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September 26, 2017

Creating advanced coupon campaigns - part 1

Mike Sędzielewski

We believe that coupons are one of the best buying incentives you can push out to your customers. Massive e-commerce companies seem to share this view because they have invested heavily in their coupon infrastructures. It helps them get the most out of social media engagement and coupon aggregators. It also enables them to run promotion campaigns in a more contextual and data-driven way.

The other parts of the series:

Smaller businesses have been slower to jump on the couponing bandwagon, partly because of the fact that it’s tricky to implement on legacy e-commerce platforms. With this in mind, we have put together a practical guide to creating advanced coupon campaigns with Voucherify.

In the first part, we’ll cover the various discount coupons and gift card vouchers you can use in your promo campaigns. We’ll also tell you a bit about campaign maintenance and troubleshooting.

In case you’re reading about Voucherify for the first time, it’s a coupon infrastructure delivered through API that provides a quicker way to build coupon generation, distribution, and tracking; and it provides a user-friendly interface for creating and managing coupon campaigns.

COUPON CHARACTERISTICS

Firstly, let’s break down a coupon to get a full understanding of its features and know what parts you can tailor to your business.

  • Type and Value, or the discount itself. The most important parameters of the coupon code. Actually, it’s the combination of these two factors which decides whether new customers are hooked or not. At Voucherify, we predefined 3 types:

            - Amount (e.g. $10 off)

            - Percentage (e.g. 20% off)

            - Unit (e.g. 2 free piano classes)

  • Start and Expiry dates help you run and maintain multiple campaigns. They also give you the possibility to create the all-important sense of urgency - the second most impactful factor of your promotion.
  • Redemption limit controls the lifecycle of your coupon. By choosing one of 3 options (single redemption, X redemptions possible, unlimited redemptions) you can change the way customers interact with the promotion campaign.
  • Prefix. Depending on the campaign type (see below) this is either the coupon code itself or just the first part of the code.
  • Voucherify gives you the ability to precisely define the code pattern. It helps your team track and manage codes when the campaign is live. You can customize:

          - prefix,

          - suffix,

          - charset,

          - random part - # - is replaced by random char (eg. +00-###-##-## -> +00-rGT-39-gb).

  • Validation rules and usage limits such as one redemption per day per customer, minimum order value, discounted products, etc.

You will also discover in this article that all of these parameters can be easily fine-tuned within Voucherify)

COUPON WORKFLOW

Secondly, before you learn how to launch coupon campaigns, you need to be familiar with a digital coupon workflow in Voucherify. It's similar to any other SaaS tools you might use for your application; once you connect it to your checkout page you can start generating coupons. The story begins when a customer tries to redeem the code:

  1. The customer types in their promo code on your checkout page. Your client application (web or mobile) requests the promo code verification from the Voucherify server.
  2. In response, Voucherify informs your application if the code is valid and what is the actual discount value.
  3. Your application calculates the new price and puts an order into your e-commerce system.

Now, let's see just what coupon campaigns you can achieve with Voucherify.

MODELING A CAMPAIGN

Assuming you’ve grasped the elementary coupon features, you can jump into creating your first campaign. In the paragraphs that follow, we will describe 3 basic promo campaigns and show you how to launch them with Voucherify.

FIXED-CODE CAMPAIGN

It boils down to coming up with a fixed voucher code, e.g. voucherify4free or xmas2016. You can tap into this campaign type when your primary goal is to acquire new customers or increase brand awareness in general. The advantage here is that it’s super easy to distribute; you just push out the code through various channels and the more people redeem, the better for your business.

Note, however, that this advantage can turn into a downside in some cases. This is because you can’t control the number of redemptions after the coupon code is out there. In Voucherify, you can define the global limit for redemptions per code, but that’s not much help when you want to give away non-shareable codes to specific customers. To overcome this, you should use unique coupon campaigns.

In Voucherify, a fixed-code campaign can be launched using the standalone voucher creator, here’s a tutorial demonstrating how to run it.

Pros:

  • Increases brand awareness
  • Easy to distribute

Common pitfalls:

  • Redemption numbers can’t be easily controlled

Solution:

  • You can set many usage limits which allow you for precise controlling of coupon numbers. Limits reduce the number of coupon usages per day, per customer or per campaign (you can also combine many limits and add them to a particular fixed-code campaign, e.g., 1 redemption per customer per day).

BULK UNIQUE COUPONS

The second type takes a step towards reducing coupon fraud. The key change here is that you generate unique coupon codes. In this campaign, each customer receives a personal code which can be shared or not depending on the redemption limit.  

Now, you can easily target particular groups, like new customers or the most loyal ones, plus, you can quickly find out which group members have already used their codes. This might be useful for further drip campaigns.

Below, you can see the output from a unique coupon Campaign Creator. Run through this tutorial to see how to create it.

Pros:

  • Personal, one-ff codes possible
  • Reduced coupon code misuse

Common pitfalls:

  • Trouble with collecting required customers data (e-mail or phone number - unique codes are assigned to particular customers what requires appropriate validation process).

Solution:

  • It is already proven that if you mention that gathered data are used to deliver more personalized offers, and maybe add some incentive (nice coupon), customers more likely share their email or phone number.
  • We want to make it even easier for you and provide a widget form which can be reshaped according to your marketing needs and collect customers data on your landing page, blog or any other place in the Internet.

VOUCHER GIFT CARD

The last basic campaign type is a bit different; while it’s a variation of a unique coupon code campaign, in this case, the code you push out to customers doesn’t carry any discount. It brings a pre-paid amount that the customer can spend in your store. So, it works like your common gift cards.

The biggest difference lies in the way the voucher is redeemed. Here, a customer can use the voucher multiple times provided that he or she still has a positive balance on the account.

Pros:

  • Increases online sales
  • Helps in building customers loyalty
  • Encourages return visits

Common pitfalls:

  • Needs more complex wiring with online payments and protection against fraud
  • Trouble with maintenance (updating balance and multiple redemptions)

Solution:

  • In Voucherify we deal with gift cards by providing a current overview of a campaign performance and detailed stats with on-going balance on every level. You can check current balance assigned to a particular customer and be up-to-date with all your gift cards numbers in general.
  • Moreover, we enable you to recharge the card after the positive balance is gone, put redemption limits on each gift card and set redemptions possible only for holders of the card.

Additionally, our Shopify integration helps you sell them online.

COUPON DISTRIBUTION

When your campaign is ready you need to think about the best way of reaching your customers. To keep up with a modern buyer profile you have to ensure multi-channel delivery and redemption options. Looking at the Voucherify as the example you can see a sophisticated distribution model which allows you for an automatic send out of your coupons via many channels:

CAMPAIGN MAINTENANCE

Once the campaigns are live, you should take care of them so that customers get a seamless experience and the IT team is not bothered with tons of requests. Let’s see how Voucherify helps you out here as well.

PERFORMANCE MONITORING

After some time has passed, you might be wondering if your campaign is doing fine. Voucherify makes this really straightforward; the dashboard will show the redemption numbers of all campaigns so you can compare them at a glance. By doing so, you’ll easily figure out the key parameters of your successful campaigns and you’ll be able to fine-tune new campaigns so that they get better and better, generating more traffic down the road. We'll cover this topic in detail in future articles.

TROUBLESHOOTING

In case of any unexpected issues, you can activate and deactivate the whole campaign or even a single code at any point in time. Imagine that your campaign is so successful that your stock can’t keep up with the demand. Or, you’ve noticed that one of the codes is either being misused or has been lost by the customer. You can quickly track it down and disable it in the Voucherify admin interface.

Another valuable feature is the detailed redemption tracking, not only does it list all the valid redemptions within a given timeframe, it also shows all the failed ones. Hence, you can catch them immediately and fix the issue before a customer complaint appears in the system.

THE POWER OF INTEGRATIONS

There is one more thing we have to mention here. Keeping in mind that the e-commerce became a consumer-centric world with many, diversified needs to cover, we know that only omni-channel approach can build a solid framework of an effective promotion system. Omni-channel marketing requires a high flexibility of a coupon platform to integrate with your CRM and existing infrastructure.

Thanks to this approach you can think about coupon experience as a seamless workflow regardless of technology or device which your customers are going to use to get and redeem their coupon.

Moreover, with tracking features you can capture customers responds to your coupons and decide what to do next to increase chances for purchase or build long-term relationships. With Voucherify we support the omni-channel promotion model with a mobile app, QR codes and multiple integrations.

THE TAKEAWAY

We have presented 3 basic coupon campaigns you can create with Voucherify. Campaigns that you can launch in minutes instead of weeks. The monitoring and troubleshooting features help you reduce communication overhead internally and catch any eventual problems early on. Ultimately, your development team can focus on what’s really important and your customers will stay happy.

This was the first part in the “Creating advanced coupon campaigns” series. Coming next:

Tagged:
coupons
,  
promotional campaigns
,  
gift voucher
,  
gift card
,  
coupon infrastructure
,  
ROI
,  
ROI measure
,  
distribution
,  
marketing personalization
,  
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