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Bait Your Prospects with the Lure of a Discount

Jan 3, 2008
Since Asa Candler gave away "handwritten tickets" in 1894 for a free glass of Coca-Cola and C.W. Post gave shoppers $.01 off his new cereal called Grape Nuts in 1895, merchants and companies have been using coupons to market their products.

Today, 76% of Americans of all age groups and income ranges use coupons. Only they're not just used for groceries anymore. Coupons exist for shoes, clothes, electronics, books and more. So many coupons exist because they are powerful marketing tools.

Have you ever seen a coupon in the paper or the mail for a brand name or product you didn't usually buy? But because you could save $1, $10, $20 or even $50, you bought that different brand or purchased that new product?

Virtual coupons are just as effective for marketing your products. If you're not using online coupon codes to promote your site, you're missing out on a great source of targeted traffic.

The best part about "coupon traffic" is that these people are coming to you with one objective: to buy your product! If they don't buy, they can't take advantage of the savings that coupon code promises them.

A coupon code is a string of letters and/or numbers you enter in a promo code box on checkout pages. These codes are found on coupon directory sites, through affiliates or in general advertisements. Hundreds of stores with a huge online presence like Staples, Amazon and Barnes and Noble have integrated a "coupon code" within their shopping cart. If you have a code, you can save either a percentage off the retail price or a certain dollar amount. If you don't know the code, you don't get a discount.

Dell is a great company to model using the coupon method. They offer great coupon codes to their affiliates. These codes provide the buyers with deals they would otherwise miss out on. So it provides incentive for the affiliates to sell more because they can give better deals, and it provides incentive for the customers to buy more because they can save money.

Thanks to the success of their coupon program and affiliate programs, Dell is now promoting flash memory, digital cameras and other electronic products from other retailers. Their affiliates are in large part responsible for their success in promoting a wide range of electronic products as opposed to just computers.

This makes the affiliates happy because they can promote more products and make more money. And Dell's coupons are generous. Some of their coupons allow the customer to save hundreds of dollars. This makes the customer feel like they are getting a great deal and instills brand loyalty from the start of the relationship with the company. This gives you a successful model to follow when creating your own program.

After setting up your program, you do need to test your coupon codes. Make sure that customers are getting the advertised discount when they enter your code into the promotional box. Also be sure your terms are clear and expiration dates are well advertised.

The last thing you want is to have a customer expect to get a discount and then not get it because your terms were unclear or your coupon expired without warning. Don't create a coupon with no expiration date, then suddenly decide to make it expire. This damages your credibility. If it has no expiration date, it should be good until the end of time.

Be generous with your discounts. Everybody loves to get a great deal. The better deal you give, the more inclined your customers are to continue shopping with you. It also creates buzz.

If your customer saved a lot of money-or even some-he'll want to brag to his friends and family about what a smart shopper he is. He feels proud knowing he spent his money wisely and stretched it as far as it could go.

To advertise your coupons, list them on coupon sites across the web and join big name places like Home Depot, Target, Overstock and PetsMart. If you have coupons listed alongside such big name stores, you will give the perception of being a big, reputable company as well. And more traffic will be sure to come your way.
About the Author
Glen Hopkins is a Best-Selling Author, Information Marketer, Speaker and Consultant. Glen specializes in teaching struggling entrepreneurs how to turn their small Online businesses into thriving money machines using specific systems that will allow you to work less and earn more. Get his List Building Report and Web Traffic CD (valued at $97) for FREE at: http://glenhopkins.name/>http://GlenHopkins.name
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