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How to manage mass refunds and gift cards in the time of pandemic

12 hacks for building omni-channel CX strategy with coupons

September 28, 2017

In this consumer-centric World, you need to provide a seamless customer experience regardless of channel or device.

Omni-channel marketing definition

12 hacks for building omni-channel CX strategy with coupons

Follow this article to see how to shape up your omni-channel marketing with coupons and, by using our 12 field-tested hacks, inscribe your promotion system in the omni-channel model.

#1 (More than) emails. Emails are the most effective marketing medium once you can turn them into personal, well-targeted offers. Remember that personalization is far more than just a name in a subject line and a coupon code inside - read our white paper to learn advanced personalization coupon tactics in email marketing.

Personalisation in email marketing

#2 SMS is the best choice once you reinforce your strategy with geofencing and geo-oriented coupons. Using geolocation increases the chances of catching a customer in the right place at the right time. If you need some geomarketing inspirations, go here.

4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop. 

#3 Push notifications with coupons to empower customer service. As e-commerce goes mobile, notifications coming from apps are an effective form of communication with your audience. According to recent data25 percent of consumers engage in online shopping only via mobile. You can use short notifications with coupons to keep your customers informed about current deals and improve your customer service. Effort put into customer care is much more beneficial than care about sales itself. In the era of the internet, when almost everyone in connected, notifications are not only easy but also a cheap way to reach an enormous group of consumers. Nevertheless, you must use your app wisely and never push out poor, anonymous content even if it’s just a short note.

#4 Ads with coupons. The world of ads is very tricky, it’s easy to pay for something that may never be noticed but costs a lot, as often happens with social media ads. This is why it may be worth using more creativity and new ideas in order to start advertising your brand. Well-targeted coupon campaigns make ads more reliable and noticeable wherever you put them. With attractive discounts wrapped into catchy campaigns, your ads get a proper chance to compete with the market giants who occupy the best places in social media and AdWords. 

#5 Facebook and the social family. The marketing power of social media is undeniable. Although giant brands have dominated the world of social ads in the same way they rule Google AdWords, small and middle-size business still have a chance in this race.

To stand out from the crowd, use creative, personalized ideas:

  • Provide your social profiles with personalized and tailored coupon deals.
  • Launch a social group for your customers to let them build relationships and share opinions.
  • Ask for reviews of your products/services and reward the most active buyers.
  • Create movement - use coupons to encourage your buyers to share photos with your products or to check in when they shop in your store. With time, you’ll be able to define some behavioral patterns typical for your audience and use them to improve a sales strategy or your customer service.
  • And finally, be on! People very often ask for help or offers they are interested in by using their social profiles. If you decide to start with social media marketing, you need to be prepared for questions round-the-clock.

One of the best examples of a brand which knows how to leverage coupons in social campaigns is Starbucks which regularly release coupons via their social profiles.

Social Media for coupons - Starbucks example
In October 2013, Starbucks launched a ‘Tweet-a-Coffee’ coupon campaign that allowed people to give a $5 gift card by putting ‘@tweetacoffee’ and a friend's handle in one tweet. The campaign ended up with global success and almost 30 000 tweeting fans. 

#6 Influencer marketing with coupons; Influencer outreach pays off and increases ROI on condition that you can effectively secure your brand against fraud. The huge power of influencers’ outreach has made it a source of a growing number of misuses. By adding vouchers for your influencers, you can emphasize your marketing message and avoid fraud at the same time. Unique incentives provide your campaigns with detailed tracking of influencer’s interactions amongst the whole campaign, so there is no need to worry about fraud and you can focus on choosing the right influencers.

The good news is that there is a chance for small companies as well, you don’t have to spend lots of money and search far away to find the best influencers.

If you put yourself into the consumers’ shoes, whose opinion would you value the most? Of course, the other consumers who are already familiarized with your products/services. Opinions from your customers can firstly be displayed on your blog, landing page or app (testimonials) and then you can ask customers to share your content on their social profiles or blog and offer a special coupon in response, sounds good?

You can follow the example of Manhattan-based startup Glossier (named one of Most Innovative Companies of 2017) which asked “regular women” to participate in their advertising strategy as reliable influencers:      

"What's very motivating to us is this idea of every single woman being an influencer."

Glossier recently introduced a referral program to enable the most influential users to offer product discounts to their unique society.

Glossier and referral programs

#7 Coupon aggregators and affiliates - distributing coupons at wholesale.When considering large scale marketing campaigns, implementation across a distributed organization that spans multiple business partners may easily become the elephant in the room. Collaboration with coupon websites is a great way to increase coupon sales but it has to be well-planned and secured by building an appropriate distribution network.You have to provide automatic coupon management and maintain it with an overview of a current campaigns’ performance. To find out how to do it step by step, follow this article.

#8 Brick and mortar shops in the omni-channel model. If you aim at a true omni-channel strategy, you have to treat mobile technology with the highest priority. If you provide a user-friendly app with coupons and QR codes, you significantly increase their usability. Just think if you know anyone who shops without their phone? Smartphones have become multi-functional tools which can redeem a coupon, serve payment, and scan your codes. Your customer service should be ready to allow consumers seamless changing from your landing page to a mobile device and give them in-store service without any slowdown during the journey.

Looking for a real example?

IKEA gift card

Check out IKEA’s omni-channel approach reflected in their website and mobile app working fluently on every device. If you allow the app to use your location, you’ll get a plan of the nearest store and a current storage status on your phone. Moreover, in the main view, they display current discounts and promotions which consumers (after logging in) can use with their loyalty cards. The entire Ikea strategy shows perfectly how the omni-channel approach should affect a customer’s experience.

“80% of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimized product information while they’re shopping in stores.”

#9 Printed out coupons and a handmade message. An Omni-channel strategy doesn’t turn away from a traditional hand-to-hand delivery. While searching the Internet, you can find many inspiring examples of coupon campaigns, such as Marina Auto Body campaign, where company owners have used Starbucks coupons to thank their customers. What’s inspiring here is that they wrote and signed up handmade thanks and added them to each coupon.

 #10 Popups done right. Should you display popups on your web page? Yes, you should. Should you add a coupon to a popup? Yes, of course. But primarily, you have to be sure your popup is done right. If you take care about an appropriate incentive (nice coupon) it will be enough to make a popup attractive for your visitor; there is no need to dazzle a user with a big, flashing box. If your popup disturbs users, they’re very likely to leave your site and never come back. When you already have a nice popup, the best practice is running tests which estimate which places and discounts bring the best results. 

#11 New affiliate collaboration: co-marketing.

“Co-marketing is about sharing audiences and resources between two complementary brands to execute a campaign that neither one could do as effectively alone.” 

Why co-marketing? If you step out of your market, you’ll find many companies which target a similar audience. Affiliate programs don’t have to be only about sales, indeed, by cooperating, both brands get access to new clients. Coupons can be a great beginning to encourage a foreign audience to try your products/services.

Virgin America + Netflix - Follow the market giants and find your marketing partner!

#12 The quality of integration is critical for omni-channel marketing. In the following paragraph, by using Voucherify as an example, we are going to show you the technology basics of omni-channel campaigns.

How to Start?

With modern technological possibilities, you can be sure that appropriate coupon software will cover your omni-channel needs entirely, without harming your budget.

Coupons in Omni-channel Technology

Coupons in omni-channel marketing (infographic)

Initial preparation of your team for omni-channel software solutions is vital to make them efficient in the future. Today’s technology offers immersive possibilities but only if you learn how to use them first, and fit them into your kind of business.

Is it worth my time?

Even if omni-channel technology requires additional time and effort to put into a coupon system, it is definitely worth it. The studies show that most marketing teams still use just the basic software features and leave plenty of advanced, marketing tools unused.

The average customer is still using the basics. Many have not begun to use lead scoring, triggers, omni-channel, personalization, or advanced segmentation. - @JeffPedowitz

If you give your team enough time to get on well with a chosen technology, they’ll be able to make the most of each feature and deliver a real omni-channel coupon experience.

What will I get?

While looking for something to start with, you can use our ideas for coupon campaigns with required software features to leverage the omni-channel approach.

Building regular audiences

First purchase is a critical moment on the journey from a new customer to a loyal one. To ensure a customer experience which makes the client willing to come back, you need to take care of a new relationship from the very beginning:

Create a segment of new customers who already made their first order.Right after the first purchase, send them an automatic email or SMS with a personalized coupon.Track customers’ response to ensure appropriate Next Best Action (NBA).Allow clients to redeem coupons by using a mobile app, your landing-page or coupon code displayed on their mobile device.When the redemption is made, analyze order data and choose NBA (send another coupon or offer a gift card, etc.).Keep customers informed about all channels and redemption possibilities that you provide.

The quality of integration is critical for omni-channel marketing. Your existing infrastructure, especially CRM, should be easily integrated with all service providers to ensure seamless data flow and multi-channel coupon distribution. In the section below, you can see how it works in practice (Voucherify):

Key Voucherify features: integration with CRM, dynamic segmentation, customer tracking, mobile app, QR codes, email automations, unique codes.

Coupons combined with a dynamic segmentation and automatic delivery, can efficiently guide customer through the shopping path and lead to a purchase. You can launch numerous campaign ideas which fit your omni-channel strategy:

Steps to build omni-channel coupon experience

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