With shows like ‘Extreme Couponing’ becoming a national favourite, it is no surprise that discounts and coupons certainly get the attention from consumers. They are a great way to attract a large generic group of new and existing customers to your store, or a particular sale or promotion. But, how do you keep those new customers engaged with your brand beyond that initial pull?
We’ve put together some suggestions to help you make couponing a successful marketing tool for your business:
Be Specific – Dig Deep
As marketers, we know that the larger business goal behind promotional offers and discounts is to increase sales and revenue. But to help make the campaign more compelling, meaningful to your customers and overall more successful for the business, you need to know the deeper reason ‘WHY’ you’re presenting an offer. Some easy examples include an inventory liquation, a gift to celebrate a customer’s birthday, a thank you or follow up for a recent purchase, a special promotion to celebrate a long weekend. The possibilities are endless!
A well-defined objective will help make your offer more meaningful and relevant to your customers, and help your message to not get lost with many other offers your customers might see on a daily basis.
Here’s a great example of how RONA would present a promotion to customers. They sent out a link to a targeted group of their customers they know collect Air Miles, and might interested in knowing how they can earn more miles as a bonus gift with their purchase. You will also notice they have an ‘Exclusive Promotions’ and ‘My Favourite Offers’ sections on this webpage. These sections also call up special offers based on the customer’s profile information.
Use Coupons for Customer Insight
You can use your coupons and promotional codes as a method to collect customer data to help you understand some differences between what worked and what didn’t work, and most importantly how to make your campaigns better in the future. The simplest format to present offers is through email marketing. You can include links for your customers to print off coupons to bring into the store. These coupons are embedded with particular codes so you can track the activity from the POS system.
You’ll gain great customer insight such as who responded to the offer, have they purchased this item before, are they responding better to the discount percentage or savings, are they responding better on particular days of the week or times? The more information you have, the more effective, personalized and meaningful your campaigns will be. If you don’t have much data to begin, you can start small by testing with some of the customer information you already have, such as region, age or gender.
Make Your Offers Enticing and Limited
Everyone is always game to save some cash on their purchases, so the bigger your offer to save, the more volume you are likely to receive in purchases. However, you’ll want to be careful not to penalize yourself. If your discount is too large, you may not receive a positive return on your investment, even over the long term. The type of customers you generate from this type of promotion might not be the long-term valuable customers you’re looking to attract and build relationships with.
In addition, if you send too many large discount offers over a short period of time, you risk losing the promotion’s impact and consumers might no longer pay attention. And a final point to consider is that if you get into the habit of sending what appears to be the same offers weekly, your consumers will most likely wait until the next promotion to make their purchases, or not at all.
REP Solutions has helped a number of our clients plan effective coupon campaigns, and we would love to hear your success stories or help you plan some new ones. Come back to visit the Blog regularly as we continue to post helpful articles to help you with your marketing plans.