If you want to grow your business, you need a customer acquisition strategy built for the 21st century. You need to compete online, stand out and delight.
You have to grab attention and incentivise from a lead to an opportunity, and eventually a new customer. Depending on your business, product and target market demographics, this ‘sales funnel’ process might take minutes, months, or even years.
The basics of customer acquisition haven’t changed. What has changed are the tools at your disposal to get in front of the right audience and make them see the significance in your brand. Particularly online, you need to add value and personalise communication to stand out. The digital space is a buyer’s market.
Promotions have become a critical way to crack into the digital world, find new audiences and get a leg up on the competition. Technology makes this simpler than ever before — but only if you understand the possibilities. This is your guide on how promotional codes have changed digital acquisition strategies, and the kinds of solutions you need to implement to capitalise on the opportunities to succeed.
The motivation: customers demand promotions
Today’s consumers are fickle. Why? Because they know that they can afford to be. In the digital era, they have access to a range of deals quite literally at their fingertips. Why should they commit to the first brand that offers them a proposition? Especially if they have even the remotest suspicion that they might get a better deal elsewhere?
Today’s consumers don’t just expect to surrender their loyalty to brands. They expect those brands to earn their loyalty. And this means that they don’t just value promotional codes, they expect them. In fact, 75% of consumers now expect promotional offerings, so incentivising them to shop with you is vital.
In an era where consumers expect more from brands, loyalty goes to those who can provide the most meaningful customer experience. Those who can provide a superior customer experience online gain an important edge in a competitive market.
Single-use promo codes: A force to be reckoned with
If you want to get everything you can out of promo code campaigns, you need to be adapting new strategies that allow you to fully leverage the potential of promo codes. This involves utilising unique, single-use promo codes in your campaigns, which can be created and maintained using software that can easily integrate with your existing CRM.
Single-use promo codes also means there is no longer any need to worry about promo code misuse if a code is leaked. Promo codes will only be used by the market they’re intended for, ensuring your margins don’t take a hit.
When utilising single-use promo codes, you can create more targeted and creative campaigns that help to get even more out of your customers, and in turn incentivising them to spend more which grows your brand.
One use only
Invest in the software to produce unique, single-use promotional codes and you can reap all the benefits of a promotional code strategy while insulating yourself from the historic risks. Because single-use promo codes are unique, they can only be used by their intended recipients. And because they can only be used once, even if they are leaked, they won’t be usable once they’ve already been activated once.
This means that not only do unique, single-use promo codes have more value from the consumer’s point of view, they are inherently more secure and risk-free for your business.
A little something… just for you!
Again, there’s real value in exclusivity. When customers feel that they’re getting a unique promo code that’s just for them, they’ll feel much more inclined to use it, especially if the reason for receiving it resonates with them.
For example, you might want to favour a loyal customer with a voucher code that’s just for them to use on their birthday. Alternatively, you might want to celebrate the customer’s “anniversary“ with your business by sending them a special promotional code exactly one year after their first purchase.
89% of companies say that they now compete primarily through customer experiences, and if you can’t provide it, consumers will happily find a competitor who can. So if you’re ahead of the competition and already offer these personalised kinds of offers, consumers will stay loyal to you.
Promotions let you target specific communities online
Consumers don’t trust what brands say about themselves. That’s why so many customers rely on reviews and ratings when buying from brands they’re unfamiliar with — which includes endorsements from online influencers.
Did you know that 4 out of 10 millennials think YouTube stars understand them better than their friends? This demonstrates just how much online influencers actually influence consumers in today’s digital age — and you need to be taking advantage of this.
This means utilising influencer marketing. Get your product or service in front of an online influencer’s audience through a partnership and you could unlock a whole new market. These audiences trust the word of the influencers they follow, so if you partner with these influencers and pay them to promote your brand, everyone profits. You can offer unique promo codes for the influencer to share, giving influencers a sense of ownership of your collaboration and creating valuable (and valued) partnerships.
Because of the growing popularity of online influencers, it’s even likely that you can find niche influencers with very distinct target audiences which closely matches yours. This concept of micro-influencer marketing means even if their audience isn’t very big, you’re more likely to succeed in gaining customers from them because they are much more specific to your target market.
What’s more, influencers aren’t the only partnerships worth leveraging. If you can get your promotions onto discount sites, this can introduce a whole new demographic of bargain-hungry shoppers to your digital door. And because unique single-use codes are safe and trackable, you’re not only shielded from risk, you can track the efficacy of this strategy with ease.
Promo codes let you turn your own customers into influencers
Speaking of influencers, it’s not just the titans of social media with seven-figure followings that are worthy of your time and attention. In fact, sometimes the most effective social media influencers are your existing real-life customers. Consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations from their real life family and friends.
And when you combine that trust with giving your customers their own unique promo codes, that’s a great mechanism by which you can turn your existing customers into powerfully effective brand advocates.
If your customers have access to their own unique single-use promo codes, they can leverage these to bring friends, family members and work colleagues to your business… and earn themselves a nice discount on their next purchase while they’re at it. An added benefit to this is that it drives customer loyalty, ensuring they come back to you and continue bringing in new customers for you.
Most brands would agree this is an opportunity worth taking a slight hit on their profit margins for in the short term, which will eventually pay off in the long term.
A high profile example of this strategy paying off is the ride-sharing behemoth Uber who has implemented the growing trend of entrusting customers with their own promotional codes and turning them into devoutly brand-loyal influencers. The existing customer gets a discount on their next purchase, the new customer gets a discount on their first purchase, and you gain a new customer who’s predisposed to be loyal to you. In fact, having seen how the system works first hand, they may well be predisposed to make some referrals of their own.
Promo codes let you follow up and succeed
A great deal of time and effort goes into making sure you’re in the right place at the right time for your prospective customers. You’ve tied yourself into knots trying to leverage SEO and micro-moments, and position yourself ahead of your competitors when prospects have need of your products and services.
And after going to all that effort to get them onto your website, are you really just going to let them slip away?
Give them a reason to open follow-up emails
Follow-up emails can be useful in keeping your name and your brand at the forefront of a customer’s mind once your business has concluded. But let’s be real here, how many of your follow up emails actually get opened?
Unique, single-use promo codes can turn those numbers around. Promo code emails that include a promo code within them have a 14% higher open rate and a 34% higher click rate that delivers a 48% increase in revenue per email.
Promotional codes target shopping cart abandonment
This year, an average of 75.6% of shopping carts are abandoned internationally. That stat is even higher for mobile shoppers. Promotional codes, however, can provide that extra push of incentive for customers who’ve spent too long teetering on the fence.
They can appear either in outbound emails or even as sporadic “blink and you’ll miss it” offers that pop up on your website. This brings us to...
Take your promo codes to the next level with scarcity marketing
No matter how good your promotional offer is, prospects are less likely to commit to a purchase if they feel they could get a better deal somewhere else.
However, leveraging single-use unique codes with time limits can get indecisive prospects off the fence and get them to convert. Offering rare discounts, especially ones that have a bigger discount, provides more of an incentive for customers to act fast. Scarcity marketing can provide you more results than you think!
Promo codes are critical to matching customer expectations online -- old and new
Whether they’re coming to your business for the first time or returning to you following a brief lapse, one thing’s clear… customers expect promotional codes. In fact, 75% of consumers admit to scouring their inboxes for discounts, so you need to assure you’re appearing there, offering those discounts. Leverage promotional codes effectively and you can harness an extremely powerful tool to connect with customers, provide value, and get them to take a chance on your brand in a digital ocean of competition.
Promotions can be used to attract customers, upsell customers and even build brand loyalty, turning customers into highly motivated brand advocates.
If you want to grow online, you need to get in the promotions game. Start planning, and remember to be creative. You need to utilise unique, single-use codes to implement effective promotional code campaigns. And when you invest in the right software to create unique, single-use codes, you have everything you need to reap all the benefits while bearing none of the risks traditionally associated with promo codes.
Connecting with your audience is a huge part of success. Promo codes help you do that, but make sure to take messaging seriously. Once you feel comfortable, look into some of the promo code advanced tips that will let you elevate your game. Good luck!