Consumers have become increasingly reliant on the digital world to help make their purchases in 2020. In fact, over 17 million consumers in the UK plan to make a permanent switch to online shopping.
But one part of your marketing strategy that may be overlooked is enhancing your promotion strategy. Are you providing promotions in a way that attracts customers and supercharges conversions? Are your consumers happy with the overall brand experience they get from you?
This article is all about ensuring you’re doing everything you can to take your online promotion strategy to the next level by giving your customers what they want — a frictionless customer experience and timely, relevant and engaging incentives.
What marketing managers can do to get to the next level
Creating a more effective promotion campaign needs to go beyond just increased conversions. It’s also about increasing brand awareness, as well as increasing order values—and the “rinse and repeat” sales cycle of customer retention.
The best promotion strategies, then, succeed with approaches that:
Discover ways to get the best results from an agile promotion campaign
Employ tools that keep promotion codes under tight control
Go where the customers are
Deliver the best Promotion EX
Provide a mix of promotions
Let’s drill down into those five factors and see how each can elevate your promotion strategy in today’s expanding and highly competitive digital purchasing world:
1. Achieve optimal results from your promotion campaigns
All promotion campaigns are different — meaning the goals of your promotion campaigns will be different too. Ultimately, you want to ensure your promotions are doing more than just driving conversions, and if you set up your campaigns in the right way, you can achieve the optimal results you want.
Promotions have the ability to power results for the entire customer lifecycle, from awareness and consideration to conversion and retention. Different campaign objectives could include repeat purchase, increasing average order values, increasing frequency of purchase, driving retention and supporting loyalty.
For example, some promotions could be to increase brand awareness, where getting a promotion code shared widely is beneficial. Others could be to help show customers they’re valued to encourage repeat purchase. You need to decide on the right promotion format and go with the codes that will encourage customers to act.
2. Retain control over promotions
Businesses often lose control of the promotions they offer customers when they’re leaked or shared to unintended audiences. Unless the aim of your campaign is to just drive a quick buck, control over the promotions you offer is vital to avoid diluting margins.
A Promotion Management Platform — such as Uniqodo — can help with this by offering unique single-use codes that can only be redeemed by the recipient, alongside advanced validation criteria to focus on achieving key business objectives. A promotion platform can also help you protect your margins with the discounts you offer. That protection is the key to:
Enabling tightly controlled promotions with partners and specific user groups by means of single-use codes
Preventing unauthorised use of the promotion code and restricting the promotion to the segmented customers you choose (including linking a code to an email)
Making sure only authorised distributors can pass on your promotion code to the chosen audience
Safeguarding against over-discounting and preventing code leakage to unintended locations
3. Be where your customers are
Wherever you deliver promotion codes to your customers, you must ensure the experience is integrated and seamless, across all of your distribution channels:
What you already own (email, CRM, social, onsite)
What you pay for (affiliate, partnerships, display, search)
What you have earned - i.e. PR articles mentioning your business or products that you haven't had to pay for — or people recommending your product via social (that you haven't paid for, e.g. word of mouth)
To create that frictionless experience, remember that consumers use multiple channels to collect the information they need. Whether your customer is browsing their email, reacting to promotions generated by your CRM or social presence, or simply visiting your website, consistency is the key.
The goal is to make sure that customers experience your brand in a consistent way. That consistency speaks to the customer’s subliminal need for trust and confidence. Likewise, affiliate marketing harnesses the power of the group and an exponential outreach to customers who use omnichannel sources as well as word-of-mouth promotion of your reputation.
4. Deliver the best Promotion EX
Promotion EX is the recipe to deliver the aforementioned seamless customer experience. It is the way you create a journey from customer discovery to sales conversion.
That journey goes beyond your own brand ecosystem into partners, affiliates and marketing channels. Your brand and performance no longer exist in silos, and customer experience — good or unsatisfactory — can colour or tar your brand quicker than ever before.
In implementing the Promotion EX, follow these straightforward suggestions:
Whatever promotions you offer customers, ensure they’re easy to redeem — e.g. make sure to provide a link to the landing page of the product or service.
Messaging the journey throughout is important so they know they’re getting the promotion and not wasting their time.
If you offer promotions through partners, make it clear and ensure their journey is frictionless from start to finish.
5. Mix up the promotions you offer
Using a variety of promotions will help differentiate your brand from all the others online who only offer simple money off deals.
Some ideas include:
Offering a code that unlocks exclusive bespoke offers and products: This can help customers feel important and provides a different kind of customer experience that will help them convert. While customers love a bargain, some have an emotional need to feel valued by you as a customer.
Using browsing or purchase history data: This is an easy way to send promotion codes for customers when they come on your site — as a pop-up or overlay, for example.
Using gamification techniques to increase conversion: For example, limited-time discounts create FOMO and encourage customers to purchase before the opportunity disappears forever. An increasingly popular gamification tactic is mystery codes. The mystery discount can only be revealed at checkout, so it is a delightful way to engage customers looking for discounts and delivers a “reward” of dopamine. Online shoppers love it.
Offering tiered discounts: Tiered discounts provide price breaks based on buying larger quantities of a product, e.g. buy one and get 10% off, buy two and get 12% off, etc.
Those promotions work because they are different and make the customer feel valued. The best news is that they can be launched and implemented with a Promotion Management Platform, like Uniqodo, that deploys codes automatically.
A Promotion Management Platform can elevate your promotions
A Promotion Management Platform can help you to deliver a frictionless online promotion journey to your customers. Specifically:
It ensures that the promotions you offer do more than just drive conversion.
It’s about hitting targets, whether that’s increasing brand awareness, average order value, driving retention (loyalty support) or increasing order frequency.
The promotion elevation must go well beyond the instant gratification of a sale and blend into the whole customer lifecycle.
Advanced validation of promotions to encourage purchase and increase conversions. Again, delivering unique promotion codes are the crux of the automated process.
When the Promotion tech is augmented with real-time expert consultants, you have a perfect storm of creativity and the platform you need to elevate your promotion campaign, incentivise customers, and increase sales.
Brands should adopt the principles of Promotion EX
To deliver the best Promotion EX, you need to get control of your promotions. We have already discussed how losing control over promotions can sabotage a promotion campaign. You need a strong Promotion Management Platform to shore up code misuse and leakage.
The next step is accelerating discovery. We talked about being where the customers are and recognising the impact of omnichannel product and service seekers as well as the exponential value of affiliate marketing.
Then there is the value and variety of advanced code validation, where personalisation is the number-one go-to tactic among many more advanced promotion ideas. Last is the activation phase. Activation allows for curated promotion journeys.
Curating the journey from discovery to redemption accelerates as well as increases conversion through bespoke activation solutions. Those solutions, in turn, deliver a seamless Promotion EX from the marketing channel (or partner) right through to the purchase.