Whether you’re planning on using coupons in your next campaign or your brand has used coupons in the past, there are certain best practices for creating your campaign offer that you’d want to employ. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the top couponing do’s and don’ts, that we’ve crafted from our extensive experience.
DON’T Take a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Segmentation and targeting bring all sorts of benefits to your marketing, and that isn’t any different when it comes to the coupons you offer. Creating a coupon designed to appeal to everyone means it could end up not being used by anyone; it will never quite appeal to any particular situation, need, or desire in such a way as to spur action. Instead, create offers with specific audience segments in mind, and use a targeted way to distribute them. For example, retargeting customers who are about to abandon their ecommerce shopping cart can be a viable avenue.
DO Integrate Your Offers for Different Formats and Channels
Shoppers are no longer differentiating between brands in digital and offline spaces, and they’re looking for seamless experiences across channels, on whichever device they want. That means you’ll need to develop your creative so that it can express the same message no matter where your targeted audience is connecting with your brand.
DO Utilize Creative Elements that Align with Your Audience
This couponing tip brings together our first two tips. Consider who it is you’re targeting and where you’re targeting them, and intersect that with what your brand is offering. This should set the tone of your coupon design. The tone of your offer is important. Should it be empathetic, lighthearted, or formal? Should the colors be vibrant and energetic or subdued and relaxing? Should the images used include families, kids, or single young adults? The result should align with audience needs to create emotional resonance, and thus increase the likelihood of the shopper remembering and using it.
DON’T Use Vague Calls to Action (CTA)
The quickest way to undermine the success of your marketing offer is to use a vague call-to-action (CTA). It offers two stumbling blocks: consumer’s being unable to remember it, and consumers not being able to complete the steps necessary to fulfill the action. Ensure your CTAs are straightforward, using clear and actionable verbs, and accurately describe what the next step is and why customers should follow through.
DO Be Clear about Terms and Limitations
As much as you may want to bury the terms, conditions, and limitations of your offer to make it appeal to the most people, being unclear presents more risks to your credibility and customer satisfaction than the other way around. You don’t want to have to deny a customer the value they’re expecting. Plus, clear limitations can inspire a sense of urgency or exclusivity that make the customer want to use your coupon.
DON’T Forget to Include Expiration Dates
This is an important aspect to any coupon. Not including an expiration date compounds the likelihood of the coupon being abused, and it can also end up overextending your business if the offer ends up being used outside the window of time you intended. Conversely, using and clearly displaying an expiration date means that you only need to concern yourself with the offer inside its window of time. It’s also the best way to build in a sense of urgency.
DO Enact a Way to Track Redemptions
Depending on the method you use, tracking redemptions can serve a number of purposes. Most importantly, it allows you to track the sort of metrics that let you determine success in direct relation to the audience you’re targeting. It can also reduce the potential for abuse. This tactic can be utilized in print, through mobile, or online.
DO Capture Consumer Data
This is particularly important for digital and mobile coupons. Have a way to request pertinent information from the customer when they retrieve the coupon, either by filling out a form or through app or browser permissions. In some cases, you can make providing certain information a direct part of the process to receiving the coupon, a method especially popular through social media. You can then use this information (e.g., name, address, phone number, email, social media identities) to market to that customer in the future.
Now that you have a clearer picture of couponing do’s and don’ts, it’s time to take a look at the way you’ve been designing your coupons. Audit whether or not you’ve been applying these best practices for creating your marketing offer and see which you can start applying immediately.