Last year more than half the adult online population in America redeemed a digital coupon. That’s 100 million-plus people all ‘clipping’ those little virtual ads to get cash off their purchase or value added to their services. What we are witnessing is revolutionary. There is a seismic shift in the way consumers engage with advertisers and the way advertisers engage with consumers.
Digital marketing means traditional advertising is becoming inseparable from direct marketing. Soon, when a client clicks your online ad, instead of a single, generic offer, it will take her to one personalised just for her. As she walks past your salon, ads will pop up on her mobile device offering her a special coupon for a last minute appointment. After visiting your website, she’ll see offers from your company in her social media dashboards.
Technology is opening up opportunities to market coupons and targeted offers to clients on a much more personal level. What is the typical take-up of a ‘Time for your next appointment’ campaign? Twenty per cent? Maybe a bit more? How about setting up a campaign so whenever a lost client is near your salon, she gets a digital coupon rewarding her for returning to you? How about upselling to a loyal colour client with a follow-up email offering a coupon for an express service or money off a manicure at her next appointment?
You can carry this through to your monthly email campaigns and newsletters. New technology allows you to include coupons that differ from client to client, based on client data, without causing you or your team extra work. The program will recognise the recipient and tailor the offer accordingly.
But digital coupons are so much more than the technological equivalent of cutting discount ads out of the paper. Yes, they actively drive sales, but they can have another value – they collect data. If the redeemer wants to access your offer, she will willingly give up more information. A 360-degree view of your client is finally possible. You can also use them to create ‘shareable’ offers your clients can pass on to their friends, helping create new clients for you. And lastly, but not least, because this is very important, this new client data will help you create advertising campaigns that your clients and their friends actually want to see.
The advent of point-of-sale salon software, online booking and more secure ways to pay online is helping drive couponing, but it is client enthusiasm and the easy, low-cost, hassle-free couponing systems now available that have turned a rather jaded behaviour, once associated with old ladies holding up the checkout queue, into a powerful driver of consumer engagement.
Valorie Reavis is part of Linkup Marketing, an online and social media marketing specialist focusing on search engine marketing, salon email marketing programs and social media marketing for salons and spas. If you have any queries for the Linkup team check out the website www.linkupmarketing.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, find them on facebook.com/linkupmarketing or follow them on Twitter @linkupmarketing.