You’ve got it down now, don’t you? You read last week’s post about creating an awesome coupon headline and you’re ready to get the show on the road.
Well hold on there, Sparky. A coupon is more than just a barcode and a headline. Just stating how much a customer can save might cost your company a lot of money.
A headline-only coupon, after all, looks like this:
If you were to go to press with this deal, you’d stand to lose a lot of money. This is why Subheads are so important. They clarify an offer for a customer, so that your business can drive trial, not become a Free Store. This coupon may get a lot of attention, but you may also lose a lot of money. Imagine if enough customers got this coupon and used it to walk into a store and walk out with a box of Flaky Flakes without spending a dime. Even if the objective for the coupon is to give away a FREE box, you would still have to clarify the size limit, lest you give away a million boxes of your special 18 lb. Orphan Feeder sizes.
As we saw last week, a good Subhead for this deal looks like this:
While the Headline entices (as it should), the Subhead clarifies. See how the Subhead changed the value of the coupon? Instead of just a FREE box, it’s now a Buy One, Get One Free deal. Huge difference.
Let’s see how this coupon may look if we go a different route with the Subhead:
Wait. Hold on. Let’s analyze this guy here. “If you buy a 20 oz. box, the FREE box must be 20 oz. or less. And no, you can’t use this coupon on our 18 lb. Orphan Feeder size boxes.” This is a coupon, not War and Peace. The idea here is the same, but customers will stumble over this. This is why it’s important to be brief, and leave most of the restrictions to the Small Type.
Now’s a good time to clarify what we mean about Subheads clarifying an offer (is that clear?). It’s important to remember: The Subhead is still trying to sell the coupon to the customer. It’s not trying stop the excitement of the Headline or say too much about what you can or cannot do with a coupon. It’s just trying to clarify.
Let’s look at another example:
On the outset, it looks fine – $4.00 is a lot to save on a box of cereal. But you have to think about all the implications of this coupon. If you only have one size of Flaky Flakes available to the customer, more clarification is not needed. But, if you have small trial size boxes that retail for $1.99, you may be inadvertently giving away a lot of boxes of Flaky Flakes.
As you can see, Subheads can be a coupon’s best friend or worst enemy. They can alter a Headline – in both good and bad ways. They can also be too detailed or not detailed enough, costing you either redemptions – or worse – money. Remember: a good Subhead clarifies an awesome Headline while still keeping a customer excited about the deal. And on occasion, they restrict just enough to not be a buzz-kill.
If Headlines are the wild, crazy party animals trying to lure customers into a Savings Party, Subheads are the still-fun party-goers just making sure people don’t spill the beer on the carpet.
Next time, we’ll talk about the not-so-fun bouncers of the Savings Party and the bane of coupon-writing: Small Type.
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