When a consumer moves to leave a retailers site, thats a perfect time to offer her a coupon.

Coupon campaigns have been used by businesses ever since the launch of the first paper coupon by Coca-Cola in 1887. Due to the invention and rapid growth of the internet, coupons campaigns have changed and has mostly been distributed through online channels.

According to AudienceScan, 41.7 percent of U.S. adults usually make buying decisions based on which coupons they have. What this means for retailers is that there is an ever-increasing demand for coupons by consumers, and a good way to reach them is through effective online coupon campaigns.

1. Coupons should pop and find Consumers

Research has shown, you have only 15 seconds to grab the attention of your website visitors. Instead of directing visitors to a page where they can redeem the coupon offer, the coupon should be strategically placed for faster access.

For example, the coupon offer can be shown or offered to a website visitor in any of the following circumstances:

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  • When exit intent is triggered: when users move their cursor towards the close (X) button or towards another browser tab, a coupon can pop up influencing their decision. The following plug-ins can be used to enable this feature; OptinMonster, Convify and Better Coupon Box.
  • When a visitor abandons his/her cart.
  • At checkout.
  • As a “sticky header.” With the help of plug-ins, a sticky bar can be placed at the top of any web page displaying your coupon offering to visitors. The Hellobar is a perfect tool for this purpose

2. Emphasis should be placed on the bargain

When designing your campaign, emphasis should be placed on the bargain the consumer gains if she decides to use the coupon. Each consumer is visiting your page for a reason: Make the coupon personal.

Pooling data from cookies and analytics, consumers can be targeted with personalized coupons based on their previous visits, demographics or interest. Your coupon banner should highlight the bargain (20% off or 35% off next purchase, for example) in bold letters and color, drawing consumers attention to the deal alone.

For better results, the CTA [call to action] can be tweaked to show messages like “Click here to save 20% now!”

3. Coupons should be Relevant to Customer’s Interest

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Clearly, after making emphasis on the bargain consumers stand to gain or lose, the coupon campaign should be relevant to your customer’s interest. The value of your coupon is determined by the consumer, so your coupons should be tailored to address your customer needs using the data gathered from your analytics dashboard.

Coupons relevant to a customer can range from “half prices off complementary items” to “free shipping” on a certain value of items in their cart.

4. Utilize the Principle of Reciprocity

The reciprocity principle is one of the basic laws of social psychology. It reveals humans naturally want to return favors and treat others fairly. So in offering your coupon to consumers for use, it is fair to ask visitors for some information about themselves, at least their email address.

Another principle of marketing: It is much better to follow up with a visitor soon after engagement, as a study from InsideSales proves that salespeople are nine times more likely to convert a lead if they follow up within five minutes.

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In application, immediately after the visitor submits his or her email, an email should be sent immediately to the visitor with the coupon code and other offers, which leads us to my next point:

5. Integrate with a CRM for Drip Email Marketing

Truth be told, more than half of your visitors will never visit your website after making a purchase or redeeming a coupon. But that’s not the end of the road.

By collecting their email addresses before releasing the coupon code, you have opened more opportunities for further communication and business. Hence, the need for a CRM, syncing your lead generation pop-ups with your CRM allows you to reach your visitors with series of automated emails leading to more sales.

For effectiveness, send the first email immediately after the coupon is redeemed. This can be a reminder on the limited timeframe of the coupon or a web page with more offers.

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6. Avoid Coupon Burnout

Coupon use is ubiquitous, which means marketers must be creative when launching campaigns. Offering the same coupon repeatedly over a period of one month can yield low ROI or high cart abandonment.

To avoid coupon burnout, the appearance, message or offer itself should vary according to the visitor. Different sizes, fonts, images, and color should be applied to the same coupon in different locations and time.

Also, the coupon message or CTA can be tweaked periodically to breathe life into the campaign.

7. Force consumers to share on Social Media

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It is a generally accepted fact that consumers make a purchasing decision based on referrals or recommendation by social media friends. Including a share button on your digital coupon asking visitors to share with their friends and followers can increase ROI for each campaign.

This is an alternative to lead generation or email marketing in coupon campaigns to gain social referrals (more visitors) and exposure.

The coupon offer, depending on its objective, can be tweaked to gain social referrals and exposure by forcing visitors to share the offer on their social media to redeem the coupon code.

Also, the landing page can be tweaked to gain new social fans by tweaking the offer, forcing visitors to like or follow your business social page to redeem the coupon code.

ChameleonJohn.com offers consumers coupons, promo codes and daily deals.

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