4 Things to Remember When Marketing With Online or Paper Coupons


Coupon Marketing Tips - 4 Things to Remember When Marketing With Online or Paper Coupons

Consumers love getting deals, as every retailer knows. No wonder, then, that both digital and paper coupons are wildly popular. What do you need to know to use coupons effectively? A survey by Valassis has some answers.

While the death of print coupons was widely predicted a few years ago as digital coupons became more popular, it seems customers don’t care what format coupons come in as long as they still offer deals. In the past year, nearly six out of 10 (58 percent) of consumers surveyed report they’ve been using more print coupons. Use of online coupons or coupon codes is also growing, with 32 percent of consumers using more of them in the past year. Finally, 38 percent of those in the survey have used mobile coupons more often in the past year.

How can you cater to these coupon-hungry customers? Here are four tips to try.

Coupon Marketing Tips

1. Get Mobile

Mobile offers inspire an impressive amount of business. In fact, more than half of shoppers in the survey say they have visited a store, restaurant or other business after getting an offer on their mobile device while near the business location. Today’s mobile marketing solutions let you use geo-targeting — reaching out to specific consumers when they’re within a certain radius of your business. You can also use geo-fencing, which targets consumers on their mobile devices when they’re within a certain radius of your competitors’ businesses. Sending a coupon code at the right moment can lure customers into your business, and even get them away from your competition.



Of course, sending mobile coupons to nearby customers isn’t the only way to spur sales. Consumers use their mobile devices to search for coupons once they’re in your business, too. Nearly three-fourths of those in the survey say they’ve used their mobile device to look for coupons or offers while in-store. Millennials and affluent shoppers with household incomes of $100K and up are much more likely to do this (90 and 81 percent, respectively). To make the sale, put mobile-friendly coupons on your business website and list coupon codes for your business on popular coupon sites.

2. Offer Options

Plenty of shoppers still like old-fashioned paper coupons. About one-third of shoppers say they use print and digital coupons equally; more than half (51 percent) say they print out digital coupons to use in a business location. To capture as many customers as possible, send coupons that can be used in either format. For example, you can email a coupon that can either be redeemed on a mobile phone or by printing it out. This is a good idea if mobile service or WiFi in your business is spotty. Nothing’s more annoying to customers than trying to redeem a digital coupon, but not being able to pull it up on their phone.

3. Think Social

You can also use social media to offer coupons to your followers. Post a link to a coupon they can print out, or just include a coupon code in the post. Depending on the value of the coupon, you can also make it contingent on taking an action such as liking or following your business, or sharing or retweeting your post. This can be a good way to spread the word about your business.

4. Use Multiple Channels

More than one-third of consumers in the survey say they feel “rewarded” by the number of coupon offers they receive in a given day, whether by email, text or social media. You never know which channel a customer will be paying attention to at any given moment, so why not reach out to them in multiple ways? Just pay attention to feedback you get from customers as to whether you are overdoing it. If people are unsubscribing from your emails or texts, or un-following you on social media, you may need to dial it back.

How do you use coupons in your retail business? What has worked best for you?

Coupon Cutting Photo via Shutterstock

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Rieva Lesonsky


Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a Columnist for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow her on Google+ and visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and free TrendCast reports.

3 Reactions

  1. Track. Track. Track.

    You’ve got to tie the revenue back to the cost of the advertising/promotion so that you know the ROI of your efforts. This only works if you’re tracking correctly on both ends.

    • Total agree on tracking. If it works then keep doing it. If it doesn’t work then change the offer. Even if it works change the offer. Maybe you are giving away too much.
      I also like to add an expiration date that will bring people in by a certain time. Give them a time frame to take advantage of your great offer.

    • How would this be accomplished, Robert Brady? How do you calculate said revenue generated from multiple channels if it’s a 1-coupon-meets-all approach? Even if you have dynamic codes to track each coupon, how do you tie in the customers’ amount of spend with that dynamic coupon code – is this done via POS system partnered to your marketing tech platform you’re using to build and distribute your coupons? Is there such a platform available? So many questions, so little time!

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