Direct mail response rates rebounded sharply in 2016. According to the DMA, the rates were the highest since 2003. House list response rates were 5.3% and prospect list rates responses were 2.9%. With numbers like those, competition for both print and digital coupon redemptions will only increase in 2017.
That means it’s more crucial than ever that you design a coupon that will reach out and grab the attention of your target audience.
Yes, 81% of consumers use coupons regularly according to NCH. Sure, you have your loyal clientele that will always support you regardless of your offer and will use your coupon. But we’re betting your primary reason for using coupons is to entice new prospects to give your business a try. So it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make sure the coupons you create are as effective as possible.
Valpak developed The Best Practices to Creating Coupons that Get Results: A Coupon Lookbook to help you with your coupon creative from start to finish. Here are the highlights of how to create an effective coupon, but to benefit the most from all the best practices and successful coupon examples, be sure to download the FREE Coupon Lookbook.
To increase response and redemption of your coupons, you’ll want to consider three things: the headline, the design, and the offer.
Key 1: The Coupon Headline
What makes your coupon stand out? It starts with the headline. It’s the first thing potential customers see, making it the most important piece to get right. It’s typical for consumers to just take a quick glance at the headline, so you need to make sure the consumer wants to read the rest. There are a few things you want to remember when creating your headline:
- Answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
- Know your audience – Produce a headline that creates a need or desire
- Keep headlines concise – 8 words or less
- And of course, your headline should be at the top of your layout
Key 2: The Coupon Image
The best coupon design includes an image that will reinforce your headline and offer. It’s almost always good to use photography when advertising by mail as it taps into consumer emotions. That said, it’s important that your images are positive, happy, and identifies with the consumer, creating a connection. A positive image will not only associate happiness with your brand, but it makes your ad that much more appealing and it’s more likely that the consumer will take action. Remember, a single, large image is better than multiple small images. The best coupon designs will build desire and persuade consumers to take immediate action.
Key 3: The Coupon Offer
Now that you’ve got their attention with the headline and the image, keep them engaged with a clear, concise and valuable offer. Your specific offer is going to depend on your audience and your industry, but the goal is always going to be the same: To increase the value of your brand for consumers. You may want to try multiple offers to speak to a wider audience or to test effectiveness. Be very specific on your expiration date to inspire customers to act fast. Also ensure that your disclaimer of limitations is clear, so you don’t set yourself up for potential problems. Avoid a “bait and switch” approach. It may bring consumers in, but it will rarely convert them into customers.
Create The Best Coupons Today
Spend some time reviewing your previous direct mail advertising and coupon designs. Are there ways you can improve them in the future using these 3 tips for the best coupon design? If you focus on getting these 3 crucial aspects right, you’re bound to have a higher success rate. Are you interested in learning more about designing your coupons and direct mail ads? Would you like to see some successful examples and learn coupon best practices? Download our FREE Coupon Lookbook and use it as a guide for creating your future direct mail advertising. You can also reach out to your Valpak sales representative for help.