Ever since Asa Candler offered a free glass of Coca-Cola to the masses in 1887, coupons have been strong part of many retail marketing plans.
What is a coupon? In its most rudimentary form, a coupon is a voucher entitling the holder to a discount for a particular product or service. In the past the coupon was typically a paper voucher handed out at the retail location, or found in a local newspaper or magazine. Fast forward to today and coupons are much more creative in their look, their offers, and where they can be found. Coupons are still in newspapers, magazines, and of course your mailbox, but now they also have their own websites and are sometimes sent directly to consumers via email and mobile phones.
Whether you love them or hate them, chances are you have used one in your lifetime. The question is, have you offered them to your customers? When you are creating your marketing plan, coupons are likely to come up in conversation as they have proven themselves to be highly effective sales tools for every conceivable size and type of business.
92% of consumers used coupons in 2013
80% of consumers use coupons on a regular basis
57% May not have made a purchase w/out the coupon
9% of redeemers will visit the retailer again
Interested in more coupon stats? Check out this infographic from Voucher Card.
It may be easy to understand why consumers love coupons, but as a retailer, what is in it for you? When used properly, coupons are a fantastic way to promote new products or services, reach new customers, and reward loyal customers. They can also be used for a quick boost in sales and store traffic during typically slow periods. Below are some tips and tricks for your next coupon campaign.
Tips & Tricks for Coupon Success
Know your customer: What type of offer appeals most to your target market? $50.00 off? 50% off? Buy One Get One? Percentage discounts work well when they are high percentages and the value of the product or service is known. Dollars off discounts seem to work best overall. Look back at what has worked for you in the past or do some smaller test runs on the most common offers.
Focus on the benefits for your customer: The reality is your customer is most interested in what you can do for him or her, not always the product itself. Save time, save money, increase profits, protect your family, be happier, improve your health, increase your income, increase comfort, more convenient. These are all strong benefits to motivate your customers into action.
Know your business: What are their typical buying habits in your industry? How flexible can you be with pricing based on your fixed costs? Are there days/times that are particularly slow? A casual restaurant might do well with a BOGO deal, but a pizza shop might do better with $2 off as fewer people need two pizzas. Consider offering a free added value item or service to help you to maintain pricing on low margin items. Discounting pricing on specific days may help to increase traffic during slow periods.
Be creative with your offer and with your design: A strong offer combined with a strong headline will get attention and be more likely to be saved and used by consumers. A few examples: “Save $50.00 This Month Only!”, “You Save 70% on Office Supplies!”, “Buy One Dinner Entree–Get One FREE!”
Consider the method of distribution: Shared Mail? Newspaper Insert? How about social, email, mobile? There are a variety of ways you can get your coupon into the hands of your customers. Once again, knowing your customer will help you determine best way to distribute.
Added Bonus Tip: Prepare for future success! Capture and track your customer’s information (names, addresses, phone numbers, etc) at time of redemption. Develop an in-house mailing list for future use. Ask for or use redemption info as feedback for future promotions. Information from your customers represents one of your most valuable assets.
How can we help?
Today’s consumers are smarter and more empowered than ever. TMM is dedicated to helping you find the right marketing mix to reach your audience wherever they are, online or off. We work with you through the entire process from concept to delivery with knowledgeable staff to help you create a coupon campaign that will work for you.