You won’t stand out with any old coupon marketing strategy. 75% of consumers expect promotional offerings. Providing coupons really just gets you through the door.
The best coupon marketing strategies go beyond simply offering discounts. They target specific customers for specific reasons, tailoring messaging, discounts and delivery channels to craft outcomes that matter for your bottom line.
Remember, when you offer a promotion, it costs you money. If you aren’t getting something in return, that’s not a great investment. Here, we are going to explain how to get specific with your promotions -- creating a coupon marketing campaign that will deliver real outcomes, grab the attention of customers and delight.
In the digital age, brands know their customers better than ever before. And when they leverage user analytics, they can gain valuable insights into buyer behaviour which can add value to their brand proposition and create the conditions for lasting customer loyalty.
There was a time when personalisation was something that only the most forward-thinking brands bothered to adopt in their promotional strategies. Today, however, in a climate where fickle consumers know that brands are falling over themselves with offers, they expect personalisation. According to LoyaltyOne, 76% of customers feel that receiving personalised discount offers based on their purchase history is important. And those that can supply the personal touch will come out on top!
Especially for you!
This offers up tremendous scope to provide the “wow factor” in your customer interactions. It allows you to present promotions to them that offer them what they want, rather than what you want to give. These are inherently more valuable to customers and they’ll be more likely to respond to them.
Alternatively, you can present customers with the special gift of a unique personalised code on their birthday or the anniversary of their first purchase. Just be cautious of getting ‘too’ personal. You should be totally transparent when collecting customer data — (“Let us know your birthday so we can send you a special treat!”). Otherwise it could come off as creepy just how much you know about your customers.
Tap into influencers
You can spend a fortune on flashy marketing campaigns. You can invest time and effort into quality inbound marketing materials that make your brand shine and bring value to old customers and new prospects alike. You can tick all the boxes that make a great digital marketing campaign.
But when all’s said and done, consumers will be all-too cognizant of the fact that you’re saying these wonderful things about yourself. And no matter how eloquently you make your case, consumers will always take anything you say about your own brand with a pinch of salt.
However, they trust the word of other consumers. It’s why brands of all shapes and sizes are so keen to leverage social proof. And consumers — especially younger consumers — trust influencers because they’re consumers, too!
Who influences your customers?
Do some research into which social media influencers mean the most to your target audience. Their opinions of your brand can make all the difference to prospects who are on the fence. With a massive 40% of millennials saying that their favourite YouTube creators understand them better than their actual real-life friends, you can’t afford to not tap into this market.
Promo codes are a great way to engage with influencers. Every time you’ve heard your favourite podcaster list off the benefits of Casper Mattresses or your favourite YouTuber talk about their wonderful shave with Harry’s Razors, you’re seeing the synergy between brands and influencers at work via promo codes.
Not only can brands position themselves in front of whole new audiences, the influencers themselves get a small incentive from each sale that will ensure that they’re saying all the right things about your brand.
Gamify and create evangelists
Let’s be honest. Shopping can be a bit of a chore. Even with the convenience and immediacy of online shopping. The more enjoyable and engaging you can make your shopping experience, the more likely customers are to keep enjoying the experience you provide for them. This brings us to gamification.
People like to play games. Last year, Apple’s app store was home to over 800,000 gaming apps. In the digital age, everyone’s at least a casual gamer. And making a game of shopping is a great way to grab attention and retain engagement.
The loyalty game
Games can also be used as a tool to drive customer loyalty. For example, they can be used in conjunction with your existing loyalty program to award unique discount coupon offers when they buy certain products or certain combinations of products. Because they’re unique, this adds to the sense of exclusivity of being part of your reward scheme, which customers will enjoy.
The mystery game
Alternatively, discounts can be used to create a buzz and sense of excitement around your brand, especially among customers who have lapsed and not been in touch with you for a while. Mystery discounts are a great example of this (not to mention a great way to bump up your proportion of outbound marketing emails that actually get opened).
Be sure to use strictly defined parameters for your mystery discounts to incentivise their use and reassure customers that it’s worth their while to open the email. For example, offering a percentage discount between 5%-25% can make customers curious enough to see if they’ll get the larger discount. If they win 25% off their next purchase they’ll be delighted. But even if they win 5% off they’ll still be pretty happy.
And since that averages out at a 15% hit on your margins, it’s a chance that’s well worth taking for you and your customers.
The referral game
You can also gamify your coupons by giving customers unique codes when they refer a friend, neighbour or colleague to your business. These codes can give both the referring customer and the new customer an appealing discount on their next purchase from you. This allows you to transform loyal customers into evangelical micro-influencers. This helps ensure that they are engaged with your brand and cements their loyalty while expanding your reach.
Protect yourself from code misuse with unique promotions
The trouble with traditional coupon codes is that when they’re leaked they can leave your business vulnerable. They can see promotional codes used by people for whom they aren’t intended. And this can cause you to take a bigger hit on your profits than you might expect.
There are ways in which this can be managed, but by far the most effective is to use single-use promotional codes.
These insulate you from risk because they physically can’t be misused or misappropriated, even if they are leaked. When they’re used once, they can never be used again. What’s more, unique single-use promotional codes lend themselves especially well to personalisation.
Unique codes with personalised benefits aren’t just appealing to customers. They also make it easier to track results using analytics tools and measure them against desired outcomes. When you’re armed with this data, you can take decisive action to either right the ship or stay the course. Which leads to…
Define your outcomes and track results
Before you start any coupon marketing strategy in 2019, it’s essential to start out with clearly defined outcomes. What do you hope to achieve with the coupon campaign? Are you just looking to promote brand awareness? If so, leaked promo codes might actually benefit you, especially if you use a coupon site to widen your reach.
Are you trying to bring back lapsed customers or customers who keep abandoning their carts? Are you trying to earn the loyalty of fickle customers? If so, utilising email marketing campaigns including single-use promo codes might be the solution to bringing these customers back to you. There are no right or wrong answers here, but your intended outcomes will dictate what sort of promotions you use and how they are distributed.
The good news is that with the right software, you can integrate with your CRM to target audiences with precision. They also allow you to use analytics tools to track results and A/B test different campaigns to see which is most effective. This software can help you generate unique, single-use promo codes which feel exclusive and will make your customers feel valued.
The right software makes delivering the best coupon marketing strategy easy!