Use Mobile Coupons for Your Website - dummies

Use Mobile Coupons for Your Website

The capability of the mobile web to deliver a coupon to the user exactly when and where it will have the most impact creates an immediate and personalized call to action that highlights one of the most powerful advantages you can gain in any advertising campaign — instant gratification.

Imagine reaching out to a customer with a discount or special offer to tempt them while they walk past your place of business. Or sending a coupon good for a free concert T-shirt to the teenager in the audience who is the first to SMS-message in the correct answer to a trivia question displayed on the big screen.

When customers use a printed coupon, you can gather only limited information about them, such as in which general zip code you distributed the coupon (assuming that your customers didn’t share their coupons with someone from across town).

When you use mobile coupons, you can track exactly who was sent a coupon, how long until it was redeemed, and all kinds of other demographic information that can help you make your marketing and sales efforts more efficient.

The next wave of mobile coupons is likely to be driven by the growing inclusion of GPS functionality in HTML5 on the iPad and iPhone. Already, startups such as mobiQpons and Yowza!! show coupons based on the user’s proximity to stores, even allowing users to share coupons with their friends by using social networking.

Mobile coupons come with one major snag: Because the coupon barcode appears on a phone’s LCD screen, many older, laser barcode readers can’t process the information. For just this reason, Target Corporation recently spent tens of millions of dollars to replace all scanners at its cash registers around the United States.

To make using coupons as easy as possible, many mobile coupon companies are rolling out small, point-of-sale terminals that can be used to verify coupons. Others are offering alternatives, such as setting up toll-free numbers for merchants to call to verify and track coupons.

You can try a free mobile coupon service, at MixMobi, to see whether it gets traction and whether your customers like it. MixMobi lets you try its mobile coupon service for 14 days (or 5,000 page views, whichever comes first).