Thursday, June 12, 2008

Coupon Codes, Should we use them?

I've had a series of discussions with a client today regarding the use of coupon codes. He loves them, saying that they are a major marketing tool. I agreed that they were quite useful in building customer loyalty but had issues with two points being raised.

First, I felt that link from the email should contain the customer code; that way the customer wouldn’t have to go back to his email and enter the code. There was relatively no extra coding work so we could ease the customer experience at no cost to the client. The argument raised against this was the same raised by many retail operators – that the retailers count on customers not mailing in the rebate coupons; or forgetting to mention the coupon to the cashiers. The customers come to the store for the sale and end up purchasing the item at full price.

My second point was that customers seeing the coupon code, and the missed sale, would be alienated. It would be better for the coupon code to be invisible to new customers and instead display notices pointing out that if they signed up they could participate in future sales.

Unfortunately my points were overruled and a new clunky customer code system was developed.

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