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What You Need to Modernize Your Coupons

Posted by Bryan Wang

It’s time to re-think, re-conceptualize and re-launch your coupon program.

Coupons aren't about paper cut-outs from flyers anymore. 

They’ve gone digital and social, with measurable results and important customer data attached. 

In fact a recent study revealed that 73% of American women have printed out a coupon from a website and 53% of consumers have used discount deals sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. Coupons in general are still very popular one study reporting that 93% of Americans use coupons and spend on average of 2 hours a week looking for deals online. And coupons aren’t just about giving discounts anymore. Instead coupons now drive new customer acquisition, encourage the purchasing of high margin items and help gather data.

Here are key things to consider when launching a modern coupon program

You Need a Strategy –

Don’t dive in to the world of couponing without having a strategy in place. This is very important as ill-conceived couponing programs can backfire.  Businesses who gave offers on Groupon for example, found that not only did they not get repeat business, they were also unprepared for the influx of customers with coupons. This lead to long lines and unhappy customers leaving bad reviews.

There are different ways to implement a coupon program – whether through affiliate programs or the use of social shopping sites.However what is key before even deciding on which path to take is knowing what your goals and desired outcomes for your coupon program are. Decide if you want to get key customer buying data or if your priority is to increase sales of a newer, more expensive product. Or is it to get foot traffic to your physical locations or get greater brand awareness? 

Once you know this, plan a couponing program that is data-centric or product specific or both. Plan out which coupon offers you want to run when and have schedule to see any overlaps. 

Social Media Drives Sales –

It’s crucial to make your coupon shareable over social media. 28% of consumers will share deals via social media. Also sharing drives more than 33% of search traffic. As such use tactics such as offering a percentage off for referring a new customer. Not only is this a great way to tap into your customers’ friends who may have similar interests which relate to your product or service but when your coupon is shared it spreads the word about your brand. 

Also integrate your digital coupons with your customers’ email. 40% of customers will share an email coupon offer with friends or family and 95% of women and 89% of men are very likely to use coupons they receive via email. 

Note that social media and email driven campaigns also get you important data on customers and their spending patterns. Link your email and social media coupons by such offers as offering a coupon for Facebook like or Twitter follow. 

Measure Results –

You should be making regular reports on how all your coupon programs performed and are performing. By tracking results right from the start you can create a benchmark against which you can measure ongoing and future efforts. The reporting you collect from each coupon program can help you adjust future digital coupon campaigns. 

It is important to look into the analytics of your program and measure results and find data which will help you power your future programs. Give your coupons a tracking code. For example if you sent out coupons to customers in three different demographic groups you could gather information on which demographic engaged most with your coupon program. This can then tell you about which demographics or segments of customers may be more interested in your product/service and which may be more responsive to offers and email promotions.

Also consider a modern coupon provider like Givex who can integrate your coupon program into their gift cards so that a gift card also functions as a coupon. With Givex you then get comprehensive data on the transactions related to the coupon and gift card.

Remember a modern coupon program with the right strategy and the right promotion can get you key data, help acquire customers and increase awareness of your brand. 57% of consumers say they are prompted to make first time purchase due to a coupon and 91% of coupon redeemers say they would visit a brand again after being offered a coupon.

Topics: Gift Cards