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Archive for the ‘Social Media ROI’ 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.

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?

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.

Does Your Brand Have A Social Strategy For Back To School Shopping?

July 10th, 2013 8:00am

Emerging trends in social media and mobile-based commerce suggest that brands on Facebook should be planning ahead. Shoppers of all ages – not just the students – are interacting with their preferred brands online and on mobile devices more than ever before. 54% of respondents in a Brand Keys survey prefer to shop online, up 14 percentage points from the previous year.

The same survey indicates that mobile commerce as a whole is projected to generate $17.2 billion in sales in 2013, an increase of 48.3% from 2012. In addition, almost seven out of ten tablet owners use their devices to shop online for back-to-school and college items. As users become more and more inclined to access content via mobile, it is important that brands capitalize on this opportunity.

How can a brand take advantage of the evolving zeal surrounding online and mobile commerce? Simple: use social media to engage with your fans and potential customers. A strong and effective social campaign does at least one of the following: raises awareness, drives traffic and thereby generates revenue from your fans. This is, of course, easier said than done.

Product discounts such as coupon promotions are arguably the best way to interact with customers because they tie together awareness, customer engagement, and web traffic while also generating revenue. Social media offers an excellent platform for turning clicks into conversions and fans into customers. In addition, since 23% of all time spent on mobile applications is spent on Facebook, the opportunity is ripe. The key however, is using the right technologies to quantify ROI, gather data, and follow up on sales in order to turn one-time conversions into dedicated fans and repeat customers.

Playing the mobile game is also critical for brick and mortar storefronts. 52% of adult cell phone owners use their devices in-store to check prices and help with their purchase decision. Furthermore, even these brands without e-commerce outlets can benefit from discounts and promotions on social media. By offering fans (and in-store customers) special deals through Facebook, brands can drive traffic from their fan page into the storefront while also raising awareness and yes, generating revenue.

How To Test The Waters Of Social Couponing

July 2nd, 2013 8:14am

The article below is a repost of a piece I wrote for Business2Community recently. You can view the original posting here.


When it comes to driving sales through social media channels the going can get tough, and lines may seem blurry. A lot of marketers are reluctant to ask for the sale for fear that they will turn off their fans. But, great deals are exactly what customers are looking for when they connect with a brand page. By failing to provide this incentive to fans on their page, brands miss out on a huge opportunity for customer satisfaction, viral reach, and increased sales.

As it happens, digital coupon users make 22% more shopping trips per year and spend 23% more on those trips than the average shopper. So, why not use your brand page as a way to deliver value to your customers, so they will spend more with you? Here are a few quick tips for using social coupons to increase your bottom line.

Set Limits – A common complaint of digital coupons is the assumption that they cannot be controlled. If you are using the right technology, this is absolutely not the case. Your service provider should allow for print limits to be set, so that you only distribute as many as you can afford. Plus, limiting the number available, along with a set time frame in which to claim the offer can make the call-to-action even greater. But, when doing the math remember the redemption rate for digital coupons is much higher than a traditional coupon due to it being more targeted, shareable, and searchable.

Experiment – Finding the right kind of offer that causes fans to click, share, and print may take some work. So, try out a few different deals over a period of time and measure the response. At the same time, experiment with ads and promoted posts to get the word out. Fans can’t print your coupon if they don’t know it exists! Also, make sure these coupon offers are unique to your brand page. If fans can get the same deal from their Sunday paper it is unlikely that they will be motivated to go to your page to get it, much less share it with their friends.

Dig Down Deep – After running a successful campaign, you may be wondering what comes next. Well, that depends on the kinds of tool you are using to deliver the coupon in the first place. A good social app employs technology that not only delivers the coupon to fans, but can track the use of that coupon – shares, prints, redemptions – and learn enough about the fans themselves to follow up, building long-term value. It’s not just about driving one purchase. It’s about a greater ability to turn fans into repeat customers over time.

Your fans are often your most loyal and active customers. Offering them an incentive will help to strengthen that relationship, and encourage them to become social advocates for your brand. This all adds up to a strong social media leg to your marketing strategy that adds revenue you can see.

 Image courtesy of CoupSmart. Not a valid coupon.