Mobile coupons may not be considered a mainstream advertising method yet, but many believe they’re “the next big thing”. This type of advertising allows your business to connect with millions of smartphone users and gain a one-on-one dialogue. They are very flexibly and can be used for a wide variety of different things. With mobile marketing, you can let consumers know about your products and services with full discretion as you provide discounts through coupons.
What is a Mobile Coupon?
A mobile coupon is a part of an extensive mobile marketing campaign allowing a business to offer special discounts to smartphone users. They usually come in the form of a short text message sent to a list of users and they offer a discount to those receiving the message. When the consumer arrives as the business and wants to use the coupon, they simply show the message to the person helping them to redeem the coupon.
Businesses can include expiration dates, QR codes, special discount codes for online use and more. Since these coupons are sent through text message, the receiver can save the message and use it at their convenience.
How Your Business can Benefit from Mobile Coupons
The benefits of mobile coupons for the business are very clear. There’s very little cost involved and it’s far less expensive to send out a mass text message with a mobile coupon than printing thousands of coupons, mailing them or printing them with an advertisement. Just looking at the overall cost of sending your coupons through text message is enough to persuade most business owners to use this form of advertisement.
However, the cost is only one of the benefits. Mobile coupons achieve a staggering 96% “open and read rate” compared to the under 2% of direct mail and email marketing. Both direct mail marketing and email marketing are far more expensive and with such a low “read rate”, the return on investment is often much higher with mobile coupons.
The consumer also benefits from receiving mobile coupons. They don’t need to worry about clipping and keeping track of the paper coupon because there isn’t one. All the consumer has to do is save the text message, which most phones do automatically and make sure they have their phone with them when they want to redeem the coupon.
Combining Mobile Coupons with Local Marketing
Imagine sending a 10% coupon, through a text message, to one of your customers when they’re just around the corner from your business. This type of marketing is possible with the right mobile marketing modules and gives local businesses the opportunity to increase revenues, while offering customers discounts and rewards.
An example of how this type of marketing can benefit a local business is using mobile coupons with a restaurant. Imagine sending a text message to a number of business employees and other consumers about an hour before you start serving lunch offering a discount for that specific day. Some restaurants do this a few times a week and experience full restaurants at times they usually wouldn’t be able to fill the restaurant.
Many types of businesses can combine mobile coupons with local marketing to attract new customers. The major benefit for local businesses actually comes in building a list of mobile numbers from past customers and offering rewards/discounts to those on the list. This allows businesses to get their customers to come in more frequently, which leads to increased revenue.
A Few Statistics
The ability to influence your target market in real time with mobile coupons is very powerful. You can actually help someone make a buying decision with a simple message sent directly to his or her smartphone. Let’s look at a little bit of research:
- Deloitte reports that 57% of consumers want to receive coupons on their phone
- In 2008, the Mobile Marketing Association conducted a study showing that 24% of US mobile phone users have participated in some type of mobile marketing and have received special discounts on their phone. Twenty-two percent of these people redeemed some type of mobile coupon at a store or restaurant.
- A poll from PROMO Magazine showed that over 25% of US marketers are investing in mobile marketing campaigns and coupons currently.
Successful Use of Mobile Marketing and Coupons
Creating a strategy to gain the most out of a mobile marketing campaign is very important. Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned” and with mobile marketing, you can start saving more pennies, while seeing a larger return on the ones you actually spend. Creating a successful marketing campaign with mobile coupons requires three specific steps:
1. Developing a Strategy
Before you enter into a test program, you need to clearly define your strategy. Whether you want to build an in-store rewards program allowing current customers to sign up to receive discounts on their phones or you want to target a specific area, you need to define your marketing strategy before testing it.
2. Creating an Appealing Offer
Creating the right offer for your mobile marketing will make a large difference in how many customers actually redeem the coupon with your business. Whether you decide to run a buy one, get one free special, offer a percentage discount, a free trial or some other type of offer, you need to make sure it’s tailored to your business and offers the consumer real value.
3. Redemption Method
You can choose to require customers to present their phone with a QR code, include a numerical code entered into your system or another type of redemption method. Some businesses simply ask consumers to show the coupon at the time of purchase, but many prefer to add some type of security code to the coupon.
Once you’ve figured out the strategy, the offer and how the receiver will redeem the offer, you want to measure the results. This will help with the next mobile coupon you send out and you can make small adjustments as you test different types of offers.
Using mobile coupons benefits both businesses and consumers. It’s possible to save money and increase revenues by using this advertising method. If you want to connect with your customers and create a one-on-one dialogue, this type of marketing is one of the most innovative ways to get your message in front of your target audience.