You want a coupon marketing campaign that will deliver results. That means making a connection. If your vouchers don’t speak to the interests of shoppers, you might as well have never offered the promotion in the first place.
Here, we are going to explore how to create unique coupons that speak directly to shoppers -- delivering the kind of traction you need to succeed. That starts with some generic tips that will let you up your game. For advanced marketers, we are going to dive into the technology that will let you harness data and flexibly personalise messages and promotions to maximise your impact.
Coupon messaging basics: direct, clear and personalised
The coupon messaging you choose is, literally, what is going to speak to shoppers. Something as simple as a spelling mistake or unclear title could see your efforts go to waste. Make sure the copy you send is clean. But go one step further, think about the message you’re sending (and how it’s presented) before you send it. Things to bear in mind here include:
- Good visuals: Visuals are the first things customers will see. If these are weak, your copy might never get read. Give your vouchers the best possible shot at connecting by dressing them up with good graphic design.
- Direct, clear messages: You want to make sure shoppers know what you are offering. Be specific. For example, always say ‘30% off sale’ instead of just a simple ‘sale’ statement.
- No room for errors: As we said, check your spelling and check it again. If a coupon includes a grammar or spelling error, customers probably won’t take it seriously.
- Personalised is good: 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with discount offerings that have been tailored to them. If you want to speak to your shoppers, focus on tailoring unique coupons around what you know about their shopping habits. Coupon marketing software can help you track this, and even automatically integrate personalisations into outreach. For large operations, these kinds of investments are critical to effective and efficient workflows.
Personalisation, however, can be as simple as sending someone a discount code on their birthday, or just including a customer’s name on the voucher. With that said, you can take personalisation too far. Make sure to only include details that the shopper has provided you themselves. Personalsation can be endearing -- it can also be creepy.
While we’re on the subject of messages, you may also want to consider the message that “discounts” send about your products in general. It can be easy for customers to equate an unexplained discount with “damaged”, “unwanted” or “faulty”.
There are two main solutions to preventing promotional offerings from damaging your business reputation. One, always give a reason for your discount -- holidays, first-time buyers, repeat purchases, etc. Second, consider different discounts than simply money off. For example, free shipping is highly valued in ecommerce. People also tend to not view “buy-one-get-one-free” offers with the same kind is suspicion as 50% off.
Unique coupons and single use promo codes
Standard coupons that apply to multiple customers and remain live for the duration of a campaign are fine, but they have flaws. You can personalise the messaging of these kinds of promotions. But you can’t personalise the discounts themselves. Further, standard promo codes are open to misuse, which could cost you significant amounts of money. To address these issues, many companies are now choosing to provide unique coupons and single-use promo codes.
Advanced strategies like these are easier to achieve than you might expect, especially with the help of unique code generators. These allow you to manage everything from loyalty-based coupons to data-driven single-use discounts. Instead of relying on default authorisations for a standard code, unique code generators create codes, authorise them, and then deactivate the code upon use -- all automatically.
When looking for a unique code generator, automation features are key to your success. CRM integrations ensure that codes are generated using information from across various platforms, and prevent the adoption of single-use codes from turning into an administrative nightmare.
As mentioned in the message section of this article, unique or personal codes can go a long way towards increasing customer interaction with discounts. Removing the possibility of misuse allows you to selective offer larger discounts, and create exclusive offers for loyal shoppers. It also becomes possible to track outcomes and iterate campaigns. Automation provides you the time to focus on creative ideas, and start to adopt advanced strategies that will really connect with shoppers.
Advanced strategies for unique promotions
With the right unique promo code tools in place, there are a large number of strategies that become possible to execute. Here are a few advanced messaging techniques that will help you increase the success of your campaign:
- Scarcity messaging: Scarcity messaging creates a sense of urgency with your unique coupons. This is a surprisingly simple method to achieve using techniques like expiry dates, diminishing discounts (e.g. discounts that loses 5% every half an hour) and limited stock on discounted items.
- Mystery rewards: Mystery rewards are just that; discounts which remain a mystery to your customers. For example, you could offer a promotion that reads “click here to see if you get 25%, 15%, or 10% off for our Christmas sale”. The intrigue grabs that first click.
- Gamification: As the name suggests, this means providing discount-based games for customers to play. Something as simple as ‘win a voucher when you buy from this online category’ can work well here. You could even mix this with mystery rewards, and develop a strategy like ‘win a mystery reward when you spend £100’.
Gamification makes discounts fun. It’s particularly a great way to create customer loyalty and engage with repeat shoppers. Being able to see exactly how customers relate to these discounts is also fantastic for analytics.
- Personalisation based on past purchases: We have already addressed how important personalisation is, but it’s worth reiterating. By automating your unique code generation based on past purchases, you can not only personalise messaging, but offer discounts specifically for an item that a shopper (likely) wants to buy. This delivers a tailored advertising and promotion rolled into one. When done right, few things are as effective.
- Target shopping cart abandonment: Shopping cart abandonment is the bain of all ecommerce brands. Promo codes can help you reduce abandonment rates. Using unique promo code generators, you can set up automated follow-up emails and promotions specifically for the abandoned item. However, you have to be careful -- don’t condition your shoppers to expect these offerings.
Take channel selection seriously
Now that you know how to create unique coupons that speak to shoppers, it’s time to consider the channels you pair them with. The best coupons in the world won’t help you if you don’t also consider how you share them, after all. Top methods here include:
- Influencer marketing: 3.5 billion people now use social media, and 40% of millennials say that their favourite YouTube creators understand them better than their own friends. It’s simple -- social media influencers have large audiences and a lot of sway thanks to the personal connections they create. Coupons let you track the results of campaigns, and improve the offers being delivered. Social media is critical to modern marketing.
- Turn shoppers into influencers: Even now, nearly half of consumers find brands thanks to recommendations. Providing customers with their own codes to pass to friends can work wonders. You can integrate this into a gamification strategy -- providing discounts based on the number of successful referrals. This creates an outreach and loyalty programme in one go.
- Coupon sites: Particularly when it comes to outreach campaigns, coupon sites like hotukdeals.com, vouchercodes.co.uk, latestfreestuff.co.uk or moneysavingexpert.com are great tools. Unique codes let you control exposure and track results.
- Email campaigns: Email campaigns still work wonders. It may be the most standard channel on this list, but don’t underestimate the potential of reaching out. Particularly if partnered with personalisation, simple emails are one of the most effective ways to deliver promotions.
Effective coupon marketing relies on deliberate personalisation
Creating effective unique coupons that speak to shoppers comes down to tailoring every element of your campaign. Think about the channel, the message, the offer and the timing. Software able to automate elements of personalisation, and generate single-use codes that can be tracked delivers the kind of flexibility and analytics required. Automation fees up the time you need to get creative with planning. By pulling together all of these aspects in a single, personalised promotion, you will connect directly with shoppers and succeed.