Category Archives: Small Business Tips

6 Ways to Create Effective Coupons to Increase Sales

4 Jun 2014 | written by Samantha Karren for the Advertising, Small Business Tips section(s)

Wondering why so many customers fail to follow through with a purchase? In a study by PayPal and comScore, they identified the following reasons for online shoppers abandoning their carts:
reasons for online shoppers abandoning their carts

Consumers could give you a variety of other reasons for abandoning their shopping carts, but there is one way to address all of those reasons:

Coupons.

Coupon use is on the rise, especially among mobile phone users. One thing is clear: you should definitely be implementing coupons for your online shoppers. The next steps involve optimizing those coupons so that they lead to more purchases.

Strategic Coupon Offers for New Clients

There should be some strategy behind how you decide what coupon to offer customers. If most of your customers are new business, will you see results from offering 10% off for repeat customers? Probably not. You’ll need another coupon to entice more new customers to your door first. Decide what type of special will bring in new customers versus repeat customers, such as a particular product, an overall store discount, or a service that comes free with a purchase.

Coupons will be more effective if you align them with your current marketing strategy. For example, if you are a dentist’s office and your SEO campaign is currently focusing on clients looking for teeth whitening, then create coupons for “free teeth whitening for new patients” or “10% off teeth whitening with exam.” This is also a great way to test what coupons and ads bring in more business.

Custom Deals for Repeat Customers

Generally, it should be easier to guess what your existing clients want from you once they’ve already done business with you. Offer customized coupons based on the customer’s interests, such as these:

  • Birthday discounts you send to loyal clients on their birthday
  • Service reminders to clients who need service at routine intervals
  • Holiday specials
  • In-season products

Try to rise above “coupon spam” with your strategy. Consumers get tired of being bombarded with emails and texts that offer discounts they aren’t interested in. Give them coupons they really want and use.

Making Coupons Mobile Friendly

Now that you have a strategy, you need to push the coupon out to your customers. If your goal is to drive online conversions and sales, then you have to optimize your coupons for mobile users and online shoppers.
The future of coupons in mobile phone apps

Format your coupons for easy access on mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. You can format mobile coupons in a number of ways:

  • Text only (for text messages)
  • Images (for social media posts and emails)
  • Web-based coupon (for your website, an app, or other webpage)

Remember, your website should also be mobile-optimized, especially if you want mobile users to be able to find or redeem coupons on your website.

Distributing Coupons

It’s up to you to decide how your targeted demographic prefers to receive coupons. Some of the most popular methods are:

  • Text messages
  • Emails
  • Social media posts and updates
  • Apps
  • QR code scans
  • A clickable banner on your site

You may need to do some testing to see which distribution methods get the best response. Here’s a look at some customer-preferred methods:
Preferred method of receiving mobile coupons

Keep in mind that you have to capture the customer’s phone number or email before you can send them a coupon code. QR codes work great for customers who are already in the store. Social media coupons can also entice customers to follow you or submit their phone and email to receive future updates. Social media coupons are a great way to bring in new leads, because you can urge users to “share this coupon with friends.”

Managing Coupon Logistics

It seems obvious, but make sure the terms of your coupon are clear. The coupon should state where and how to redeem the coupon and provide a clear window before expiration. The urgency conveyed by your coupon can also affect how likely the coupon is limited to one per customer, per visit, etc.

You don’t want to lose money with coupons. Use Michael Scott from “The Office” as an example for good or bad. It’s great to start with a cute coupon idea like a “golden ticket,” but make sure the discount doesn’t backfire and cause you to lose money because you didn’t establish terms or set limits on who can redeem the coupon and how often.

Tracking Coupon Redemption and Sales

Finally, set up a redemption code to help you track the coupon’s performance. Some websites offer unlimited coupon use for whoever enters the code at checkout. Others offer a completely unique redemption code for each customer. It’s up to you. Just make sure you can keep track of how often those codes are used at checkout and whether it improves purchase rates.

Want to improve customer retention as well as first-time purchases? Update your coupon strategy often and keep them coming!


References:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218200#

http://www.slideshare.net/webanalyticshungary/coupon-marketing-optimization-to-decrease-cart-abandonment-anna-sebestyen-at-web-analytics-wednesday-budapest-hungary

http://mashable.com/2010/02/10/online-coupons/

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How to Acquire and Keep New Clients

9 May 2014 | written by Elizabeth Baier for the Small Business Tips section(s)

How to aquire and keep new clients

It doesn’t matter what size your business is, every corporation depends on revenue from a consistent stream of new clients. Once you acquire these clients, you need to find ways to keep these clients for as long as possible.

Acquiring new clients is distinctively important if your business is more of a once-in-a-while service industry, such as plumbing or electrical work. There are dozens of theories, techniques, and opinions about acquiring new clients, but there’s really no set of rules to teach you the art and guarantee success.

We’ve narrowed down a few points you can use to evaluate your business and decide if you need to make tweaks in order to increase profits and expand your clientele. Read On

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How to Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Promote Your Business

How to Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Promote Your Business

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful sources of marketing out there. This is because we generally trust the word of our family, friends, colleges, and even random voices on the Internet over a paid advertisement. While it may be difficult, as an advertiser, to get people to tell there friends and family about your products and/or services, it’s not impossible. In fact, the Internet has provided a few ways to make word-of-mouth marketing easier. Here are a few ways to promote your business through word-of-mouth marketing via the Internet.

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Should You Invest in New Technology for Your Business?

1 May 2014 | written by Samantha Karren for the Mobile Web, PPC, SEO, Small Business Tips, Social Networking section(s)

SHOULD YOU INVEST IN NEW MARKETING TECHNOLOGY?

No, we’re not talking about investing in the stock market. We’re talking about new marketing technology that can help your business bring in more customers and ultimately increase your bottom line. Sound like the answer is an obvious “Yes!”? Before you jump on the wagon of the latest and trendiest technology, make sure it’s the right tool for your business. Here are some marketing technologies that will actually help you see an increase in traffic and revenue. Read On

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Why Your Business Should Consider Using YouTube

YouTube

What do Red Bull, PlayStation, and Apple have in common?

The answer may surprise you: they are in the top five most popular consumer brands on YouTube as of October 2013. You may think of YouTube as just some website your kids use to show you funny videos, or if you’re like me, you use it to watch endless clips of Sophia Grace and Rosie from Ellen, but this social media site is proving to be very important for brands trying to establish a reputation.

Read On

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Google Takes Action on Guest Blogging Communities

20 Mar 2014 | written by Charlie Gray for the internet marketing, local internet marketing, Local Maps, online marketing, OrangeSoda News, PPC, SEO, Small Business Tips section(s)

BlogIllustrations3

Yesterday, Google announced that they took action on a guest blogging community. This strategy has been viewed as a white-hat tactic for years and is now being deemed as spammy by Google’s Webspam team. OrangeSoda has not leveraged this network. While we have leveraged guest blog posting strategies, we have stayed within Google Guidelines. As always, we adjust all of our marketing strategies to enhance performance and limit risk.

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SEO Strategy 101

17 Mar 2014 | written by Ashley R. Cummings for the internet marketing, online marketing, SEO, Small Business Tips section(s)

SEOSTrategy-01

If you have a business that exists in any capacity online, the bottom line is you need to make sure that website is optimized properly for search engines. Otherwise, the only people who will know about your website, and consequently, what products you sell, will be you and your mom. While SEO (search engine optimization) is a must, you may be wondering what SEO entails. Here is a quick breakdown of the basics of SEO.

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The Three Keys You Need to Mobilize Innovation in the Workplace

14 Mar 2014 | written by Todd Leeloy for the internet marketing, OrangeSoda News, Small Business Tips section(s)

ThreeKeys-100

As the manager of a company in an industry in constant flux, it is important that I keep my employees consistent in one area: innovation. And I guess I’m not alone; 61% of CEOs say innovation is a primary focus of their business.

The Harvard Business Review published a feature in January based on work by Luma Institute that identified 36 methods for innovation. The methods fall under 3 overarching principles:

  • 1. Looking
  • 2. Understanding
  • 3. Making

While innovation is often spontaneous, chaotic, and unexpected, you can create an environment to cultivate ideas, and you need to have a process to implement them, which is what we’ve tried to create at OrangeSoda.

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Changing Business Locations?

11 Mar 2014 | written by Ashley R. Cummings for the Local Maps, Small Business Tips section(s)

ChangingBizLocations

Maybe one of your goals for 2014 was to upgrade your office space and move to a bigger location. First of all, congrats on the new move! It’s always nice to get a fresh start and make yourself at home in a bright, new location. During the moving process, you’ll definitely want to pack up all of your physical items, but that’s not all. Make sure that you don’t forget to move your online presence as well. In order to make sure customers can still find you online, and still get proper directions to your office, you’ll want to update your information online. After all, you don’t want people showing up to your old address expecting your services only to find an abandoned building. Here is what you will want to update as you prepare to make the big move.

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The ROI of Marketing

ROIofMarketing

Investing in online marketing is a big deal for any small business. After all, marketing can be expensive. But it’s also the best way to get people to find out about your products and services. Here are just a few ways to get your ROI with online marketing. Read On

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