As many of our partners know, a limited time price promotion can be an effective ebook promotional tool. But exactly how much do you need to discount your book in order to accomplish your marketing goals? Does the size of the discount matter? Or do readers just look for a low sale price, regardless of the original full price?
Because BookBub includes the original price for each of our featured books, we were able to look at this question from a few different angles to get an accurate answer. And we ultimately found that the size of the discount does make a difference.
Average subscriber response rates in recent months show that books reduced by at least 65 percent resulted in click-through rates over 20 percent higher than titles discounted by a smaller amount. And the average click-through rate for books discounted by at least 85 percent was over 40 percent higher. This trend is illustrated in the chart below:The effect was magnified when we isolated our analysis to titles that had all been reduced to $0.99. The only price difference between these books was the original price, and of course a title that is marked down from $7.99 is more steeply discounted than one that typically sells for $5.99. Once again, the data suggests that readers may respond better to books that are more steeply discounted, even if the deal price is the same:To investigate this phenomenon further, we wanted to control for the innate differences between books that may lead to variances in performance. So we ran multiple tests in which we sent the same book at the same deal price to all our subscribers — but half of the list saw a higher original price than the other. The size of the discount was the only differing factor between these two versions of the listing.
The results consistently showed more clicks for the group that saw the steeper discount. In one of these tests, changing the full price from $7.99 to $15.00 resulted in almost a 15 percent increase in clicks:It’s always important to remember that many factors affect a book’s performance, and how steeply you should discount your title ultimately depends on your own marketing goals. Additionally, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the regular price of your book, and higher list prices aren’t necessarily right for every book.
However, the data confirms what we would expect — buyers respond to discounts, and the bigger the markdown, the better. As we’ve seen, this doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice full-price sales in the long term. In fact, a limited-time ebook discount can greatly help your overall marketing efforts. But when faced with an abundance of low-priced books, readers unsurprisingly drive a hard bargain.
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