Successful Sales Promotions and the Disadvantages of Coupons

There is no question that sales promotions provide excellent benefits to businesses and their customers and are a necessary component of any marketing mix. Discounting products and services through a sales promotion adds value that entices increased frequency from current customers and attracts new business. The most common tool in use today for delivering discounts is the coupon. The real question here is…why coupons?

Despite the widespread use of coupons, there is little proof that these are the best form of delivering discounts. In fact, there’s a lot of proof to say otherwise. One of the biggest factors influencing the effectiveness of coupons is clutter. There are around 2.6 billion coupons offered annually in the United States. Often, coupons are lumped together in a dedicated section within newspapers, magazines and promotional flyers, meaning it’s very lucky if a consumer is able to spot yours when surrounded by hundreds of others. Then there’s the associated cost of purchasing space in the publication, which can be astronomical.

Clutter isn’t the only thing that makes coupons an ineffective method of delivering discounts. Size and color options can be restricted by publications, leaving you with a very small, black-and-white message that isn’t much of an attention grabber. When customers do happen to stumble upon your coupon, there’s nothing keeping them from judging the discount – one they know was provided to everyone – as not worth the effort to clip out and moving on to the next.

It’s no surprise that with all the negative aspects of coupons, on average only 1% of the 2.6 billion are redeemed. Let me say that again…only 1% of coupons are redeemed!

Stop throwing money away on coupons and invest in a sales promotion that really works: scratch and win game cards. Like coupons, scratch and win game cards deliver discounts directly to customers through direct mail, inserts, or by simply handing them out at your business. However, scratch and win game cards take it a step further by allowing your customers to interact with your promotion, resulting in longer exposure to your offer. The interaction and increased exposure offered by scratch and win cards vastly increases the redemption rate over coupons. It varies depending on the offer, design of the program, and other factors, but scratch and win game cards pull in redemption rates of 30%, 40%, 50% and more!

Scratch and wins turn your promotion into a game and your discounts into prizes. Customers want to redeem the prize that they reveal under the scratch area because they feel like they’ve won something unique to them, even if it’s the same discount you would give on a coupon. Below are some more of the great benefits of using scratch and win game cards.

-Grab your audience’s attention and allow them to interact with your promotion
-Customers feel they’ve won something unique, increasing redemption rates
-Made to any size and printed in full color
-Scratch areas can be custom shapes to reflect your business or offer
-They work well as a stand-alone promotion or part of an integrated campaign
-Customize redemption methods, prizes, and more to meet the unique needs of your promotion

Scratch and win game cards offer far more benefits than coupons. The next time you’re looking for an interactive, effective way of reaching your customers directly, try a scratch and win promotion.

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