More than 96 million U.S. adults will redeem a digital coupon this year, and nearly half of women ages 35 to 54 say they would like to receive mobile coupons via text. For merchants offering digital coupons, along with the hyperlocal vendors providing this technology, the question becomes how to boost conversions and drive as many coupon redemptions as possible.
Conventional wisdom doesn’t always apply in the world of hyperlocal marketing, and steep discounts alone aren’t always enough to turn an impression into a conversion. Here are seven strategies for boosting conversions with digital coupons, presented by experts in the field of digital deals and targeted promotions.
1. Post coupons where shoppers will see them. “When distributing a digital coupon on a mobile device, think: Do I want this on a retailer’s mobile website, or do I want a geo-fencing campaign where my advertisement appears on a site when a consumer is 50 feet away from the store? Serving a digital coupon in a more actionable place, like when a customer is just about to enter the store or is wandering the aisles, can mean the difference between an impression and a conversion.” (Tom Boisvert, Triad Retail Media)
2. Always include a landing page. “I had a recent conversation with a client about a deal promotion, and I provided the client with a recommendation of linking his mobile message with a landing page. The benefit of the landing page would be engagement traceability, and also offering social buttons for mobile users to share the special deal with friends that might be in the same area.” (Linden Skeens, Thumbvista)
3. Track intent with Google Analytics. “The biggest boost comes when you understand the intent behind a visitor. Did they search for tacos? If so, a $1-off taco special can be far more effective than a 50%-off bacon cheeseburger. There is no simple way to track intent, but Google Analytics is a strong indicator. You can look at Google Analytics get a glimpse of keywords that are driving visitors to your page. You might see your brand name, your category and location, and then some specific services or products you offer. Creating offers to match that is a great way to get started.” (Ben Jabbawy, Privy)
4. Don’t pester people. “There is a very thin line between offering the user something relevant—like a pasta discount when standing in the Italian aisle at a grocery store or a discounted meal when located within a mile of a restaurant—and pestering them. We strongly advise clients to take a graduated, incremental approach to using technology so they don’t become the ‘pester app’—the app that buzzes and beeps all the time, leading to deletion.” (Sean O’Sullivan, LocalSocial)
5. Be timely, targeted, and relevant. “Similar to email, it is all about being timely, targeted, and relevant when it comes to boosting conversions with digital coupons. If you deliver digital coupons at the right time, targeted at the right user (for example: a consumer familiar with your brand), and relevant to those users, digital coupon conversion rates can be significantly higher than their paper companions.” (Michael Barber, ValuText)
6. Convince shoppers to share. “We’ve been running a program called Share N Save that entice users to engage with content and offers. For example, a user shares a 50-cent coupon on one of her social channels. Because she shared the offer, she earns a better one—a $1 coupon. The shoppers get a better deal, and, for every customer share, our clients see incremental visits to their retail experience.” (Tom Boisvert, Triad Retail Media)
7. Consumers don’t want surprises. “In the area we deal in, where we integrate our in-store engagement technology with a retailer’s own apps, we advise clients not to surprise the user. While our product can be used to automatically display offers based on where you’re standing in-store, if the user isn’t aware the app is going to do that, it triggers a negative reaction. However, when a user is offered the option to ‘enable our in-store offer genie to display offers as you shop,’ then expectations are set. As a result, buy-in and take-up are enhanced.” (Sean O’Sullivan, LocalSocial)
Interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.