When I spoke to small business owners in Ponca City recently, one audience member asked about offering coupons and discounts.
So we talked about her business (basically, a franchised frozen yogurt parlor), and how they’ve gotten started with coupons and discounts, so now people seem to expect them.
I made up these two rules for coupons on the spot:
1. Track them.
Never issue coupons that you can’t track how effective they are. Find ways to keep track of where they go out, when they get used, and whether those customers ever return.
I think a natural follow on is to make the coupon a lead-in to a loyalty program. You came in for the free cone; now we want to hook you with our Dish of the Week.
2. Make the coupon an experience.
The coupon itself could be an interesting experience.
Sonic Drive-Ins issued poker chip coupons. They aren’t cheap plastic things. They are heavy and soft-finished like real poker chips. You can see I kept mine. They even look like the mints Sonic is known for handing out.
The act of redeeming a coupon could be an interesting experience.
Servers could break into song. A free item could be served in a special dish. Maybe the coupon is for a special experience, like a drink in the “hidden” room in a bar.
Since I’ve admitted I made those up on the spot, I’m betting you can improve on them. What ideas do you have?
- How cooperatives improve small town economies - May 8, 2022
- Metaverse business idea: virtual world tour guide - April 15, 2022
- Make extra money from extra workspace: co-working and 3rd workplaces in small towns - March 28, 2022
- Trade show booth design trend: hand drawn visuals - March 21, 2022
- New business sign design? Don’t use cursive script - February 14, 2022
- Way more people prefer rural than urban, new Pew Research study finds - February 1, 2022
- Top 5 Rural and small town trends 2022 - January 3, 2022
- How to start a real small small business - December 17, 2021
- Tip for better pop-ups and shed businesses - December 5, 2021
- Small town business idea: cat grooming - November 15, 2021