Updated: 5 Tips for Running an Effective Coupon Campaign

No business owner likes to “give money away.” That’s a fact.

So when your agent calls and mentions the word “coupon,” we understand why you’re often reluctant to buy into this concept. But did you know that coupons offer a number of great business advantages and opportunities?

Attracting new customers, retaining current customers and contending with competitors can be a challenging task. Coupons are a creative tool to catch the attention of new customers or keep your current customers coming back for a special service or to promote a regular service. They can also keep your consumers informed of new services your shop provides.

Consumers tend to shop by making comparisons and will do the same for their automotive services. Which shop has a special? Who’s creating value for me? Who’s offering what? There’s no way around it, so it’s to your advantage to make your shop stand out in the crowd. Coupons and promotions are a great way to differentiate your business from the competition.

The Mitchell 1 SocialCRM team has outlined five great ideas for shop owners to use when considering coupons. We hope these will remove the taboo about coupons and help drive more business to your door:

  1. Dollar Sign or Percent Sign?

It’s a close tie when comparing the two, but we’ve found that the dollar off coupon has a slightly higher return. The defined amount off eliminates the consumer’s need to calculate their discount. It’s clear and straight forward from the beginning.

  1. Viral Marketing

Take advantage of the digital world! Ask your customers to pass your coupons on to their friends and family, or, better yet, ask them  to share on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Word-of-mouth is the best type of marketing. It helps create trust instantly between the shop and prospect, and it’s FREE. More exposure at no additional cost!

  1. Sense of Urgency

Creating the sense of urgency by adding an expiration date helps bring the consumer through the door sooner rather than later. One of the most common expiration time periods we see is “Expires 30 days from recommended service date.”

  1. Sell Customer Service

Maybe, you just don’t want to put a price on a service.  If you don’t offer discounts, you can sell your customer service instead. No matter how great a price is, most consumers are sold on customer service and experience.  Remember to set yourself apart from the competition. Some ideas include:

◦Free WIFI
◦Free shuttle
◦Free coffee
◦Rental car
◦Extended warranty

  1. Aggressive Coupons

Running an aggressive coupon can help when business is slow, and you need to get customers through the door NOW! It’s also a great idea to run an aggressive coupon when trying to promote new services or new equipment in the shop:

◦Buy One, Get One
◦FREE
◦Customer Referrals

Now that you’re thinking about coupons, here are some additional ways they can help you maximize competitive advantage in your market:

  • Use coupons to leverage seasonal changes, holidays and special events
  • Coupons supply fresh information and create a sense of change and newness, giving consumers a reason to take interest in a business
  • Coupons allow you to introduce a new product line or services, alert patrons to expanded hours, special events and other news
  • Coupons keep existing customers coming back and also introduce your business to new customers

Remember, there are many ways to promote your coupons using SocialCRM, including OEM Service Reminder emails and postcards, thank you emails, recommendation emails, your SureCritic review page, your website and email blasts.

About the Author

Lizzy Murphy

Lizzy Murphy has been with Mitchell 1 since 2010, starting on the front lines as a receptionist. She is now the Support & Sales Lead for the SocialCRM team, and happily helps our repair shop customers with their marketing initiatives. In her spare time, she works on restoring classic cars or creating culinary dishes at home.