The Impact of Constant Discounting on Paid Social

Author Abi Carey 3 min read time

While paid social is a great tool for promotional periods, you’re missing huge opportunities by limiting yourself to only promoting discounts. You miss out on key awareness pieces and most importantly capturing people in full price periods. 

One of our clients was in exactly this situation, having a sale every 3 weeks which resulted in big peaks and troughs in performance.

As people were only purchasing in sale periods this meant a lower AOV and smaller profit margins, less than ideal but customers knew that there would be a sale every 3 weeks, they knew to wait for it to purchase and they did. 

When sales didn’t perform it was panic stations because we relied so heavily on sale periods to bring up overall performance for the month.

Getting Out of the Sale Cycle

Cue a worldwide pandemic (just a note to say we DO NOT recommend this as a cure for getting out of the sale cycle) and because of their industry we saw an increase in demand and ended up having the most profitable year yet to date without having to run constant promotions. The knock on effect of this was they were finally out of the 3 week sale cycle! 

Being able to come out of this sale cycle meant not only higher AOVs and bigger profit margins but also a more consistent level of performance across the account as a whole. Conversion rates became more consistent and sale periods more profitable as the scarcity factor for sale was now back.



Ads focussed on new collections aren’t getting lost in the tidal wave of sales anymore. Creative testing isn’t being limited to a 2 week cycle so we are able to run longer, more definitive tests giving us actionable changes to implement.

Critically for any business wanting to scale we have been able to work on top funnel awareness and acquisition with ads that actually give context on who the brand is, what they sell and why you should buy from them (something so simple but so often lost in sale messaging to cold audiences). 

While I am aware that sales exist outside of the paid social universe and there are lots of other factors that influence your sales cycle, it is worth considering your approach to sales on paid social. 

So what are you using Paid Social for?

What are your key objectives on paid social? How do you want to use the powerful targeting you’ve got at your fingertips? Revenue? New customers? Increasing lifetime value? If you are just using paid social for sales you could be missing out on a lot of great opportunities here. 


Abi leads our Paid Social team at Overdrive - bringing to the role her experience as an in house marketing manager alongside her years of copywriting experience. Abi’s forte is creating strong, long lasting client relationships based around transparency, knowledge sharing and great results.