February 23, 2015 Michael Bickerton
Coupons have become more than just your average Sunday ritual of scavenging through the papers to cut any small newspaper clipping to save a dollar on peanut butter. That just doesn’t happen anymore, coupons have evolved into much more. Coupons have evolved into something more valuable than any marketer could have dreamed. Want some tips for digital coupons?
Digital technologies have expanded the ability of local marketers to compete directly with much larger companies. Coupons no longer have the costs associated with traditional paper coupons, as there is no longer any print or publishing costs. Coupons are available on the Internet and on mobile devices. Coupons allow small business and marketers to take advantage of targeting specific audiences, whether based on demographic information, geographic information or on user based data, i.e. previous customers purchases or actions.
Fact – Consumers are actively engaged in seeking coupons and planning their shopping to save with coupons, both online and offline. And, marketers have a large audience of consumers that may be reached and influenced with a coupon offer.
Here are three tips for digital couponing:
1) Integrate with Email
Email is a marketer’s primary marketing tool and there is no better tool for coupon delivery. Small businesses can use email to deliver timely based offers at fairly low costs to customers who have already given permission to be contacted.
Email also provides a variety of other stats such as email opens, email clicks and more sophisticated marketers can compare coupon downloads to coupon redemptions. This valuable information allows marketers to update user specific information as well as gauge interest and engagement of customers and consumers.
Email is an actionable and affordable engagement tool for coupons, discounts and offers. This valuable information allows you to inform your customers of special offers and updates happening at your locations that are customer centric. This increases the chances of their return and possibly making a purchase at your location.
Incorporation of email and barcodes can also be implemented by providing a barcode that can be scanned by a cashier, all the consumer has to do is open the email on their phone at point of purchase. To avoid any possible bugs with the barcode, ensure that a code is provided in the email that the cashier can type in just in case of any complications. The opportunities of using email, coupons and mobile devices will continue to change and evolve.
2) Visual Appeal
When sending out digital coupons it’s important to ensure that they are visually appealing to the consumer. Consumers need to be visually stimulated for engagement today, having bold colors and a great visual can aid in catching a consumers’ attention. Marketers must be creative with your coupon, in the end it’s all about the appeal to the customer. A designer can help in creating a coupon that is professional, vibrant and clean.
Keep in mind that coupons should include a company logo and your product. Consumers best act when they know the big FIVE: who, what, where, when and how. We recommend that you keep coupons single focused, one product, and one message. The single message approach will tell marketers what’s working, what’s not, what’s interesting to consumers, what’s not, what creates in store visits, and what doesn’t.
3) Target consumers
Marketers have the opportunity through digital experiences, questionnaires, and surveys to really get a sense of their customers. Using email is the easiest way to track and categorize customers based on product selection and action based activities. For example, a certain group of consumers may be sensitive to a 20% coupon, while others may act on a 10% coupon value. The point here is that if you target your consumers and take some time to evaluate what they are doing when presented with an offer, you can learn lots about them and tailor your marketing to your customer base. This process works with coupons as a % off, a BOGO, or as a straight offer of $10 off.
Consumers act on a variety of motivating factors and as a small business we can create specific engagements by taking a little time in testing and evaluating what is driving customer visits, purchases, coupon redemptions etc.
We have the ability to locate our consumers via geo-targeting. Geo-targeting is something most retailers use to determine when their customers are nearby. There are a variety of digital tactics that can be used such as email, texts, or in store coupons to create the incentive for a visit or return visit.
Geo-targeting is about enticing consumers to come make a purchase at your store; most companies actually include this feature into their apps and send push notifications to their customers when they are nearby as an incentive to drive consumers in store. This area is growing and will continue to grow, but naturally there are concerns regarding privacy.
Targeting customers, offers and deployment styles will ensure that you get the most out of your marketing efforts and will drive the most lucrative traffic. Getting the right offer in the hands of the right consumer is how larger marketers are building their businesses and providing the most value for their consumers.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd March 2015