Coupons: What Are They and What Purpose Do They Serve?

Being a successful entrepreneur does not stop with establishing a business. There are countless challenges business owners have to face before they reach the pinnacle of success. One of which is building a solid customer base to generate more profit. While launching advertisements through different media platforms does its job in enticing customers, there is nothing more compelling to these customer’s pockets than availing of a product or service for less.

Offering discounts, deals, and promotions to the target market can influence their purchasing decision. As featured in an article from Inc., two-thirds of the respondents from a RetailMeNot survey said coupons or discounts prompted them to make unplanned purchases. With that, it is safe to say that coupons play a vital role in acquiring customers and boosting the profit of a particular business. But what exactly is it? A coupon is a ticket—digital or printed—which customers can make use of in redeeming a financial discount. It is one type of promotional tool that product manufacturers usually issue and distribute through various platforms like mail and newspapers.

What Are the Different Types of Coupons?

As featured in an article from Sun-Sentinel, there are over 290 billion distributed coupons last 2017. These coupons may serve a unified purpose to store owners or product sellers, but they offer various benefits to the consumers. Listed below are the different types of coupons—each with a unique benefit.

Manufacturer Coupons: As part of a manufacturer’s marketing strategy, they issue manufacturer coupons and distribute them through various methods. It is one way to entice customers to purchase products. When customers present manufacturer coupons to a store, the store will receive a reimbursement from the manufacturers with a corresponding amount.Store Coupons: Unlike manufacturer coupons wherein manufacturers offer various benefits to their customers, store owners issue coupons to provide discounts to those who will avail of the products available in their shops. This type of coupon usually comes with dollar-off deals instead of percent deals.Newspaper Coupons: Even in this digital age, there are still newspapers that are in circulation. Data showed that during 2018, there are over 28 million daily newspaper circulation for the weekend. These newspapers do not only contain the latest news, but they also have sheets of coupons customers can make use of to save money on their next purchase. Newspaper coupons are usually manufacturer-issued coupons.Digital Coupons: Now that most people utilize their digital devices to accomplish tasks, which include purchasing, entrepreneurs make sure that they are keeping up with the advancement of technology. For this reason, store owners and manufacturers launch different types of digital marketing. One example of which is offering digital coupons to their customers. Digital coupons are also known as eCoupons, online coupon codes, and printable coupons.Discount Coupons: Store owners or manufacturers can offer a dollar/s-off or percentage-off to their customers by giving discount coupons. These coupons usually include a code that a customer presents to the cashier upon checkout. Then, a particular amount will be deducted from the total amount that they have to pay.Catalinas: Named after Catalina Marketing, this type of coupon resembles a receipt that stores give to customers after a purchase. These are usually printed at the registers in a stores’ checkout areas and given alongside the receipt. Moreover, Catalinas can either be a store or manufacturer coupon.Peelies: As the name suggests, peelies are the type of coupons in which the customers can peel like a sticker from a product’s packaging and use it immediately upon purchase. Manufacturers typically issue this type of coupon as part of their sales promotion.Blinkies: Purchasers can find this type of coupon on a grocery or retail store’s shelves—in front of a particular product which the discount or offer is for. Because these coupons usually feature little blinking lights as a way to attract customers, they got the name “blinkies.” As time goes by, though, other types of coupons are introduced to the market; thus, making blinkies less significant.

Want to Save Money? Look Through the Pages

A Statista survey conducted in the United States revealed that out of 1 000 respondents, 92% of them claimed that they made use of coupons for shopping. This type of promotional tool plays a significant role for both entrepreneurs and customers. When entrepreneurs distribute coupons to their target market, they get to entice more customers to avail of their business offers. On the other hand, redeeming rewards through a coupon enables customers to save money. If you are searching for coupons, look through the pages of printed materials and web pages. Here’s a list of materials and places that may surprise you with money-saving tickets.

Newspapers: Newspapers don’t just provide the public with crucial information about the current situation of a particular area. Some marketers utilize this medium of communication to promote their products and services. Aside from actual advertisements printed in the material, newspapers also have coupons inserted on it. However, you can’t find these newspaper inserts at all times—these are usually available in Sunday editions only.

Magazine: Interesting stories, beautiful photographs, and intriguing interviews, you can see these things in a magazine. But do you know what else you can find as you look through the glossy pages of this printed material? Coupons. This printed advertising material may also contain coupons in the form of inserts or printed with a product’s actual advertisement.

Online: If you want a convenient way to acquire some coupons for your next purchase, then go online. There are coupon apps you can download on your mobile phones, which can help you save money without having to clip printed tickets. To redeem the offer, cashiers will scan your phone at checkout and a corresponding amount will be deducted automatically. Aside from coupon apps, you can also find printable online coupons on the internet. These are the ones you can get for free and print out right from your home computer and present to the store

Products: As mentioned beforehand, there is a type of coupon that is directly attached to a product’s packaging. These coupons may come as peelies, wine tags, or hangtags. Apart from that, some manufacturers include coupons inside the package, so make sure to check it out before tossing it in your trash bin. While you can make use of peelies immediately at the time of purchase, you may collect wine tags or hangtags and use it anytime.

How to Design an Attention-Grabbing Coupon

Coupons may come in different shapes and colors, but they serve one purpose to the manufacturers and store owners—to persuade customers to do business with them. For this reason, they should make sure that their coupons look visually pleasing for the target market not to miss great deals. In this section, we have outlined a step-by-step guide to help you create attention-grabbing coupons.

Step 1: Do the Math

As much as business owners want to offer the best deals to their customers, they have to make sure the discounts they provide won’t cost their company a fortune. That is why before you start designing your coupon, you have to make calculations so you can determine the benefits you can offer. In doing so, see to it that end up gaining profit than losing money.

Step 2: Highlight the Offer

Of all the information you will include in your coupon, the offer is what makes customers feel pumped up to purchase the products of your business. Whether it is a percentage discount, dollar-off, or a buy one get one deal, it is highly important to emphasize this information in your material. It should be the first thing the customers will see in the coupon. However, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Whatever you offer to your customers, make sure that you will fulfill it so as not to disappoint them.

Step 3: Remember to Include Essential Information

Aside from mentioning the offer in your coupons, you also have to include other important information, such as the terms and conditions. It consists of the expiration date and the restrictions. In addition, it is crucial for the customers to know what they can and cannot do with the coupons to avoid misunderstandings. Apart from being specific when it comes to the terms and conditions, you should also choose the best font styles you will use for the text you will insert in the material. Avoid making use of decorative fonts to make the content legible in both digital and print media.

Step 4: Customize

Remember that your coupons do not only serve as a ticket for customers to avail of a discount, these printed materials also serve as your business’ promotional tools to gain customers. With this in mind, you should incorporate your business’ specifics in your coupon. Now that you have included the necessary information in your coupon, start customizing the material to best fit your brand values. You must include your company’s name and logo in your design for the customers to immediately recognize your brand. Inserting a photo that is relevant to what you offer can also make your coupons more visually attractive.

If your company has a signature color, it would be beneficial to use it to design your coupons. On another note, you can also match your design with the ongoing holiday celebration. Let’s say that you will distribute your coupons during the Christmas season, be up-to-date and make your design look Christmassy by adding a touch of festive colors in the ticket.

Step 5: Go Digital

With over 4 billion active Internet users all around the globe, going digital will be the best choice to make for entrepreneurs who want their promotions to reach a wider audience. Having digital coupons in addition to printed ones lessens the printing costs on your part.

It is of a company’s goal to increase its sales, build a brand image, and establish customer loyalty in the most cost-efficient way. Therefore, entrepreneurs launch different types of advertisements to attract potential customers and promote their business offers. Besides brochures, flyers, Facebook ads, TV ads, and other types of promotional materials, several manufacturers issue coupons as a form of sales promotion. It is a way to inform the target market that a great deal is waiting for them when they purchase a particular product in a specific store. However, you should bear in mind that running a business will always entail taking risks. So whether or not your marketing strategy will work, you should not be afraid to take calculated risks until your business is successful enough to be on the run regardless of the eventualities or the ever-changing economic conditions.