COUPSMART BLOG

Your resource for digital and social couponing news

Archive for the ‘Technology’ 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.

Regional Flexibility + CoupSmart’s Technology For Digital Campaigns

June 30th, 2015 9:55am

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Introducing Our Regional Flexibility Feature

We’re happy to announce the launch of our newest feature, Regional Flexibility. This introduces geo-targeting functionality to our platform, enabling clients to simultaneously deliver different promotions to many consumers based on where they live, or where they don’t live.

This new feature is available across all of our platform’s channels, including client websites, Facebook Fan Pages, and mobile properties.

Use DMAs or Zip Codes

This feature offers CoupSmart clients the ability to base campaigns on either Nielsen’s DMAs or Zip Codes, effectively providing gated content.

For DMA campaigns, multi-channel social opt-in technology automatically determines where a consumer is located. Our clients can run a campaign that is available within a single DMA, or they can choose to run multiple campaigns across many DMAs, with some campaigns only available in certain areas. For example, a consumer living in the New York DMA may be offered a deal on mustard, while a consumer living in the Los Angeles DMA may be provided a deal on ketchup.

Example landing page for DMA campaigns:

happy time soda DMA

Zip code based campaigns work similarly, though the consumer must enter their specific zip code to receive a customized deal.

Example landing page for Zip Code campaigns:

happy time soda zip code

All artwork, content, and campaign settings are completely customizable. Multiple zip codes or DMAs can be specified for each campaign, and a general offer can be included to give consumers who don’t live in the targeted areas some reward for interacting with your campaign.

Reporting and Analytics

All of this data is displayed in our back-end analytics platform, where you can access your campaign and consumer data in real time. We also have several tools that extract actionable insights from each of these campaigns, helping clients improve the effectiveness of promotions targeted towards each geographic region.

Request a 15 Minute Demo Tour (and See the New Dashboard!)

Are you ready to learn more about CoupSmart’s regional flexibility technology? Request a demo and be connected with a personal account manager for a brief demo and tour of our platform and learn how you can run better promotional campaigns.

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.

4 Reasons Why Social Coupons Are Your Brand’s Secret Weapon

February 23rd, 2015 2:25pm

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Reason #1: They Drive Traffic to Your Brand’s Own Web Properties, Not a Third Party’s

Unlike Coupons.com and similar coupon destination site providers, social coupon providers run promotional campaigns on your brand’s Facebook Page or website, distributing coupons to your most loyal followers at scale. This keeps more consumers and brand advocates on your digital properties, building traffic and engagement for your site, not a third party’s.

Reason #2: They Capture Your Customers’ Behavioral Data

Marketing and selling anything successfully requires an understanding of your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and patterns. One way to gather this type of data is by using social coupons. Social coupon technology bypasses the form registration process and the need to install download-to-print software. It uses social apps for log-in and authentication to distribute coupons and digital offers across the web, social, and mobile.

During this process, valuable campaign and consumer-level data is captured, which is then given back to the brand or retailer to be redeployed in marketing initiatives elsewhere. This social data is generally of higher quality (and more accurate) than data captured from a form submission.

Reason #3: They Kick-Start Your Remarketing Campaigns

Because of tools developed by Email Service Providers (ESPs) and other technologies, the captured demographic and behavioral data can be plugged back into your marketing systems for 1:1 email remarketing campaigns. A practical application is sending custom content based on likes and interests, such as unique recipes based on customers’ interest in baking (read the customized content case study).

Reason #4: They Increase Your Conversion Rates

By relying on app permissions versus form submissions or download-to-print applications, conversion rates explode, driving sales growth for your brand or product.

For example, a customer filling out a form to download and print a coupon on a brand’s website (such as a pizza or toy company) must go through eleven steps before printing the actual coupon. Using a social log-in process, a consumer can claim an identical coupon on the same website in four steps. Read more about shortening the user experience.

Conversion rates for form submissions across all industries and types hover around 11%. Conversely, Facebook app permissions typically convert around 80% for Facebook Quizzes, Instant Win, and Fan Vote promotions. With coupons, we see conversion rates average around 92%.

Social couponing technology is an emerging segment in digital couponing, and your brand can be an early mover.

To learn more about using this technology with your digital promotions in the next quarter, contact CoupSmart for more information.

Email or request a demo.

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.