The coupon is a handy marketing tactic that dates back to the late 1800s and is still a staple in attracting and keeping customers. What started out as a paper-based communication has consistently reinvented itself. Everyone loves a bargain. That fact doesn’t change. What does change is the way people choose to collect, store, and redeem coupons. These little paper clippings have consistently reinvented themselves through newspaper, direct mail, and most recently, e-commerce sites like Groupon. The next step in the evolution of coupons is Mobile.
“Mobile coupons” are limited-time offers sent directly to customer phones. They are now on par with their paper counterparts as a preferred way to receive special offers. In fact, it is estimated that over 139 million adults will use digital coupons in 2019 alone.
Put the deals where their eyes are.
Consider these stats:
- 95% of Americans own a cellphone of some kind.
- 77% of those who own a cellphone have a smartphone.
- 94% of Americans age 18 – 29 have a smartphone.
- 1 in 5 Americans access the internet exclusively through a smartphone.
Smartphones have changed the way people receive communications from simple SMS texting to email and even social. The best coupon apps make it easy to distribute your mobile deals through multiple channels. For example, Clover’s free app, Promos, enables merchants to send offers to customers a number of ways—through email, SMS, and Facebook—from one place. Expanding your channels increases the likelihood that your customers will see and be reminded of the deal, creating more opportunities to get them through your door.
Customers use their phones while shopping.
- 69% of customers surveyed prefer to store and redeem coupons on their phone.
- Over 75% of consumers surveyed use mobile while in store to look for coupons and discounts.
Mobile coupons are easy to redeem. All that’s required is to show the QR code for scanning at checkout. It’s a frictionless transaction, but there are still ways the transaction can go wrong. Have you ever been excited about a coupon only to lose out on the deal because of a technicality? Don’t let that happen to your customers. They may not forgive you. There are plenty of ways to be creative with digital coupons. (More on that later.) Don’t get fancy with the terms. Stick to tried and true offers like “Buy One Get One,” a free sample, or a percentage off (simple amounts so it’s easy to do the math). Real Offers is an easy way to offer simple discounts and promotions or any creative offer you decide to any of your existing customers.
Move past loyalty to relevance.
- 71% of consumers surveyed admitted that loyalty incentive programs don’t make them loyal at all.
- 58% of consumers surveyed visit a store, restaurant or business after receiving an offer on their mobile phone.
In fact, it’s actually an immediate need that is more likely to motivate a purchase. Build a deeper, more personal relationship with your customers by using mobile promotions to cater to their most relevant needs at that moment. MixaWallet Personalized Offers lets you create digital promotions targeted to specific customers based upon how they shop. Your mobile offers are sent to customers via email, text messages and/or the MixaWallet mobile app. Demonstrating that you understand your customers will earn you true loyalty and increase visits in the long run.
Show your personality!
Even though we suggest keeping the coupon deals simple, your whole coupon program needs to be boring. Take the opportunity to reinforce the personality of your brand through the creative execution of your campaign. Is your business based on being the “caring friend?” Time your coupons so they arrive when your customers need special reminders. Is your brand voice more of an “irreverent dude?” Use the text in the coupon to make your customers laugh.
If you need inspiration, you can find it each month on the Clover Promo Calendar. Based on our best practices what type of mobile coupons would you create to celebrate unexpected holidays like National Matchmaker Day or National Coffee Day?
Launch your first digital coupon campaign.
As with anything associated with your business, it’s important to be mindful of how you plan and execute your campaign. Here are six simple steps to get you started:
- Begin with a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goal. Perhaps you need to sell perishable items before they go stale.
- Find the best coupon apps in the Clover App Market. Choose what’s right for you.
- Think about your most valued customers and what motivates them to act.
- Create a simple offer targeting your best clients and write copy to build rapport with them.
- When you launch your campaign, be sure to give your customers enough time to redeem the coupon. For example, if you want to move product during a specific time of day, then run that special for a full week. It’ll give your customers enough time to adjust their schedule to take advantage of the offer.
- Compare sales before the promotion with sales during the promotion to see if there is a noticeable difference.
Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.