Top 35 Coupon Advertising Ideas From the Pros – Part 1.

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Whether you’re a restaurant, ecommerce site or plumber, starting coupon campaign can be a major step towards building a loyal customer base. For this guide, we asked experts to share their best coupon advertising ideas. We also uncover the best places to promote your coupons, including both online and offline options.

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1. Use LocalSaver to see what’s popular in your industry

See what the most common coupons are for businesses in your industry. When you sign up for a free account with LocalSaver, they show you 3 popular deals. You can launch coupons on popular websites through LocalSaver, or just use the ideas as inspiration. Follow this link to sign up, or read our guide for more information on LocalSaver.

2. Run the numbers to find the optimal discount

Sherry Holub, JV Media Design

The first thing I recommend small businesses do is run the numbers. That is, make sure you won’t actually lose money with the offer. Lower offers, such as 10% might be better suited to rewarding existing customers, but may not be enough to entice new customers. What would be an offer that would benefit them or drive them to want to walk through the door/go to the website and make a purchase? 2 for 1 coupons are great for businesses like restaurants or entertainment venues (as long as the business is still making money by giving one away for free).

3. Research your loyal customers

Lisa Chu, BlackNBianco

Coupons and discounts has a tendency to attract one time customers looking for a great deal. It’s best to avoid their voices when you write a business marketing plan as they will drive down your prices and not be a repeat customer. On the other hand offering coupons for repeat customers is a great way to build an authentic relationship with your customers and keep your profit margins healthy.

4. Let them spend it however they want

Mike Catania,

A good coupon is a site-wide offer. 3% off your total order is going to vastly outperform a product-specific offer, even if it’s marked down to 50%. Consumers want to feel like you’re accommodating them and the best way to do that is to provide a deal where they have some flexibility.

5. Write coupons that people click

Jeremy Levi,

10% gets looked at, 15% sounds good, 20% and up will get people to stop what they’re doing and open your email. I hate when people don’t put the offer in the headline of the email or promotion and make people dig. It frustrates buyers and you lose them; get straight to the point and don’t beat around the bush.

6. Focus on getting customers through the door

AJ Saleem, Suprex Learning

The most expensive part of my business is actually getting the customer (retaining customers is a lot easier.) The coupon offer that I have been using for my company is a FREE hour of tutoring; this offer tempts a customer to come into my business because of no risks but at the same time allows me to gain their business. This method has been getting around a 80% retention rate after a customer uses the coupon as opposed to a 65% retention rate from customers that find me off of the internet.

7. The More Information The Better

Tim Rich

You’ll obviously want to include your logo, but never presume your customer or client can connect the dots. The more information, the better. So tell  them your company name, logo, address, website, email address, phone number, and EVEN directions to your premises.

8. Don’t Forget the Expiration Date!

Mike Catania,

If you’re going to submit your coupon online, be absolutely sure to include an expiration date.  Some coupon sites are notorious for not pulling down expired offers so include the expiration date in the description as well as the expiration date field.

9. Split-test Your Coupons

Chris Barr, Every Door Direct Mail

To get the most out of coupons, you have to constantly split-test your offers. Split-testing is the process of distributing multiple offers to the same target audience, and gathering data about coupon redemption rates (sales). For example, if you distribute a flyer with (4) unique coupons, you may find that one particular coupon generates 75% of the sales. Once you identify a winner it becomes your control coupon. From there, you should continue split-testing until you beat your control. Rinse and repeat.

10. Use Coupons to Convince Hesitant Customers

Brian Stumbaugh, Barefoot Solutions

We’ve seen the most coupon advertising success by pushing out the coupons via retargeting email, Facebook Ads, and Google Adwords campaigns. We identify customers that have abandoned carts or filled out forms partially without submitting, and then target Facebook and Google Adwords ads to those customers as well as sending them an exclusive offer via email. We’ve seen promising conversion rates via those channels with customers that otherwise would have been lost leads or sales.

For more information, check out our guide to Setting Up a Facebook Ad Retargeting Campaign.