Offering discount coupons is an age-old marketing technique that never loses its shine or sheen and the reason why it is still so popular. It is easy to lure customers with money saving deals and promotions which is why both retailers and buyers are so much fond of it.  Big retailers like Macy’s, Dillard’s, J.C. Penny, etc. all bank upon the technique of attracting more customers with discount coupons because it is a sure way of increasing sales.  Promotions, when done correctly, compel customers to take a different approach in buying by providing them an incentive to purchase something before the offer expires after a limited period. The technique of marketing with the help of discount coupons can get customers out of a holding pattern too.

The retail industry benefits most by adapting the technique of sales promotion by offering discounts in the form of discount coupons. This is evident from numerous websites that provide discount coupons for all big retailers. But this does not mean that the technique would work well for all kinds of businesses because it all depends on the business economics and the type of market by taking into account how the audience interacts with different types of discounts and promotions. It is important to gauge in advance how effective the offering would be so that it is possible to work out a plan for correctly implementing the scheme.

In this article, we will discuss about the ways of effectively implementing a sales promotion program.

Test discount strategies

To know if discount strategies would be effective for your business, you must first test the waters before making a plunge. All big companies that have been successful with sales promotion by offering discounts either in the form of discount coupons or otherwise have taken a cautious approach, in the beginning, to avoid any financial disaster due to faulty assessment or implementation of the scheme.

It is advisable to start with a small campaign of unique codes with different discounts and rules. The rules are especially important as it defines the manner of use of discount coupons.  There is no uniform rule for redeeming discount coupons, and you can set the rules that suit your marketing techniques. You must try out the campaign by offering only one type of coupon to a group of audience instead of making it a flat offer for all. For example, you can plan for Promo Codes for Women’s Bags that attracts those interested in buying bags and not all and sundry women customers.

Using unique codes helps to track and limit your efforts with ease. Divide the audience into two groups with one group eligible for receiving incentives, and the other is the control group that does not receive it.  If the Nett Revenue works out to be positive, then it shows that the campaign is effective.

Once you are sure of the effectiveness of the campaign, it is time to scale it up and implement it on a bigger scale.

Define the target for promotions

You can use promotions for a variety of reasons and not only for increasing sales by targeting existing customers.  Promotions are highly effective in broadening the customer base by inducting new customers, getting customers from competitors drawn towards your business, providing a different kind of buying experience to current customers and even keeping the business moving by stimulating sales during slow periods. It is not possible to achieve all the goals simultaneously, and you must concentrate on any one of the targets to channelize your efforts most effectively.

Decide if you would like to reach out to new customers or want to bring back lapsed customers by luring them with incentives. It might also happen that you want to increase your turnover by encouraging customers to buy more frequently or in larger quantities or would like them to try out some different offerings.

After carefully deciding about your objective of using promotions and discounts decide about the way to offer the incentive like making a limited period offer which often elicits a better response from customers or think about an extended period offer.

Plan your incentive

Incentives can come in various forms, but it must be effective in generating prompt customer response.  It can be in the form of discounts and coupons that generate price savings or some value-added offers. To encourage customers to try out new products or services with least risk exposure for a business you can think of trial offer or samples. Lastly, if your aim is to boost sales and generate enthusiasm for drawing a crowd, then you can plan for some events and experiences.

Price offers must be attractive enough so that customers run for it, but discounts must not be so high that it eats into the sales margins. Printed coupons are the most widely used means of promotions that offer incentives to customers, and there is a high demand for coupons for all brands and businesses. If you are using samples, make sure that the sample products are so great that it will make customers ask for more and they would like to repeat the experience.

The success of promotions depends a lot on how well you implement it, especially how well you time it.  It should never happen that promotions become a part of your general marketing but must be a special campaign that you can use when you want to give a jolt to customers. The surprise element in promotions is most important that shake customers and drive them to take immediate action.

However, it is very important to set your objectives for promotion and pursue it diligently or else you would lose your way, and the promotion would lose the sting. After setting the objective, consider the financial impact that the promotion is likely to have on your business and how much you would gain from it.  The impact on the business bottom-line indicates the potential of the campaign and encourages you to pursue it confidently.