Another way to promote your product or service is to offer special pricing through coupons. Coupons can be distributed door-to-door, by mail, at retail locations, or attached to the product packaging itself. A few guidelines when using coupons are discussed below:
Give the coupons an expiration date.
This creates a sense of urgency in the buyer to purchase your product now. Purchase decisions are often made emotionally and on impulse. Giving the coupon an expiration date creates this emotional response because the buyer will not want to “miss out” on the deal.
An expiration date also helps protect the long-term price of your product. It communicates that this is a “special” deal, and that the true value of your product is higher. To reinforce this, be sure to post the regular price on the coupon as well, so that the customer can see how much the product is really worth and what they will save by using the coupon.
Ask for customer contact information.
This allows you to use the coupon as an opportunity to create a connection with your customer, something that is especially difficult when selling your product through the retail sales channel. In order to qualify for the discount, ask customers to put their contact information on the coupon that you will collect from the retailer later. You can then follow up with the customer later to gather valuable information about the product (as discussed in the Product Module) and what triggered their purchase decision (as discussed earlier in the Marketing Metrics section).
Contacting the customer later can also help you better understand how your product is being sold by the retailer. You can ask the customer how knowledgeable the retailer was about your product, how it was displayed, and whether he offered to support the product after the sale. Checking in with customers can also help ensure that the retailer gave them the appropriate discount at the time of purchase.