If you have an online store, you’re well aware of the challenges involved in finding and keeping customers. In line with that, let’s talk about some strategies that could help keep existing customers engaged and buying, while at the same time attracting new customers.
As a consumer, you likely appreciate getting a coupon from your favorite retailer. I know I do. Even if I wasn’t planning on making a purchase from them prior to getting the coupon, I’m suddenly motivated to go look for something I might need/want in the near future. If I end up using it, everybody wins. The store owner—you—makes a sale. The consumer—in this case, me—get’s a deal.
Let’s take that a step further. What if you, the store owner, increase the chances of your customer using a coupon? Are you wondering how? Think of who your store caters to. Are you national or international? If you’re national, what events or holidays are your customers celebrating? If you sell internationally, there’s a good chance there’s a holiday or event happening every month of the year.
Coupon Marketing for Holidays and Celebrations
Major holidays or celebrations observed in different parts of the world include, but aren’t limited to, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Then there are strictly national days like Independence Day in the USA, Australia Day, Canada Day and so forth.
Now, that’s a lot of holidays, and some of them bring out the wallet more than others, but the point is, you want to be aware of these holidays if your customers are.
Even if you only sell nationally, if you live in a diverse part of the world, you may have customers that celebrate something that isn’t traditionally local.
Store Coupons for January & February: Australia Day & Valentine’s Day
Let’s say it’s January, with February approaching fast. Do you have a store that sells chocolate? Roses? Jewelry? Lingerie? Or anything that says romance, for that matter? If you do, please tell me you’re incentivizing your current customers and wannabe customers with coupons. Give them a reason to buy from your store not one of your competitors.
And by the way, it is January with February fast approaching, so if the above applies to you, the time to act is now!
Let’s not forget Australia Day! If you’ve just started to give consideration to how you’ll market for it, you may have missed the boat, but never fear. You know there’s always those stragglers who wait until the last minute to do their shopping. So get some coupons circulating for your totes, caps, hats, flip flops, or virtually anything your flag can be printed or stamped on.
Store Coupons for March & April: Mardi Gras & Easter
I know, I know. You’re wondering why I would mention Mardi Gras, right? As if every store owner catered to the US audience. But hold on. Did you know Mardi Gras is celebrated in about a dozen countries worldwide, not just in New Orleans, USA?
Do you sell into one of the countries that celebrate it? Do you sell masks or beads? Or any of the other paraphernalia associated with it? Are you missing out on an opportunity to market into those countries?
Part of my point in including Mardi Gras is to suggest store owners think past the obvious. With a little bit of research, you could come up with seasonal marketing opportunities you might have missed in the past.
Next up, Easter. Easter is celebrated by many Christian religions around the world. And depending on where you live—or, more important to you, where your store sells/ships to—it’s not all colored eggs, bunny rabbits, and Easter bonnets.
If you sell those things, bonus. But are you aware of different local customs when it comes to Easter? Are you prepped and ready to offer appropriate coupons to the right customers based on that? And by that, I mean, do you have a marketing campaign in place that targets coupons to various subsets of your client base? That’s an important aspect of marketing, one we’ll discuss further in a future article.
Store Coupons for May: Mother’s Day
While it’s a sad fact not everyone was blessed with a mother they’d like to celebrate, many, many people take the chance in May to honor their mothers. Maybe they just take her out for a meal at one of her favorite places. Maybe they buy her flowers, chocolate, a book by her favorite author, or any one of an endless selection of things.
Some moms might even appreciate a lawn mower or kitchen appliance. Some, not so much, so use extreme caution!
Since the things or types of things one could buy her are as endlessly varied and unique as mothers themselves, it doesn’t matter what you sell—okay, that might be stretching it. Common sense and the above-mentioned caution are probably in order here. Using your discretion, you should know if your merchandise is something that would appeal to even the most unique of mothers.
If your goods fit the bill, Mother’s Day is a seasonal event every store owner should be promoting. And frankly, this is one of the times you can just do a blanket campaign, and not worry too much about targeting subsets.
Store Coupons for June: Father’s Day
Ah, Dad. We love you too, and we apologize that we always don’t give as much thought to our gifts to you. It’s not that we love you less than mom, it really isn’t. So, for all those socks and ties? We’ll try to do better this year. We’ll remember that you’re unique too.
Store owners! Don’t forget dad! He deserves something awesome, so if you sell anything that dad might think lands on the side of awesomeness, get those coupons on board in time for his day. It may not be in June, just like Mother’s Day might not be in May, depending on where you live. What does that mean? Target your subsets!
If you have customers in the US or any country that celebrates the day in June, as well as customers in a place like Australia that celebrate it in a different month, you should be sending out Father’s Day coupons to those groups at the appropriate time.
Yes, marketing can get complicated, but trust me, you will benefit from your hard work.
Store Coupons for July, August & September: Canada Day, Independence Day & Labor Day
July 1st is Canada Day. July 4th is Independence Day in the US. On varying dates in August, countries all over the world celebrate their Independence Days. In Canada and the US, Labour/Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September.
So, depending on what countries your stores sell to, you have a three month period where you can be marketing whatever type of merchandise is needed to celebrate these days.
In line with Labor Day in North America, it also signals back to school in many places. So your marketing should be focused on what happens after Labor Day, not the day itself.
In terms of back to school, don’t limit your marketing efforts to laptops and the typical school supplies. Think outside of the box. New shoes, new clothes, new backpacks. Those darling children are expensive, so as store owners, let your customers know you understand, and that you’re doing your part to give them a break. Give them a coupon!
Store Coupons for October, November & December: Thanksgiving, Halloween & Christmas
The year is nearly done! Have you realized there’s a good chance, depending on where you sell, you could be doing some sort of seasonal coupon marketing every month of the year? I hope you’re taking advantage of that. And I haven’t even come close to mentioning all of them.
In Canada and a few other countries, Thanksgiving is celebrated in October. In the US and other countries, it’s celebrated in November. October also brings Halloween, and of course, December rolls in with Christmas.
Thanksgiving might not bring with it a multitude of marketing opportunities—unless you sell something to do with turkeys or Pilgrims. However, I’m sure I don’t need to educate you on what or how to market for Halloween or Christmas! But just in case, at least when it comes to Christmas, and your customers are likely buying multiple items, why not think of using something like a BOGO coupon?
So, are you effectively using coupons for your seasonal promotions? Are you aware that you could be using coupons most of the year, not only building your customer base but establishing loyalty with your existing customers?