Subscribe to the Blog

Written By Julius Somoye
5 minute read

With 52.2% of internet access now coming through our phones, making sure everything you do online is targeted at mobile users has ceased to be an option — it’s a prerequisite. 

When considering your coupon marketing strategy, phones provide the double benefit of bringing eCommerce to the high street. The coupons you distribute to mobile devices can be used online, or brought directly into the store. You also have access to shoppers throughout their entire day. 

When it comes to what makes a great mobile coupon strategy, many of the same rules apply that make any coupon marketing strategy deliver — personalisation, urgency, focus and analysis. We are going to address these fundamentally, but will focus on the specifics you need to consider when targeting mobile users. If you want an in depth guide on what makes a good promo code campaign, check out our eBook The Ultimate Guide to Using Promo Codes in eCommerce Strategy’. 


1. Make sure you are formatted for the phone

75% of consumers expect promotional offerings, and 34% of smartphone shoppers use their devices for this purpose. Mobile coupon strategies really are a modern business requisite, and mobile-friendly formatting plays a massive part in that. A simple mistake here could make mobile discount coupons challenging to understand, ultimately leading to the failure of even your best promotions. As well as wasting your efforts, this could see you falling behind competitors who do manage to get this right.

By considering mobile-specific formatting, you can keep up with consumer demand while still upholding the standards you have with your desktop browsers. Of course, this can be easier said than done if you’re just moving your marketing campaigns to mobile, but success here needn’t be complicated. You can mostly get around potential issues by sticking to the three easiest mobile coupon formats, which are: 

  1. Web and mobile app-based coupons
  2. Image coupons
  3. Text message coupons

In each instance, thinking about responsive HTML and mobile design ensures users see your coupons without having to scroll or zoom. That ease of use could see a great deal more conversions coming out of your mobile efforts.


2. Engage with social media

An astounding 3.5 billion people now actively use social media, and 3.2 billion of them access it through mobile. It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that social media plays a vital part in not only your digital marketing efforts but specifically your mobile coupon strategies. 

Useful for both desktop and mobile, sharing coupon codes with social influencers can have a significant impact on conversions. That’s hardly surprising considering that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations over 33% who trust straight-out advertisements. For most people, influencers have become peers, friends, and confidants. Unsurprisingly then, applying digital coupon codes here can work wonders for boosting your mobile-based conversions. By sticking to unique codes, you can even track precisely how people are using coupons so that you can be sure your mobile efforts are paying off.

Turning your existing customers into evangelists using promotion methods like gamification can also work wonders for mobile strategy, especially if you base these efforts around social platforms. Encouraging mobile users to share gamification-based promotions such as ‘Convert three friends to be in with a chance to win…’ could go a long way towards both building customer loyalty and creating new conversions. Even better, sticking with social platforms to achieve this goal ensures customers can share by mobile wherever they are, meaning less work for them, and better results for you.


eCommerce promotional marketing CTA


3. Advertise mobile coupons in-store and use QR codes

Mixing mobile with your real-life efforts can also go a considerable way towards increasing the attention your mobile coupon strategies get. That’s because people love brands that work across platforms to offer a smooth shopping experience. QR codes are a fantastic way to do this, and they can work wonders for bringing an interactive touch to coupon codes. Despite a decline in use over the past ten years, many predict that we’re in something of a ‘second coming’ for QRs, with usage predicted to rise to around 5.3 billion by 2020. 

As such, including QR codes on your mobile coupons is a fantastic option. While many shoppers will use coupons directly online, others still appreciate the ability to spend discounts in-store. In fact, around 86% of shoppers make purchases based on in-store discounts, many of which they find through mobile. Encouraging consumers into your physical space also has the critical benefit of increasing your chances of impulse buys and can even lead to customer loyalty through face-to-face interactions. Even better, including a QR code that you scan for each coupon at the till is a fantastic way to personalise a code and stop shoppers misusing the same promotion multiple times. 

Equally, including QR codes on your in-store ads is a fantastic way to both interact with customers and expand your business horizons. By simply installing a coupon-based QR code on the bottom of an in-store poster, for example, you encourage customers to actively participate with what would otherwise be a static advertisement. This alone can increase your conversions, as well as ensuring that customers find you online after in-store browsing. That could lead you to increased followings for your email listings and social media accounts, and even a chance to create customer loyalty that wouldn't be possible otherwise. 


4. Use single-use codes to offer high-value deals safely

Consumers consistently prefer high-value, single-use coupons over small-scale deals that they can use multiple times. That makes sense, and it’s something you must keep in mind when you create your mobile coupon strategy. 

This is especially vital when you consider the possibility of code misuse on mobile platforms. Thanks to mobile cameras and even sharing capabilities like Bluetooth, widespread, impersonal coupons could soon spiral out of control and cost you money.

That’s an issue you can primarily do away with by considering high-value single-use codes sent automatically to the mobiles of specific consumers using integrated promo code software. As well as guaranteeing a higher value coupon code doesn’t gets leaked and misused, this opens doors for personalisation. Whether you create targeted loyalty programme deals or focus coupons on things like purchase history, this can really increase your conversions. It can also help you to appeal to the 39% of consumers who spend more when they receive personalised mobile offers. 

Ultimately, single-use methods like these lead to improved experiences for both parties. Even better, automating this process with a software solution that you can trust saves you from having to add to your workload with these more-targeted efforts.


5. Send text messages

While social media messaging platforms may have impacted the way we communicate by mobile, text is still many people’s go-to communication of choice. As such, you should send coupons this way to take your mobile strategy to the next level. 

Much like email marketing, this involves sending your coupons straight to your customers. Unlike email, though, promotional text messages have an open rate of around 90% in the first three minutes after receipt. That’s compared with an average 37% email open rate. 

Even better, what you send within those text messages doesn’t need to be all that different from your email content — it just needs to be delivered in a much smaller package. It could be that you incorporate tiny URLs or QRs for customer use, or you might want to keep this simple by messaging a single-use code straight to a customer’s mobile. As long as promotions like these are easy to view and redeem, text messages can take your coupon offers and strategy to the next level.


6. Don’t forget about the basics

As you can see, mobile strategies primarily involve applying what you already know about promos in a mobile-friendly, easy-to-use format. In many ways, then, success here revolves around your ability to remember the basics of a successful coupon strategy which will help increase your online sales

As we’ve touched upon briefly, personalisation should play a fundamental role in your coupon efforts on the small and large screen. Other critical creative techniques that can help your mobile strategy include gamification (again, briefly discussed above) and scarcity techniques like time limits. These can add a sense of urgency that will tempt more of your customers to make quick purchases. 

And, of course, success here also comes down to your ability to collect and analyse data from every coupon. Only then can you see what’s working, and that’s when can you develop an informed and well-placed mobile coupon strategy moving forward.

New call-to-action


Get our Latest Insights