Well, let's go through some of the options we have:
I see this quite often. A thread is posted in the wrong forum (usually the General forum with the most traffic), and moderators are fuming in anger. "They're just posting there because they want the views!", "I bet they'll start whining about how the thread will die in because nobody ever goes there! Well maybe they should go there!"
If this is the reaction you're facing, chances are your forum has a structural problem. If most of the content is posted in the General section (and that content doesn't clearly belong into existing sub-fora already), your sub-fora are not as well-defined as they should be.
However, even without this, disciplinary action is simply an overreaction. The behaviour is not all too harmful, can easily be mitigated by moving the thread, and certainly doesn't warrant even more attention than simply moving it.
Incentivization and Rewards
You could quite easily hand out ribbons, or tally points on a scoreboard about how well (or not-well) a user follows the forum descriptions. Publicly deduct points for every thread you have to move, add points for every thread the user makes.
This has some technical and staffing limitations, of course: You need to screen every thread for the system to be accurate, and your sub-fora need to be clearly defined so there is absolutely no debate about whether or not a thread was correctly posted.
That said, this is - with good reason - rarely used to encourage rule-adherence (even aside from these limitations): If you directly reward users for following the rules, then following the rules becomes exceptional - rather than normal.
Leave a note telling the user where the thread should have been posted originally. Let them know that they have posted in the wrong section, and that they will probably gain more dedicated responses in the proper sub-forum.
You can also give a little push to learning-by-doing, by closing the thread rather than moving it - let the user post it in the right section themself. (Of course this always has the potential for backlash. "Well why didn't you move it for me?!" - Be prepared for that. If necessary, respond by explaining to them that you want them to learn and do it right themself, rather than having it done for them.)
To me, the most fitting approach from a cost/benefit point of view is hoping for the user to learn when you move the thread - or to close and tell them to try again, but the right way this time. Chances are, the "troublemakers" that intentionally post in the wrong section won't be impressed by any measures of education, and punishment still does not look like it's worth the hassle just to click a few less buttons in a day. The people you can reach don't need threats shoved in their face, just a small hint on where to go instead.