Coupons, Coupons, Coupons

Written by Dave Balch


Coupons can be a great way to promote, increase, and improve your business. They can be used to entice new customers, move hard-to-sell merchandise, "time-shift" your customers by getting them to come in during traditionally slow times, or as a stand-alone product when sold as gift certificates.

And, what could be simpler? Print a piece of paper and it's done. Right?

Maybe.

Coupons can get much more complicated than you might think. What restrictions do you want to impose? Good on certain days? Certain hours? Is there a minimum purchase required? What about 'rain-checks' ifrepparttar promoted merchandise is temporarily unavailable?

What aboutrepparttar 125018 structure ofrepparttar 125019 offer? Buy-one-get-one-free? Percentage discount, flat dollar-amount discount, or special one-time only price? Shouldrepparttar 125020 coupon expire?

Lots of questions, but how should you go about making all of these decisions?

Start atrepparttar 125021 beginning: before you do anything else, decide exactly what you want to accomplish with your offer. Do you want to increase sales, get new customers, introduce a new product or service, userepparttar 125022 coupon as a product in and of itself (as in "gift certificate"), or ??? It is imperative that you make this determination first because all ofrepparttar 125023 other coupon-related decisions depend on it.

When you finally do come up withrepparttar 125024 parameters of your offer, be sure that it is reasonable and easy to take advantage of. I remember seeing a restaurant coupon for $2 offrepparttar 125025 bill, but there were so many restrictions that I almost laughed out loud. You practically had to be an attorney to decipherrepparttar 125026 offer; it was good during certain hours on certain days ofrepparttar 125027 week, for parties of 4 or more (adults only, kids don't count), meals must meet certain minimums, and so on. It was ludicrous. They apparently wanted to stimulate business, but I can't imagine that ANYone EVER took advantage ofrepparttar 125028 offer. (It may be significant to note thatrepparttar 125029 restaurant in question failed.)

The Local Business Owner and Web-based Marketing. What Are They Waiting For?

Written by By Tim Charles


The Local Business Owner and Web-based Marketing. What Are They Waiting For?

Way back inrepparttar 1990's, (your remember) duringrepparttar 125017 spectacular growth and hype ofrepparttar 125018 Internet, one group in particular learned to doubt they neededrepparttar 125019 Internet as a new marketing tool -repparttar 125020 local business owner.

While many simply ignored it as a game for larger businesses, there were those who bravely set out to explorerepparttar 125021 possibilities. Unfortunately, many of these local business web-marketing pioneers ended up wishing they had ignored it too.

What happened? Why do many who tried web-based marketing for their local businesses feel burned, or at best, skeptical?

For starters, somebody forgot to tell them it required marketing. The "build it and they will come" theory prevailed. Instead of being a marketing driven, these early attempts were frequently, and solely, put intorepparttar 125022 hands of web designers.

Now don't get me wrong. The designers did their job. Many sites were built. Basic functions performed smoothly. Evenrepparttar 125023 site email workedů and a few local business owners could be heard bragging - "I got a web site."

Thenů nothing. Neither current nor potential customers were visiting, let alone taking any kind of buying action at these web sites.

The business owner, likely applyingrepparttar 125024 same thinking they used aboutrepparttar 125025 Yellow Pages (put it out there, and they'll find me), grew frustrated, then angry. Problem was, consumers had long ago become accustomed to usingrepparttar 125026 phone book as a source of information about local businesses. Using a web site was a different story.

"Web site? " they might ask, "How do I find it?" Such comments often conveyedrepparttar 125027 gap between having a site that could fulfill its promise and having a site that did nothing but add an expense.

While much of this happened just a few years ago, a lot has already changed. Many more consumers have grown comfortable usingrepparttar 125028 Internet as a source for local information, and these numbers will grow. Unfortunately,repparttar 125029 residual 'bad taste' lingers among many who operate inrepparttar 125030 local business arena today.

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