Keys to a Successful Digital Coupon Campaign

Digital coupons in general and mobile coupons specifically have reached the point where businesses can’t really afford to continue a wait-and-see perspective. 36% of coupon users increased the use of paperless coupons so far this year and 32% of consumers prefer to receive offers via smartphone. Furthermore, discounts received on mobile devices influenced 67% of consumers’ decisions about where to shop.

What’s more, 72% of consumers look for coupons on their smartphone while inside a store. That percentage jumps to 90% for Millennials alone. Nearly 60% of consumers would have a more positive opinion of a retailer that started sending coupons and other offers that could be saved on their smartphones.

Of course, the uptick in use isn’t the only reason you should consider adopting a digital coupon strategy. It provides convenience, not only to the customer but to you as well. Digital coupons are easy to distribute and accept, and they’re much more affordable to create. It can be considered environmentally responsible because you aren’t printing a host of coupons. Digital coupons can help your business meet increasing customer expectations for cross-device digital engagement, and often fit snugly with your other digital marketing efforts.

For instance, both Android Pay and Apple Pay feature options for coupon redemption at POS. When managed correctly, especially in conjunction with an app, these coupons can also unlock insights about consumer spending and interests. That also means you’ll give yourself a competitive edge in the market and with new customers.

Beginning a Digital Coupon Campaign

If you decide to use digital and mobile coupons, remember to start by developing them the way you would develop any coupon offer.

Nearly a third of coupon users (31%) want a specific dollar amount off of their purchase. You still need to focus on the three key parts of a coupon as well:

  1. Headline
  2. Image
  3. Offer

The offer is especially important—you don’t want to create an offer that sacrifices revenue to the point that you can’t pay operational costs.

You also need to be aware of the platforms your audience uses, or you’ll essentially waste your marketing efforts. For instance, UK mobile brand Orange (now EE) offered a two-for-one ticket coupon that was only valid on Wednesdays at local cinemas. Customers had to text a code word to an Orange promotional number in order to receive the coupon code. The brand issued 300, 000 coupons each week, effectively boosting ticket sales on a day that didn’t see much business without hurting high-sale days.

You should also learn about and adopt the processes and technologies recommended by standardization organizations, like GS1. This will help you utilize common, secure, and interworking platforms.

Following are a number of specific necessary elements to developing and managing your digital coupon campaign.

Crucial Coupon Campaign Elements

Create Targeted Campaigns

Targeting always makes consumer engagement more effective, so start with a specific goal, select a specific segment, and tailor your campaign offer and coupon creative specifically for your target audience.

Utilize psychological persuasion tactics (e.g., authority, liking, social proof) and leverage the concepts of scarcity and urgency to improve opt-in and redemption rates.

Coupon management platforms or apps can sometimes help you develop segments, but they can definitely help you design and distribute your campaign, including the creative. Valpak has more than proven its efficacy in targeting based on its direct mail coupons, and our SEO-optimized digital coupons are an equally powerful tool.

Distribute Coupon Promotions

Unlike the coupons you put in the newspaper, you need to promote your digital and mobile coupon offers. Fortunately, this opens up new opportunities for reaching customers in an extremely targeted way.

For instance, if a customer has abandoned their cart for a lengthy period of time, an email or text message reminding them of the cart and offering a discount on their next purchase can diminish churn. In fact, sharing coupons via email is itself lucrative: 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase in response to a promotional email.

Social media is also a strong platform on which to leverage discounts—just remember to follow social media best practices and don’t over promote on those channels. You should also take advantage of partner blogs, specialized landing pages that SEM advertising can direct to, and even website popups for customers whose digital cart reaches a certain dollar amount.

Manage Coupon Fraud

Coupon fraud is no small thing—it’s responsible for $600 million lost annually. Coupons that are utilized online or through mobile devices are just as much a part of fraudulent activity as coupons sent out in newspapers and direct mail.

Fortunately, there are methods you can use to limit fraudulent redemptions. Start by clearly defining date and time restrictions; the expiration window will limit the scope of fraudulent behavior while also enhancing the sense of scarcity. Similarly, dynamic visuals like countdown clocks can prevent most screenshot fraud while increasing the sense of urgency.

On a more technical level, unique URLs help prevent fraudulent discount sites from cannibalizing them while providing brands with the means to shut down access and single-use codes are only capable of working once. Above all, monitor reports regularly and analyze them for strange or non-organic behavior; you’ll be able to note multiples, inappropriate price deductions, and more for investigation.

Engage with Refer-a-Friend

Helping a friend save money is the type of altruism everyone can get behind, but it helps to remember that people are more likely to take advantage of an offer when it’s referred to them by a friend, as well. You can incentivize this by offering additional promotions to the customer making the recommendation if their friend takes advantage of the sale. Take advantage of every channel your customers utilize to maximize impact, especially email, social, and SMS.

Measure Campaign Performance

Like every other kind of marketing, monitoring the performance of your campaign is key. It ensures your targeting and distribution strategies are working and helps to identify fraud before it gets out of hand.

A coupon management system will help you leverage tactics that help you avoid fraud (e.g., unique codes) to track specific customer conversions and further customize what coupons and offers are sent to them.

Inasmuch as it can give a very personalized view, a coupon management system can also provide wide angle views that assist with geo-fenced segmentation, redemption rates, and average time to redemption.

Valpak provides a performance tracking dashboard that allows you to view clicks, calls, responses, and redemptions across each campaign you run with us, including direct mail campaigns.

Developing a digital coupon campaign and setting up the processes to accept mobile coupons doesn’t have to be intimidating. The tips we’ve outlined above should help you to leverage mobile coupons to your advantage and give you an edge over your competitors.

And of course, as a leader in digital coupon promotions and distributions, Valpak would be an excellent marketing partner for you. Let us help you develop your next campaign and take advantage of our performance dashboard to track success.

Go Digital with a Mobile Coupon Campaign Today

  • Review your current marketing efforts and determine if a coupon campaign could be right for you. Have you used them before? What worked? What didn’t?
  • With consumers turning to their smartphones for more and more ways to shop and pay, mobile is a strong way to reach most audiences. Review your current mobile efforts to determine if a path to digital coupons is already in place.
  • Review your digital outreach to determine the best channels for promoting a new digital coupon campaign.
  • Put processes in place to monitor and manage your coupon campaign. See our list of the most crucial elements above and ensure these are included.