I figured out how to create static blocks to do promotions of certain products or categories, but this is far from perfect.
Does anyone have or know of an extension that would allow me to easily create several promotions and rotate them? (preferably free or inexpensive)
I've looked at banner sliders but these are across the top, I want something that would go in the left or right column call out.
Please check below link hope this help you
I actually ended up purchasing this one:
Haven't looked at the one you are proposing (other than the 139$ price tag) and it might have more options but the one I've linked does everything I need and the support was fantastic.
If you need a really powerful extension, you can check this one:
You will be able to perform multi-channel marketing (i.e place banners in the email newsletters, social networks, blogs, magento stores) as well as A/B testing etc. This module also has many other options you may like. You can test demo to learn more about it.