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12 Examples Of Online Promotions That Generated High Engagement

Three office workers at desks with computer monitors, one displaying online promotions, in a brightly lit room with large windows.

In today’s digital landscape, online promotions are necessary for business growth.

They build brand awareness, foster customer loyalty, and drive engagement—effective promotions cut through the digital noise, allowing you to interact directly with potential customers.

Why Engagement Matters

Engagement refers to your customers' interaction and connection with your brand online. Engaged customers are not just one-time shoppers — they are your advocates, sharing your content, referring new customers, and contributing to your revenue. Active customers are good for business, boosting your sales and impacting your bottom line.

So, where do online advertisements fit into this picture? They are your catalyst for engagement. You can capture attention, motivate action, and foster a community around your brand through targeted and compelling advertisements.

Types of Online Promotions

When it comes to online marketing, you have a variety of promotions to choose from, each with its unique benefits. Common kinds include contests, giveaways, and flash sales. The type of promotion you choose matters because it directly influences customer engagement. For instance, games might attract those who enjoy creativity, while flash sales drive quick purchases. Your choice should align with your business goals and your audience's preferences.

To pick the right promotion type, consider your objectives. A contest could be compelling if you want to build long-term customer relationships. A flash sale might be the way to go for quick inventory turnover. Remember your audience's habits and preferences to make the most informed choice.

Free Shipping

Free shipping is a powerful way to promote your business. Organizations often employ this strategy to increase conversions and reduce cart abandonment. Offering free shipping can turn a profit when you execute it correctly. The objective here is multi-faceted — enhance customer satisfaction, boost sales, and encourage higher spending when a brand requires a minimum purchase amount.

Regarding engagement, free shipping typically sees an uptick in completed purchases and can also increase the average order value. Customers are more likely to browse longer and add more items to the cart when they know shipping is free. The impact is more than just transactional — it extends to customer loyalty and brand reputation.

Influencer Partnerships

Influencer marketing is a strategy that requires partnering with individuals who have a solid online presence and influence over a specific audience. The aim is to tap into their reach and credibility to promote your brand, product, or service. These influencers can range from well-known celebrities to industry experts and even micro-influencers with a smaller but highly engaged following.

Temporary tattoo company Inkbox took influencer marketing to the next level by partnering with 200 micro-influencers to promote its semi-permanent tattoos. The objective was to expand brand awareness and reach a broader but still targeted audience. By leveraging the credibility and popularity of these influencers, Inkbox aimed to create authentic connections with potential customers.

The results in terms of engagement were striking. The campaign significantly increased social media interactions — including likes, shares, and comments — creating a vibrant online community around the brand. Notably, this strategy also drove substantial traffic to its website and increased sales, solidifying the campaign's success.

Referral Programs

Referral programs are a savvy way to leverage your existing customer base to attract new clients. The objective of a referral program is twofold — reward your customers for their loyalty and gain new, highly qualified customers in the process. Essentially, you are turning your satisfied customers into brand ambassadors.

Referral programs are a goldmine for engagement. They boost customer retention and increase lifetime value. Customers engaged in a referral program are more likely to interact with your brand, promote it on social media, and continue making purchases. The ripple effect of a successful program can lead to exponential growth in engagement and revenue.

Progressive Discounts

This campaign is a tiered pricing strategy businesses use to incentivize larger purchases by offering more significant discounts at higher spending levels. For example, a customer might receive a 10% discount on a $50 purchase but a 20% discount on a $100 purchase. The objective is to encourage customers to spend more in a single transaction, thus increasing the average order value.

This promo can be a game changer in terms of engagement. Customers often find it enticing to spend just a bit more to unlock a more significant discount. It boosts immediate sales and fosters a sense of accomplishment and loyalty among customers, which can lead to repeat purchases.

However, like other online promotions, brands should not expect a sizeable boost in sales during the campaign and that their sales will jump drastically. A good goal for startup businesses is an increase in sales between 10% to 15% during the promo period.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a digital-marketing strategy where organizations send emails to particular subscriberdigital marketingucts, share news or engage with their audience. The main objectives are to build relationships, enh, ance customer loyalty, and drive sales or actions such as signing up for a webinar or completing a survey.

When you execute it well, email marketing can yield incredible results in engagement. It offers direct communication to your customers, allowing personalized messaging that can lead to higher open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Email marketing provides valuable data, helping you refine your future campaigns for more tremendous success.

Social Media Ads

Social media ads are paid content that appears on social media platforms. Unlike organic posts, these ads allow you to focus on specific demographics — such as gender, location, and interests — to reach a more focused audience. The primary goal is to boost brand awareness, drive engagement, and increase sales or other desired actions like sign-ups or downloads.

The clothing brand BYLT Basics leveraged Instagram's shopping features to create a dynamic experience for its audience. It wanted customers to discover and purchase products directly through the platform by streamlining the customer journey.

The results were quite remarkable. The online promotion led to a 12% increased return on ad spend and a significant boost in sales conversions. The platform's in-app shopping features effectively engaged the audience throughout the customer journey.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are structured marketing strategies encouraging customers to continue purchasing from or using a particular brand's services. The core objective is to reward customer loyalty with points, discounts, or special offers to increase customer retention and lifetime value.

These are incredibly effective for engaging customers. Those enrolled in a loyalty program are likelier to make repeat purchases, engage with the brand on social media, and even become brand advocates. These programs create a sense of belonging and achievement, making customers feel valued and appreciated.


These promotional events are where organizations give away items or services for free, often in exchange for simple actions like following a brand on social media, sharing a post, or tagging a friend. The primary objective is to generate buzz, increase brand recall, and connect with existing and potential markets in fun and interactive ways.

When it comes to engagement, giveaways can be highly effective. They often lead to a surge in social media activity, amplifying your brand's reach. Plus, the excitement of a giveaway can help you grow your audience and even convert participants into loyal customers.

Content Marketing

Content marketing involves creating valuable, relevant material to attract and engage a targeted audience. Unlike traditional advertising, the aim is to offer helpful information or entertainment, building trust and establishing your brand as an industry leader.

It is a long-term investment that pays off through engagement. High-quality content attracts new visitors and encourages existing customers to return. The more value you provide, the more likely people share your content, boosting your reach and credibility.

Discount Codes

Customers can enter these alphanumeric strings at checkout to get a reduced price. Discount codes incentivize buying, clear out inventory, or reward customer loyalty. They are a direct and efficient way to drive sales and increase customer engagement.

The codes effectively encourage customers to complete their purchases, reduce cart abandonment, and even spur additional buying. Sharing them through email or social media can also drive traffic back to your website, multiplying opportunities for further interaction.

Buy One, Get One Free

This online promotion is a sales tactic where customers who buy one item receive a second one for free. The primary aim is to increase sales volume quickly and move inventory. It also adds value for customers, encouraging them to make a purchase they might otherwise delay or skip.

BOGO promotions often result in heightened customer activity. These offers are shareable and buzz-worthy, leading to increased social media mentions, website visits, and in-store traffic. Essentially, they create a sense of urgency and exclusivity that can be highly engaging.

Social Media Contests

These competitions are promotional campaigns where individuals can participate to win prizes by fulfilling certain conditions. Those often include liking a post, sharing content, or tagging friends.

Tech company GoPro utilized a user-generated content strategy by hosting a social media contest where users could submit their GoPro-captured videos. It wanted to foster community engagement while showcasing the versatility and quality of GoPro cameras. By encouraging users to share their experiences, GoPro aimed to build authentic brand advocacy.

The turnout in terms of engagement was astounding. The contest generated a slew of high-quality, user-generated content and significantly increased engagement metrics like views, likes, and shares on YouTube. It created a ripple effect, elevating the brand's social proof and driving more interest in its products.

What Online Promotion Success Stories Mean for You

Each strategy has unique benefits and optimal use cases. Understanding the various online promotion types allows you to align your marketing objectives with the most effective tactics. Making informed decisions elevates your promotional strategies and boosts both engagement and sales.

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