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Mobile Marketing

3 Keys to a Successful Mobile Coupon Strategy

Coupons that can be redeemed directly via a consumer’s mobile device are rising in popularity! How can your business capitalize on this relatively new trend? As you begin to develop or redevelop your current mobile coupon strategy, consider the keys to success outlined below.

  1. Create Mobile-Friendly Coupons– There are three basic mobile coupon formats; text, image only and web/app based.
    1. Text Message– These coupons can include links, coupon codes and instructions for how to utilize the coupon. One of the challenges to this coupon format is that messages are limited to 160 characters, requiring some creativity when developing the marketing messaging.
    2. Image Coupons– Images of standard coupons can be created using basic graphic design software or scanners. The resulting image will be in a .jpeg or .gif file format that is compatible with most mobile devices. This coupon type is most effective in social media posts, emails or sent as an MMS. Some of the current challenges to sending coupons as images are that links aren’t clickable and some details written on the coupon may be too small to read easily from a mobile device’s screen without using the zoom function.
    3. Web Based or App Based– Coupons can be created using HTML formatting to be viewed online or from a mobile device. Web or app based coupons can include live links. For assistance in creating this coupon type, consider Google Places, Foursquare and Yelp. If the coupons aren’t optimized across a number of mobile device types, they will not appear properly in the user’s mobile screen.
  2. Offer Value– What offer, promotion, discount or experience will you offer via mobile coupons? To gain a prospect’s or customer’s attention, the coupon must offer something unique in nature (i.e. not offered to the general public) and it must be enticing enough to encourage action in the short term. Mobile coupons should also include one of the following redemption methods:
    1. Text messages that include links to coupons that can be directly scanned in the retail location.
    2. Unique codes that can be entered online or mentioned over the phone to complete purchases at a discount.
    3. QR Codes that can be scanned at the retail location. For ease of use, the retail establishment will likely need specialized equipment that will enable the scanned bar code to read correctly.
  3. Distribute Coupons Effectively– Once you have created your mobile coupon strategy, you need to distribute it to your target audience. Offer coupons on pages such as Google Places or Foursqure. Use text messaging service providers to distribute your coupons via their targeted lead lists. Place the coupons on your company’s primary website. And, include it in any ongoing marketing programs via newsletter, email and/or social media profiles.

Following your mobile coupon program’s implementation, tracking will become critical. Without accurate analytics, you won’t be able to decipher which coupons are effective and which are not.

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