By Taz Bareham — 1 Apr 2014
By the end of the webinar, you will understand how to integrate coupons and gift cards into your marketing strategy.
You will learn:
Coupons are a great way to expand your customer base. Sure, as a business owner it seems like a bad idea to give things away for free or at a discount, but when you employ coupons the right way, they can be very effective in getting new customers for your business and they can actually increase your revenue.
First and foremost, coupons increase conversion rates. This means that people who visit your website but do not make the jump to actually booking with you are tempted by the offer of a free or discounted activity and will book. This creates new customers for you who might spread the word to their friends or become repeat customers themselves, paying the full price next time. They are also a good way to re-engage inactive customers – send coupons to customers who are on your existing mailing list to entice them to come back, and maybe they’ll bring a friend this time (especially if you offer them a 2-for-1 type of offer!).
If you create a promotion that involves a minimum spend, for example spend minimum $50 and get extras at half price, you are guaranteeing yourself that minimum spend, plus the additional offers look better in comparison so customers are more likely to go for the upsell.
Coupons are great for distribution on daily deal sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon. These websites provide far greater exposure for your business which increases awareness, so even if someone sees your business on the website and doesn’t book with you, it puts your name in their head so when they are looking to book an activity like the one you offer, your name will be top of mind for them.
Coupons are very easy to track, so you can very easily identify which coupons are the most successful, or which distribution channels are giving you the best return. They can also be used in conjunction with your tracking of seasonal bookings. If you know from your data when your low season is, you can send out a coupon offer in anticipation of this to try and minimize the slump and track how effective it is.
There are a couple of elements to consider when creating and delivering coupons. The first of these is the offer itself, as well as the design of the coupon and then its distribution.
Consider what your core product is and what is the offer you are providing with this coupon. What is the benefit you are providing your customer? Do you offer someone a 2-for-1 deal on a hot air balloon ride, or do you offer them the chance to treat their partner to a romantic sunrise hot air balloon ride on Valentine’s Day? The actual offer would be the same, but you can present it in such a way that makes the benefit seem different to just getting a free ticket. You could also generously throw in extras like photos of their experience for a small extra price – increasing the average value per order.
Another good tactic is to create offers that the customer gets to visit twice. For example, if your offer is a discount on an introductory photography course, pitch them a second experience such as a photography tour while they are there so they have the chance to use what they learned in their first experience. If you can get them in the door and then give them a positive experience, you will get a lot more repeat business.
There are several types of offers that we would recommend. An important tip from us is to use discounts in the form of dollar amounts, rather than percentages. Typically, percentage discounts only work if the percentage is quite large and you’re a well-known company.
Another type of offer is a bonus offer, such as “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” or “Buy 2 for the price of 1.” This is really good because people feel like they’re getting a bargain. It also lends itself to being shared with a friend or family, which drives exposure to a wider audience.
A type of offer that works particularly well for things like selling tickets to an event or a show is a Premium – an offer to bring a friend or a family member for free. It’s essentially a 2-for-1 offer that’s not presented as such. The benefit for you is that, because the event is going ahead regardless of whether you sell that extra ticket instead, it doesn’t actually cost you anything. This is a good type of offer to send out at the last minute to try to fill empty places, and you get to gain the exposure to the additional person and get the chance for some good word-of-mouth reviews from them.
The design of a coupon is essential because you want it to be eye-catching, you want it to look professional and you want it to be informative.
Make the headline bold and very specific. This sets up the offer clearly from the get-go. Keep some white space there as well. Clutter creates confusion, so keep the headline as clear and easy to read as you can. Include a coloured image near the headline as well – they are very eye-catching – but make sure it doesn’t all look too cluttered.
Arguably more important these days than a hard-copy coupon. Remember that a lot of customers will come in with their mobile devices, so making a coupon that can be redeemed from those platforms is very important. Digital coupons also need to include tracking codes. That way, you know when customers come to you from your coupon offers and where they found the coupon. This lets you track how effective the coupons themselves are, as well as which distribution channels work the best for you. This lets you focus your distribution efforts where they work best and improve your coupons in the future.
It is important that you make the coupon as easy to navigate as possible. This includes making sure that the staff at your end are aware of how the coupons can be redeemed and what for, as well as instructions on the coupons themselves for customers to redeem them. These instructions should include any restrictions, such as date limits on the coupon (for weekdays only, for example) and its expiry time. Remember to include your logo and contact details in case your customers have any questions.
Advertisers have known for years how influential the packaging of a product can be in influencing the purchasing decision. If your coupon looks well laid out and professional, it creates a lot of trust with the customer and makes your business seem more legitimate.
So just a little quote here and advertisers have known this for years, the packaging can significantly influence buying decisions, so make sure again that the design is really well laid out and that it looks very professional, and this will create trust with the customer.
This includes options such as having coupons printed and delivered to a local tourism bureau, hotels, or other places potential customers of yours are likely to frequent. Think about who your target market is and some of the other places they are likely to visit – for example, if your target market is 18-25 year olds, consider distributing your coupons through some of the local bars and pubs.
Another way of distribution is daily deal sites. Here in Australia and New Zealand, we have Scoopon, as well as Groupon and LivingSocial, which are pretty much everywhere. Think about whether there are others in your area and include them as well. These websites are a great way to gain massive exposure for your business as the bigger ones receive tens of millions of visitors every month. Once again, even if they don’t actually book with you the first time they see you, your name is out there and if they’re aware of you, they’ll think about you when they are looking for a product like yours.
Contrary to popular belief, email marketing does actually work if the message is relevant and grabs the attention of the person reading it. Make sure that you have an up-to-date and relevant email database that you capture and update from your customers. Coupons sent out via email campaigns can be very effective at bringing past customers back to your business. Offer them specials, prompt them to take action, or try to entice them to come back and bring someone new with them.
If you launched a coupon campaign, it is essential that you analyze how it worked and how you could improve it for next time. The best way to do this is to use the tracking code you placed on the coupons to track the redemption rate. This lets you know how many people saw the offer, how many emails that you sent were opened and how many of your customers came from your coupon offer.This lets you see which distribution channel was the most effective, or which was the least effective and may not be worth trying to use again in the future. The goal is always to improve the conversion rate for next time, so experiment with different elements in your coupons and see which one is the most enticing.
Rezdy can help you create, run and track coupon campaigns.
When you’re logged in to your Rezdy account, you can go to the Inventory tab and create a voucher. There, you can create and distribute your own vouchers, or if you are working with a website like Groupon, you can import the voucher codes they send you to the list. From there, you can set the value of the offer, the restrictions on the offer and the other relevant details.Once you have distributed your vouchers, they will show in the list as Distributed, and as they are opened, clicked and redeemed, the list will update. Once your predetermined expiry date has passed, the unredeemed vouchers in the list will update to show they have expired.
Creating a Promo Code in Rezdy functions the same way as creating a voucher. Go to the Inventory tab and choose Promo Codes. It’s advisable to have a different promo code for different types of distribution that you plan to use. If you drop off flyers at a particular business, attach a specific promo code to that flyer so you know that those flyers were dropped off at that particular business.Similarly if you are sending out a promotion through an email campaign, have a promo code set up to show that. This ensures that your promotions are trackable and you can understand which coupons are working the best for you.
Promo Codes work much the same as Vouchers in that you create it, set the value of the offer, set the restrictions on the offer and then distribute them. The list of Promo Codes will update in your Rezdy account the same as Vouchers.
Rezdy lets you track your vouchers and promo codes by searching them in your lists. You can search a particular voucher or promo code to see how many orders have been placed from it, for example. Alternatively, you can go to the Reports tav and choose “Sales Report – Products.” You can filter this list by the particular voucher or promo code to see how well each is performing.
For a full walkthrough of how to set everything up in the Rezdy app, please check out the webinar at the top of the page. It’s all there!
More and more people to tend to give experiences when giving gifts. Rezdy enables you to give you a personal demo to tell how Rezdy can benefit your business.