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Archive for the ‘Facebook’ Category

What Does the Increase in Ad-Blocking Mean to the Coupon Industry?

August 26th, 2015 4:30pm

Recent reports, such as this one by Business Insider, have made one thing clear: Consumers are rapidly adopting ad-blocking software. In fact, as of June 2015 almost 200 million consumers are using ad-blocking software, that’s almost a 100% year over year increase. At CoupSmart, we believe this trend will have several key impacts on how promotions are run, including:

Higher Focus on Quality Creative and Content

Word of mouth, whether through social, digital or email, will become more important as display advertising loses effectiveness. If a promotion is truly interesting and sharable, it has the potential to reach more consumers in a more effective way than display ads.

With the algorithms that various social networks use to display content, this also means it’ll be much harder for offers to live in a vacuum. Consistent, high-quality content campaigns will be needed to fill the void between promotions, ensuring:

  • Consumers engage with your brand
  • Organic traffic is substantially effect your sales

Increasing Importance of Building Customer Databases

This technological shift has made it even more important to build, maintain and continue growing your brand’s own customer database, especially a list of high quality email addresses for direct communication. With industry average open rates typically between 15-20%, email currently is one of the most effective ways to get in front of your customers and potential customers, and this will continue as it becomes harder for display advertising to reach your target audience at the right time.

In addition to emails, it’s also important to collect demographic and psychographic information on your customers. Not only can this be used to target email marketing campaigns better, it’s also a ready source of data on what sort of content you should create to have the best chance for your promotions to resonate with your customers.

Continuing Focus on Mobile

While Apple may be trying to change how mobile works, due to various technical limitations, it’s still much harder for consumers to effectively block ads on their mobile devices. This increases the importance of a channel that was already taking a larger and larger share of the display advertising market.

A few simple ways to ensure that promotions are always compatible with mobile options is to design responsive ads that works on a mobile device or desktop on your web-based campaigns, and make use of shortened URL that can direct traffic easily (especially if Facebook apps are involved).

While the end result of this increase in ad-blocker usage is uncertain, we think this represents a fantastic opportunity for marketers. It’s a chance to really show the following:

  • The value marketers provide to organizations by going beyond simple automated ad testing
  • An understanding of what potential customers are looking for from brands
  • The opportunity to create content that truly resonates with customers

Want to learn more about capturing granular personal data on your customers that can be used to build up your brand’s database and create great content campaigns? Request a demo with one of our team members now.

Our 5 Best Practices for Promoting Your Coupon (or) Offer on Facebook

May 5th, 2015 10:11am

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The success of a digital promotion depends on two variables, the value of your offer, and how your offer or coupon is marketed.

A successful promotion on Facebook relies on traffic, exposure, and a solid conversion rate. The more traffic and eyeballs that you generate, the higher amount of claims you receive. If the offer provides value, and your customers consider it a “good deal,” claims and redemptions increase dramatically to the upside.

We have five key elements – or, best practices – to effectively promote a coupon campaign on Facebook. They are:

  1. Pre-posting to your Page (building up the campaign)
  2. Use images and video
  3. Boost page posts
  4. Incorporate Facebook Display Ads
  5. Use an experienced third party vendor

Pre-posting to your Page

Pre-posting alerts consumers, your fan base, and customers that a great offer is coming soon. Short, teaser posts are particularly effective 1-2 days before a campaign starts. Even respected digital marketers, such as Jeff Walker, recommend executing pre-campaigns that promote the upcoming campaign – to build excitement and anticipation.

Consider Images and (video)

A creative video is workable in the pre-campaign phase. While a well-designed coupon/offer (which acts as the image) appears enticing to your Facebook audience, because social photos generate more engagement on Facebook.

Boost page posts

Facebook’s rules have changed, and as result, marketing strategies and patterns have adapted accordingly. Facebook limits the reach of organic posts from Companies’ Fan Pages, thereby making it necessary to ‘boost’ a post to achieve large scale quickly.

Incorporate Facebook Display Ads

Facebook display ads help draw more traffic to a coupon post, grabbing new customers (and market-share) by introducing them to your Facebook coupon.

Consider a third party vendor

A third party vendor knows the ropes, and reduces your learning curve by implementing their hard-won knowledge. Additionally, third party technology can add front-end or back-end value in terms of capabilities or business value-adds. For instance, in the case of CoupSmart, its Facebook technology captures consumer data, including email addresses and likes, among over a dozen other data points, when brands’ fans are claiming an offer.

Other best practices:

-          Talk about it on other platforms

Cross-channel promotion adds leverage to existing efforts. Promoting a Facebook campaign with a tweet, and an email communication to an existing marketing list, only serves to give the Facebook campaign more exposure.

-          Send email redemption reminders

When using technology from an experienced partner, additional capabilities are available. For example, when a consumer gives permission to email them; emails based on campaign-activity, and other information, such as demographic and psychographic information based on Facebook profiles can be sent to encourage more redemptions or to achieve other marketing goals.

CoupSmart is a great partner for brands and retailers looking for more advantages in the print-at-home or social marketing channels. Send us a message to learn more.

Facebook’s New Fan Page CTAs Can Increase Conversions 2x

December 31st, 2014 2:20pm

Good news, Facebook’s new Fan Page call-to-action buttons will help drive more source traffic from your Fan Page to your website. While this new feature was announced on the Facebook blog on December 11, the product has yet to be fully rolled out in the U.S. or worldwide. But limited releases have begun in the United States and are expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

The new call to action buttons can definitely work. Dollar Shave Club served as Facebook’s beta tester, using the call-to-action button to facilitate customer acquisition. The results were good.

Time period: Three weeks
Call to action: Sign Up
Results: 2.5x higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements

What it looks like (the sign up button to the left of the traditional Like button).  Dollar Shave Club Call to Action

The call-to-action buttons can link to an external URL. Their purpose is to support the broad business objective of a business or brand, such as gaining new subscribers, creating purchases, booking reservations, driving traffic, or generating leads.

Here are the seven call-to-actions (and their probable uses).

  1. Book Now
    • Travel and reservations (Travel, Real estate)
  2. Contact Us
    • Lead generation for services, subscriptions, b2b (Nonprofit, Education, Finance, Healthcare)
  3. Use App
    • For productive or informative apps (Technology, Games, Social)
  4. Play Game
    • For gaming apps (Games, Social)
  5. Shop Now
    • For ecommerce (Apparel, Consumer Electronics, Home, Crafts and hobbies)
  6. Sign Up
    • For customer acquisition or subscription lists (Technology, Media and entertainment)
  7. Watch Video
    • Useful for viral marketing, or potentially, b2b lead generation (Education, Technology, Media and entertainment, Nonprofit)

Here is a second example we found during our search, using the Contact Us call-to-action. Fan Page Contact Us You access and add your call-to-action button by being a page admin, and clicking on your cover page image, according to these Facebook instructions.

  1. Go to your Page’s cover photo and click Create Call-to-Action
  2. Choose your call to action and the destination URL that you want to link to. We’ll automatically choose the best destination based on your specified web address, but you can edit these suggested destinations.
  3. Click Create.

How Will They Perform?

While performance data for the new Fan Page call-to-actions is not yet available, data regarding the performance of the recently introduced call-to-action advertisement buttons in the news feed is, with an impressive click through rate lift of 2.85x, according to AdRoll. There is no reason to believe performance results for the new Fan Page CTA button this year can’t be successful.

The bottom line is that Facebook has been implementing system-wide call-to-action buttons in ads and now on Fan Pages to improve their own platform’s advertising effectiveness, and make their platform friendlier for businesses, as the Wall Street Journal speculates.

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).