How many times have you enjoyed the savings you get from coupons for, say, groceries or meals? I’ve got to say, in as much as it looks a bit desperate to be cutting out coupons from magazines of newspaper just for the savings (however little) you can get from them; these are tough times where every centavo counts.
It’s great that with the help of technology, we’re no longer limited to looking for coupons in printed media. Businesses can now offer discount coupons through their websites and social media profiles. It actually makes things more convenient for us, don’t you think?
Coupons come in different forms, like:
- an ad banner that offers you a certain amount of discount for products/services when you click
- emails containing discount offers
- a small text box containing a unique discount code which you would need to redeem on the company’s website or store
- printable coupons that you need to present when you go to the company’s location
- limited-time offers posted on the company’s social network profiles
If you simply look around and open your eyes to such offers, you’ll find that there are lots of online coupons lying around the social web. Facebook alone is teeming with coupons and promotional stuff; you surely can’t miss the ads on the right side bar.
Now, if you own a business, you’ll do best to consider making online coupons for your customers. It’ll help increase your customer conversion, considering how any form of savings is appreciated these days.
How do you make one?
Well, initially you have to decide on how big a discount you want to offer. You can go with as little as 5% and go as high as you want, depending on how much you want to take off of your original price.
Next, you have to specify how long you’re going to run the offer? Three days, one week, or maybe even a full month? The important thing is that you’re clear about how long the promotion’s going to be.
Specify when coupons are going to start appearing on your site and when it’s going to stop showing, as well as when the last date of claiming is going to be. This will help you avoid misunderstandings when people claim discounts for coupons which have already expired.
Now, let’s move on to actually making the coupon. Big businesses can go with popular coupon sites like Coupons.com, but it isn’t really that suited for small-scale or local businesses. If you don’t have the means to go something that broad, you can go with targeted postings. Craigslist and Local.com are two great alternatives for you to consider.
If you don’t have the budget to pay for professional-grade coupons yet, you can make a simple image to use as a printable coupon. You may feel like it’s not professional enough, but it’ll work.
How do you go about distributing said coupons?
If you’ve made a printable coupon yourself, you can pass it along via email. Just make sure that you specify all the details included in your coupon with the email to avoid miscommunications between you and your clients.
If you have a business blog, why not talk about it there? You can even make an invitational post to encourage passersby to subscribe to your blog to receive the coupons. If you have a good enough relationship with your readers, they can even recommend you to their friends and contacts.
If you have a separate website from the blog, add a coupon image on the sidebar, a banner at the header (preferably) or footer of your page. This way, even if people don’t go to your blog, they’ll still have a chance to enjoy the coupon.
Your social network profile is going to be very useful because you can also post your coupons there. Facebook, Twitter, whichever social media site you’ve formed some sort of following at, don’t forget to publish your online coupons there.
If you availed the service of a professional coupons site, you can post your promos at various online business directories. Such directories offer a targeted audience and most people who frequent online business directories are actually on the lookout for coupons and special offers.
Again, I’d like to remind you that you should specify a start and end date for coupon validation as well as a date when redeeming said coupons will be accepted. Otherwise, people will insist that you honor their coupons even when they’ve expired.
Also, remember to keep track of how much sales and profit you’ve made during the promo period to check if it is a useful tactic for your business. By doing this, you’ll be able to gauge whether doing it again will be beneficial for your business or not.
You may not think much about coupons as a strategy for your business, but think of how many more customers you can gain by simply providing a discount for a limited offer. Not only can you convert non-customers into actual buyers, but you’ll also promote brand loyalty with your existing customers in the process.
I’d like to ask you, though, what do you think of coupons?
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