Give Out Coupon Codes
Coupon codes can be a pretty handy tool to attract new and repeat customers. However, it’s important to make sure discounting fits into your overall brand strategy.
Racing to the bottom to become the “low-price” leader can have a disastrous effect if you’re not careful. Sometimes, it’s better to not lower prices and wiser to devote your energy to providing outstanding service and an overall unique brand experience.
In any case, running an ecommerce business is all about experimentation and finding out what works best. Let’s go over some of the ways you can use coupon codes to attract and delight customers.
Go After New Customers with Coupon Codes
If you’re hungry to make your first sales and you’re more into experimentation than having rigid brand development standards, then here are a few ways to competitively go after new customers.
For your most popular items, simply tweet out coupon codes and append a hashtag for the keyword or brand name that is associated with these items:
You may want to tweet out your coupon codes a few times a day to get them more attention. Be sure to switch up your tweet sentences so you’re not duplicating tweets.
Facebook now allows you to use hashtags as well. But in order to get a better Facebook response, upload a photo of your product along with a short message regarding the promotion.
How To Use Coupons Without Hurting Your Brand
Although we are warning you about developing a culture of discounting, that doesn’t mean coupon codes can’t be used occasionally or even intelligently. Here are some ways to use coupon codes without hurting your brand.
Inventory that just won’t move
This is the most obvious place to use coupon codes. Nothing is more dangerous than sitting on inventory that won’t sell. In this case you can create coupon codes targeted to move these items. You can either give a straight percentage discount on individual items or make them free when a certain dollar amount is reached on an order.
For example: “All orders over $100 get a free toaster cover. Use coupon code: TOAST100”
Showing customer appreciation
Customers who have remained loyal are any business’s best friend. This is simply because it cost so much more to acquire new customers than to keep old ones. A great way to show your appreciation is to email old customers coupon codes to show thanks for their continued support of your brand.
Reward new customers with automatic discounts
One way to build customer loyalty is to automatically apply discounts towards their first purchase with your business, but without telling them upfront. Alternately, you can waive their shipping fee for first time purchases. Surprise is a great tactic to make lifetime customers.
Marketing On Coupon Code Websites
If you’re really itching to get your online store known and get that first sale, you may want to put your coupon codes on websites that get a lot of traffic from coupon seekers. The drawback is that these websites target people looking for the lowest prices and aren’t necessarily looking to become brand followers.
Here are a few websites that you can market your coupons on:
- RetailMeNot – You can submit your coupons here: http://www.retailmenot.com/submit.php
- Coupons.com – This website emphasizes their ability to target mobile shoppers.
- Slickdeals.net –Has been around since 1999 and provides a free, user driven deal sharing site for coupon collaboration.
If you’re going to experiment with giving coupons out, think about how they fit into your overall business strategy. Also, check your local consumer protection laws on coupon expiration dates and usage rules.