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Ever found yourself hovering over the 'checkout' button, debating if you really needed that cool, limited-edition gadget or that dazzling pair of kicks? Well, you're not alone. We've all been there. And you know what nudges most of us from "maybe later" to "buy now"? A sweet, irresistible coupon.
In a world where consumer preferences fluctuate more than fashion trends, businesses are always on the hunt for the 'next big marketing strategy.' From influencer marketing to virtual try-ons, we've seen it all, but nothing seems to hit home like a good old-fashioned coupon!
Don't believe us? Here are some mind-blowing stats that'll make you a coupon believer (if you aren't already):
- About two-thirds of shoppers have splurged on something they weren't initially planning to, all because they stumbled upon a coupon.
- A staggering 94% of consumers actively hunt for discounts and offers before buying something online.
- And, wait for it...74% of American shoppers cite offers and discounts as a top factor when deciding where and what to buy online.
These numbers are as impressive as they are telling. But why do coupons hold such a bewitching sway over consumer behavior, and more importantly, how can your business harness this power for success? Keep reading to find out.
The Psychological Pull of a Good Deal
Human beings, for all our sophistication and advanced brainpower, are still pretty simple creatures when it comes to certain things. One of those things is our love for a good deal.
According to a scientific study, the mere mention of discounts and coupons lights up the reward center in our brains, triggering a release of the "feel-good" hormone, oxytocin. And you know what's even more fascinating? The oxytocin levels spike even higher when we receive a coupon than when we receive a gift.
So, when your customers redeem a coupon at checkout or see those magical words "promo code applied," their brains are literally experiencing a rush of happiness. And who wouldn't want to do business with a brand that makes them feel good, right?
The Tangible Boons of Coupon Marketing
Besides the mental high that consumers get from snagging a great deal through extreme couponing, they also bestow some pretty solid perks to businesses that are savvy enough to employ them. Here are just a few of the obvious ones:
Promoting Customer Loyalty
Brand switching is as common today as changing socks. With oodles of options at hand, customers are quick to hop onto the next shiny thing if they feel like you're not appreciating their patronage enough.
A well-executed coupon strategy, however, can work wonders, keeping your customers loyal and coming back for more. In fact, 68% of consumers attribute coupons to their loyalty towards a particular brand.
Stronger Brand Recognition
In today's noisy, crowded marketplace, it's not easy to get your brand's voice heard, let alone remembered. But toss some coupon strategies into the marketing mix, and you've got yourself a recipe for elevated brand identity.
Coupons serve as a formidable reminder of your brand's existence, engraving your name in their minds with the allure of savings. A whopping 68% of consumers affirm the pivotal role of coupons in crystallizing brand awareness.
Acquire New Customers
Often, the barrier for a customer to try a new brand or product is the perceived risk of spending their hard-earned cash on the unknown. Tempting
can significantly lower this perceived risk, nudging them into making that initial purchase.
Once they're in, it's up to your product's quality and service's excellence to convert them from trial users to brand enthusiasts. About 86% of customers say coupons influence them to try new products, and 80% attest that they are more likely to choose a brand they wouldn't have otherwise due to the availability of a coupon.
When did you last brag to your friends about paying full price for an item? Probably never. But you know what does make for excellent bragging material? Saving a ton of money on your latest purchase thanks to a fabulous coupon deal.
Coupons, especially those that offer substantial savings, often generate the coveted 'word of mouth' effect, encouraging customers to share their purchases with friends, family, and followers. This snowballs into exponential brand exposure and brings in more potential customers.
Increase Sales and Revenue
This one's a no-brainer, but let's spell it out anyway. Coupons tempt consumers to explore beyond their usual preferences and splurge, ringing in sales that would otherwise not have happened. A notable 38% of shoppers bought more than they intended to, all because they got their hands on a coupon.
What's more, customers who leverage coupons typically spend an impressive 24% more than those who don't, underscoring the substantial revenue uplift potential. The correlation between coupon use and enhanced spending habits offers a lucrative opportunity for businesses aiming to thrive and outperform in their respective markets.
Crafting the Quintessential Coupon Experience
The art of creating that magnetic piece of savings goodness is not just a cut, paste, and slap-a-discount-on-it operation. To achieve the sparkling results you want, consider heeding the following nuggets of wisdom:
Time it Right
A well-timed coupon is like a well-delivered punchline—it can bring the house down! Know the ebb and flow of your industry and understand when your customers will most likely be receptive to a discount.
For example, offering a discount on winter coats in the middle of summer won't make much of an impact. But offering coupons on beachwear at the start of summer? Now, that might be a winning move.
Personalize And Mesmerize
Nothing says "we appreciate your business" quite like a personalized coupon. Each customer comes with a unique palette of preferences and purchase histories and a customized coupon shows that you've been paying attention.
For example, this coupon from the Pro's Closet offers a $20 discount to a customer who has made their first $100+ purchase and you could also consider listing your coupons on coupon aggregator sites like DealDrop like Pro Closet does. By targeting the specific behavior of a first-time big spender, this coupon is more likely to resonate and incentivize repeat business.
Emphasize Quality Over Quantity
It might be tempting to churn out deal after deal in a bid to win customers but tread cautiously. Over-discounting can erode your profit margins and brand value, making customers associate your brand with 'cheap' rather than 'value.'
Instead of blitzing your audience with deals every other day, focus on offering meaningful, substantial savings on special occasions, events, or milestones. This way, your bargains feel more exclusive, more cherished, and far more impactful.
Capitalize on FOMO
You know that nagging feeling you get when your friend tells you about a sale or discount they scored, and you missed it? Yeah, that's FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) in action. And it's a powerful tool for driving coupon redemptions. Create a sense of exclusivity and urgency around your coupons by limiting their availability, making them one-time use only, or attaching an expiration date.
Take this time-sensitive coupon from Coffee For Less, for instance. It's a brilliant illustration of sparking that crucial need to seize the offer before it evaporates, fostering a compelling urgency to act and buy.
Promote Far and Wide
If you're crafting a public coupon campaign, be sure to spread the word far and wide. Tucking your coupons neatly in a corner of your website or sending them to a small, select group of customers won't give you the numbers or results you're hoping for. To truly exploit the magnetic charm of your coupon marketing, use the following channels to your advantage:
- Social Media. From Instagram stories to snappy tweet promotions, ensure your voucher gets the limelight it deserves on all the relevant social platforms. You can also use a social media scheduler like OneUp to schedule multiple posts across all your social channels, from TikTok to Facebook to even Google My Business, in one go.
- Influencer Partnerships: Partner up with influencers or complementary businesses for joint promotions. By tapping into the reach and loyal fanbase of another brand or individual, you can amplify your coupon's exposure significantly.
- Email Marketing. Don't forget to drop a coupon bomb in your next email blast. Craft an attention-grabbing subject line and a persuasive copy highlighting your discount's benefits. And most importantly, include a clear call-to-action button that links directly to your coupon redemption page. You can use SMS to send a multimedia message alongside email as well to maximize your coupon's reach.
- Facebook Groups and Other Online Communities. Engage with and promote your coupon to relevant online communities, such as Facebook groups, Reddit threads, or even niche forums. These platforms are teeming with deal hunters actively seeking the next best bargain, making them a prime audience for your coupon marketing efforts. Some brands even create their own Facebook groups specifically for sharing coupons, deals, and exclusive offers with their most loyal customers. This will increase your coupon's reach and foster a sense of exclusivity and community among your eager deal-hunting followers.
- Website Popups. To use website popups to promote a coupon campaign, implement a timed or action-triggered overlay on your site showcasing the coupon details, ensuring it's visually appealing, mobile-responsive, and has a clear call-to-action, while also allowing users an easy way to close or decline the offer.
Revolutionizing Coupons with Tech Twists
In a landscape teeming with ever-evolving tech trends, coupons, too, have received a modern twist, advancing far beyond their paper predecessors. Here are some of the ways technology has transformed the landscape of couponing:
Another tech trend that's pushing its way into the coupon scene is geofencing. Through this tech, businesses can set a virtual perimeter around their physical location and send push notifications to customers within that vicinity. This allows for the creation of hyper-targeted coupons, reaching potential customers at a time and place where they are most likely to make a purchase.
Starbucks, for example, has masterfully brewed up success with its geofencing coupon strategies, alerting customers about promotions and happy hour specials when they are nearby. This tactic helps build foot traffic, increase sales, and enhance customer loyalty all in one fell swoop.
Augmented Reality (AR)
If you thought Pokémon Go was the pinnacle of AR's potential, think again! Businesses are now integrating AR into their coupon strategies, taking the coupon-hunting experience to a whole new level. AR-powered coupons will allow customers to scan their surroundings and find hidden discounts and promotions, making the process of finding and redeeming coupons even more fun and interactive.
This gamification aspect will especially appeal to younger, tech-savvy audiences and can also help drive foot traffic to physical stores. For example, you can hide coupons at different locations around your store and have customers use an AR app to find and unlock them. Or, you can partner with other businesses to create a scavenger hunt-style coupon game that encourages customers to visit multiple locations for coupons and prizes.
Quietly putting an end to coupon clipping, QR codes have become the new-age vehicle for accessing discounts. With a simple scan, customers can now easily redeem coupons on their smartphones without the hassle of printing or cutting. This makes the process more seamless and convenient, increasing redemption rates. Chilli's use of QR codes in its text alert coupon campaign is an excellent example here. They made it incredibly easy for subscribers to claim their free appetizer by simply scanning the code at the point of purchase.
But before you go slapping a QR code on every ad imaginable, ensure that the QR code generator you'll be using is reliable and secure. Due to the transactional nature of your coupons, a code with poor security can leave you vulnerable to fraud and even damage your brand's reputation.
Power Up Your Profits With Coupons
In the dynamically evolving commerce landscape, the timeless allure of coupons stands unassailable. They are not just short-term sales boosters. They're indispensable components of a robust marketing ecosystem, fostering consumer relationships, enhancing brand perception, and fueling sustainable growth. Embracing the multifaceted power of coupons can propel businesses into new realms of success, creating a harmonious convergence of consumer delight and corporate prosperity.
So, the next time you're contemplating a marketing plan, don't forget the humble yet mighty coupon. Whether you're looking to reel in those fleeting shoppers or give your regulars another reason to love you, a well-crafted coupon has got your back.