My wife is affectionately known around our house as “the Coupon Queen.”
She dissects the local daily newspaper and all the mail flyers for coupons that she can use locally to get discounts on products that she buys.
I have found that using this same technique in your digital business can be especially effective in drawing traffic to your web site and boosting the sales that you get on your products.
The advantages to using coupons are many.
If you include an expiration date, the coupon encourages buyers to check out what you have sooner rather than later.
They give your prospects a reason to click on your active links right now for fear that if they wait, their chance at a good deal may have vanished.
Coupons are perceived as having good value, even though they cost next to nothing to produce.
Digital coupons are exactly the same as a paper coupon except that they often take the form of an “offer number” or special “coupon code” that is entered at the time of check-out so the product can be purchased at a discount.
Coupons can be a way to jump start sales of products that may not be selling well at a particular time.
Obviously, you will not want to offer coupons for products that are selling like hotcakes.
There are some consumer industries that rely heavily on coupon sales. I think of all the fast food joints and pizza houses that ramp their sales with coupons.
Some time for fun, sit at a fast food place and count the number of coupons that exchange hands at the check-out counter.
I think the number, or percentage of sales, that result from coupons being redeemed will really surprise you. Give it a try!
Coupons can be used to promote specials in a lot of different ways.
Besides the typical “25% Off” kind of coupon, you may want to try the following: buy one and get a second product free, use a coupon to claim a free service related to a product, as a ticket to enter a special “after hours” sale, as an invitation to a “preferred customer” event, or as a bonus for registering a name and email address at the web site.
Get creative, as there is no limit to the use of coupons since you assign the value to each and every one that you release.
Good places to offer a coupon include at the bottom of your email messages, with articles that you write that are freely distributed over the Internet (an especially good strategy), in your sig file that is attached to your signature and web site URL, on the back of your business cards, and in display ads for your products.
Remember this important tip about coupons: customers that have just purchased something from your business are prime candidates for a coupon (much like an OTO) since they are more likely to buy again than the average prospect you’re trying to sell for the first time.
It would also make sense, then, to add a coupon to the receipt or confirmation you give customers for a purchase they made.
If you ship a physical item to a customer, you can send a paper coupon as a “thank you” gift right in the delivery box.
There is one danger that I see in using coupons.
If you are not careful, coupons can blur the line between what the consumer really needs and what is a readily available.
We get so jazzed up about saving money that we make purchases that may not be in our best interest.
My wife combats that urge by clipping and putting away coupons for a day or two.
She will then come back to them to assess whether this is something she really wants, or was it just a momentary reaction to seeing something offered at a big discount.
Coupons are sometimes thought of as marketing strategies for brick and mortar businesses only. But they really can work very well in digital businesses if you get creative about how and when to use them!
To your online business success,