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Archive for the ‘Facebook How-To’ Category

Forms vs. Facebook Apps: Which provides the best opt-in rates?

September 8th, 2014 11:00am

If you’re using the web then I guarantee you’ve been prompted with the opportunity to deposit your personal information by means of a form.  It’s a way for companies to learn a little bit about you, and to have a way to connect with you down the road.  In contrast to this approach, we provide our clients with rich data about their customers using our application for Facebook.

However, we’ve had a few inquiries from clients regarding the methodology we use to collect data through our Facebook application.  Some are under the impression that by asking their customers to accept our permissions, it’s causing them to abandon the process altogether. Fearful of the misconception that potential customers are in jeopardy, they might claim that form fields are a superior alternative.

Are they right? Could a Facebook app be scaring away all of their customers?

It came to my attention that we are not the only ones who have had clients voice concern on this issue. AgoraPulse experienced customer concerns similar to our own, so they pulled their app data to investigate.  Specifically, they were looking to compare forms to Facebook applications, and how conversion rates varied between the two.

The comparisons were made across three different campaigns: Sweepstakes, Instant Win, and Fan Vote. The Instant Win category in particular had a noteworthy turnout of over 24,000 visitors, and the results showed that the Facebook app conversion rate was 88.3%, while the form field had a completion rate of only 27.3%.  At CoupSmart, we average a 92% opt-in rate for high value coupon offers.

Furthermore, in the 2014 Formstack Form Conversion Report, they calculated the percent of successfully submitted forms for the top industries that use their service. On the list included “Small Business”, with an average form conversion rate of 13%, as well as “Marketing/Consulting”, averaging at only 7%.

Still concerned that using a Facebook app will drive away potential customers?

A conversion rate of 100% is unrealistic. That being said, there are many reasons why Facebook app authorization, although not perfect, is still the ideal option.

  1. It’s an easier and less time consuming alternative. Customers literally click a button and avoid the grief of having to fill out a questionnaire.
  2. The information you collect is more likely to be legitimate, as opposed to a form where someone can easily submit inaccurate/false information.
  3. You will collect a lot more information. Every question in a form pushes you further and further away from the likelihood that a customer will actually complete the form. But through the application on Facebook, you can list out what information users are giving you access to before they give their permission.
  4. They are already on social media, so there’s a much greater likelihood that they will share their experience with people in their network.

So what can be done to ensure that you get the best results?

Less is more.
At CoupSmart, we only ask for data that is absolutely needed.  By requesting less information, a customer is more likely to follow through.

Trust. Trust. Trust.
In The Truth About Facebook App Conversion Rates, the author identifies components that make up your trust factor.

  • Your brand’s intrinsic credibility
  • Your campaign’s credibility
  • Your transparency on how your participants’ data will be used

You’re not (or at least hopefully not) using their data in a malicious manner. As discussed in my previous blog, consumer data is mutually beneficial to both parties. So make sure that your intentions are transparent, and you will give the consumer the confidence they need to provide the data you are looking for.


 

Couponing On The Brink Of A Digital Revolution

August 5th, 2014 10:56am

For over a century, coupons have been an effective tool for influencing and motivating consumers.  In general, the concept of couponing hasn’t changed much. However, methodologies for distributing them have changed drastically… and for good reason.

You are exposed to coupons and other promotions every day. They’re in the stores you shop at, in the paper you read, and can be found online or on your phone. The reason they are seemingly everywhere is because almost everyone uses them. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report shows that, in a three-month duration, 96% of shoppers will have used a coupon at least once.  Consumers use coupons to save money, and will look for deals that pertain to goods that they would buy normally. However, as coupons continue to evolve, we are finding that what they are capable of offering is much more than a simple discount.

Traditionally Speaking
For years, the primary methodology for distributing coupons has been through Free Standing Inserts (deals that can be found in the paper, magazines, etc.). They are used to push offers on a large scale by casting a wide net. They aim to incentivize repeat purchases, or perhaps prompt customers to buy a newly introduced product. The downside to this approach is that the targeting is very generalized.  Another limitation, and possibly the most significant, is that it is nearly impossible to gather analytical data/ information that could supply valuable consumer insights.

Coupons That Keep Up
Our world is changing, and consequently, so are consumers’ behaviors and habits. Therefore, you will need the tools that will allow you to better accommodate their expectations.  The introduction of digitally distributed offers has revamped the marketplace.  Whether you are printing an internet-delivered coupon or receiving codes straight to your mobile device, the benefits (to both the company and the consumer) are setting the bar for all distributed promotions.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Data gathering – collect, analyze, and gain valuable insights on your consumers.
  • Strategic agility – easily fine-tune or modify offers (appearance, value, etc.) on the fly.
  • Superior retargeting – efficiently and effectively manage your promotional strategy.
  • Distribution control – retailers and manufacturers can regulate exactly how many offers will be claimed and redeemed.
  • Personalized offers – use collected data to push individualized promotions.
  • Cost savings – digital provides a cheaper alternative to print.
  • Security – combat coupon fraud by tracking your customers using tools such as embedded codes (check out CoupCheck™ to learn more).

Digital offers work great if your goal is to:

  • Target a specific consumer population
  • Encourage a shopper to switch brands
  • Incentivize customers to repurchase goods
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Save money while establishing a healthy consumer database

Promotions That Show Promise
Although traditionally distributed offers are still the conventional approach, digital promotions are quickly gaining momentum and are responsible for ever-increasing redemptions. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report stated that, “Overall, digital coupons are attracting more new buyers than print coupons by a margin of 35%.” In five years, it is projected that the population of mobile coupon users alone will nearly double from the current 560 million to 1.05 billion users (Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019).

 

The Importance of A/B Testing with Social Coupons

July 9th, 2014 7:00am

Coupons are an inexpensive advertising option for packaged goods, retailers, and other businesses that are highly desirable by consumers. While the product or service can vary greatly, so does its consumer. It’s easy to simply place a free-standing insert into the Sunday paper, but do we really know if the offer is reaching the appropriate audience? With digital and social coupons, we have the advantage of finding ways to grab the attention of our targeted consumers. And while this may take extra effort, the payoff is significant. In 2013 alone, we saw consumers used over 2 billion digital and print-at-home coupons (Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report).

Companies that combined coupons with data capture opportunities gained better insight into the purchase behaviors of their customers. Once companies have captured data, they can make more informed marketing decisions. The one constant we see in digital and social coupon use however, is that based on the promotion or offer, no two audiences are the same. Even within our own client base, we’ve seen similar offers by similar businesses that produce drastically different results, and this is why A/B testing has become a necessity to ensure success in marketing online.

Some key factors to A/B test in your coupons and other promotions are:

Offer Value
Should you offer a percentage off or a flat amount? What’s the minimum value you can provide that will enable you to hit your print and redemption goals?

Expiration Date
What’s the ideal amount of time to give consumers to redeem a deal that will ensure they don’t forget it?

Promotional Strategy
What are the best channels to let consumers know about your offer, and where should you run ads driving traffic to the offer?

Creative
Is the design and copy appropriate? Are you drawing the attention of your audience and driving them to claim your offer?

At CoupSmart, we run A/B testing to discover solutions to questions like the ones above. So, if you’re having trouble determining whether your coupon should be “20% off” for six months, or “50% off” for two weeks, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you out.

Black Friday Sales: How a Social Gift Store on Facebook increases sales across all channels

September 26th, 2013 3:52pm

A key question for holiday retail is how the use of digital channels may impact consumer spending. Serving digital shoppers in a relevant manner, including being active on Facebook, is an obvious answer. What may not be so obvious are some of the findings as outlined in a recent study conducted by Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting and technology, who published “Digital Shopper Relevancy”. This report provides insight into when, where and how shoppers want to interact with a retailer or consumer products company through various channels (16,000 interviews, 16 countries).

Brand and Retail must focus on achieving a full and continually integrated conversation with shoppers to develop awareness via all channels. 71% of respondents cited Internet sites as the most important digital channel, and nearly half cited social media as the most relevant to learn about products.

Capgemini’s research also found some interesting correlations. For example, 56% of respondents said they were likely to spend more money at a physical store if they had used digital channels to research the product prior to purchase. And 55% said they were more likely to spend more money with a particular retailer if products were available anytime via any channel. The research demonstrates that shoppers are no longer loyal to an individual channel but rather to an experience across all channels.

One of the most effective ways to offer both social media research and an additional sales channel is with a Social Gift Store on Facebook. CoupSmart’s Social Gift Store App seamlessly integrates your branded customer shopping experience right on your Facebook page, next to your other page tabs. We do all of the installation and set-up for you. We have account managers and a step-by-step guide showing you exactly how to get your custom social gift store launched quickly and easily. The CoupSmart Social Gift Store pricing is a win-win because it is based on performance. We take a percentage of sales, allowing you to directly manage your operating costs.

Learn more now by reading about the CoupSmart Social Gift Store or contacting us at newaccounts@coupsmart.com for a demo.

See our latest launch now by visiting the Ghirardelli Social Gift Store on Facebook from your desktop/laptop (will not display on Facebook Mobile).

How ‘Facebook for Business’ Can Impact Your Social Strategy

August 27th, 2013 12:41pm

In its continuing effort to improve and simplify its marketing and advertising processes, Facebook has launched the Facebook for Business Page. Thanks to last week’s launch, businesses can now find all the information they need to take advantage of Facebook’s potential as an advertising tool in one place.

Facebook is using the new page to reinforce its efforts to simplify its advertising and change the way brands approach advertising on the social network. Instead of choosing among Facebook’s several promotion vehicles, businesses will now indicate what their specific goals are for their advertising efforts and Facebook will recommend which of its advertising platforms are best suited to reach those goals.

In that same vein, businesses find similar goals under the “Get Started” tab on Facebook for Business, including: drive in-store sales, increase online sales, launch a new product, build awareness, and promote your app. Clicking through these links shows users detailed guides on using Facebook to achieve their business goals.

Moreover, Facebook has also organized its many tools by industry, allowing businesses in Retail or Consumer Goods to find guides for achieving goals more specific to their respective companies.

In addition, Facebook has consolidated all of its marketing and business news into its Facebook for Business blog in order to make the page a complete resource.

It seems like there’s never been a better time to take advantage of Facebook’s unique resources for advertising and marketing. Effective use of and advertising from a Facebook page can open a business up to thousands of potential fans and customers. However, since resources like Facebook for Business are available to everyone, it becomes even more important that a company differentiate itself from the mob of advertisers in the News Feed.

Businesses can achieve this posting compelling content that is useful to their fans and call them to make a purchase – and share with their friends. A well-crafted promotion catches the attention of the fan and compels them to act on the promotion before it expires. And if the content is truly compelling, the fan will share with their friends.

How can it get better? Well, after the initial purchase, a strong promotion should also be able to track the fan from claim to redemption in order to make follow-up offers and maximize ROI. Anything else just isn’t taking full advantage of what Facebook offers.