Thursday, May 2, 2013

Examples of Good, Bad and Ugly Coupons

In followup to our post "Make a Good Coupon to Increase Profits" - we wanted to give you our take on coupons that perform well (and not so well). To keep up good spirits we are just putting the promotions below without naming the company offering the coupon.

Good Coupons are 'Good' because they accomplish a Goal & Increase Sales

Spend $20 and get a $10 Gift Card - (Gift Shop) Granted ten dollars isn't huge but the amount I have to spend isn't too large guess what - I have to come back in a second time to spend my ten dollar gift card. Two visits for the price of one.
Everything Ships for $2.99 - (Online Box Store) This might not be such a big discount if I'm buying jewelry or a scarf but the company also sells furniture and appliances. Granted I'm sure they have built in shipping costs in their prices but the point is - it catches your attention that you could have a couch shipped for under three dollars.
25% Off - No Exclusions - (Department Store) This is a big eye catcher for me because it says there is no fine print. It's a coupon they only offer twice a year but you can bet I am looking for it every time and ready to shop when it hits.
Free Regular Maintenance Included for 2 Years - (Car Dealer) If I do an estimation that regular car check ups and oil changes usually runs from $300 to $500 depending on the brand, this is enticing especially because I know that I will be comfortable getting the car looked at regularly which increases re-sale value.
Family Plan - Flat Rate for Up to 5 People - (Chiropractor) I included this because if you are the type of business that can give group discounts - go for it! Its a great incentive to get the whole family to shop with you which will only instill more buyer loyalty.

Bad Coupons are 'Bad' because they don't motivate for a response.

40% Off Any Single Regularly Priced Item - (Craft Store) This might not be such a bad coupon except for the ad said "Everything is On Sale" right above it.
We Pay the Sales Tax - (Hardware Store) Unless your tax rate is near 15% (yikes!) then in many cases this is less than a ten percent savings. This doesn't inspire me personally since my tax rate is 7.25% where I live and my $50 purchase would only get me $3.62 off.
10% Off - (Variety) Many businesses will probably be mad that I'm saying this kind of coupon is 'bad' but I'm being honest. If your price point only allows is an occasional 10% off discount then you might want to rethink your price point. Structure your prices so that you can offer a discount that motivates me to buy. Remember - look at what other companies are doing and what works.

Ugly Coupons are 'Ugly' because they not only don't accomplish their goal - they actually motivate people to not shop or use the business!

$1.00 Off an Office Visit - (Health Office) An office visit is a minimum of $35 so this is less than 3% Off which is a bit insulting.
25% Off for New Clients - (Hair Salon) Fabulous discount except I'm a current customer so I don't get to use it. This gets ugly when they never offer a current customer discount. Makes me want to Salon hop which is not a good thing.
$25 Off a Purchase of $200 - (Sporting Goods Store) This might be okay if I were going to purchase equipment except this discount is not valid on equipment, appliances, shoes, and many other 'high price point items.' This is an ugly coupon because it's deceptive and too much work to redeem. When competitors offer better prices or better coupons then you will lose business.

Create a Coupon Strategy and Go For It!
If you want to do a semi annual or annual deep discount coupon then plan it out and market accordingly. If you want people to consistently check your website or store for coupons then offer a variety and
consistently market them. Look at what larger companies in your industry or ones like yours are doing. If it works for them - it might work for you! Whatever you decide - plan it out and execute it. That doesn't mean you can't modify your plan as you find coupons that work or fail. It means you are taking an active role in this side of your marketing strategy.

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