Every day at Valpak of Staten Island & Greater Brooklyn, we see how coupon codes and coupon campaigns are marketing tools that help businesses and brands get new customers and boost sales and conversions. But some retailers and small business owners are hesitant, even wary, to use coupons or other incentives in their marketing campaigns. Why is that?
Often this aversion to offer discounts derives from preconceived notions that coupons decrease order value, advertising return on investment and ultimately, the bottom line. We’re here to prove to you why that’s not the case. Here are the top 5 misconceptions about marketing with discount coupons.
1. Coupons Make Me Look Cheap
20% of consumers believe brands that advertise are better in quality than brands that don’t and 49% will shop at a store they don’t normally shop at to take advantage of a sale (MRI-Simmons). How many potential customers are you losing by not considering special discounts? Like customer service, new products and convenient hours, people anticipate, even expect businesses to offer coupons at some point in the customer journey.
2. My Customer Base Doesn’t Use Coupons
Everyone, yes, even your target audience, likes a good deal. 72% of consumers agree their #1 goal when shopping (in-store or online) is to save as much money as possible. Clipping coupons from the newspaper might not appeal to your customer base but what about SMS coupons or coupon apps? Promo codes to try new products are a popular upselling tactic to drive sales from loyal customers too.
Coupon users have money. High-income households are 12% more likely to respond to coupons in the mail compared to the average U.S. consumer and 17% usually make buying decisions based on which coupons they have (AdMall). Consider the types of coupons your customers would want and how and when they would want to receive them.
3. Couponers Are Not Loyal Customers
What does wanting to save money at checkout have to do with customer loyalty?
You may think that people who use coupons are not loyal customers. The thought being that they only care about giveaways and will try many brands for the first time but return to a select few. The truth is that this type of customer is only one of many who use coupons. The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, suggests that 80% of sales result from 20% of customers. If your most profitable 20% are loyal customers, tie your coupon marketing strategy to anniversaries or a loyalty program.
Influence the influencers. Make sure your loyal customers feel valued and reward that brand loyalty. Remember, engaged customers are advocates, i.e., free advertising for your brand.
4. Limited-Time Offers Cause Confusion
From customer service to scheduling to maintenance to marketing, employees wear many hats and share many responsibilities at small businesses. It’s imperative to train staff on how to manage limited-time offers, that they understand the types of coupons and any applicable restrictions. Make it clear how to process coupons and track redemptions, whether they be online coupons or print vouchers. Print out examples of current offer discounts with clear instructions and expiration dates.
With proper training, your staff will be able to implement coupon campaigns quickly and efficiently. They’ll contribute to a positive customer experience and return on investment.
5. Coupon Fraud Could Cost Me Money
Whenever you run special discounts, you run the risk of reprints and other abuse. But there are many ways to protect against coupon fraud / counterfeiting. These include unique coupon codes (for one-time use), unique imprinting and channel-specific or time-limited offers.
These marketing tools empower advertisers to prevent fraud, use their point-of-sale systems to track redemptions and monitor online purchases with e-commerce promo codes. While it is true that some fraud prevention tactics (like holograms) can be subject to unauthorized reproduction, the necessary equipment is sophisticated and expensive to procure.
Coupons for Print & Digital Marketing
Thinking outside the box will help you create a personal and effective coupon marketing strategy. You don’t have to give something away for free. Talk to the experts at Valpak who specialize in creating high demand offers that engage your target audience and drive sales for your small business.