If you are a regular reader of my column, you know that Internet Marketing is constantly changing. What worked last year may not work now. Learning about and taking advantage of new methods to reach consumers on the Internet and more importantly get them to come into your store is an ongoing challenge.
One of the best new methods to bring more customers into your store today is using the Internet to promote special offers in the form of coupons.
Mashable, one of the largest companies monitoring trends in social media, just released new findings that over 50% of people “like” a company Facebook Page in order to receive a special offer, discount, or give-a-way. In addition, the single most used feature on Facebook Business pages is printing coupons. More coupons are printed from Facebook pages than comments, likes, and shares combined.
While this survey only covered social media, the trend is not exclusive to Facebook. All across the Internet special deals, discounts and coupons are flourishing. For the last couple of years, coupon websites such as Groupon, Coupon Mom, Coupon Lady, and many others have grown into large viable online businesses. However, for the average jeweler these deep discount offers do not fit our business model and those types of websites are not very attractive for jewelry stores to use for their marketing.
A new type of promotional
At Internet 4 Jewelers, we have been experimenting with a variety of concepts to take advantage of this growing trend and still be viable for the typical jewelry store. What we have come up with is Internet Offers, using all of the Internet to promote special offers in the form of coupons.
This is NOT some type of Groupon deal where you give deep discounts on a lost leader to get people into your store. Nor is it a check-in deal like FourSquare and Facebook offers where the customer has to tell the world they are shopping with you in order to receive the coupon.
The coupon does not always have to be a big discount, and 7% and 11% off out-perform other numbers. For example, 7% off generally out draws 10% off, $11 out draws $15, etc. Consumers are not necessarily looking for the cheapest price. They are looking for the greatest value. They want to be assured that they are receiving the best value for their money.
A weekly offer works best. Giving the consumer too much time to redeem the coupon is counter productive as most people will procrastinate and never get around to coming into your store. Sometimes people just need a little incentive to come into your jewelry store. Offering a special deal that is only good this week gives them the motivation to not put it off and come in now.
Posting the new coupon every Friday afternoon works the best. This way you can promote the offer over the weekend when there are the most people online, and have the coupon offer run through the week ending on Saturday. After a couple of weeks your customers will start looking for next weeks coupon and build even more momentum into your promotions.
Creating the offer
The first step is to create the offers you want to promote. Coupons could be for a specific item or product category, or for a service such as: 7% off all jewelry repairs this week. You do not need to come up with a new special every week. You can create 5 or 6 coupons and then rotate them each week.
Some examples for coupons are:
- $17 off any jewelry purchase over $150
- 7% off all loose diamonds
- 11% off all gold chains
- 7% off all [name of company] jewelry
- 11% off all birthstone jewelry
- Free designer bead with purchase of 5 beads
- $11 off all ring sizings
- Free watch battery - This is a great offer this time of year, While someone is changing the battery you have time to show them all your jewelry and make out a wish list.
Designing the coupon
You need to lay-out your coupon and save it as a jpg file. This can be done in any photo editing software. An easy way to lay-out and save your coupons is to use PowerPoint and create a different slide for each of your coupons. Then save your PowerPoint presentation as jpg files and PowerPoint will make a separate file of each of your slides.
Be sure to include your store name and address on the coupon. Include directions such as; “To redeem this coupon print it out and bring it into our store or show us the coupon on your phone.” If you include your Facebook page in promoting the coupons you can also ask them to like your page in order to use the coupon. Also be sure to include an expiration date, and any additional instructions such as: “Offer not valid on previous orders or lay-a-ways.”
Include a picture or two of the product or service you are promoting in the Internet offer. This makes the coupon more visually attractive and will draw more attention to it.
If you want to publish your coupons in your status updates on Facebook, make certain that your coupon image is no larger than 404 pixels wide by 404 pixels tall. If it is larger than this the coupon will not completely display in your customer’s News Feed or on your Timeline.
Next month we will continue with the important details of publishing and promoting your Internet offers. While no aspect of this promotion is new to Internet marketing, their value in driving consumers off the Internet and into your store is found in the combination of cross-channel publishing and multifaceted promotions as we will discuss next month. In addition, their timing with the growing trend of discounts and coupon offers makes this the most powerful single tool to use in your Internet marketing arsenal.
All of the steps involved are easy to perform and you do not need any special skills to create them. However, they are tedious and time consuming and skipping any of the steps involved will drastically diminish the effectiveness of the Internet offers. If you are too busy running your jewelry store to properly implement this, Internet 4 Jewelers is providing a new Internet Marketing Service to create, publish and promote your coupon offers. For a low monthly investment, we will professionally design your coupon offers, publish them on your social network pages and across our jewelry related blog network and Web 2.0 sites, and promote them with our special blend of link building, social sharing, and paid ads. All publishing and advertising fees are included.