Using Coupons To Improve Sales

There was a feature by Carolyn M. Brown in a recent issue of Black Enterprise magazine that offered some good advice on using coupons to improve sales. I thought I’d share her list and add some insights based on our clients’ experiences.

1. Offer a percentage or dollar amount off each purchase.

This is a great suggestion. It rewards more spending with greater savings. It also discourages “customers” that come in and spend up to your coupon value and no more.

2. Offer online discounts

We have one client who offers free shipping for orders over $30. It’s right there in the sidebar! Another client, SoundEarth, includes coupons in their newsletter providing subscribers with a “thank you” for being loyal readers.

These are both easy to implement and again, reward spending with savings.

3. Tweet discounts and daily deals

Carolyn offers some great suggestions here: offer one-day-only or just-for-the-next-3-hours deals to your Twitter followers. I think my favorite, though, is offering a discount for every 10 retweets. So clever! This could work especially well for restaurants to drive foot traffic.

4. Use your Facebook page for discounts

This is sort of the same as offering discounts via email and on your website but allows users to “share” their good fortune with others. A favorite local cafe offers discounts and keeps fans up-to-date with new menu items via their Facebook page.

5. Include mobile marketing

The popularity of Foursquare.com and other “check-in” social media apps make this a great way to offer discounts – and encourage your customers to share their love of your establishment with their friends and followers. You can offer a loyalty-type program; after 3 check-ins visitors get 10% off the next purchase, for example.

Don’t get scared off by the horror stories of small businesses getting overwhelmed by the “success” of their Groupon campaign. A well thought out coupon campaign can help increase your visibility, increase your sales and promote goodwill with your customers.

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