Vouchers are certainly nothing new and have been a staple of marketing for quite some time for good reason! The success of vouchers as a business growth strategy is undeniable. It is widely regarded that the very first coupon (at least in the USA) was issued in the late 1800s for one free glass of Coca-Cola. This free trial voucher strategy was so successful it transformed the beverage from a pharmacy tonic into a drink brand juggernaut.
Free trial offers are still popular but voucher strategies have evolved as an engine for driving business growth. By using technology and creativity, vouchers can not only be effective for your marketing efforts but also a powerful customer engagement tool.
We’ve put together a guide for using vouchers to drive growth with the power of customer engagement.
In this guide we cover:
- Why you should use vouchers!
- When to use vouchers for maximum customer engagement
- How to get maximum ROI on your voucher campaign
- How to use customer engagement to avoid voucher fraud
Why should you be using discount vouchers for your business? Because it might be the perfect customer engagement strategy you are looking for! As the effectiveness of traditional marketing wanes, the ability to engage target customers in a personalised way is crucial to business growth – a reality that is especially true for startups.
There are so many ways to do customer engagement, but using vouchers may be just what your startup needs. Using a voucher campaign as a customer engagement tool not only utilises the psychology of discounting but also deepens the relationship with your customer.
Vouchers have been a mainstay of marketing for so long because of how powerful discounting is at incentivising behaviour. It’s almost impossible to resist a good deal, which is why vouchers often act as a purchasing tipping point.
Most importantly, vouchers are great for deepening customer relationships because they deliver happiness to the customer in the form of oxytocin. This kind of neurological activity forms the kind of emotional bond that creates loyal customers.
For maximum customer engagement, timing is everything
Why does the timing of your vouchers matter when it comes to customer engagement? Because strategically planning your vouchers’ timing so they are both personally relevant to your customers and retain their novelty, will turn your voucher campaign into a customer engagement powerhouse.
Timing can be the key to personalising your vouchers for your customer base. Sending a voucher to a customer for taking a specific action (eg buying something or ongoing loyalty), celebrating a special occasion (eg a birthday) or saying sorry when something goes wrong (eg, a defective product) can give your marketing efforts a personalised edge that it would otherwise be missing.
Timing a promotional offer to anticipate customer needs is another powerful way to engage your customer – all it takes is a little data and intuition. For example, if a first-time customer purchases hand cream, timing a voucher to anticipate the customer’s need of more hand cream, not only improves the chances of repeat business but gives your voucher a personal touch.
It’s also important to ensure that you time your voucher campaigns so that discounting is the exception and not the rule for your company. A constant stream of discount offers will destroy any sense of urgency and undermine their performance.
Being restrained in how often your distribute vouchers will increase their novelty. The unexpected surprise of receiving a voucher for a favourite product or brand can be exciting, which creates happy customers.
How to get the biggest bang for your voucher buck
How you design your offers will determine the successfulness of your voucher campaign. Carefully optimise your vouchers for maximum return on investment.
Most importantly, your voucher campaign must engage target customers that have a high Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV). By focusing your resources on your most worthwhile customers, you’ll ensure the best ROI out of your promotions. Your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) will plummet because you won’t waste resources trying to capture low-value customers.
Vouchers are also one of the best ways to engage with customers with the highest CLTV. Keeping these target customers feeling good about your brand will drive growth for your company by reducing your churn rate and ultimately your CAC.
Using your vouchers to create exclusivity is also an effective customer engagement tool. If your customers feel like they’re part of a select group of voucher recipients it makes them feel special – which is as good as customer engagement gets. When a customer is made to feel special by your brand, it works magic on that relationship.
Designing promotions for greater customer engagement mileage is another way to increase the ROI of your vouchers. An offer that encourages repeat business is more likely to convert someone into a long-term customer than one issued for simply signing up to something.
Using customer engagement can help you avoid voucher fraud
To avoid voucher abuse, you need to take control of your promo codes or coupons. By running a customer engagement focused voucher campaign as opposed to a generic one, you’re already controlling the creation and distribution of the vouchers.
Creating key performance indicators (KPIs) and limits for voucher code redemption is an easy to implement fail-safe for your voucher campaign. If you are using vouchers for customer engagement, designed to target specific market segments, learn everything you can about them especially their statistics. Then take control of your promo codes by creating limits based on your knowledge of these market segments.
The best way to control your voucher campaign is to individualise them by creating unique codes for each separate customer. This kind of voucher distribution is effective at preventing voucher fraud because once an individual voucher code has been redeemed it’s deactivated. If you’re using your voucher campaign for personalised customer engagement this voucher individualisation can be easily incorporated into your operations – simply create a unique code for each of your vouchers. This is not only a way to monitor your customers’ behaviour and therefore the performance of your campaign but also help you avoid voucher fraud at the same time.
Customer engagement and voucher fraud prevention strategies go hand in hand. Using your vouchers for customer engagement means that you’re already controlling your campaign through KPIs, limits and personalisation. Once all these controls are set, you need to implement an effective voucher monitoring system as part of your business’ operations.
The power of vouchers
Understanding the impact vouchers can have on your bottom line can transform your marketing efforts into targeted and high performing campaigns. However, not all voucher strategies are created equal.
The kinds of voucher strategies that will deliver the greatest ROI and safeguard against misuse have customer engagement in their DNA. Why? Because customer engagement personalises your interactions with your customers, showing them that they aren’t just a statistic but a valued friend of your company. And, if you use vouchers to engage with your customers, you deepen this relationship by delivering happiness via the psychology of discounting.
Having happy customers is always good for business!
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