Coupons are one of the most effective sources for brand engagement and loyalty. If anyone knows how true that is, it’s Coca Cola; the brand created the first-ever coupon in 1887.
Coupons are still being used in today’s digital age. The ubiquity (your new word for the day) of smartphones has only increased the popularity of coupons as a marketing tool. Juniper Research reports that “the number of coupons [delivered] via mobile and online channels will increase from 224 billion in 2016 to 362 billion in 2021.”1
How Email Coupons Benefit a Business
The reasons a company offers a coupon haven’t really changed much since those early days of Coca-Cola. Create brand awareness. Attract new customers. Encourage repeat purchases. Drive customer loyalty and retention. To get a better understanding of why email coupons are used so heavily, check out these statistics2:
The big difference now is that digital marketing allows companies to collect data that can be used to better target offers. Social media and email make it easy for consumers to share deals with friends – 40% of consumers will share an email offer with their friends and 28% of consumers will share deals via social media platforms3 – substantially increasing the initial campaign reach.
Coupon Use and Rise of Mobile
Traditionally, customers print out coupons or retrieve the email in which they were sent. Either method carries the likelihood that the offer won’t be redeemed: paper coupons can be lost, left at home or expire before use; email coupons can be forgotten or frustrating to retrieve on a smartphone, from hundreds of emails most consumers receive each day.
With desktop email click-to-open on a steep decline – it’s now only 4.4 percent higher than mobile (based on Yes Lifecycle Marketing Q3 benchmark data) – marketers need to pay more attention to delivering digital coupons via smartphones. According to a study of “The State of the Mobile Coupon Industry”4,
Juniper Research also found offers made through mobile wallets generate a 26% increase in average order value over static mobile coupons.
Digital Wallets and Mobile Coupons
The mobile consumer wants speed and convenience. As we’ve already mentioned, searching for emails containing a digital coupon on a smartphone isn’t the best user experience.
Good news! – a solution already exists and it’s pre-installed on every smartphone!!! The answer is mobile wallets.
Apple Wallet, Android Pay and related apps are much, much more than a form of digital payment. Mobile wallets enable users to store and retrieve loyalty cards, offers and coupons.
Many consumers, as well as marketers, aren’t familiar with mobile wallets. However, their adoption by smartphone users who recognize their convenience will continue to rise. Mobile marketing company Vibes reports that since the 2014 launch of Apple Wallet there’s been a 1,143% increase in content installs across 2,000+ campaigns run by more than 30 leading brands5.
Just how big a payoff can be achieved by switching to coupons that can be stored in a mobile wallet? Let’s take a look at a recent campaign by Yes Lifecycle Marketing.
Switch to Mobile Wallet Pays off for Dining Chain
Since coupon-based emails are a major driver of visits for restaurants, a family dining chain looked to emphasize ease of use to increase coupon redemption. They wanted a solution that would overcome survey statistics such as:
Yes Lifecycle Marketing worked with the client to develop a new email strategy to cater to on-the-go guests by taking advantage of the increasing use of mobile wallets. Guests could now tap and save the offer where it was readily available on their smartphone.
To reinforce the offer and facilitate a visit, the email boasted a link to a map that showed the customer’s preferred restaurant or closest location in the chain.
The switch to digital coupons stored in a mobile wallet delivered the desired results – increasing engagement – big time! The inaugural campaign, an “Up to 20% Savings” email with coupon, generated:
But most importantly, guests utilized the coupons more – there was a 56% increase in coupon redemption from the previous year.
Add Mobile Wallet to Your Email Marketing
A mobile wallet can provide marketers with the benefits of an app (e.g., notifications, location analytics) without having to develop one or get consumers to download it. This strategy also exemplifies what Internet Retailer suggests retailer should do: “….not only seek to take money out of a shopper’s wallet, they should also live in a consumer’s wallet.”
For more best practices on mobile wallets, check out this “Ask our Experts” article