5 Creative and Cool Ways to Use Coupon Codes

16 May 2016
by John Foley

Coca Cola launched the first ever paper coupon in 1887 that entitled the bearer to a free soft drink. Over the century, more brands followed suit with what was considered revolutionary couponing from holiday specials to flyers.

Today’s couponers are looking for savvy digital strategies to save money before ever stepping out the door or shopping online. A survey by Synqera found nearly two-thirds of Americans coupon-browsed instead of window-browsed during the holiday season. But it takes more than just a coupon code to get people to click “Buy.” Use these creative strategies for using coupon codes to attract new customers and improve your retention.

Combine Old-School with New

SM_May2016Your best bet at success is combining more than one effective strategy that’s worked for your company in the past. Start by using a QR code, but with a twist. Instead of downloading a coupon from an ad, dedicate a separate domain for your coupons with an incentive for mobile users to sign up.

For example, RoomsToGoCoupons.com features a QR code directly on its site with the option to just type in your mobile number instead. If a user scans the QR code, they get the Rooms To Go app with updates for coupons and a store locator. With the downloaded app, customers are also entered to win a lucrative gift card.

Partner Up

Tap into your professional network’s following to entice new sign-ups to your coupon email list. If you’re a graphic design company, you can partner up with copywriters and then benefit each other through a referral system. Ask your copywriting partners to include your code in their next email blast in return for a percentage of the revenue or by returning the favor.

Lean on Influencers

Neil Patrick Harris and Seth Rogen shouted out tweets to give fans their Uber coupon codes to get $20 off their first ride. Uber claims they didn’t put the celebrities up to it, and those celebrities also get a $20 credit for themselves. But it’s still a strategy you can use for your own business. Maybe you don’t personally know a movie star, but probably have followers on your social media channels who are influencers. Those influencers may be professional couponers with tens of thousands of followers who are willing to partner with you.

Make It Personable

A few years ago, U.K. ad agency Made By Stupid pioneered the concept of QR code mix tapes. Users could create a Spotify playlist for a friend or loved one and send a greeting card with a QR code that led to the mix. Get inspired by this concept and create a campaign around sharing. Offer your loyal customers a deeper discount than normal if they’ll send along your QR code to friends and family.

Keep It Relevant

According to research from Google conducted with Ipsos Media CT and Sterling Brand, 85 percent of shoppers say they would be more likely to shop in places that offer personalized coupons and exclusive offers in-store. But catering your coupons to your customer’s tastes is just the first step. Include an additional offer for a higher-priced premium offer that you think they would want as an upgrade. That coupon can be contingent on buying the item your analytics system predicts customers will buy at a reduced price.

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