My Problem... Your Solution? (Offline IM Related)

by 6 comments
A client of mine ran a promotion and had coupons that were distributed and unfortunately, employees and consumers took advantage of him and reproduced these coupons. They were simple coupons created on a computer with no real tracking features.

This was before we worked together. He's now looking for a solution that I can tie into implementation of lead generation mechanisms (opt-ins) on a new website that will reduce or eliminate the risk of having them reproduced. They are buy one smoothie, get one free. He also wants to give out "smoothie bucks" that can be used towards the purchase of anything in the store. As you can imagine, this could get costly for him (again) if he doesn't track this sort of promotion.

I have some ideas, but was wondering if you all could share yours? Can't have too many ideas and would really appreciate feedback.


John Dennis
#internet marketing #offline #problem #related #solution
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Sounds like it should be two separate promotions - one for a buy one/get one free and a separate time frame for the "smoothie bucks". Don't know his price point - but might also try buy one/get second one for a buck or half-price.

    Two obvious solutions are to number the coupons or put a limited time expiration date. With an expiration date he could have a different coupon design each time. Can also have "limit one coupon per customer".

    Could also use different color paper to print them, making it harder to reproduce them.


    Another thought: Make the employees part of the promotion by giving them each a limited number of coupons to distribute to friends and family and enlist their help in getting NEW customers to use the coupons.
  • Profile picture of the author K2SMedia
    This may be a bit off, but it's at least worth thinking about...

    On the bottom of the coupon in small print "Must show valid ID"...

    When the coupon is used, have the employee copy down first name, last name, and then ask for an email address.

    It should be easy to come up with a solution for checking this info against past entries, and it also lets the client grab more customer data at the same time.

    An extra added plus would be tracking the promotion method... For example...

    In addition to taking the name and email addy, they could also take note of the coupon #, which could be unique... Coupons sent via email would have their number, web coupons another number, store coupons another number, etc...

    Now the lead data is more targeted, and your client can see who converts on certain types of offers, and thus determine who is more likely to do it again in the future, and he will know where to concentrate certain marketing efforts.

    Just my .02
  • Profile picture of the author FlightGuy

    Yeah, the promotions will be separate from one another. Great ideas though.

    Ks2Media, you pointed out an idea I was thinking about myself - specific numbers for each coupon-sending method whether it be email, direct mail, employee handouts, in store, etc. I could actually combine this with Kay's idea with numbers, colors, and expiration dates.

    Thanks for the great ideas so far.


    John Dennis
  • Profile picture of the author K2SMedia
    Cool! Post back and let us know how it works for you, or what you decide to go with.

    I'm on the brink of hitting offline businesses myself part-time to see how it goes, so it's good to see others having success with it!
    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Personally, I'd be cautious asking for info from customers - I know that's a real turnoff for me. If the idea is to bring in new customers that will become repeat customers, you don't want to do anything that will make them uncomfortable. A customer who is uncomfortable during his visit won't return.

      The purpose of a coupon (for the owner) isn't to give something away but to increase the repeat customer base.

      The tracking is a great idea and would be important to put the money where the results are.

  • Profile picture of the author GoGetta
    From an initial insight, the first 3 things that come to mind are:

    1. Number them and have an expiry date!
    2. Have a unique design and colour so they become a little harder to copy.
    3. Give them a unique stamp before passing them out and stamp when used!

    This would probably work! I would go for the email address when they are reused. If people can use them once ask if they want to be entered into a draw for a special prize. All you need is a name and email address.



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