Consumers are constantly getting bombarded by sales, limited-time offers, and other discounts from well-known brands and big businesses that are vying for their time, attention, and their money. So, as a local business owner without the name-brand recognition of a larger corporation or wholesaler, how do you make your business stand out and get consumers to your storefront?
Future-use coupons can help you get customers to return to your business without the added pressure to spend now or lose out on a discount or incentive. And while the traditional approach of getting a Sunday newspaper and clipping coupons is still an effective short-term strategy for getting consumers into your store, future-use coupons allow businesses to target consumers during times where there has historically been a lull in sales. And they can be especially useful now when consumers are wary to visit stores in person at all.
For instance, let’s say you’re a retailer based in the New England area. After the initial holiday rush, you may see a drop-off in people visiting your storefront in the winter. Coupons given out during the holidays with a use date of January of the following year could be a great way to re-engage customers and get them to return to your business.
Let’s take a look at the different types of coupons and how you can implement a future-use coupon strategy that reinvigorates your business and pulls in repeat customers.
Digital Future-Use Coupons
Digital coupons are discounts and promotions that retailers use to reach current and prospective customers online. These are typically the coupon codes you see on a website in the sale section, but they can also be sent out to consumers online to use in person at a later date.
You can distribute digital coupons in a myriad of ways, including sending directly to consumers by text or email or by posting the coupon to social media or through paid advertisements.
Digital coupons are fairly easy to implement since you don’t have to worry about printing them, but they also lack the personal touch that physical coupons provide and can often get lost in the shuffle. So, if you’re implementing this future-use coupon, you may consider sending reminder text or emails and reminding customers about the coupon on your website, social sites, and in your ads.
Physical Future-Use Coupons
Physical future-use coupons are a great way to provide customers with a positive experience and keep your brand top of mind as they try to remember they have that coupon, or end up storing it in a place that is visible year-round (hopefully right next to their kids A+ spelling quiz that they hung on the fridge).
Below are three types of physical future-use coupons that you can implement today!
1. Post-Purchase Coupon:
When a customer makes a purchase, you can provide them with a physical coupon that they take home and store until the future-use date. In this instance, you may distribute the coupons from October until the end of December and make it usable after January 1st of the following year. This type of coupon is great for driving customers to your business during a time you might typically experience a slower season.
2. Next Purchase Coupon:
For this coupon type, the coupon you’d give your customer at their purchase would be an offer for their next visit with you. This is a great option if you’re looking for a way to drive repeat business in a short period of time.
3. Newspaper Coupons:
Creating an advertisement that contains a coupon in your local paper could translate to new consumers visiting your business or purchasing your services. While this option does come with a price tag, it can also help to build brand awareness in your community.
Donut underestimate the power of a physical coupon – here are some examples, courtesy of Aunt Karen’s Bakery!
You’re offering coupons to promote your business and encourage consumers to visit you – so it’s important to track the effectiveness of your future-use coupon program. You wouldn’t pay for an ad online without the ability to see how many people viewed it and clicked on it, and the same goes for discounts, promotions, and offers.
By using coupon codes, you’ll be able to differentiate how the customer received your coupon, whether digitally (via email, text, social media, paid ad), or physically (via local newspaper or in-store). Once a coupon has reached its expiration date, you can then look back to see how many people turned the coupon in and how much revenue was made from those purchases. Then you can make smarter decisions on how you want to release coupons in the future.
To see an example of this in practice, look back at the Karen’s Bakery coupons and notice the codes we implemented to differentiate where the consumer received the coupon.
Whether you’re testing out coupons in general or you’re trying to create an overarching coupon strategy, future-use coupons are a great way to get repeat business and build brand awareness.
If you aren’t sure where to begin with releasing digital or physical coupons, we’re here to help! Fill out the form below to speak with a marketing expert in your area!