Businesses are always looking at ways to increase brand loyalty and ultimately sales.  Businesses look towards the value of coupons as a means to encourage customers to spend money.  Coupons and digital marketing allow a business to guide customers into spending money on particular days which are generally not as profitable as others.

Take EE (formerly Orange – a telecoms provider in the UK) for instance.   Orange made the least profitable day at the cinema profitable by offering 2 for 1 deals on cinema tickets.  EE Wednesdays was started in 2004 and is still in operation.  Customers text the word FILM and in return receive a message back with a coupon code.  The coupon code gives the customer two tickets for the price of one, which is redeemable at the nearest cinema on a Wednesday.  Orange issue over 300,000 coupons a week, which equates to about £15 million per annum.

This just goes to demonstrate the power and value of offering digital coupons to your customers.

Now Orange (EE) is a major telecoms provider in the UK and as such have a vast array of customers, but what are the brand benefits to any business regardless of size?

Coupons and digital marketing can improve a business in the following ways:  coupon

  • Encourage customers to return
  • Attract new customers
  • Promote a new product
  • Trial a new product
  • Gain feedback in order to target marketing
  • Increase goodwill, customer loyalty and customer retention

There has been a significant increase in the use of Digital Coupons, with 66 million coupons industry wide redeemed in 2013.  Coupon codes are an excellent way to track and measure your ROI.  Simply use a different code for each outlet so that a business can see how effective a marketing campaign has been.

Online coupon use has increased from 16% to 29% between 2010 and 2013 with mobile coupon use increasing by 250% in the same period with these trends anticipated to follow suit or become more widely used.

34% of smart phone shoppers will use their mobile device for mobile coupons, with a forecasted number of 74.1 million adult smartphone users in 2015 in the USA alone.

So what are the consumers habits?

53.7% of consumers say they now focus more on needs than wants when purchases are concerned.  79.8% of consumers use coupons regularly, and 80% are value-seeking shoppers, self described as “promotion sensitive”.  In 2007 63.6% of consumers used coupons whereas in 2013 that figure rose to 92%, this is probably partly led by the worldwide recession and the need for consumers to stretch their pay packets further.

So how important are coupons?

Well 91% of coupon redeemers say they will visit a retailer again after being offered a coupon, and 57% of shoppers say that they would not have made a purchase without a coupon first.  In total 62% of consumers spend 2 hours a week searching for deals and special offers. Also 65% of consumers say online voucher codes often finalise their purchase decisions if they were undecided and 63% of online consumers state that they would reconsider an abandoned shopping basket if offered a voucher code.

couponCoupons also drive consumer engagement, with 31% of coupon users being more interested in deals that offer a specific value amount off of their purchase, part of the reason for this is that some % off deals are difficult to calculate so consumers become unsure if they are getting a good deal or not.  If a business is to offer a % off deal then it has been noted that 43% of consumers consider discounts of 25% or more to be a good deal, anything under this does not have the same appeal to consumers.

Where to put your digital marketing coupon campaign.

Well Social Media is a big place to market to your customers, where 28% of consumers will share deals via social media platforms, and 67% will “like” a Facebook page to obtain a 25% or more saving from a brand, but only 17% will tweet or retweet to gain the same offer. Some positive news though is that 54% of consumers will use a coupon that they have found on social media.

Email marketing is the other big avenue to follow, where 93% of consumers stated that they are very likely to use coupons they receive via email and 82% of consumers are likely to open emails from companies.

So Email Marketing is clearly a better way to promote your coupons, but how do you get your customers e-mail addresses?

You can run a survey campaign where consumers fill out details to gain access to coupons, and although this will work, alot of people have got wise to this and as such have set up a “spam” email address solely for the purpose of these surveys so that their main email doesn’t get filled with “junk”.  Also alot of consumers don’t like giving out their information freely, they feel that just by using the coupon should be enough without the business needing any information from them.

So how do you get the main email address without appearing to need the customers personal details?

There is an answer, and that answer is Social Wifi, through the power of the Wifi in the business a business can collect the email address and other details about their customers just by offering free Wifi.  This is achieved by utilising Social Logins so that the customer connects via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Linkedin or a simple login form.  The customer benefits from free Wifi in store and the business builds a marketing database for future use.  The added benefit of this is that the business collects the main email address as this is the one that is generally used for peoples social media accounts.  So now the business has a way of being unobtrusive whilst collecting the key information about its customers.  Social Wifi also allows the business to see real time data analytics about how a customer interacts with the store, so as a business you can really see what your customers are looking at and for how long.  Also Social Wifi allows a business to set up eshots so that when a customer enters the business they will automatically be sent coupons, which can be utilised for repeat customers, first time visitors, or even to send a coupon for a customers birthday. But Social Wifi doesn’t stop there, if a customer enters a certain area of the business, they can be sent an eshot informing them of a special offer in that area, which can help drive sales, or encourage customers to visit another area of the business to receive the special offer.

Coupons are undoubtedly a great way to interact and encourage customers to spend money at your business, and as alot of people are still recovering from the worldwide recession, customers are consistently looking for ways to make their money go further whilst still enjoying their current lifestyle.

Get the couponing right and business can expect to enjoy great and sustained ROI, businesses just need to ensure that they utilise the correct methods and technology, to ensure that their efforts are maximised and don’t spend unnecessary time sending out coupons and not running the business.

Coupons are here to stay and will become utilised more and more, now is the time for businesses to make the most of this need.