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One of the biggest giants in the beverage industry, Coca-Cola, birthed the idea of the coupon. The consequence? Coke gave away an estimated 8.5 million free drinks and completely changed the way businesses market. In what was a last ditch effort to sell drinks, ended up turning a struggling soda company into a hugely successful global enterprise.

The significance of today’s coupon era can clearly be accredited to this rags to riches story. But much has changed since the late 19th century. With 127.5 million Americans using digital coupons in 2016, a growth rate of 5.2%, customers are clicking not clipping. Stay competitive by creating an effective digital coupon with these tips:

Create Sense Of Urgency

With call-to-action messaging and expiration dates, your coupon can fuel a sense of urgency. To do so, coupons need to have a short life span, evoking the feeling of missing out (FOMO). The social psychology behind FOMO simply means that people don’t want to lose out on something.

Customer FOMO goes into effect when merchants offer coupons for a limited time, making the item seem exclusive—a catalyst to an immediate customer response. Incorporating thoughtful messaging can help drive sales; use call out actions like, “Save For A Limited Time Only” and “Act Now.”

Work In Reciprocity

In addition to the long term benefits of coupons like, customer loyalty, attracting new customers, and maximizing your bottom line, you can leverage coupons to get an immediate reward.

One example is requiring that customers put in their email address to redeem their coupon code. Why? Because the code may go unredeemed, in fact NCH reported that in 2013, 315 billion coupons were issued in the U.S. and only 2.8 billion were redeemed. For those customers that do not follow through with coupon purchases, you can now track their email information and follow up with customers to make up for lost revenue.

Geo-Targeted Advertising

The success of a coupon relies on its advertising. Implementing geo-targeted advertising, takes advantage of GPS technology to reach nearby customers. With this technology, you can alert shoppers in your area and enable current customers to interact with your brand in-store and on their phone.  

Coupons sent via mobile are more likely to be opened and redeemed because of how often people check their phones. Accessibility, relevance, and timing is key to the success of a digital coupon.

Gather Purchase Data

Digital coupons make it simple for businesses to track data. Stay informed about your customers’ buying patterns with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology. Document a customer’s order history and synchronize this information with a customer profile to better tailor your offerings according to what the customer wants. Customer data enables the business owner to make informed decisions and decide what is best for the customer and the business.

Catering your rewards so that your low dollar and high dollar customers claim different coupons based on their spending habits, will increase customer satisfaction, prevent loss, and attract new customers. When distributing coupons, it’s important to remember that your rewards should align with customer preferences and not merely be used an opportunity for you to offload unsuccessful inventory.

Since its humble beginnings the coupon has been a staple of our economy. And with a Loyalty Program that integrates with a Point of Sale platform, you can now customize your coupons and track and tier your customers, allowing for them to integrate with you in your store, on your app, or online. Loyalty programs, when done right, allow customers to save money and businesses to make money.

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