4 Ways to Get People to Buy Without Sales

Black woman with short blonde hair smiles at computer with a sale message displayedat something in the distance

This article was written by Michelle Weger.

There are strategies to increase your sales without offering, well… sales

The other day when I opened my email inbox, 75% of them had subject lines like this:

“You can get 20% off if you hurry, Michelle!”
“Don’t miss the spring sale!”
“LAST CHANCE to score 50% off!”
“Snag this exclusive discount code”
“Big sale starts NOW!

Almost all of them were sales or discounts of some kind.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love a good sale. But unless you are a big corporation, holding sales frequently will actually end up hurting you in the end.


  • Your customers will start to expect sales, and won’t buy at full price
  • You will have to compete with massive sales by large corporations who can afford to offer 50-75% off their products
  • Your revenue will be inconsistent – you’ll only get sales when you run a promotion, and they will taper off when the promo ends

So, how do you get customers to buy from you without offering sales?

1. Offer your customers cross-sells

When your customer clicks on a product, they are indicating their clear interest in said product. They want to know more – see photos, read the description, find out any relevant specs.

Use that knowledge to show your customer more of what they are interested in and give them an opportunity to add items to their cart in the process.

For example, if your customer is interested in purchasing a collar, they would likely also be interested in the matching leash.
If you customer is interested in purchasing a 6” houseplant, they would likely also be interested in a 6” pot to put it in.

Showing them those complimentary items will result in a higher order value. This practice is called cross-selling. With the right data management, it is possible to automate this. (Not sure how? Reach out to us!)

2. Remind your customers that they need to repurchase

People are forgetful. Even if they absolutely love your product, they may forget to order more when they run out.

Why not remind them?

Set up automation to email your customers with a reminder to re-order their favourite product, scheduled to be sent just before the average person would run out.

For example, if your average customer goes through a dog of dog treats in a month, automate the reminder to be sent 3 weeks and 3 days after their order is delivered.

3. Offer product bundles

People don’t like to think. Take away some of their decision anxiety by bundling some of your products together. The bundles can be themed (“chocolate”, “gifts for her”, “new puppy starter kit”), or simply a combination of your most popular items.

You don’t even need to discount the bundle!

Customers love the convenience of a package, and that is often more than enough incentive to get them to click “add to cart”.

4. Develop VIP email lists

As most people know, I am a plant fanatic. I love adding to my collection, and I am constantly on the hunt for new and interesting plants. One of our clients, Flowers Talk Tivoli, gets regular shipments of plants. We suggested that they create a “Plant VIP” email list. Those who joined the list are the first to know when new plants hit the website.

The plants are not on sale. There is no discount.

And yet every week, right after the “new plants have arrived!” email goes out, her sales skyrocket. Every. Week.

And I am proud to say that I am one of the Plant VIPs who regularly buys a new plant, so I can say with the utmost confidence that this strategy works.
If you have new products coming in regularly, or even limited runs of favourite products being re-stocked, consider creating a specific email list. (Don’t have new products coming in regularly? Create new bundles!)

You don’t have to constantly offer discounts to generate consistent sales. In fact, doing so can end up hurting your business in the long run. If you’re ready to implement these strategies and see more sales more consistently, book a call.

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