4 Tips for More Effective Coupon Strategies

by Emily Retherford

2 min read

Offering coupons can be an effective method for drawing in new customers and motivating existing customers to spend more with your small business, since consumers love getting a bargain. Studies indicate that Canada ranks seventh in the world for coupon use. Craft your coupon offers to stand out from the crowd and make consumers more inclined to use them.

Use Psychology in Wording Your Coupons

Make your coupons more effective by wording them in a way that makes them more compelling to consumers. Generally speaking, consumers are more moved by seeing an actual dollar amount of potential savings with a coupon, since they can readily grasp what saving a certain amount of money means, than they are by seeing a percentage off coupon. However, if the absolute dollar savings is relatively small compared to the percent savings offered – such as when you offer a coupon on a low-price item – then, for example, “50 Percent Off” may be more compelling than “$1.25 Off.”

Use Targeted Follow-Up Coupons

Ideally, you want your coupons to attract new customers to your business rather than just offering a discount to your regular customers, although that is helpful in strengthening your relationships with your existing customer base. One tactic you can use to target new customers specifically and motivate them to come back to your business and become regular customers is using follow-up coupons that you only provide to new customers who take advantage of an initial coupon offer.

Add an Urgency Element to Coupons

Consumers are more likely to use your coupons if you attach a sense of urgency to the coupon offer. This can mean anything from offering coupons that are only good for one day – or even for just a few hours, such as a coupon advertising a sale that only lasts for five hours. In any event, definitely put a nearby expiration date on your coupons. If you offer a coupon that expires in a few days, consumers are more likely to make sure they use it before it expires. In contrast, if you offer a coupon that is good for several months, consumers feel no urgent need to visit your store with coupon in hand, and they may end up misplacing or losing the coupon before they ever get around to using it.

Use Mobile Coupons

Coupons that you send to or make available to customers’ mobile phones offer you an avenue of communication that many of your competitors may overlook. You can easily send mobile coupon offers, either in the form of text messages or visual product images, to existing customers who are signed up to receive text messages from your business; this costs you much less than printing up paper coupons. You can extend mobile coupons to new customers by posting them on your business website and on your social media outlets.

References & Resources

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