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Creating Effective Coupon Campaigns

Tips for running an effective coupon campaign Pt. 2

I wanted to continue off my previous blog on running an effective coupon campaign. I previously covered how to write an effective coupon, but now what do you do with it? Here are a few tips on getting the most out of your coupons, and increasing the conversions.

Enhance Marketing Campaigns

Creating Effective Coupon CampaignsCoupons are a perfect way to enhance any marketing campaign. If you’re promoting, or advertising a specific service or offer, add a coupon to the mix to give your customers that little extra push to bring them into your store. An example of this is something you see with fast food chains all the time. When they launch a new product its often accompanied by a coupon to encourage their customers to try it out.

Expire

Always expire your coupons. Coupons by their nature are limited time offers, you want to line them up with seasons, holidays, or marketing campaigns. For this reason you want the coupon offer to end when campaign ends. Granted, you can always refuse to honor a coupon, but it’s best to avoid that issue all together and make sure you use expiration dates.

Rotate

This is something we see often. If you’re selling a $20 pizza and have been running a $5 off coupon on that pizza for the last 5 years, guess what. You just artificially reduced the price of that pizza to $15. Coupons should be used to market a new product, or entice customers to try out your business for the first time. This doesn’t mean you have to think up new coupons all the time, but try to rotate them around and come up with some new ones from time to time. This way you can offer something different to the new customer that didn’t like the previous coupons, and entice your regulars to try something different on your menu.

Track

How do you know if your coupons are working or not? How do you know which offer is bringing in new customers? Did Coupon A lead to an up-sale? You can get all these answers if you effectively track your coupons. When you’re customers bring in a coupon staple the coupon to your copy of the receipt, or write down how much the customer spent on the back of the coupon. Later at the end of the day/week, write down how many times a customer used a specific coupon, and how much money they spent at your store. Using this information you can decide if this coupon isn’t working any more, and if you want to take it out of your rotation. Effective tracking can help you decide where in the rotation to put your coupons.

Coupons can be an effective tool in driving new and repeat customers into your business. But knowing when and what coupons to use is always difficult if you don’t have the right tools. Hopefully we were able to supply you with some knowledge to help you create and maintain an effective coupon campaign, that keeps customers coming back for more.


IMG_9375_600x600Michael Baaske is the Digital Product Coordinator at PowerSites®, and with over 7 years of experience in PrePress and print media, Michael has seen some good, and bad coupon offers. PowerSites® is an all inclusive website-hosting, creation, and marketing solution that helps local businesses establish their brand, drive leads, and track success, that’s a leading resource in print, online and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, and brand management with our Local Business Listings.

Tips on How To Write an Effective Coupon

How to Write an Effective Coupon

Having a coupon is a great way to enhance any marketing campaign, or rid yourself of excess inventory. While coupons are easy to write, there are a few common mistakes that are often made. Below are a few tips to help you avoid these mistakes and write a more effective coupon.

Title

Tips on How To Write an Effective CouponAn effective title for a coupon is short and to the point. Use the body of the coupon to give the details on what the customer is getting. Use the large bold font of the title as an opportunity to grab attention. Good words to use are “Free”, “X% Off” or “$X Off”, start out with telling the customer how much they’re going to save!

Body

Use the body of the coupon to explain what the offer is for. The best coupons just simply list out what the customer will get when they redeem this coupon. Don’t leave anything out, and don’t be vague. An example would be “Oil change includes x,y, and z premium oil extra”

Disclaimer

The disclaimer is the fine print that lists out anything that would void your coupon. One per customer, not valid with other offers etc. Try to keep this section as short as possible. A long disclaimer with a bunch of rules may turn off your customer and they may avoid using the coupon all together.

Expiration

The expiration date is one of the most overlooked part of a coupon. If you pick an expiration date that’s too long, customers are more likely to place them in a pile “for later” and then completely forget about them. However, if you use a short date like 7 days, there’s a sense of urgency to use the coupon as soon as possible, making it less likely that your coupon will be forgotten.

Coupon vs. Special Offer

This is not necessarily a tip, but a mistake I see often. Special offers disguised as coupons. While special offers are a great alternative to coupons, because they don’t have that sense of urgency, they’re not as effective at tracking a campaign. The two main difference between the two can be answered by these two questions. Does it expire? and Can anyone get this price? All coupons expire, and the only people that can get the coupon price is if they have the coupon, or at least know about it. If you’re offering an oil change for $35 anyone that walks into your store then “Get an oil change for $35” is not a coupon.

A strong coupon offer can help enhance any marketing campaign, so take your time and make sure you get the best results. Part of this is writing an effective coupon that draws your customers attention, and entices them to come to your store.


IMG_9375_600x600Michael Baaske is the Digital Product Coordinator at PowerSites®, and with over 7 years of experience in PrePress and print media, Michael has seen some good, and bad coupon offers. PowerSites® is an all inclusive website-hosting, creation, and marketing solution that helps local businesses establish their brand, drive leads, and track success, that’s a leading resource in print, online and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, and brand management with our Business Directory Listings.

Consider all the outcomes of your coupon campaigns.

Don’t Lose Money on Your Coupon Campaigns

When marketing with coupons, there’s always a risk of overspending on the savings. It can be tempting to push the coupons until you’re actually losing money, until you’re operating at a loss. Coupons only work as a strategy when they work as a strategy.

The end goal of a coupon campaign is to make less money per sale, but to make more sales and to turn on new customers in the hopes that they’ll actually become regulars, and not that they’ll just use the coupon before never buying from you ever again.

  • Can you scale quickly?

    Some small businesses are a better fit for coupons than others. Coupons are obviously great if you’re selling eBooks. If your staff has to pick up the pace and make more hamburgers after a promotional effort, then you need to consider if they’re up for the task. How easily can you scale what you do?

  • What can you afford?

    For those with a lot of money on hand, it’s not a bad idea to actually break even on every sale just to make sure more people are trying things out. If you don’t have the funding to fall back on or if you can’t foresee a high conversion rate, on the other hand, then you may simply be wasting effort. Be careful in pricing your coupons.

  • Consider all the outcomes

    Consider all the outcomes of your coupon campaigns.A big mistake you can make with a coupon effort is to allow users to double up or use multiple coupons to effectively take you for all you’re worth. Make sure that you’ve written the appropriate disclaimers on all of the coupons, and that people won’t be able to use them along with other coupons or double up in order to take a bigger discount than you’re able to afford.

  • Educate Your Staff

    None of these rules will help you if your staff doesn’t know what they’re doing. Make absolutely certain that they know what sort of coupons to accept and how to accept them. A staff that doesn’t know how to run a coupon campaign puts you in a position where you might as well be giving things away for free.

  • Accept Competitors’ Coupons, but Carefully

    It can be a great promotional tactic to accept your competitors’ coupons, but a disaster to accept them without prejudice. Don’t accept all  of your competitor’s coupons, or you may be paying out the nose for a promotion that they can afford but you can’t. Offer to accept competitor’s coupons but make sure to double check expiration dates and limit what those coupons will cover.

Running a coupon campaign doesn’t have to be complicated. There are a lot of pitfalls that can get you if you don’t plan ahead, but by and large, if you plan according to what you can afford and according to the market you need to reach, it shouldn’t be impossible to come up with a campaign that works for you and your customers.

Small Business Tips: Marketing Strategy for the Holidays

The Holiday Season is in full-swing, and for small business owners, that means a potential increase in revenue. While the boost may come organically, just because of the sheer timing and necessity of the Holidays, it’s still very important to engage in Holiday promotions and marketing strategy to get the most out of the Holiday rush. Here are just some of the top marketing tips and strategies small business owners should be implementing for the Holiday season.

Optimize and Update Your Website

Updating your website with relevant keywords and content should be at the very top of your Holiday to-do list. Use keywords that are relevant to what product or service your business offers. Use relevant “Holiday” keywords like “gifts, free shipping, holidays, Christmas, New Years, sale, limited time, special offer”, etc. If your site has a blog, blog about your Holiday specials, or holiday-themed topics. Update store hours on your website and phone prompt, if they’re different for the Holiday season. If you don’t already have a website, now is definitely the time to get one. If you need help getting a website, contact our PowerSites team and they can help you launch your online presence.
Use these marketing tips for the holiday season

Holiday Coupons

Coupons are a great way to generate buzz and interest about your business. Holidays are a great time to promote coupons, good for both service and product-centered small businesses. You should use all channels of advertising to promote you coupons. Promote your coupons online via your website, email marketing and social media channels, and also through traditional print advertising in your local classifieds or with fliers and postcards. Just be sure to run a promotion that doesn’t hurt your bottom line.

Email Marketing and Social Media

Like mentioned before, it’s important to use all marketing channels to your advantage. Not only for promoting your coupons, but for staying engaged with your customer base. Whether you have special holiday promotions or not, it’s important to stay connected with your customers. If you have an existing customer email list, send out an email to the list wishing everyone a happy holidays and new year. If you already have a Facebook Business page, Twitter Account, Yelp, or Google + Page, post a status update to your social media accounts wishing everyone a happy holidays. You may not have a promotion to advertise, but you’ll show up in their inbox and news feed, and if they weren’t thinking about your business before, you’re now on their mind, which may prompt them to visit your store or website. Effective email campaigns can have a big impact on getting customers into your store and purchasing.

Search Engine Marketing

Geo-targeting and hyper-local advertising will be key during the Holiday season. The Holidays creep up on everyone, and most people leave their gift-buying to the last minute, which means they’re on a time crunch and will shop locally to get what they need. It’s important to have an SEM campaign running prior and during the holidays, so you will rank higher in the search results. If you’re not sure where to even start with search engine marketing, contact our PowerClicks team to help you get started.

What are some other Holiday marketing strategies that have worked for you?

Boost Sales With Your Next Coupon Campaign

Some small businesses are still afraid of using coupons because they fear a coupon campaign will cost too much. The truth is that coupons are an easy way to boost sales if used correctly.

First, here are six reasons you should consider offering coupons:
Boost Sales with your next Coupon Campaign

  • To attract new customers
  • To increase sales of a specific product
  • Brand awareness
  • To retain your current and faithful customers
  • To up-sell a specific product
  • Coupons bring customers to your business, where they will probably buy additional products

Another main reason to include coupons in your marketing campaign is that your competitors are already using them. Many coupon users do not have brand loyalty. If another brand of the same product is offering a better coupon, they will buy that brand and you have just lost that sale.

Pay attention to what your competitors are offering. You never want to offer a coupon that does not make financial sense for your business. If you cannot offer the same or more as your competitors, then you may to want to scratch that coupon altogether and offer a coupon on a different product or service.

In order for your coupons to boost sales, you want a well-thought out and financially sensible coupon. To create such a coupon, keep these things in mind:

Make sure it really is a good offer.

Ten cents off an item that costs fifty dollars is not going to impress anyone. For bigger ticket items, consider using a percentage off. Many customers will not figure out how much the item will cost them. They will simply boast to their friends that they purchased the item for “xx% percent off”.
Boost sales with your next coupon campaign

Don’t break the bank.

Don’t offer anything that costs you. Figure in how much it costs you to purchase and sell the product/service, and adjust your coupons accordingly. If the product costs $5 and you sell it for $8, offer a $1 off coupon. You will still make a profit of $2 per item, but your customers will feel like they are getting a great deal.

Remember that brand awareness is key.

Create a visually appealing coupon that encourages brand awareness. That way, even if the recipient does not use the coupon, they may still remember your brand name later on. Brand awareness is one of the biggest aspects of a coupon campaign, so make sure you are aware of this when setting up and running your campaign. Printed coupons have long been the norm, but with new technology, it’s best to incorporate coupons on your website as well as accepting coupons shown on mobile phones. If you do not already have a website, please visit PowerSites to get your website started.

Offer more of a discount for a bigger purchase.

Consumers love feeling like they are getting a great deal. So consider coupons that offer $10 off a $50 purchase or $25 off a purchase of $75. It may be just the push they need to add those extra products they wanted anyway to their cart. Also, if they have to spend a certain amount, they may buy something they weren’t planning on. This is the first step in getting them hooked on a new product.

Follow these simple tips and tricks to boost your next coupon campaign and watch your sales increase.