More and more people are shopping on the internet, and everyone loves a deal, so how can you make the most of coupon advertising online?
Below are four ways that small businesses can attract new customers without breaking the bank.
1. Twitter Coupons
Social media has exploded into a social marketplace where businesses are getting new customers simply because friends are talking about their activities and experiences with their friends. As an online marketer, you can apply coupons to this equation and reap the benefits of referral marketing combined with discounted pricing.
There is a service called TwtQpon where marketers can create online coupons that they can advertise on their websites, and of course Twitter and Facebook. People who want to use the coupon must tweet to claim it, so this coupon service offers the benefit of having advertising built right in.
These Twitter coupons can be redeemed online using a special code or printed out using a smartphone. Thus, it’s a versatile option for businesses with a physical storefront that want to reach customers online.
Possible Drawbacks: If your target market doesn’t use twitter, well, this may not be your best option.
2. Mobile Coupons
Mobile coupons are all about being in the right place at the right time. If you have worked in marketing at all, you know that this type of positioning can determine whether or not an ad campaign is successful.
Instead of waiting for shoppers to find a coupon, business owners can now reach them on their smartphones while they are actually out shopping nearby and in the buying mood (right place, right time). A company called Yowza has developed an app that allows consumers to see what deals are happening in their area. Shoppers show the Yowza deal to the merchant (via the smartphone) to redeem the offer. Users can download the app for free, so cost is not a deterrent.
Possible Drawbacks: This type of coupon advertising service may be better suited for businesses wanting to attract local customers, since the app targets shoppers by their geographic location.
3. Website Coupons
If you want to advertise special deals exclusively to your own customers or you are on a tight budget and don’t want to pay a monthly fee, you can design coupons and have them available to download on your site.
If you aren’t a coding or graphics wizard, companies like Free Coupon Maker or One Minute Coupon offer a free coupon design service. Marketers can use these programs to create their coupons online and then upload them to their websites where visitors can download and print them.
Possible Drawbacks: Websites that do not receive significant traffic or have a large customer base may not want to rely solely on this coupon advertising method.
4. Advertise Your Coupons on Other Websites
Recently there has been a lot of press about “Extreme Couponing”, which has led many bargain shoppers to the internet searching for coupons. Large coupon websites often list a variety of different coupons from lots of different companies, making it a one-stop-shop for coupon seekers.
Possible Drawbacks: Advertising on high traffic coupon sites like Retail Me Not and Coupon Winner can offer lots of exposure, but there is also a significant amount of competition that goes along with it. A small business that is relatively new and unknown may easily get lost amongst all the other coupons.
Alternatively, businesses can advertise on other websites through a PPC (pay-per-click) service called Pocket Cents. Coupon ads are placed on websites within the Pocket Cents ad network and matched to the company’s particular target market. With a single ad placement, a business can gain exposure on multiple sites.
Possible Drawbacks: Websites on which the coupon ads are placed may be content sites which attract readers as opposed to shoppers.
Choose a strategy that works best for you, and coupons can be used not only to find new customers but keep them coming back as well.