Looking for an easy way to drive customers into your shop? Try using coupons.
They’re not just for grocery stores, florists, pizzas, or other retailers commonly associated with coupon deals. As a resource for marketing a small business, coupons work just as well for an auto glass repair business – especially if you’re just getting started. While you may not think you have much to offer in the way of a discount, coupons serve several purposes that will serve you well.
- Attract business. The main reason to offer coupons is to get customers to come into your shop. Sure, their windshield is cracked, but they could have several options on replacement businesses. Offering a discount on their first repair could encourage them to choose you to do the work.
- Keep attracting business. Once you show them your quality work, then you’ve got a customer who’ll come back the next time they need your services.
- Keep them as customers. They get to know you. They see what quality work you do. They appreciate your fair prices. They’re glad to give you their name and email address so they can get helpful safety tips [link to Step #6 on “Increase Customer Communication” post, ] and other auto updates from you. And also future coupons.
Not a bad deal for knocking a few bucks off your price to give the customers a deal.
Which Coupon to Market Your Small Business?
OK, so what type of coupon should you offer? Here are the three main types, and you could easily offer coupons in one or all formats.
- Paper. The most common, time-honored coupon type is the one placed in your newspaper, penny saver, or other local publication. Customers can simply cut it out and bring along.
- Digital. Take advantage of today’s digital technology and provide an online coupon customers can access from your website or your Facebook page, and then print out. Even better, design your coupon so it can be accessed from a smartphone. This is especially useful since customers may have an emergency glass repair need while out driving, and they’re using their phones to locate a glass repair service. Finding you – and your coupon – can get them to call you instead of someone else.
- Bulk mailing. Consider a service such as Red Plum or Valpak. Your coupon will be included with dozens of others, all for a variety of businesses and special offers. But, this is an inexpensive way of getting your coupon in the hands of your customers.
How to Start Couponing
So if developing a coupon campaign sounds like a good idea – and it should – here are a few things to keep in mind as you get started.
- Length of time. Decide how long you want your coupon to be usable. Will it be good for a month? Six months? Until Haley’s Comet comes around again?
- Determine your offer limits. You must be specific about what service and discount you’re providing with the coupon. You can’t just say “10% off glass service.” You could get people wanting you to fix the crack in their favorite drinking glass – and hold you to it because you didn’t specify want sort of glass service you provide.
- Establish usage restrictions. Is your coupon meant to be used again and again? Can people in the same family reuse a single coupon? Generally, coupons are limited to “one per customer” – which also makes them easier to track when seeing how well they worked. Plus, be sure to note that coupons are good only for out-of-pocket payments, since they can’t be applied to insurance claims.
- Use powerful, attention-getting words. Catch your customers’ attention with words such as save, now, guarantee, fast, and easy.
- Sell customer benefits. Make sure your coupon states how the customer will benefit from coming to you, since that’s they’re only concern. Show that you’ll save them time, money, aggravation, and that you’ll make their car more beautiful than when they brought it in.
- Get contact information. Now that you have their attention, keep it by getting customer names, email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers. Building up a customer list allows you to send out information on a regular basis to strengthen your customer relationships.
One other good thing about coupons: it’s easy to measure their effectiveness. Simply count the coupons that come in, and see where they came from (newspaper, website, etc.). This lets you see what’s working, and make changes accordingly so they work even better the next time.
So why not start couponing today? Offering customers one little discount could start paying big dividends for your business.