Online Coupons: A Must-Have Marketing Tool for Small Business

Introduction

Nearly everyone loves a bargain. If you have an online business, or even if you maintain an online presence for your brick-and-mortar establishment (which you should), coupons are an excellent means to entice curious onlookers into becoming paying customers. If your small business isn’t offering online coupons, you’re missing out on a real opportunity to grow your customer base.

 

However, all online coupons are not created equal. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be better served to create your own coupons. In other cases, participating in an affiliate coupon program is more efficient. In still other instances, creating a dedicated landing page for your company’s online coupons is the best approach.  However you decide to offer online coupons, your approach must be fresh and targeted to stand out from a crowded field.

 

Creating Your Own Coupons

 

Creating your own coupons allows your company to retain complete latitude about what type of offer you will make available, expiration date, qualifying purchases and similar aspects. When creating your own online coupons you have total control over the look of the coupon itself as well as its placement and distribution.

 

Your budget plays a large role in how you distribute coupons that you create yourself. Sending emails to current customers, posting tweets to your Twitter followers or offering a coupon available only to Facebook fans are all economical approaches to offering online coupons to people who are likely to appreciate and use them. Posting a YouTube video or a banner ad involves somewhat more expense, but also increases the potential reach for your coupon. Offering your coupon through outlets such as Living Social or Groupon represents a major dollar expense. However, the potential reach to audiences that had previously remained untapped is almost unlimited.

 

Coupon Affiliate Programs

 

Offering your coupon through an online coupon affiliate program takes much of the worry out of the process.  Depending on the reach of the coupon network, your offer could find its way to hundreds, if not thousands, of potential customers. However, you run the risk of your coupon becoming just one in a cast of thousands, potentially diluting your company’s brand presence. You also do not have control over the distribution of your coupon, which could result in your coupon being offered along with coupons from your competitors. Worst of all, you run the risk of alienating customers if, for whatever reasons, your coupon does not work.

Coupon Landing Pages

 

In the post-Panda and post-Farmer online world, the idea of creating landing pages specifically for company coupons should give any business owner pause. However, you should not allow the potential wrath of Google scare you away entirely from the idea of a coupon landing page. Instead, focus on ensuring that your page loads quickly, the message to customers is clear, the message and offers contained in your page are transparent – and that the page itself is well designed. These factors ensure that your coupon landing page’s Quality Score – the metric by which Google judges website landing pages – is high

 

Getting the Most from Your Online Coupons

 

Running a successful online coupon campaign requires forethought and efficiency. Knowing your company’s present and potential customer base can save you from wasting money on distributing your coupons to audiences that are unlikely to use them. You must also maintain a hands on approach to monitoring your online coupons during the online life of your campaign.

 

Questions to consider include which coupons seem to resonate better with consumers overall.  Did certain coupons seem to do better with different audiences? Did you obtain increased reach through participating in an affiliate program? Measuring and analyzing the analytics of your online coupons allows you to refine your approach for future online coupon offers.

 

For Further Reading

Business Know How: How to Put the Profit-Producing Power of Couponing to Work for You

Coupon Network: Frequently Asked Questions

CouponZor: Build Beautiful Coupon Landing Pages for Your Business

Demand Mart: Digital Coupons Can be an Effective Marketing Tool

Entrepreneur: Coupons

Google: Understanding Landing Page Experience

HomeInc. Business Center: How to Advertise With Coupons

NuWire Investor: Which Marketing Tool Is Better For Small Businesses, Coupons Or Daily Deals?

Redfly: How to Build Landing Pages That Work

SarahBundy.com: Essential “Need to Knows” for Affiliate Coupon Management

UnBounce: Create a Landing Page Design Concept in 10 Minutes 

 

About the Author: Post contributed by Guy Ascher for http://www.couponcodes4u.com. Guy is an avid researcher and freelance writer. He’s recently been researching how companies can use couponing as a powerful marketing tool and publishing his findings on various business oriented sites. 

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  1. Pingback: The Best Small Business Marketing News & Blog Posts So Far This Month — November 2012 – DIYSEO

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