Group coupons can certainly attract more customers through your door, but some small businesses struggle with turning those group coupon customers into returning customers. However, with the right approach group coupons can be a worthwhile activity and a great tool to grow your business.
Group Coupon Tips for Small Business
1. Don't discount your signature product
Ideally, don't discount your company's flagship products. You want the value of your signature offering to be consistent for every customer. Remember, your flagship products and services are the reason your small business worth patronizing, so discount only add-ons or additional products or services that you offer.
2. If one is good, several are better
Don't rely on only one discounted item; offer customers bundled coupons if they make a purchase. And be sure to give your customers a reason for to return, such as a set date for a future discount.
3. Build a network from your initial discount offer
Make sure to capture your customers' information, and have systems in place to track not only your customers' contact information, but a record of their purchases. By tracking your customers' purchases and behavior patterns, you can offer them discounts based on past purchases via social media and other platforms.
We can't overstate the importance of building a network of customers through social media or an email list. Knowing what products your customers buy most often can help you tailor your marketing and social media activities, and it lets you offer personalized discounts based on holidays and special family events.
Building a strong customer network lets you stay connected with your customers, paves the way for future offers and makes it easier for you to deliver a positive experience.
4. Stress word-of-mouth
It's a proven fact that recommendations from friends on social media are far more powerful than any advertising, so take advantage of this. Offer customers immediate or future discounts for "sharing" your products and services on their social media platforms. If customers participate in your social media campaigns, reward them regularly with special offers and discounts. Building a social media presence for your business is a great way to grow a fan base. Texting campaigns also work well and play a large role in building customer loyalty.
5. Communicate your value
When you discount a product or service, make sure your customers know the value they're receiving. Don't just put a percentage of the savings; make sure to clearly communicate what the product would cost without the coupon.
6. Until we meet again
Make sure to offer a coupon for return visitors the first time they purchase your product or service, and make sure you deliver a positive experience on a prospective customer's first visit. Give them a reason to keep coming back, and if you can regularly change your offerings, your customers are more likely to come back to your site or your store. Discounts can usually drive return customers if they had a good experience the first time.
Coupons are useful – and almost expected -- in today's daily business environment. They provide a way to introduce a business or service to a new audience, and you can use them as a word-of-mouth social strategy. To make sure they work for your small business, it's important to do it right the first time, to gain and retain your customers' attention so that your business grows.
Connie Certusi is the general manager of Sage's Small Business Solutions.
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