With the rise of online shopping platforms like Amazon and Google Shopping, there’s no doubt that the retail marketplace is more saturated than ever. The ultimate dilemma of a small business owner, then, is to entice customers to do business with one brand over its competitors. How can this be accomplished? Discount coupons are a great way to attract new and existing customers to make a purchase. After all, offering a branded coupon is just another means of targeting a local market.
One of the biggest benefits of creating a coupon campaign for small businesses is the exposure it can often bring to new customers. Breaking the target audience’s routine of working with a competitor is easy when an offer is powerful enough. Consumers will travel far to redeem a coupon if they know that they’re getting a solid deal. Newcomers to a local market, or those who may have been considering doing business with one particular business, should also be targets for a coupon campaign. This offer should grab an audience’s attention, sell them on a brand and convert these lurkers into loyal clients.
Maximizing on Existing Customers
Another powerful benefit of coupon campaigns is that they wake up long-term customers and encourage new sales. With the right discount offer, a loyal patron of a brand who has not made a purchase in a while will be enticed to do so. Even more, consumers often walk away with more than what the coupon originally offered—because a successful coupon campaign brings in a funnel of traffic to a store or lead generator, increasing the likelihood of additional or impulse purchases.
Now that the power of couponing has been uncovered, let’s explore some tips for effectively implementing coupons and discounts into an HVAC marketing strategy:
Different Value Offers
The trick to couponing is providing customers with additional value that they would not otherwise receive. This can be done in a variety of ways. Some popular methods include offering discounts, bonuses or giveaways.
Percentage discounts, for example, often only work when the percentage is high. Offering a dollar amount off of a high-ticket item, on the other hand, can be more effective in creating value for the customer. Bonuses and giveaways include, but are not limited, to those, “Buy one, get one free” offers. The word “free” can be very enticing to customers and will often allow a business to get a larger return on the coupon. Another reason bonus or giveaway campaigns are powerful is because the business is guaranteed to generate profit regardless—leaving room to give away something of lower financial value, such as a free consultation.
Coupons are no longer limited to Sunday newspapers or magazine clippings; now, coupons are available all over the Internet. So, consider placing coupons or discount offers in the places where consumers often linger—in the digital space. This may include a business’s blog, its social media properties or in its content marketing campaigns (i.e., eBooks or newsletters). The ability to show an HVAC technician a discount offer on a smartphone, for example, can make a customer feel more secure that they won’t forget or lose the coupon. Digital offers also create the option of a landing page that captures a customer’s personal information before releasing the coupon to them. This customer list can then be used in future marketing campaigns, such as direct mail or email, bringing value to the business no matter what the offer might be.
Restrictions May Apply
Putting limits around an offer is also key, in the event that there is high demand once it is released to the public. Consider limiting a discount or bonus giveaway to one per customer, or make it available only on certain days of the week or time of the year. While long-term coupons can promote repeat visits, a small business should evaluate if a long-term discount on certain products is beneficial and sustainable to a business model.
There has been much debate as to whether or not coupons and discounts can work for a brand, especially in the HVAC industry. The fact is that in a such a competitive market, coupons are an excellent way to generate buzz and exposure for a small business—encouraging new, existing and previous customers to take a peek at what a business has to offer. For more information on standing out in a saturated market, check out our recent guide!