I love coupons.. both as a consumer and as a marketer. If you're not using coupons in your marketing mix, you're definitely leaving money on the table. Go to a search engine, type in the product or service you're selling followed by the word "coupon" and you might get a shock as to how many of your competitors are using them.
Here's some tips on using coupons:
Consider raising your standard prices
If your margins are already tight, consider upping your prices as a trial in combination with an intensive coupon offer. This might sound a little odd, but the success lies in the implementation and getting the coupons out there, which I'll discuss further below. If this feels a little too risky, trial it just with a couple of items.
Offer a coupon signup on your site
If you make it very clear on your site coupons are available, many people will happily give you their email address in order to gain a coupon code. This is particularly effective when using popups.
This gives you the added advantage of running an autoresponder series or adding these people to an email newsletter for follow up marketing. Don't make people wait for the coupon, remember that they may be on your site with cash ready to purchase. Offer the code on the page that presents after they've provided their email address and also follow up with an immediate email containing the information.
Set expiry dates
Like any form of marketing, a call to action is needed sometimes in order to get people to purchase. It's ok to have an open ended coupon with no expiry, but for added punch, perhaps send out those who have those coupons a better coupon deal that expires on X date.
Use memorable codes
Coupon codes like TB87977VBN are really hard for people to remember, which cuts down on their viral potential; i.e. being handed around via word of mouth. Use terms like MAYSPECIAL or SAVE25BUCKS. There's also a psychological element in doing this - it's a reminder to people of the offer, e.g how much you can save or how long the offer is for.
Submit to coupon sites
A myriad of coupon sites have sprung up in recent years; some will focus on your sector, others will contain offers from all sorts of merchants. Focus submitting your coupons for listing on some of the industry specific sites first, then on the general directories. These sites are easily found using term such as
If you run an affiliate program, be sure to give out coupon codes to your affiliate partners - they absolutely love them as coupons help with their conversions.
The most popular use for a coupon is to offer a cash back on the immediate purchase. Another way to use them is to offer one as a discount on the *next* sale, helping to ensure repeat business and minimizing the bite into your profit.
Not just for cash discounts
Another way to use a coupon aside from cash discounts is as an "admission ticket" of sorts to free reports or other services.
Use in PPC and banner
If you publish a coupon code on a pay per click ad or banner, this tends to really attract the eye. Additionally, it can also help cut PPC costs as the viewer may not even bother clicking on the ad, but go straight to your site armed with the coupon code.
Improve landing page conversions
If you're not able to use the coupon code on an ad for whatever reason, be sure to include it, or a coupon offer on any landing pages you set up in conjunction with campaigns.
When you use coupons, you'll also grow to understand how long it can be between click and sale. Especially with high ticket value items, it may not be that you'll get increased sales straight away; particularly if you're using coupons without an expiry date, so hang in there for a couple of weeks.
In the interests of transparency and disclosure, please note that the owner of Taming the Beast.net often receives goods and services mentioned in reviews for free, or may receive payments or affiliate commissions for advertising or referring others to merchants of products and services reviewed.
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