Everyone loves a good deal. Whether it’s a deal on groceries or gifts, 96% of American consumers use coupons, according to RetailMeNot.
Not only are consumers using coupons, but 93% of subscribers are likely to use coupons they receive via email, according to VoucherCloud.
Research also shows they attract and retain customers, which allows many businesses to not only recoup the loss but generate incremental revenue. Check out these stats that show the long-term effect that coupons can have on revenue:
- 91% of coupon redeemers say they will visit a retailer again after using a coupon (VoucherCloud) 57% of shoppers say they would not have made a purchase without a coupon first
- 57% of shoppers say they would not have made a purchase without a coupon first (VoucherCloud)
- 40% of consumers share email deals via email with friends
- 7 out of 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from an email in the last week (VoucherCloud)
- Consumers are 82% more likely to continue shopping at a store that offers deals through a loyalty program (Technology Advice)
Given the impact coupons and promotions can have, we’ll give you five specific tips to help your business attract and retain customers by sending coupons and promotions via email.
1. Advertise hot deal at sign up points
Receiving coupons or promotional offers is the number one reason subscribers sign up for an email list, according to a survey from Technology Advice.
Give subscribers what they want. Wherever you encourage subscribers to sign up for your email list, advertise the hot deals they’ll receive when they join.
For example, La Mer, has a simple message on its website that advertises the deals that subscribers get when they sign up for the company’s email list.
2. Let subscribers dictate how frequently you send coupons
How often should you send a 15% off coupon or a promotion for free shipping? Eighty-six percent of subscribers want to receive promotional emails at least monthly, while 15% want to receive them daily, according to MarketingSherpa.
How do you make sure subscribers get the amount of coupons they want? Let subscribers pick the pace by creating a preference center.
Research shows just 30% of marketers let subscribers decide email frequency, according to Experian. Allowing subscribers to make the decision themselves keeps them happy, and less likely to unsubscribe.
Campaign Monitor customers can easily set up a preference center that specifically asks subscribers how often they would like to receive specific emails, including coupons and promotions.
Armed with that knowledge, you can segment your email list and send deals to subscribers at a cadence that they prefer.
3. Send the deals that subscribers want
What kinds of coupons or promotions encourage subscribers to act? Is percentage or dollar-based coupons best, or are customers more interested in free shipping? You have a lot of options.
Before we dive into specific kinds of deals, one thing is consistent across the board. Consumers want digital coupons that can be scanned or shown at the register, according to research from eMarketer.
More companies are hopping on board the digital coupon bandwagon with an estimated 44% of companies offering mobile coupons this year, an 8% increase from 2013, according to the same research.
Now let’s get back to the kinds of coupons and promotions that subscribers want.
Discount coupons are most popular
Subscribers prefer coupons that offer a percentage off an item or a dollar amount off an item. Three out of five consumers prefer coupons to other types of promotion, according to Placed. Here’s a great example of a discount email from Converse:
Rebates come in second
Rebates are the second most preferred option, with one-third of consumers hunting for those before shopping, according to Placed. Your business could offer a rebate, or you can let consumers know about rebates from manufacturers when they’re offered too.
Free shipping is an attractive perk for subscribers as well. Plus, research shows this incentive has some great returns on investment. Transaction rates of emails with free shipping are 72% better than those without, and revenue is 53.3% greater than with paid shipping, according to research from Experian. Plus, the importance of free shipping to holiday shoppers jumped from 34% to 42% in 2015.
Rip Curl has made free shipping a staple in its promotional emails. Many emails have a free shipping banner at the top.
4. Tailor deals for specific segments
It’s easy to make assumptions when it comes to sending coupons. You might think it’s best to send the same coupon to everyone on your list, but tailoring deals to each segment is best.
Consider segmenting your list by past buying behavior and sending deals based on previous purchases. You might have a segment that often buys electronics, for instance. You can send that segment a 15% off coupon on electronics and feature some of your hottest gadgets in the email.
Segmenting your list based on customer data is the best way to go. If you start segmenting your list based on assumptions, you could make mistakes. For instance, you might assume that consumers that make less money want coupons, and segment your list based on household income. Research shows 96% of people earning $75,000-99,000 and 92% of people earning 100,000+ would like to receive promotional emails, according to MarketingSherpa.
The point is to make smart segment decisions based on data, not assumptions.
5. Consider setting up a loyalty program
Loyalty programs can drive repeat business. After signing up, customers are more likely to come back to your store to rack up points and earn cool stuff.
Research shows 57% of consumers join loyalty programs to save money, while another 37% join to get free stuff, according to Technology Advice.
You can make the program as simple or as complex as you’d like. If you’re looking for something basic, you can create punch cards at home and give customers a discount once the card is full. Advertise the punch cards via email, and send promotions that give customers “extra punches” if they buy certain items during a specific window of time.
You could also create an exclusive email club where members receive exclusive deals via email. Customers wouldn’t receive points or have to use a punch card here. They simply receive deals and coupons that others wouldn’t.
Fifty-seven percent of consumers said they’re more likely to participate in a program if it offers exclusive rewards to loyal customers, according to a study from Technology Advice.
If you want to go all-in, look into companies that offer loyalty software that helps track purchases and rewards for each customer within your point-of-sale system. You can create email campaigns around your program. The emails can offer coupons, invitations to loyalty events, and special promotions like the one below sent by Sephora.
Consumers are hungry for a good deal. Research shows 91% of consumers want promotional emails, so don’t disappoint. Coupons can attract new customers and encourage them to try your product for the first time and can keep regular customers coming back because they know they’ll get a good deal at your business.