This simple checklist gives you all the information you need to get started in managing a coupon campaign.
Set your objectives & criteria for success. Consider the following:
- Are you launching a new product?
- Increasing awareness of an existing product?
- Encouraging repeat purchase?
Decide how best to reach your target audience and the cost involved. Improved targeting means far less wastage i.e. lower costs and higher margins.
Select the correct media for distribution, different media will result in higher redemption rates and a different redemption curve.
Coupon personalisation (PIN barcoding). With this technology coupons can be tracked to individuals and campaigns.
Once you have decided on the objectives for a campaign you will need to think about the details of how the campaign will run. You should consider the following points when planning the campaign:
- Face value of the coupon - You should use lower value coupons to incentivise repeat purchase and higher values for trial or new product purchases. The coupon value should reflect the RRP. Getting a coupon value right is essential to a successful campaign.
- Volume of coupons to issue - The volume of coupons you issue depends largely on the distribution media you choose and the budget you have for the campaign. For example, using targeted mailings you could issue a lower number of coupons than in door-to-door and expect a higher redemption rate.
- Insurance - Will the campaign be insured against over redemption? If this is a requirement contact your handling house prior to coupons being issued.
When choosing a design for your coupon the first thought is usually the imagery. Clearly from a product/ brand point of view this is the most important aspect, the coupon must be identifiable for use with your product. From a functional point of view however, you should consider these guidelines to ensure a smooth life for your coupon once it is distributed in the market.
- Size and Shape - Most coupons are rectangular, the recommended dimensions are a minimum 4cm x 8cm and maximum 7cm x 13cm.
- Remember to print the barcode(s) clearly and have them scan tested if possible.
- If the coupon is retailer specific make this as clear as possible, you could use the retailer's logo if this is appropriate.
- Coupons generally have an expiry date; if your coupon expires make this clear to the consumer so that they will use it in time. Being told you are too late causes embarrassment at the checkout and can put consumers off the related product.
- Make sure that the coupon is easily cut or detached from any parent media, clear cut lines should be used to ensure no required information is lost.
- The redemption address should be clearly stated along with the promoter's name.
- Clear instructions should be printed on the coupon for the consumer; you should consider stating that this coupon can only be used as part payment for your product and that only one can be used against each purchase.
For much more details about coupon design you can visit the ISP website or read the Notes for Guidance on Coupons - Recommended Best Practice
All bar codes represent data in a machine readable form. The different widths of bars and spaces in a barcode symbol represent different numbers and letters which can be decoded or “scanned” by a barcode scanner. The scanned data is then sent to a computer system where it is recorded and processed.
Coupon barcodes are in the EAN-13 format. Each coupon should have a unique barcode. This enables the handling house and retailers to identify the coupon correctly. You must be registered with GS1 UK order to have an issuer number, and there is a charge for this service.
Barcodes can only be printed in certain foreground and background colour combinations. The most common is black on white, as this has the highest scan recognition rate.
For more information about barcodes, contact us us or IPM, GS1 UK
Most coupon issuers use a handling house to manage their coupon redemptions. Each handling house manages them slightly differently and has a different way of charging for their services. Some handling houses can offer services above and beyond that of clearing coupons and some are dedicated to that single task.
Below is a list of things that a handling house will normally do for you:
- Receive claims from retailers and other handling houses.
- Scan each claim and verify that the coupon amounts and values claimed are those actually found to be valid within the claim.
- Reimburse the retailer for the validated value of the submitted claims.
- Invoice the coupon issuer for the value of the claims paid on their behalf.
- Provide detailed reporting on the financial transactions.
- Provide other reporting on redemption rates, top redeeming retailers, Tesco values.
- Provide online access to these reports and other tools such as online coupon notification.
MRM Couponline is designed to be not only an online free-to-use resource but is also the gateway to our online coupon management tool. If you believe we may be able to help you, or you just want more information please contact us.
These are some other things you may need to consider when looking at starting a coupon campaign:
- Insurance - Remember to advise your handling house to keep all coupons once processed for insured campaigns, in case of future claim.
- Make retailers aware of your campaign wherever possible.
- Make it legal - Check with the British codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion and your obligations under the Data Protection Act Committee of Advertising Practice
- Remember to brief your handling house of all forthcoming campaigns. Information is required for processing and prompt payment to your retailers (face value, stop payment date, distribution media, distribution quantity etc). This data is equally important to allow post campaign evaluation and analysis.
- Remember to advise the handling house of any data capture requirements.
- Remember to evaluate the success of the campaign.
- Use a secure printer for the production of the coupons.
- Ask for help, we are always available to help guide you through a coupon campaign.