Access Vice President of Partnership Marketing Dave Bona oversees the development and maintenance of the nation’s largest private discount network, featuring over 300,000 merchants. We asked Dave to chime in with his thoughts on coupons and how the practice is changing for merchants. Be sure to catch parts one, two, and three in the series.
We've talked about why coupons aren't going away, and how businesses need to be more strategic in the deals they release into the world. Now, allow me to show you an example of a business that's using coupons to reach specific audiences, bring in new business, and keep those customers coming back.
This particular business, a popular Thai restaurant along Salt Lake City’s historic state street seldom offers deals, especially to the general public. We partnered with the business to help them approach three distinct audiences with targeted offers.
For the larger (but not public) groups, the restaurant offered two deals that protect their margins: $5 off $25, and a free appetizer with equal purchase. The $5 offer guarantees the customer spends at least $25, while the appetizer has a low fixed-cost with high appeal. Both are lucrative enough to attract the curious diner.
To appeal to the desirable mobile crowd, which skews younger and male, the restaurant offers the same $5 off $25 deal but also a more enticing one-time “free entrée with equal or greater purchase” mobile coupon. These new customers are more likely to give the Thai restaurant a try because of the BOGO deal. After trying the restaurant, they won’t wait around for another BOGO like some platforms condition consumers to do, but rather enjoy the $5 off $25 offer every subsequent visit.
Finally, the restaurant created a deal for Access’ Zions Cash Rewards card-linked offers network (a partnership between Access and Zions Bank) that entitles customers to cash rebates upon meeting certain spending thresholds. For this network the restaurant offers three such deals, including an appealing one-time $7 back upon spending $14 or more and an ongoing $2 back on $14 to encourage repeat visits.
These deals allow the restaurant to ingratiate itself with the cardholders of the largest bank in the region without the worry of the general public getting ahold of an offer that’s truly meant for a select group.
Another great benefit of these offers is the work Access and Zions put into promoting them to their respective networks. The restaurant has received over 500,000 advertising impressions from the Zions relationship alone.
The Final Word
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and a “no coupons” stance is understandable for many brands.
For the vast majority of businesses, however, coupons are an absolute sure-fire way to bring in traffic. For those who use them strategically and with caution, they’ll not only draw a crowd, but it’ll be the right crowd, spending money on the right items, at the right time.
Dave Bona is the Vice President of Partnership Marketing at Access Development. He oversees the company's relationships with over 300,000 local and national merchants - the largest private discount network in the nation.