5 Proven Strategies for Ramping Up Your Mobile Coupon Marketing Program

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Photo by Shawn Fields.

Consumers love mobile coupons. As research suggests in a mobile coupon survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers, nearly half indicated they would prefer to receive mobile coupons over paper coupons.

The United States is one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, with some 96% of people owning a cellphone. Those consumers most likely to own a smartphone fall into the sweet spot of retail marketing demographics—those ages 18-29 (96%) and those ages 30-49 (92%), according to Pew Research. Retailers are realizing that mobile coupon marketing is the best way to get special offers in the hands of consumers. 

Retailers that take advantage of the power of mobile marketing when combined with coupons have a new and effective means of driving foot traffic and purchases. Here we offer a look at five mobile coupon marketing strategies.

Top 5 Mobile Marketing Strategies

  • Give Your Customers a Personalized Digital Offer Wallet

There’s no reason why anyone would need to search online for your deals or clip coupons. 

A special, independently managed and branded digital offer wallet can be delivered to and accessed by customers via any digital means (text, email, web, app, social). Not to be confused with your native wallet smartphone app, a digital offer wallet serves as a personalized offer center each customer can literally have at their fingertips no matter whether they are using their desktop or preferred mobile channel. That means their offers are close at hand whether they’re at home, at work, or on the go. 

Large retailers like Macy’s and Kohl’s use these digital offer wallets to centralize access to their coupons and allow customers to track their cash rewards and balances, check expiration dates, reload gift cards and receive special offers or promotions.

  • Enhance Personalization with Single-Use Coupons

No retailer wants the value of their promotion to get away from them through sharing or abuse of an offer that has gone beyond its intended recipient. Coupon and offer personalization research reveals that consumers often use digital coupons and discount codes more than once. Worse, they also often share those coupons and discount codes with others, which can quickly go viral having a devastating effect on your bottom line. 

As a result, retailers are understandably hesitant to offer high discount offers — and that’s where single-use coupons come in.

Once the coupon or code is used once, it automatically expires and is marked as redeemed across all channels (text, email, web, app, social) of coupon delivery. Customers can’t attain a second copy unless expressly provided by the retailer. 

  • Drive Foot Traffic with On-Demand Mobile Coupons  

Enticing customers to enter your store is the biggest challenge for any retailer. 

“On-demand” mobile coupons is one sound strategy large retailers are already using to lure shoppers through doors. How? By putting coupon offers directly into their phones. Using standard outbound communications (circulars, events, radio, TV), suggest that shoppers text a short-code (e.g., “Treat”) which will text the shopper back with a direct link to your special offer.

Using this on-demand coupon model we’ve seen retailers hit super high redemption rates of between 30%-50%. A great way to drive traffic and track the efficiency of your ad spend.

  • Grab Customer Attention with Text Messages

When our phones beep, buzz or ring we pay attention. Retailers are leveraging the power of this human tendency to drive store traffic and short-term revenue by offering mobile coupons to their SMS marketing lists. Mobile coupons offered in this manner can create urgency and drive near-term revenue.

How near-term? Our research indicates that 85% of consumers who plan to redeem an offer will redeem a mobile coupon received via SMS within a week—25% within three days. 

  • Grow SMS Subscription Lists via Mobile Coupon Offers 

Retailers have had success getting consumers to sign up for their promotional text messages by offering mobile coupons as a sign-up incentive. In fact, they’re telling us that they’re seeing double opt-in sign-up completion rate as high as 90% when they include “welcome” offers along with a sign-up call to action.  When combined with single use welcome coupons, these “welcome” offers can be used to rapidly accelerate list growth without the fear of high-value offers going viral.

The proven mobile coupon programs offered above work for our clients—and they can work for you too. Being strategic in how, and where, you make offers to your customers can help drive store visits, boost incremental purchases and build brand loyalty. In an environment where most of us are tethered to our phones what better way to connect with consumers and compel them to action?

Dan Slavin is CEO and co-founder of CodeBroker, a provider of mobile marketing solutions. He was CEO of Framework Technologies, VP of Open Market, and CEO of International Testing Services. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. You can reach him at [email protected].