Monday, September 12, 2011

Coupons - Best Practices

Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial are all the rage right now, and with good reason: millions of American are using them on a regular basis to save money and explore new products and services.  That being said, regular coupons (the kind found in direct mail, circulars, websites, etc) still remain powerful draws for businesses - more than 88 million Americans planned on using coupons in 2011.

Okay, so coupons are powerful - but how do you use them best?  Here are a few thoughts:

1)  Where are your customers?  Putting a coupon in a Sunday newspaper circular isn't going to do you any good if your customers don't read the circulars.  What publications/marketing mediums do your customers/potential customers read?

2)  Track your success: If you don't define and track success, you can't be successful.  Make sure you track what coupons are doing best, including method of delivery, product/service that is being used, and if possible, how many new customers you are gaining from a coupon.

3)  Watch your disclaimers:  Coupons are great, but not if you lose a small fortune on them.  Make sure you have all disclaimers necessary before placing a coupon, including what offers it can/cannot be combined with, when the deadline is, etc.

4)  Why are you using a coupon?  Your coupon has to match your goal or you're going to have nothing but confusion and trouble.  Why are you using  particular coupon?  Are you looking to gain more customers?  If so, your coupon will probably be discounted steeper than it would otherwise.  Trying to get rid of distressed inventory to make room?  Then you have to target a particular product.

Those are some tips from us - what do you have to add?

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