both a discount code and an invitation to text back with any questions or issues I might have.

10. Try before you buy

As shopping in person gets less popular and less convenient, online retailers are offering options to “test drive” purchases before you actually pay for them, and Amazon is a prime example (pun absolutely intended).

Why we love it: Shopping for clothes is hard to do online. You can’t try your items on or see how they’ll look, so a “try before you buy” program is a great way to make sure you’re satisfied with what you bought before you commit.

11. Social media giveaway

Social media giveaways come with a conversion rate of around 34%, and they tap into the “free stuff” temptation I’ve covered here. G Fuel Energy ran an excellent example recently on their Instagram.

Why we love it: This post is well-designed, clear on the details, and fun to read. At the end, I know exactly how to enter the giveaway and what I stand to gain. For an extra perk, G Fuel has made its giveaway a fun guessing game.

12. Free shipping

There are few things more disheartening than getting to the checkout screen and finding out that shipping has inflated the cost of your purchase by a lot. Given this fact, free shipping can be a big incentive on top of a good sale.

Why we love it: All the details are out in the open for subscribers to see. Plus, they’ve called attention to the fact that there’s no order minimum to qualify for the free shipping benefit.

13. Gift with purchase

While we’ve touched on “buy to get” promos before, I want to call attention to the specific strategy Bright Cellars used here.

Why we love it: Rather than just throwing in a standard gift with your order, Bright Cellars gives subscribers a choice as to which gift they’d like. They’ve also highlighted the worth of the gift you’re getting which helps reinforce its value.

14. Lifestyle discounts

Lifestyle discounts are offers directed specifically at certain segments of the population like veterans, students, or senior citizens.

Why we love it: While these discounts are certainly a nice benefit for folks who fit into these categories, this is also an excellent way to give back to the community and boost your reputation as a brand that cares.

15. Daily deal offer

Daily deals are a smart way to keep your subscribers faithfully tuned into your texts to see what the next big discount is. Outdoor brand Backcountry sends deals like these to its list every day.

Why we love it: You’ll notice that my manager Nathan (the subscriber in question) specifically opted in to receive these discounts. This means he’s more likely to take advantage when he sees a discount on a product he needs.

16. Cashback promotions

Everyone likes putting money back in their pockets after a purchase. Cashback promotions ensure that they can do just that.

Why we love it: Promotions like this one show two important facts to subscribers. First, the brand values its products enough to give back some of the money spent on them (with the expectation that you’ll want to buy from them again). Second, that your business is their priority, not necessarily their bottom line.

17. Charitable offer

It’s important for businesses to show their commitment to positive causes. Allegiant does this by donating a portion of its proceeds from certain purchases to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Why we love it: Consumers who are focused on making a positive impact with their money are much more likely to patronize businesses that share their priorities. 

18. Included freebie promo

Here’s one more for the “free stuff” train with the added benefit of including an actual, physical product. This is a scratcher I got in my last FabFitFun box.

Why we love it: On average, we see about 10,000 ads daily, most of them online. This promo fights that ad fatigue by giving me something I could pick up and physically interact with. That makes it very memorable.

19. Spin-the-wheel opt-in

Does anyone else remember the big wheel you could spin at Shoe Carnival? I loved that wheel as a kid. This opt-in wheel from Halara brings back those fun memories and makes giving them my information feel like a game.

Why we love it: When you ask for your customers’ personal information, you should give them something of value in return. This opt-in promo takes that principle to the next level by letting them play a game full of exciting prizes when they enter their email. 

20. Birthday discount

We all want to be celebrated on our birthdays (well, most of us do). That’s the aim of birthday discounts like this one from Build-a-Bear.

Why we love it: As a business, it’s a smart idea to take every opportunity to make your customers feel seen and valued. A birthday gift from you in the form of a special discount is an easy, effective way to do so.

How to craft your perfect promotional offer

The fact is that no two businesses will send the same promotional offers. So, although you now have some inspiration from the examples above, I’ll also give you an easy formula to create your own sales promotion.

Here at SimpleTexting, we recently introduced our PASTA framework to determine what type of text messages you should be sending. 

I’m going to follow that framework up with my own: the TASTE formula. 

As you craft your custom promotional offers, consider the following: 

  • Type of offer you’re running – Does it concern a product or a service?
  • Aim of the offer – What are you trying to accomplish with your offer? More sales, more subscribers, greater participation in programs, etc. 
  • Stage of the audience for the offer – Are you speaking to cold, warm, or hot leads? Are they existing customers or prospects?
  • Time or duration of the offer – Is it time-sensitive?
  • Does it make your audience eager to take advantage? – Have you included a clear call-to-action to let your audience know what steps to take next? What incentive do they have to take advantage?

Let’s put all of those factors into an example offer. I’ll pretend I’m an e-commerce wellness brand and I want to drive more sales for the Christmas season. 

  • Type: A discount on immune system-supporting supplements
  • Aim: To drive sales around the holidays
  • Stage: Both existing customers who have made a purchase before and new text subscribers who haven’t yet purchased.
  • Time: December 1st through the 12th (so that purchases ship in time for the holidays)
  • Eagerness: I’ll include a text-exclusive coupon code and a link to the relevant products. I’ll also encourage them to buy in time for the holidays and stress that winter is cold and flu season, so they’ll want to stay healthy.

All together, my promo looks like this:

WellWishes: For your eyes only 👀 now until 12/12, take 20% off immune supplements with code WELL23 and stay healthy for the holidays! Shop the sale at [link]

SimpleTexting is promotional text messaging software

71% of consumers have already subscribed to receive texts from brands. Send exciting deals and upcoming offers to your customers in a way that will catch their attention.
Lily Norton
Lily Norton

Lily is a content marketing specialist at SimpleTexting. She specializes in making helpful, entertaining video content and writing blogs that help businesses take advantage of all that texting has to offer. When she’s not writing or making TikToks, you can find Lily at roller derby practice or in a yoga studio in the Seattle area.

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