The Importance of Coupon Design for Coupon Usage

The appeal of any coupon is the discount or deal that it provides the customer, but it’s not the only factor that determines whether or not a coupon will actually be redeemed. Sure, we’re all attracted to an incredible deal, but a customer could let it slide—intentionally or not—if the coupon itself fails to stand out in their mind. When you use Octopon to design your coupons, you need to be conscious of what these other factors are, how they impact a customer, and what you can do to use them to your advantage.

  1. Expiration Date

One of the first things a customer looks for on a coupon is the expiration date, so they know how long they have to redeem it. The more meticulous shoppers who plan every purchase and budget themselves very carefully are more likely to keep track of those dates closely. The others may stick the coupon to the refrigerator or tuck it away in a folder somewhere and hopefully remember it.

How can you minimize the chance they’ll forget? After all, a coupon that’s expired isn’t worth anything. The problem could be using such wide-open dates for the “valid thru” date. Some of the most common coupons are valid for a month. That’s certainly generous, but that’s also plenty of time to forget all about the coupon in the first place. You can give your more forgetful customers a gentle reminder with shorter valid-thru dates. Bringing that expiration date closer can serve to make the coupon as a whole standout in their minds more and increase the number of coupon redemptions.

  1. Delivery Method

If you’re like most people, you occasionally find fliers for grocery stores stuffed in your mailbox. These mass mailers always have a section of coupons tucked away between the usual advertisements and announcements. It’s hard to argue that they don’t provide value to customers, but the method itself leaves a lot to be desired. First, any one coupon has to share its space with others, and as a result, none of them really stand out. Customers may glance at the pages and recognize the products and brands, but if they don’t need those items at that time they may not bother reading the deal itself—which could have changed their minds and brought the retailer a sale. Second, some find it invasive, considering it junk mail since they probably didn’t sign up for or otherwise ask to get those coupons.

How you give away coupons can add to their appeal. Octopon allows you to create traditional paper coupons as well as digital deals through email, social media, and your website.

  1. Striking the Right Balance

Regardless of which method you choose, consider the following tips to make them feel more open to receiving the coupons:

– Don’t overwhelm your customers. A few pages with nine or twelve coupons a piece is certainly offering a lot to a customer, but it’s possible for all that value to get lost in the noise or otherwise fail to stand out. If you love physical coupons and want to distribute multiple coupons on one page, try to keep the number low so that they aren’t competing with each other for attention. Fewer coupons on a page allows you to use larger images, too. That could really grab a customer’s attention.

– Digital opt-in. The self-publishing nature of email and social media means that you can throw out deals whenever you want. It might be fun to offer coupons all the time, but if you’re already making lots of posts or sending emails, it might come across as spamming and rub some customers the wrong way. An opt-in option will make sure that only those who actually want your deals landing in their inbox will get them. You could include them with your regular email newsletter, or to make sure you only attract those who are truly interested you can start a separate list strictly for coupon distribution. The idea is to make sure your coupons don’t get seen as clutter.

  1. The Image

A coupon including an image of the related product is almost a given. It’s just come to be part of the package, but everyone does it differently and the results can be quite staggering. Look at retailer coupons versus manufacturer coupons, for example. They both have an image of what they want to sell but treat it differently. Rite-Aid coupons tend to have the product positioned in one of the upper corners against a white background surrounded by a sea of text. It’s not exactly exciting stuff, and it’s enough for the regulars, but if they choose to create something more visually interesting it might stand to capture more attention.

You don’t have to be Da Vinci to make a visually interesting coupon, but you may find yourself thinking about elements you hadn’t considered before. When you’re designing your own coupons it’s tempting to mimic what you see around you, but if you’re willing to experiment with visual design you may heighten the interest of your customers while building your own distinctive style, something that can help brand recognition quite a lot. Think of the image you want to use, where it is on the coupon, background or background color, and make sure the text is still legible. If you can get your coupons to pop visually they could better help increase your profits.

The bottom line is this: look beyond the actual discount or deal you’re offering. Think of the coupon as a product itself: how would you sell it? What can you do to make sure it makes an impact on customers? Everything on the coupon is equally important. Approach your coupons with this mindset and you may very well find new strategies you hadn’t thought of before.  

Try it today!


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