Ultimate Guide to Effective Promotional Coupons
In an era where everyone carries a smartphone; coupons are no longer limited to the Thursday and Sunday newspaper, mail packs and monthly circulars.
Current reports show that 79% of consumers look for deals in loyalty and reward programs before making a purchase (Hawk Incentives). Customers are actively searching for coupons they can save on a smartphone app, eliminating the need to carry slips of paper around.
As a business, you can take advantage of this demand by offering digital and loyalty coupons.
So, we have created this guide and checklist below to help small businesses understand, create and publish effective coupons in today’s market place.
Keep in mind as you go through this checklist the main purpose of any coupons or loyalty program is to draw in new customers who use the coupons and buy other items. And, with loyalty programs hopefully, return to your business even on days when they do not have coupons in hand.
The checklist is divided into 5 sections:
- Satisfying your customer’s NEEDS!
- Building CONFIDENCE in you brand!
- Creating URGENCY in your product or service! And
- Building LOYALTY with your company!
- Do’s and Don’t to MAXIMIZE your efforts!
Satisfying your customer’s NEEDS!
- Have one specific purpose in mind when you create your coupons. What specific problem are you trying to solve for your potential new customer?
- Focus on your main customers need, don’t try to be all things to all people. Quality of reach over the quantity of reach, this approach can be a bit more difficult to implement, but it’s one of the most effective. Define your target audience needs.
- Create a sense of exclusivity: People like to feel like they’re receiving something that others aren’t, including coupons, so make your customers feel special by making discounts seem exclusive to them. Example: offering a social-exclusive promotion to Facebook and Twitter followers or enrolling customers in to their unique loyalty program.
- Leverage the psychology of discounts: This means that you want to word your offer to make it seem as valuable as possible. For example, if you’re selling an item for $250, offering “30% off” may seem less attractive than “$75 off,” even though they’re worth the same dollar amount.
- New Customers need higher % discount. Example: 15% vs. 10% (Make sure you can afford this)
Building CONFIDENCE in you brand!
- Use image with Visual Appeal; Digital coupons give you the chance to provide full-color, eye-catching content that compels readers to read your message. Remember, Consumers respond better to images of things real than stock photos.
- If your coupon is for a service, show an image of happy people or satisfied customers instead of a stock photo or a huge company logo. Do include your logo on the image and maybe on a photo of a products like those you sell with bold, vibrant colors and fonts that will intrigue consumers.
- All coupons should have an expiration date. Although there are some practical purposes for coupons with long expiration dates, consumers are more likely to tuck coupons away for a rainy day unless the time frame is relatively short.
- Make it easy to redeem the coupon.
- Make it easy to share.
- Be clear and avoid “small print” clutter. If you have restrictions be upfront and don’t hide them in the small print.
- Do not overcrowd you image with Text, use an image description section to showcase your business and product (or service) information.
Creating URGENCY in your product or service!
- 83% of shoppers admit to making an unplanned purchase when presented with a promotion, so take advantage of this behavior by creating a sense of urgency with your offer.
- Put a deadline on your coupon or offer a one-time daily deal or put a limit on the coupon itself, such as “first 50 customers only receive 20 percent off.”
Building LOYALTY with your company!
- Rather than discounting your prices offer a reward after 4 or times a customer consumes. This practice brings in loyal customer and keeps the bargain hunter away.
- Have a way to track the success of your coupon campaign. Identify coupons with barcodes or numbers that give you information about how you distributed the coupon.
- integrated with Google Wallet or iCloud Wallet to allow customer to save your coupon for later use, which means your customers can to access the coupons when they reach your checkout stand.
Do’s and Don’ts to MAXIMIZE your efforts!
- Never just make up a discount. Yes, it may be easy to create a simple “10 percent off” coupon, but if you don’t study your overall costs and profit margins, you can quickly find that a coupon campaign might risk putting you in the red.
- Focus on coupon distribution: No matter how clever or valuable the coupon, if your customers don’t know about it, they can’t redeem it. This means that you should pay attention and invest time in creating a coupon distribution strategy.
- Stay away from companies “selling coupons” this strategy forces a very large margin discount and only attracts bargain hunter. Many companies have been hurt by this strategy.