How To Advertise A Discount, When To Use $ or % To Make It Sound Better?

Scribbling ideas for your next sale?
Wanting to advertise a discount on your products, and can’t work out how to get it to sound the most appealing?

5 minutes read

Use this rule: How to advertise a discount when
you’re not sure to use % or $ OFF?

Scribbling ideas for your next sale?
Wanting to advertise a discount on your products, and can’t work out how to get it to sound the most appealing?
The last thing you need right now is for it to fall flat!
You’ve decided on the discount you’re going to give, but can’t work out how to display the discount?
Is it (%) by percentage? ($) or, by the dollar number?
Think about a $200 price reduction on a $2,000 handbag.
Firstly, I bet it’s a freaking amazing handbag, but it could be displayed as either ’10 percent off’ or ‘$200 off.’
Does one method of discounting make the deal seem better than the other?
How to advertise a discount on Instagram

Firstly, how much should your discount be?

Good question!

This is entirely up to you and your goals for your business – unfortunately we can’t help you with this part.
HOWEVER! Whatever you decide –  making it sound as appealing as possible is where we can help!

Let’s go!

Use ‘The Rule of 100’ when you advertise a discount

 Here’s something you can bookmark and refer back to whenever you need, but when it comes to advertising a discount, ‘The Rule of 100’ has been something advertisers and marketers have been using for ages!
Generally, dollars speak volumes – that’s no secret. But when does the $ amount become too small that it doesn’t sound as significant?
Here’s where the 100 rule comes in, another over $100 stays as a $ sign, and anything underneath is displayed as a %.
10 tried-and-tested social strategies to smash your Black Friday sales
10 tried-and-tested social strategies to smash your Black Friday sales

Grab your handy done-for-you sales strategy content prompts

How does it work in real life?

Let’s take this classy handbag and imagine it costs $2000, and you’ve decided to give a discount of $200 – OR 10%? 

The rule suggests that because the sales value is over 100, you’d use the dollar figure of $200.

how to write sales copy

Now let’s apply the discounts and see how much more appealing the $ amount looks?

writing sales copyhow to write sales copy

Yep, we’d definitely be reaching for the $200.

Let’s try advertising a discount that’s UNDER the 100 rule.

Say your product is $80, and you’re going to discount your product by $20.
Although a big discount, the dollar figure falls underneath 100. Let’s see how the rule of 100 works with this pair of sunglasses.

discounts for your small business
The rule of 100 tells us that because the saving is under $100, then we should be confident that the version with the % will be much more effective when you’re working out how to advertise a discount.

Let’s see how it sounds and looks.


We definitely agree.

Go forth and discount! 

The ‘Rule Of 100’ has been inside the toolkit of marketers and retail experts for years, and now you can use it in your own collateral too!

Feel free to comment your thoughts, share this post to help your own community or bookmark for when you’re ready to advertise a discount for your next product.

Our app Plann was designed as the perfect marketing assistant to help grow your business!

Our productivity, branding, strategy and scheduling tool for Instagram helps you create hype on the lead up to your next discount.

Download now on iOS + Android.

Further Reading:
How To Find Hashtags to Attract Authentic Followers
How I Created a Profitable Instagram Business in One Year
Does posting Video on Instagram work?


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