How to Use Coupons to Promote Your Business
Coupons have proven themselves to be highly effective sales tools for every conceivable size and type of business.
Because coupons "pull in the business" they have gained remarkable acceptance and popularity among astute marketing managers. A simple explanation for their acceptance by advertisers is their overwhelming acceptance and use by the consuming public. In fact, Advertising Age (the Bible of the advertising industry) reports that 86% of all shoppers use coupons.
Another independent marketing research firm, the A.C. Nielson Co., reveals that 91% of all shoppers like coupons. And 60% actively look for coupons.
Savvy marketers cite these reasons for heavy reliance on couponing:
-Coupons have the effect of expanding or increasing your market area. Consumers travel a long way to redeem a valuable coupon.
-Coupons will entice new customers that have been shopping at your competitor. It's a proven fact that consumers will break routine shopping patterns to take advantage of a good coupon offer.
-Coupons attract new residents when they are actively in the market for products and services.
-Coupons will re-activate old customers. Those customers that have been lured away by your competitor will start buying from you again when you give them a good reason to do so.
-Coupon advertising provides the opportunity for additional profits through sale of related items. When you offer a special "deal" on a coupon to invite a customer to do business with you, you have to remember that this same customer will probably end up buying additional items that carry a full profit margin.
-In addition, you also are being given the opportunity to "sell-up" to a more profitable product or service. You would not have had this opportunity had it not been for the coupon getting the customer through the door in the first place.
-Coupons build store traffic which results in additional impulse purchases.-Coupons are measurable and accountable. Don't overlook that couponing is the most measurable and accountable form of promotion. It's simply a matter of counting the number of coupons redeemed to judge the effectiveness of the offer. Wise use of this consumer feedback will guide you in creating future offers that improve your results.
Tips For Effective Couponing:
- Offer Discounts..."$50.00 Off!", "60% Off!", (percentage discounts are only good when they are high percentages and the value of the product or service is well known.) Dollars Off discounts work best.
- Offer Bonuses..."Buy One/Get One Free!", or "2 Free with Each Case Ordered!", "Free Batteries When You Buy One Super Flashlight", or "Free Drop Cloth with Each Gallon of Super Paint", etc.
- Offer Premiums...Offer premiums for a presentation, for a trial order, for a subscription, for a demonstration, for a new customer referral, for an order amounting to $xxx or larger", etc.
- Offer Free Information..."FREE booklet", "FREE brochure", "FREE estimate", "FREE details", "FREE samples", "FREE trial", "FREE consultation", "FREE quote", etc.
#2...Use Your Logo In Your Coupon.
- Use of logo: builds company identity and awareness in the marketplace, enhances your image, lends credibility to your offer, and improves response.
- "Save $50.00 on Any Portable TV....This Month Only!"
- "FREE BROCHURE...'Beauty Secrets for Career Woman'!"
- "Free Catalog Saves YOU 70% on Office Supplies!"
- "Rent Two NEW RELEASE Video Movies--Get One FREE!"
- "Buy One Dinner Entree--Get One FREE!"
- "Buy Five Cases of Copier Paper--Get the Sixth Case Absolutely Free!"
- Don't clutter up the coupon
- Illustrations work best when you show products in-use.
- Illustrations enhance credibility, aid understanding, and create desire.
- Set up product displays so that you force your customer to walk the entire expanse of your store. Your "impulse" buys will increase dramatically when you expose your customer to more products by well planned placement of "sale items".
- Your customer list represents your most valuable asset. Your greatest potential for sales and profits lies in the customer database. To ignore this potential is pure folly.
- Create a planned program of continuous follow-up to your customer list.
- Use ride-alongs, invoice stuffers, new catalogs, new product brochures, special sale flyers, preferred customer sales and discounts, customer appreciation events, more coupons. Keep your customers coming back to YOU!
- Save time, save money, increase profits, protect your family, improve your standard of living, be happier, improve your health, increase your income, increase your comfort, more convenient.
- Your customer is only interested in what you can do for him or her. Your customer will only buy the benefits-of-use of your product or service. Let me say that again...your customer is only interested in the benefits of use of your product....not the product itself.
- free, now, new, how to, save, guarantee, money, easy, simple, you, proven, love, results, discovery, fast, amazing, sex, profit.
- Offer extras when a customer requests information or places an order. Always suggest related items. Point out the added features and benefits of a higher priced item and then show the customer specifically how these features will make his life easier, safer, etc.
Video coupons can draw search results, interest and profitable customers
Video couponing hasn’t received as much buzz as the online couponing sites. But they’ve made an impact where it matters most—the small business owner’s bottom line. VideoCoupon offers you more control and flexibility—you can send out out 1,000 coupons and then disable the coupon when they reach their goal without ever removing the ad. This means that you still get the advertising exposure without incurring the financial risk exposure.
When is couponing a good marketing strategy?
Before you embark on a couponing strategy, be clear about your marketing objectives. The whole purpose of coupons is to reduce or eliminate the hesitation that consumers feel when they are considering purchasing a new product. Often, that hesitation is about price, but often it can come from another reason altogether.
Be sure that you understand what’s important to your customers when they are looking at choosing a product or service such as yours. Not every business gets the same benefit from coupons.
Checklist for deciding if a coupon strategy is right for your business
- Know (really know and understand) the full cost picture of your entire product mix. Consult with a financial professional that can help you understand your margins for each product line and to help you decide what the most appropriate coupon offer should be.
- Know the lifetime value of your ideal customer. The main objective behind couponing is to offer a discount for that first purchase and build loyalty for repeat purchases at the full price. Be sure to offer coupons for the right product aimed at the right customer.
- You are launching a new product or service and want to provide an incentive for people to try it. This also works for product line extensions; a new flavor, size or version of a product.
- You are trying to get rid of excess inventory. If you’re in danger of losing even more money by holding on to a product too long, consider offering a coupon.
If you’ve gone over the checklist and you like what you see, then a coupon strategy may be your best bet to get and keep new customers or to build excitement and engagement around a new product or service.