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Making Coupon Redemption Part of Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Businesses that combine mobile with offline marketing are able to reach consumers at home and on the go, increasing awareness and response.

There’s no denying it: smartphones are changing the way consumers interact with businesses. Modern phones can keep us informed on events around the world and down the street, let us stay up-to-date with the lives of family and friends, and even manage our finances.

With a smartphone, everyone has instant access to anything on the Internet, wherever they are. A 2012 study conducted by Pew Internet found that nearly 55 percent of cell phone owners prefer to access the Internet through their mobile devices. In addition, a 2013 study conducted by ABI Research reported that 52 percent of consumers said they would definitely use mobile coupons for a discount at a local store. As these numbers grow, media outlets and businesses will continue to transition their marketing approach to integrate mobile marketing as a means of reaching consumers and driving engagement.

What Does it Mean for Businesses?

Whether it’s adding a mobile component to existing marketing efforts or creating a new mobile-only campaign, mobile can be very powerful. Opt-in based mobile coupons let consumers tell a business that they want to hear from them, giving a business direct access to a loyal customer base. Text message offers can also be created on-the-fly and reach consumers in a matter of minutes, giving a business opportunities to connect with consumers in real time. In addition to text messages, businesses can use a dedicated mobile app to give consumers a richer experience.

For smaller, local businesses that don’t have the budget or expertise to build their own app, a partnership with someone like Money Mailer will give exposure to a large consumer base without incurring any app development costs. To get the most out of mobile couponing, savvy marketers are integrating mobile couponing with other marketing channels such as print and television. This approach allows them to reach a consumer at the kitchen counter with a mailed piece, in the living room with TV and on their phones. Businesses that combine mobile with offline marketing are able to reach consumers at home and on-the-go, increasing awareness and response.

What’s in it for Consumers?

For consumers, this trend toward mobile integration means they don’t have to miss a deal because they forgot to bring a coupon from home. With a quick text message opt-in or app download they have access to instant savings, right at their fingertips. These offers come from businesses consumers know and trust, making them more relevant and useful. Additionally, many mobile coupon apps include built-in features such as social sharing, click-to-call and directions to the nearest store based on your exact location, making it easier for consumers to save. Consumers can use coupon apps to discover new businesses in their neighborhoods, or find a deal when they’re traveling or running errands.

Things to Consider Before Implementing a Mobile Strategy

There are many components that need to be considered before creating and implementing mobile coupons for your business. The types of platforms, expiration dates and redemption tactics are all important pieces of a mobile strategy. Examples of popular platform options are text-only coupons − SMS or short message service − and Web-based and app-based coupons.

The types of platforms, expiration dates and redemption tactics are all important pieces of a mobile strategy.

Text coupons are typically limited to 160-character messages and allow businesses to include short links, coupon codes and instructions for using the coupon. This platform allows businesses to “push” messages out to consumers, which means businesses can use the timing of the message to help increase response. For example, a retailer may find that it’s more effective to send coupons over the weekend while consumers are likely to be shopping. A restaurant can send a message out during the week to drive lunch traffic, or even schedule a message for the end of the workday to increase to-go orders for dinner.

Web and app-based mobile coupons represent the “pull” side of the equation; consumers access these offers when they’re ready to buy. Without the 160-character limit of text messages, this platform allows a business to tell a more compelling story using images and text. In addition, because the mobile site or app can leverage the built-in features of the consumer’s smartphone to access things like navigation and phone calls, consumers can take immediate action and make a purchase or place an order.

Chris Rimlinger is senior vice president of marketing for Money Mailer, a leader in the U.S. direct marketing industry that generates results through integrated shared mail and interactive solutions.

Chris Rimlinger is senior vice president of marketing for Money Mailer, a leader in the U.S. direct marketing industry that generates results through integrated shared mail and interactive solutions.

Once the platform has been determined, there is a variety of options for redemption. The most common approach is to ask consumers to use their mobile devices within the store and show their coupons at the point of purchase. For this approach, the salespeople must be aware of how to spot valid coupons and process the offers.

Businesses that are using aggressive offers to drive traffic can also add a unique code into their process to help track redemptions. For example, when an offer is redeemed from the Money Mailer Mobile Coupons App, it generates a code that can be recorded and matched with that transaction.

Mobile couponing can be a very powerful tool in a business’s marketing arsenal. When paired with local marketing, it can attract new customers, as well as increase visits from existing customers, increasing revenue and pushing business operations to the next level.

Chris Rimlinger is senior vice president of marketing for Money Mailer, a leader in the U.S. direct marketing industry that generates results through integrated shared mail and interactive solutions. Find her at fransocial.franchise.org via the directory.

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