Coupon Marketing: A Top Level Perspective

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10: The Groupon logo is di...

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Internet Coupon Marketing is increasingly growing in popularity.  According to  Natalie Wuchenich the Director of  Research for the Local Search Association and the National Marketing Division (NMD) in an 25 July 2011 article, Why Mobile & Online Coupons Are Fastest-Growing Platforms For Local Business Advertising. Internet coupon marketing offers small business owners a fantastic opportunity to use Internet marketing to advertise, market and promote their business.  However, doesn't it make sense to first learn how to use coupon marketing to maximize your return on your advertising dollars.  Coupon marketing can significantly add to your bottom line.  It can also cost you a small fortune if you don't understand the different coupon marketing services available.

Online daily deal coupons are quickly growing in popularity among consumers, with nearly 4 in 10 local searchers having purchased one." The operative word here is "purchased."  I don't know, this kind of seems silly to me.  Why would I purchase a coupon.  Yet, there are a lot of people that do.

By daily deal coupons she is referring to large companies like Groupon and LivingSocial, which capture most of the US market (about 90 percent).  For a great Infographic and article that explains daily deals read  Daily Deals: A Lasting Sale or Just the Latest Craze?  But, I'll summarize how these daily deals work.

Typically, these daily deal sites discount an offer by 50 percent.  That's right, a business just discounted it's product by half.  I wonder what the margin was?  Then, the daily deal site takes 50 percent of the sale.  The business keeps the remaining 25 percent.  No wonder Google tried to buy Groupon for a reported cool $6 Billion.

It's this lost revenue on the part of the business and several other factors that have experts wondering if these daily deals are here to stay or whether they are just a passing fad!

So, a Rice University Associate Professor has attempted to take this issue head on. His study revealed that 66 percent of businesses surveyed for his study were profitable using daily deals, yet he does recommend that "this industry needs to retool to stay viable" in his paper How Businesses Fare with Daily Deals  (Utpal M. Dholakia)

But, as a small business owner, you don't have the time to read these studies and reports.  Your interest is in your bottom line.  You are concerned about how to track your results.  You want units of measurement, and you need tangible proof that your advertising is working.  And, you get that when someone hands you a coupon!

You also probably know Internet marketing works, you have a website.  You know of Facebook.  You see major companies advertise on TV each night telling you, as a consumer, to follow them on Facebook. So, you wonder, what can I do to take advantage of this to get more customers.

In my opinion, you are probably familiar and have used coupon marketing. And, you have done so with at least a reasonable amount of success.  If you are uncertain about which daily deal coupon site to use, you are probably most likely to go with one of the two larger daily deal sites like Groupon or LivingSocial.

But, let's get back to that Rice Study! "I found some interesting conclusions. I think these findings show that social promotion companies need to better balance consumer appeal with positive outcomes for the small businesses offering them," Dholakia said. "Right now, these deals are tilted too far in consumers’ favor."

Dholakia outlined some strategies for success:

  • Use promotions for building relationships instead of creating one-time transactions. Instead of offering $60 worth of food for $30, parcel it out to offer $20 worth of food for $10 over the customer's next three visits.

  • Don't offer discounts on a total bill; rather, offer a specified discount for various products or services.

I totally agree with what I think is the basic premise here. The bottom line and most important component of coupon marketing is establishing relationship!  Why? A small business owners major challenge is turning these relationships into repeat buyers or loyal customers.  This is a challenge worth pursuing!  In fact, just a 5 percent increase in repeat customers has shown to translate into a 25 percent increase in annual sales.

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Social Media Marketing: ZPON Digital Coupons on Facebook

coupton marketing on facebookSocial Media Marketing works!  It is effectively replacing more traditional small business advertising with a highly convertible cost effect method that leverages the major advantages of social media marketing... sharing and referring information with friends.

ZPON is a new program that takes this to the next level.  It leverages the over 500 million users on Facebook and combines the every popular coupon marketing strategies that are so popular with small business marketing.  If you have a mailbox, you are familiar with coupon marketing. It's the stuff you most likely toss into your recycle bin.  Small business owners are committing significant advertising dollars to these campaigns in the hope that a certain percentage of these coupons drive new customers to their business.  In other words, they achieve a certain level of return on their investment (ROI).

Yet, a lot of small business owners have yet to realize that a substantial number of their potential customers are making their purchasing decisions based on what they find on the Internet via their computers, "pads" and smart phones.  Today's shopper wants immediate solutions to their problems.  That may be over simplistic, so let me put it another way... they want immediate gratification. offer and previewHere is how it works. You set up a campaign... with assistance from our staff.  You essentially create an offer.  Lets say you are a restaurant owner and your offer is "Like us to receive a free appetizer with your next dinner."

The software creates your coupon with your offer and a unique URL to be used in your campaigns.  When someone clicks on that URL, they are taken to what we call a Fangate (Shown Below). All the customer needs to do is click on the Like button to receive your offer.

That Like will then appear on their Facebook wall for their friends to see and share. They are essentially referring your offer to all their friends.  And, according to Facebook, the average user has 130 friends.

This is the viral nature of Facebook and this is why it can be so powerful in your marketing campaigns!

Fangate Coupon Offer

Fan Gate Appears above Your Website

ZPON combines the viral sharing characteristics of Facebook with coupon marketing to give the small business owner a track-able, low cost alternative to more expensive traditional direct mail campaigns. . Plus, using QR Code technology (not shown), it can provide immediate gratification to the customer.  Furthermore, unlike some other coupon marketing services on the Internet, there is no revenue sharing.  And, there are no monthly fees.  You only pay for your campaigns and they are good until you tell us to end them.

Digital coupon Marketing on Facebook