Are you looking at forming a coupon marketing strategy for your store?
Coupons can be a great way to grow your sales and increase your customer loyalty whether you’re running an e-commerce store or even a physical store.
But if you approach it without knowing what your strategy is, you’re basically shooting in the dark hoping to find success.
That’s what this post is all about: introducing you to a proper coupon marketing strategy.
Coupon Marketing Strategy
When it comes to forming a solid coupon marketing strategy for your store you want to look at three things:
- Purpose – what is your motivation for using coupons: what are you trying to achieve with it?
- Implementation – what deal types are you going to use
- Testing – how are you going to test different deal types to see what resonates with your customers
Without knowing your purpose, you might be able to come up with coupon ideas but they won’t be targeted and measurable. That is why it is important to set that purpose before coming up with the coupon deal ideas.
Implementation will cover the processes of coming up with coupon ideas that match the overall purpose and implementing those into your business.
And the testing phase will show you how to iterate over coupon deal types until you find the combination of deals that really resonate well with your audience. Once you do you can implement more permanent promotional mechanisms to maximise your results.
Step #1: Set The Purpose Of Your Coupon Deal
Using coupons is a marketing strategy that can be extremely powerful if you put just a little bit of time in the preparation stage.
Deciding what the purpose of your coupon deal is going to set the stage for how you implement it, how you craft the deal and how you eventually test and iterate on the concept of the promotion.
I encourage you to set aside some time to think about what is going to be the best use of your marketing budget (both time and money) at the moment.
A few ideas to get you started choosing the purpose of your coupon deals:
- Building customer loyalty
- Attracting new customers
- Encouraging repeat purchases
- Saving abandoned orders
- Getting new visitors to take action
- Reactivating old customers
This is just a starting list, but a pretty good idea of the power of setting your purpose.
Can you see how these concepts might drive the different ways you could implement a deal? It’s much more than just throwing together some marketing collateral and spruiking a blanket % off.
Choose your purpose and that will drive the next step.
Step #2: Implement Your Coupon Deal
There are 1001 ways to implement a coupon deal. You can email it out, you can provide a physical flyer, you can do manual outreach… the ways to get your coupons in customers hands is almost limitless.
Reactivating old customers is one of the purposes we outlined in the previous step and I’m going to use that as an example so that you can get some solid takeaways here from this article.
When you look at your purpose you have to think about what kinds of coupon structures would fit that purpose. For the purposes of this example, “reactivating” is going to mean finding customers who previously purchased and have them come back to purchase something else. It’s not strictly a repeat purchase, they might want to buy a different product, so this also covers upsells and cross-sells.
If you’re looking at reactivating old customers, you can do any of the following:
- A straight % off deal – eg. % off some other related product to what they purchased before
- Buy one, get one style deal – eg. come back and buy 1 of these products you previously purchased again, and we’ll give you something else for free (or half price)
- A timed offer which forces action – activate FOMO, the fear of missing out
- Giving away free products – gets them to take some action in order to get the freebie
- Free shipping offer – everyone loves a bargain on shipping
You can also combine these deal types with each other. For example, I love combining free product giveaways with timed offers which get people to take action quickly. It means things literally fly off the shelves.
Does it matter if you’re in a physical store or an online store? Not really.
At Advanced Coupons, obviously, we focus on e-commerce stores and in particular WooCommerce store owners because our plugin helps people implement these kinds of deals.
But you can implement the same concepts we’re discussing in a physical store, you’ll just find some of the condition checking a little harder to vet which makes it that much more important to ensure you’re only sending your deal to the correct people.
In WooCommerce (with Advanced Coupons installed) for example, you can easily implement a timed coupon deal with a free product that is restricted to existing customers only.
You can even go one step further and make sure that the person has purchased something in the past and that they have a certain product or a product from a particular product category in their cart:
The other trick I have personally found works well is to force yourself to come up with 5x different concepts for a deal.
So when you set your coupon deal purpose, brainstorm 5x different coupon deals that you could potentially use to achieve that purpose. This is good practice for the next step which is all about testing.
Step #3: Test Your Coupon Deals
Finding what resonates with your customers is hard but a commitment to testing and measuring is what separates the weak store owners from the successful ones.
Sure, testing coupon deals over and over will take time, but it will lead you to find what types of coupon deals work best for what purpose with your audience. And that is the key to success with your coupon marketing strategy.
In the previous step, I recommended for each purpose you come up with 5x different coupon deals that could potentially deliver on that.
In this step, you will test each of the coupon deal concepts you came up with in Step #2 with your audience and see which one they like the most. This can then be used as the basis for your next round of testing.
Can you or should you test multiple coupon deals at once? Sure. But I recommend that you only test one coupon deal per purpose at one time.
This might take longer of course, but it gives you clarity on exactly which deal drove those people to buy. If you run deals that have the same purpose at once, this muddies the testing waters.
Why It’s Important To Evolve Your Coupon Marketing Strategy Over Time
Your coupon marketing strategy should evolve as you learn more about your customers.
You see, different niches and different customer groups respond differently to the same types of deals. So that’s why something in one niche might work spectacularly while in another niche, it barely makes an impact.
By committing yourself to Step #3 I hope that you will get more and more clear about the type of offers and coupon deals that your particular audience of customers respond to the best.
Once you do, you can start baking those types of coupons into your permanent marketing line up. You’ll be able to reach into your pocket and pick the exact deals for the exact purpose you need at the time and have confidence that this deal will deliver a certain result.
Although nothing is certain in commerce and customers can be fickle at times, this is about as close as you’ll get to a predictable response to a marketing effort and for a store owner, that knowledge is worth its weight in gold.