How to run discounts and increase sales using ConvertKit

Commerce Digital Products
11 min read
In this Article

Ever bought an item just because it was on sale? You’re not alone.

Discounts are hard to resist because customers feel like they’re winning by purchasing an item for several dollars less than it’s worth.

Seasonal discounts like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday deals are even more enticing. While you’ll be doing your fair of shopping, as a creator, discounts are an effective way to increase your sales and revenue.

Fortunately, ConvertKit has features to make the process of offering discounts seamless for you. We’ll walk you through why discounts are crucial to your business, the types of discounts you can set up, and how to use ConvertKit Commerce features to run these discounts all year round. If you’re looking to launch a new product this Black Friday, listen up!

Why you should be offering Black Friday/Cyber Monday discounts

Still on the fence about offering discounts for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Consider five reasons why you should.

Customers shop more and expect discounted products

In 2021, 108 million US residents reported planning to shop on Black Friday, and for Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, 30.6 and 62.8 million people were ready to shop the sales.

People are primed to buy during heavy-discount seasons—and they expect discounts. According to a survey by Numerator, retailers offer discounts between 5%-80% during Black Friday depending on the product categories. If your customers expect a discount, we recommend not disappointing them.

Discounts attract new customers

Trying out a new product can be scary—especially if it costs big bucks. Discounts lower the risk and investment of a first-time purchase, making it easier for new customers to commit.

Most customers can’t resist a good discount. A survey by Finder showed that only 42% of people claim that no discount will make them shop.

Discounts as shopping motivation

Beyond setting up irresistible discounts, don’t forget to spread the word about your reduced prices and ask existing customers to help you do so in their networks too. After all, your customers can’t shop your sales if they don’t know about them.

Offer discounts to reward repeat customers

Speaking of existing customers, discounts also serve them well. After a year of shopping your products at full price, Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts can be a nice way to say thanks—and encourage them to come back the following year.

Decrease inventory ready for new products for the holiday season

As a creator, you’re probably always buzzing with new product ideas. As you create new products, it’s easy for fans and customers to forget your older ones.

Retail stores use discounts to clear out older products and make room for newer ones. But while digital products may not need “clearing out,” offering discounts on older items can remind customers to shop your older products and help make mental room for new releases and the promotion necessary to sell them.

Build customer loyalty

Providing opportunities for new and returning customers to shop your items at a discounted price can foster customer loyalty.

When customers know they can count on some discounts at certain times of the year, they’re likely to return. Substantial discounts can also make customers appreciative of your brand, which can lead to brand advocacy.

How to set up discounts in ConvertKit

Setting up discounts in ConvertKit is easy. Head to the Earn tab and click on Products.

Setting up discounts in ConvertKit

Select the product you’d like to discount. Or if you’ve yet to create the product in the first place, select New Product and fill in the relevant details. Then, in the product builder, select Settings > Discount Codes > Add a Discount Code.

Adding a discount code in ConvertKit

You can specify an amount or percentage to strike off the selling price. ConvertKit will generate a unique code appended to the product link, so customers who click the link will see the discounted price. Here’s an example of what that might look like:

Discounted sales page

If you want your code to work only a certain number of times, you can use the Limit setting to restrict it to that number. And if the discount is for a recurring payment (say a paid newsletter), you can also set the duration of the discounted period.

Once you’re all set, publish the discount and share the link with your customers via email, on social media, and even on your website.

Different types of discounts creators can offer

If you’re ready to try discounts this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here are some types of discounts you can offer and some examples of ways to use them.

Percentage-based discounts

These are discount amounts given per hundred. So a 10% discount for a product worth $100, for instance, would amount to a discounted price of $90.
This discount style is more appealing because customers spending more can benefit proportionally from your discounted prices. It also benefits the seller because it can be a strong incentive for buyers to spend more—which means more revenue for you.

A nice way to use percentage-based discounts is by offering first-time customers a percentage off their initial purchase. You can also offer store-wide percentage discounts during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It makes a great first impression, and the more they spend, the higher their discount.

Fixed sum discount

A fixed sum discount doesn’t take customer spending into account and offers the same price reduction to all buyers. For example, you can offer $50 off their first order when someone signs up for your newsletter. Or $10 off when they use a specific discount code.

While it’s predictable, this discount style may not appeal to customers spending a lot on purchases. It often works best for first-time orders or specific campaigns and may not be enough incentive for store-wide sales.

Period-based discount

If you sell a subscription-based product or service, period-based discounts are worth trying. This refers to discounting your product or service for a specific duration.

For example, you can offer the first 50 newsletter subscribers two free months for signing up first. You can also offer a free month of a paid subscription as an add-on for purchasing three or more other products.

Free or discounted shipping

People love free shipping. 79% of people say that free shipping makes them more likely to purchase products.

76% of people are more likely to shop online if there’s free shipping. Image via WalkerSands.

Make your customers’ day by offering them free or discounted shipping this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can either offer them a discount code or a minimum spend amount to be eligible for free shipping.

Fortunately, digital products ship for free, but this can be a nifty tip if you also sell physical items.

Discount codes

Discount codes are versatile and can be used with all kinds of discounts. You can offer discount codes to give customers a percentage or fixed sum off your products. They’re also great because they can help you track referring sites to an extent. A few ways to use discount codes:

  • Send one to event attendees as a thank you
  • Give exclusive discount codes to email subscribers
  • Collaborate with other creators or influencers and have them share discount codes with their audiences

How ConvertKit helps creators run discounts with ease

ConvertKit makes it easy to run discounts and get paid, no matter which digital products you sell. Here are three payment methods worth knowing as a ConvertKit Commerce user.

Pay What You Want (PWYW)

PWYW is a payment option that allows you to let the buyer choose the price for your product. Letting customers decide what to pay may sound frightening, but you won’t be losing with this payment method. PWYW also allows creators to designate a minimum fee, and people can pay anything above that figure.

Letting buyers decide how much to pay can lead to more sales for you. Often, creators may undercharge their audiences for their services. PWYW removes the payment ceiling and allows buyers pay as much as they can.

To set up PWYW, create a new product, name it, and select “Pay what you want” under payment method.

How to set up Pay What You Want in ConvertKit

You can set a minimum price as low as $0, but you can’t set prices between $0 and $1 as this wouldn’t yield enough to cover transaction fees.

Set minimum price for PWYW method

How “discounts” work with PWYW

Technically, you can’t set up discounts with PWYW products—but that’s because the concept of PWYW is like a discount for buyers! They’re in charge of how much they pay. You can also offer some products entirely free of charge as add-ons or for beta testing purposes.

Some other ways to use the PWYW method are for pricing research, testing audience interest in new products (you can offer PWYW for a limited period in this case), or promoting a pricier or lesser-bought product for a limited time.

Payment installments

Another way to collect payments is by using ConvertKit’s payment plans. This feature is not the same as subscriptions.

With subscriptions, customers pay a stipulated monthly fee for continued access to a recurring product like a newsletter or podcast, for example. But with payment plans, customers pay installments of a fee for one product.

This service allows your customers to make multiple smaller payments over a specific period for a course or coaching program, for example, instead of dropping a hefty one-time payment.

To set up a payment plan, create a new product (or edit the pricing method for an existing product) and choose “Payment plans” as the pricing method. Set your product price and choose how many payment installments you’d like to accept and how frequently they should pay. ConvertKit’s calculator will split the price and calculate how much buyers need to pay at each installment.

Set up ConvertKit payment plans

Discounting tip: You can also offer discounts with ConvertKit’s payment plans. If you decide to do this, each installment will be discounted according to your specifications.

As a ConvertKit creator, you never need to worry about losing money because of installment payments. Buyers can’t cancel their payment plans without your consent and they’ll lose access to the product when you cancel their plan before completion.

Standard payments

These are the bread-and-butter of ConvertKit payments. They’re easy to set up and allow customers to make one-time payments.

Discounting standard payments is the same process for setting up a regular ConvertKit discount. Go to Earn > Products.

Create a new product or select the product you’d like to discount. Under Product details, make sure that Standard payment option is selected. Then click Settings > Discount code and “Add a discount code” as described earlier.

Discounting tip: If you want to offer one-time payments and payment plans for the same product, you can reward buyers who pay one-time fees with a discounted price, while buyers on payment plans pay full price.

Start running discounts this Black Friday and Cyber Monday with ConvertKit

Selling can be intimidating, and launching a new product can be particularly scary. Running discounts can take the edge off. ConvertKit offers multiple payment options to make it easier for your customers to commit. Whether you’re running a product launch campaign or a seasonal discount campaign, use ConvertKit discounts to convince your customers to make that purchase.

Don’t have a ConvertKit account yet? It’s a great time to sign up for a free account.

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As a creator, you deserve to get paid for your work. ConvertKit Commerce is ready-made to help you sell digital products.

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Afoma Umesi

Afoma Umesi is a freelance writer for software companies and businesses in the marketing industry. When she's not tapping away at her keyboard, you'll find her reading a good book or experimenting in the kitchen.

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