What makes a coupon compelling? What makes an offer truly irresistable? No matter how great your postcard design is, direct mail that doesn’t offer anything of value are, well, worthless. There are three types of direct mail offers that work best:
- Lead magnet freebie – A coupon that offers something free that can be attained with little effort or commitment.
- Tripwire – An offer of something of value that has a low barrier to entry at a substantially reduced cost.
- Promotional Discount – An offer that gives a percentage discount on specific or sets of products and services.
We dive into each of these types of direct mail offers, how to think about designing a promotional coupon to get the most out of your mail marketing, and examples of direct mail advertising.
Coupon Offer Type 1: Lead Magnet Freebie
The quid-pro-quo of marketing, a lead magnet requires the business to provide a freebie in exchange for an opt-in or participation from the prospective customer. A few examples of irresistible lead magnets can include free product, a significant discount, product trial or giveaway.
Irresistible offer examples that are lead magnets include:
- Tony’s Pizza gives a voucher for an absolutely free personal pizza to new residents in the city.
- AAA+ Automotive provides absolutely free basic diagnostic via an OBD Scanner to get people in his shop.
- Grandview Timeshares provides a $100 restaurant gift card in exchange for participating in a presentation.
- Sarah’s Insurance gives all prospects a $10.00 gas card for getting an insurance quote through her agency.
Coupon Offer Type 2: Tripwire
Creating a low barrier entry point for prospective clients is a great way to let consumers test a company’s products or services without having to commit to a large purchase. A tripwire aims to capture a greater amount of new customers by casting a wider net and luring them in with a low-cost offering.
An example of this might be an HVAC business offering a cleaning and inspection for $49.00. This provides a service which may not be incredibly lucrative but allows the company to do business with the homeowner. As additional services are needed it becomes easier to sell the client higher priced items or services based on the established business relationship.
Examples of great tripwires include:
- Perfect Auto & Mechanic is offering a $30.00 oil change and multi-point inspection. Irresistible offer examples like this in hopes to uncover additional repair needs.
- A’s Pizza & Brewery sells $2.00 slices during lunchtime to help increase familiarity with their dinner menu and ideally bring the whole family.
- West Park Valley Dealership is offering a $300.00 ‘Sell Your Car’ detailing package which gets your vehicle to a pristine state. Their emphasis is to get people to test drive and buy vehicles since they know the detailing customers are looking to sell their vehicle.
Coupon Offer Type 3: Standard Promotion
A promotion can simply be a discounted percentage or variable offer and still produce a high conversion rate. Although standard promotions are most commonly seen in marketing, they are often poorly implemented.
One of the most important aspects of a standard promotion is to include an urgency factor such as a time constraint for redemption.
Examples of standard promotions include:
- Jeff’s Dog Grooming offers 15% off a bath and haircut service.
- Golden Hair Salon is marketing a promotion that gives $10.00 off a cut and color.
- Ray’s Tires is giving a 4th tire free when you purchase three at full price.
Types of Irresistible Offer Examples
Keep in mind consumers are advertised constantly and in every aspect of life. Via cell phone apps, Facebook, Instagram, billboards, radio, TV, you name it. An offer has to really sizzle to make a consumer decide to purchase or opt-in. A great incentive will be the differentiating factor between you and your competition.
If you own a lawn care business, you know that 95% of your customers will need to use you more than once, so it makes logical sense to offer a steeper initial discount in an effort to persuade the prospect to choose you over the competition. Here are offer incentives ranked from most to least effective.
FREE – Everyone loves free. When Iron Strength Karate is gearing up for summer and back to school promotions they offer a completely free karate uniform. Dave, the owner, understands the initial investment eliminates the entry barrier for most families and is able to maintain most students as customers for years. Due to the
Dollar Amount Off – Getting a set amount off a product or service is great. Consumers don’t have to guess or do the math to understand the savings and benefit. Customers will be more inclined to frequent your business versus competition and have increased loyalty if they feel you provide a good value.
Percent Off – We’ve all see discounts ranging from 5-75%+ off. Although consumers do redeem these offers, they’re often difficult to understand. Unless a buyer thoroughly knows your pricing beforehand, it’s tough to get an idea of true savings and often requires a calculation. This method makes it difficult for a consumer to understand the value. Additionally, many buyers feel that percentage discounts are played out and often feel prices are artificially inflated to give a false sense of savings.
Why Coupons In The Mail Work
Direct mail coupons and offers are some of the most successful types of marketing your business can do. Let’s examine why coupons can help motivate your potential customers.
Reason for Purchase: A discount or special freebie can help sway a customer who’s hesitant to buy a product or give people a reason to use your company over others. This added motivation will entice them to purchase.
Perceived Value: Feeling you got a deal or are getting something of value at a lower than market cost is a fantastic feeling. Coupons allow people to feel that sense of satisfaction while also giving you their patronage.
Urgency and Scarcity: Coupons often come with expiration dates or limited quantities, creating a sense of urgency and scarcity. This also motivates customers to take action quickly or by a certain time period to avoid missing out on the deal.
Customer Acquisition and Retention: Deals that are exclusive to a type of customer allow you to target your marketing and boost new or existing customer sales. Certain coupon offers can motivate customers to join or return.
Promotional and Marketing Tool: If you have a larger marketing campaign, coupons or special offers can supplement that campaign by promoting new products, clearing out old inventory or even creating buzz around your business.
Competitive Advantage: If you’re offering a coupon through mail and your competitors aren’t, you have a huge advantage in getting chosen by cost-conscious shoppers solely because your have a discount.
Trial and Adoption: There are times when people are ready to try new things, a direct mail coupon can be an excellent way to convince people to try your business and become loyal customers.
Word-of-Mouth and Referrals: When customers feel they got a great deal through a coupon, they are more likely to share their positive experience with friends and family. This word-of-mouth marketing can lead to new customer referrals.
Ultimately what you’re willing to spend or give in exchange to acquire a new customer will depend on what you are willing to invest to earn the client over your competition. It makes far more sense to invest in a new client upfront rather than having to win them over from the competition.
The cost of a new customer with incentives factored in can actually have a higher customer value over customers acquired without incentives. With the examples of direct mail marketing we’ve reviewed, you should have a good idea as to some do’s and don’ts of creating a compelling offer.Consumers see marketing promotions as a positive benefit and are much more likely to become loyal, repeat customers.
There are many steps to a successful direct marketing campaign – don’t just add a call to action on a post card and go it alone. An experienced direct mail company, like One Stop Mail can build a specific customized mailing lists, offer diverse printing options and can execute crucial elements of your campaign. Give us a call at 877-371-4004 or reach out to us to discover how we can help you make your next campaign successful.
*Blog updated 8/8/2023