5 Reasons to Use Smart Coupons in your Marketing Strategy
For the past few years, coupons (also called vouchers or promo codes) have seen a massive comeback, primarily through the rise of mobile-first technology and ecommerce. Thanks to online coupon sites and smart coupon finders (such as Honey or Pouch apps), customers have no trouble finding great deals online with a click of a button. You can probably imagine that this scenario can quickly become a nightmare for businesses plagued by over-discounting, code leakages, fraud, and other security risks described in detail here.
No wonder large ecommerce platforms have already built complex software solutions to manage and track coupons. Read on to learn more about smart vouchers and how to build a better coupon strategy with an affordable Voucherify coupon solution.
What are smart vouchers?
Smart vouchers (or smart coupons) are unique digital promo codes, targeted, and secured by at least several redemption restrictions, such as usage limit per customer or the total discounted amount. Unfortunately, in the digital landscape, open-for-all coupon codes with no limits attached are easy prey to fraud and leakage. One such example is the recent Grubhub free lunch promotion that turned New York City streets into sheer madness, with the platform processing over 6 thousand orders per minute on average. To avoid hell breaking loose, you should consider at least three aspects of your coupon offer before going live:
- Campaign objective – before defining any specific attributes and limits of your promo codes, you should have a clear campaign goal. Smart coupons can help you achieve any business objective, such as increasing conversions, reducing churn, or incentivizing other value-generating user behaviors.
- Target audience – once you know what you want to achieve, selecting a target audience should be straightforward. Coupons that are not targeted or personalized have a much higher risk of cheapening your brand image.
- Redemption limits – once you have the basics in place, you can consider additional limitations, such as campaign time frame, usage redemptions, the total discount customers can get, or campaign budget limits.
Why should you use smart coupon codes in your marketing strategy?
Coupon codes get plenty of bad press – they may cheapen your brand, burn product margins, and lead to a bloody price war with your competitors. A badly-planned coupon strategy can cause all of these things, but by using smart coupon codes, you can effectively prevent those and plenty of other issues that keep marketers wide awake at night. Here are my top 5 reasons why you should use smart vouchers in your marketing strategy:
1. Smart coupons allow you to meet any business objective
As mentioned above, smart coupons can help you achieve virtually any business goal. Furthermore, by modeling the incentive to incentivize specific user behavior and targeting only selected user segments, you can evoke any action from your user base.
2. Smart vouchers allow you to protect your margins better
Coupon codes without any restrictions can and definitely will go south quickly – especially with tech-savvy customers knowing where to look for deals. So to protect your campaign, include at least some limits, such as a usage limit of once per customer or the total discount value allowed.
3. Personalized offers increase customer loyalty
One-size-fits-all offers not only worsen your brand image but also lower the loyalty of your customers. Such coupon discounts are easier to launch and manage, but in the long run, they won’t extend your customer lifecycle or turn shoppers into loyal brand advocates.
4. Smart discounts allow you to control your stock better
Another great thing about smart vouchers is that they help companies minimize their losses. So, for example, you can use discounts to sell products that don’t sell well without an additional incentive. With coupons, you can also grow sales of specific items by selling them in a bundle with a discount voucher. If you have slow-moving items, discontinued, or close to expiry date products, you can use discount coupons to get rid of that stock faster.
5. Better coupon ROI tracking
You need coupon software to drive profitability from coupon campaigns. With this system in place, you can measure your results more effectively. Redemption logs, the value of orders placed with a coupon code, or the redemption source should be good starting points to improve your coupon ROI analytics.
How smart coupons make your life easier?
Let's use a real-life scenario to highlight the importance of having a sound coupon system for your business.
Tom started a new subscription-based business selling healthy cat food. He’s gained some initial traction but now wants to build brand awareness and lasting relationships with customers. The marketing department suggested vouchers. He created a generic 25% discount campaign to acquire new customers. Then he turned to his IT team to introduce the change to the online shop functionality. After a week, Tom wanted to check the number of redemptions. But, again, he had to ask IT.
When the results came, it turned out that the campaign was a huge success. The number of redemptions was way bigger than Tom had expected. It was too successful, and Tom feared the stock wouldn’t handle the load. So he decided to stop the campaign. But again, it took a few hours to disable it.
The stock problem became more severe, and Tom had to apologize for the late delivery. So he decided to attach another voucher to the email to compensate for disappointing customers. But this time, he didn’t want the promo code to be shared and abused again, so Tom came up with the idea of unique vouchers with limited usage, or what I like to call – a smart voucher.
Tom wished he could run and stop voucher campaigns on the fly without involving the IT team. Likewise, he would like to see redemptions in real time. In other words – he wanted to get an ROI overview of all voucher activities and take back control over his campaigns. Finally, and more importantly, he’s far from investing a good deal in heavy e-commerce machinery like Magento, BigCommerce, or Shopify. But then, he found Voucherify.
But how to make it work with Tom's e-commerce website? Voucherify takes care of it as well. Voucherify treats the ease of integration and maintenance as a priority. That’s why it offers a developer-friendly vouchers API and a couple of facility libraries that enable developers to complete the integration in hours.
And the best news is that the IT team has to integrate it only once. Afterward, any other campaign can be created without IT involvement. So Tom can now forget about sending Excel sheets back and forth. Instead, he can start and stop any campaign whenever he wants to.
Voucherify offers more monitoring features for easier voucher operations. For instance, let’s imagine there’s a problem with a particular single code. Tom can use the Voucherify user interface to disable it immediately. Thanks to the user console, he may also redeem vouchers manually with a single click. This means he can register and track vouchers even before his IT team puts Voucherify integration in place. Finally, he can run several voucher promotions with different marketing channels and observe which performs better. He can iterate and optimize the coupon performance according to the precise data.
How to build a smart coupon campaign with Voucherify?
Voucherify is an all-in-one coupon solution that can be plugged into any system and touchpoint, thanks to its robust API. Here are some voucher features that ensure that your coupon codes will be smart, controllable, and personalized:
- Different formats and patterns – build discounts in any currency, format (text, QR, barcode), and pattern. Tailor the form of the coupon code to the occasion and target audience to increase the chances of customers redeeming them.
- Coupon redemption limits – Voucherify comes with a powerful & data-driven Rule Engine to limit coupons to selected users, segments, orders, products, geofences, or any other attribute. This way, you ensure that only selected customers can use your offers, protecting your promotion budget from wasting minutes since the campaign launch.
- Coupon assignment – you can assign coupons to selected customers to ensure that only they can use them. Once the code is assigned to a user, leverage our digital wallet functionality to show customers which promo codes are currently available to them.
- Dynamic discounts – instead of building separate coupon campaigns, you can create dynamic campaigns that calculate the discount based on a custom formula. For instance, a single coupon code can give a 5% off to customer X and a 10% off to customer Y, depending on their attributes. That’s Smart with a capital S.
- Custom targeting – are you worried about custom requirements? For maximum flexibility, the Voucherify data model can be easily extended with custom fields so that you can build coupon campaigns on top of unique business data.
Voucherify covers the whole coupon lifecycle – from code generation to redemption tracking. We provide a campaign builder where your marketing team can build creative coupon campaigns with a simple editor and a robust API that connects Voucherify with your application.
Improve your coupon strategy with smart vouchers