The Power of Coupons – Planning :: Part 1

How many times have you used a coupon at the grocery store for a product you’ve never tried before?

Coupons are a great way to get customers to try your service or product. They can also “woo” your competitor’s customers to give you a try. If you have a new product, service or an overstock, try offering a coupon to draw attention and sales. You can also minimize the impact of a price increase with a coupon -people won’t realize there was a price hike when excited about a coupon.

Different offers work better for some businesses than others. Which type of offer will work best for you?

BOGO. The always popular “Buy One –Get One.” This is a customer favorite. This offer works best to clear out surpluses or to sell things with huge markups. If your item doesn’t fit into either category, this probably isn’t a good discount for you.

Freebies. This discount involves giving people something for nothing. You distribute coupons offering a free goodie to anyone who stops by. This coupon works best for grand openings and businesses that heavily rely on foot traffic.

Percentage off. Offering a percentage off discount lets you control the sale. Larger discounts attract more attention. This can also push people to make larger purchases so they can stock up while the sale is on. 10-20% discounts can bring in a lot of customers.

A small amount off an item. This is similar to the $.50 off soup coupons you see at grocery stores. With this sort of a coupon, you have to ask yourself, “is this a discount I would take advantage of?” If you are offering too small a discount and your answer is no, either increase the coupon value or don’t bother with it at all. A good coupon drives people to use your products or services, a mediocre one gets tossed.

Pay only {discount cost}. Rather than showing the money they save, show the price they pay. This can be surprisingly more effective than offering a small discount on a popular item. If the price sounds good, consumers are likely to think the coupon is more valuable than it really is.

Referrals. Print coupons with blank lines for people to write in their names. Give instructions on the coupon that you will give a small discount to everyone who uses the coupon and that you will give everyone with their name on the coupon (the referrer) a small credit towards future services.

Now that you have a good idea about what kind of discount you’d like to offer, it’s time to decide how to print it. A lot of people skip past this, but it is an important step in creating coupons. Stay tuned.

Image courtesy of drh