Coupon advertising is a fantastic way to get your dry cleaner’s name and message out into your community. With the high level of local competition, you need to make sure that your advertising campaign is better than the dry cleaner down the street from you. Here are 6 Do’s and Don’ts for creating a profitable coupon advertising campaign.
Don’t: Over-discount your services.
It is a common myth that coupon advertising is not profitable. There are thousands of small businesses that will attest that they have used coupon advertising to not only drive sales but increase their profits. Like any other advertising, there are best practices. Giving away a free cup of coffee with dry cleaning isn't a strong incentive. But giving away your most popular service for free is sure to lose money. Profitable coupon advertising comes from finding the right balance between the two.
Do: Follow what is proven to work.
There are dry cleaners all over the country that have struck the right balance between an aggressive yet profitable deal. Don’t reinvent the wheel! If it worked for them, chances are it will work for you, too. You can use formulas to estimate the success of an offer, or follow these examples of profitable coupon advertising campaigns:
Don’t: Spread your advertising too thin.
Some coupon advertising programs target a broad area like a state, city, or zip code. But what are the chances that someone who lives 15 miles from your business is going to use you over the dry cleaner 1 minute from their home? This broad geographic targeting works for bigger brands with bigger wallets, but your business cannot afford to waste advertising dollars on customers that live too far away.
Do: Target your most likely customer.
To get the most bang for your buck, your advertising should be shown only to the people most likely to become customers. For a dry cleaner, that’s anyone who wears clothes and lives or works within a few miles of your store. While there are various channels that can do this type of targeting, there is only one that works 100% of the time: grocery store receipt advertising. Your best customers already go to the store 1-2 times each week, and each time they’re handed a receipt. Don’t you want your message in their hands?
Don’t: Wait until the last minute to advertise.
Some business owners feel that they only need to advertise when business is slow. This is a risky way of thinking. Imagine your business as a bucket filled with water. But, the bucket has holes in the sides, so over time, the water leaks out. If you consistently refill the bucket, you have nothing to worry about! Your bucket will always have enough water. But if wait until your bucket is nearly empty, you may be too late and your bucket may run dry.
Do: Invest in a year-round program.
A year can seem like a long time to a business owner but think of it from a consumer’s point of view. How many times have you seen a new restaurant that you want to go to, but you don’t make it through the doors for at least a year? You have an interest, but you need an incentive or a reminder to get your butt in that seat. Annual advertising programs work every single day to make sure that when a consumer has a need for your business, your message is the one they see first. Plus, annual programs like Register Tapes Unlimited allow you to “set-it-and-forget-it.” All it requires is some time up-front to get your offer created and your coupon designed, and then you can sit back and relax the rest of the year as your advertising works for you to drive sales and increase profits.