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January 6, 2018

5 traits of a good coupon management system

Jagoda Hryszko
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With a vast array of options, finding proper coupon technology can be a real headache these days. Too many times we've seen companies choose their promotional toolkit in the wrong way. So, whether you're looking for a coupon provider for your business or specifically for your marketing department, read on. We’ve gathered some universal traits of a cost-effective and well-oiled promotional system.

Meets the scale challenge

In other words, it fits your business needs regarding current goals and long-term planning. Pricing rules need to be clear and simple. In the case of coupons, this means you pay according to the number of executed operations, e.g. used codes. This simple rule helps you keep maintenance costs and profits balanced at scale.

In an agile marketing field, even a well-design campaign can bring unpredictable results. That’s why the usage-based pricing plan is even more important. It allows you to start small, iterate and gradually estimate the cost of the long-term strategy roll-out. You don’t want to end up with a large up-front investment and your marketing goals only reached half-way, do you?

Supplies you with marketing automation and a/b tests

Marketing automation has brought incredible convenience to marketing departments. It makes it possible to get to customers closer than ever before. Today, even the most creative coupon campaigns will never be able to compete with a modern e-commerce megacorp if you don’t tap into software. How does it help your promo strategy in particular? It helps you build the omni-channel coupon experience with:

  • Personalized emails and SMS with coupon codes fitted to the message context.
  • Automatic coupon distribution at wholesale triggered by customers’ interactions with the brand (like changing location, abandoning the cart, new subscription, etc.).
  • Dynamic customer segmentation which divides your audience based on current tracking results.
The reality is, marketing automation significantly improves interactions with customers and clients in ways traditional digital marketing struggled to achieve in the past. @Forbes

Tip: Before you set any coupon campaign on a massive scale, you need to know which coupon ideas fit your audience best. A/B tests compare how different discount values and validation rules perform amongst specific customer segments. The point of A/B testing is to start with small campaigns and expand the ideas which convert best. The capable coupon management system supports this, presenting test results in the dashboard so you can find the patterns in no time at all.

Tracks and analyzes your performance

Coupon tracking is crucial to collect customer data and secure against fraud. A capable software platform turns gathered data into measurable reports and eventually leads you to improved sales rates. These days, coupons are much more than codes and discounts. They are used to track customers’ behavior which is later translated into segments. While choosing a coupon provider, look for tracking features like:

  • unique codes which allow you to track every single coupon amongst dozens of generated campaigns,
  • redemptions and delivery details which specify when and how the code was delivered (you can see who has redeemed particular code and which delivery channels are the most effective),
  • metrics and stats showing real-time performance of your campaigns (like gift card balances, total number of redemptions or the most popular types of discount).

Remember that single features won't ensure a data-driven strategy. Only a system which tracks a coupon through its entire lifecycle can give you credible clues.

Provides the API

Try to count how many apps, service providers, and business tools you already use. It’s obvious none of them would be effective if not integrated to work together. This is why you need a coupon system with API. An API platform gets value from your current infrastructure and data sources. Connection with CRM and BI tools provides seamless data flow and integrity. Thanks to APIs, coupon strategy simply extends to your existing infrastructure. You can combine all your marketing tools to create one powerful promotional system.

APIs enable you to build software which fits into your process and whose development doesn’t take ages to complete.

Your developers like it

Without being a programmer, you would probably skip this point. And that’s one of the worst mistakes you can make while choosing any software. A coupon provider supplied with API and approved by your developers is a real time-saver for your marketing team. The developer-friendly software enables you to implement custom, tailored solutions saving time and resources. With extra onboarding speed, your coupons get one step ahead of the competition.

But what does developer-friendliness mean in fact? Let’s take a look at the most important features:

  • RESTful API
  • Thorough documentation with quickstart tutorials, a dozen practical examples, and interactive console;
  • Support of vendor's tech team;
  • SDKs (software development kits) for popular programming languages.

Ultimately, you only need two things to start developing your coupon strategy. Firstly, define your main objective. Secondly, choose a capable coupon provider and start testing your ideas (remember to ask your developers about their opinion before choosing any software). Then, don’t hesitate to use the great possibilities of modern marketing. Combine coupons with advanced segmentation, marketing personalization, and automation. With appropriate tools and a plan, coupons will sharpen up conversions, increase loyalty, and strengthen relationships with your regular audience.

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At Voucherify, we are developing coupon solutions for businesses of every shape and size worldwide. If you're interested in having a consultative talk to help you decide how you should implement coupon campaigns, let us know at sales@voucherify.io - We’re always happy to help!

Tagged:
A/B testing
,  
coupons
,  
coupon experience
,  
coupon infrastructure
,  
management
,  
software tool
,  
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