Using Coupons and Special Offers Effectively in Your Home Services Marketing Strategy
No matter if you’re advertising online or offline, using special offers is an excellent and effective method for attracting potential customers and retaining existing ones. Irrespective of the size and scale of your business, these offerings stand as time-tested marketing tools that will drive buyer behavior and differentiate you from your competition.
The Benefits of Coupon Offers
Many business owners are hesitant to use coupons, discounts or special offers, because they may feel it will cut too deeply into their profits. While this is understandable at a glance, one transaction probably won’t even come close to the entire Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) that a new customer acquisition could represent for your business in the long run.
And in some cases, your offers can even act as a defensive move against customer attrition. A jaw-dropping 90 percent of all consumers use coupons, and these offers can entice even loyal customers to try something new. Even if the value of an offer is only perceived, customers will often abandon a known product or service to try a new one if they feel there are significant savings to be had.
A well-timed special offer can act as a reminder of important home maintenance services. Sending a discount offer with a reminder to schedule annual service, for example, can help reactivate customers you haven’t heard from recently. Included in a welcome package, coupons can introduce new residents to local service providers and offer an incentive for them to make an appointment soon.
Crafting an Eye-Catching Offer
Your offer should be bold, succinct, and to the point. You can include details in the fine print, but keep the headline simple and snappy. Customers need to know what you’re providing at a glance. They’re not likely to read through a lot of verbiage to get to the good part.
Different demographics may have varying preferences on the verbiage used for special offers, however. Test a few options to see which performs best. You may find that “HALF OFF your next repair” works better than “Save $100 on your next repair,” even if the two equate to the same thing. Emphasizing free products and services is nearly always an effective tactic, so use this word anywhere you can.
Best Practices: Appealing to Customer Interests
Know what’s important to your customers and include this in your promotions. Are your clients conscious of energy savings, interested in priority service, or simply looking for greater comfort? Shoppers always want to know what’s in it for them. Emphasize the benefits of a new system when promoting installations so buyers will see the savings from the coupon compounded with the potential for energy savings. Keep the focus on the perks for efficient advertising.
Numerous case studies and consumer research have shown that the most successful coupon and offer-driven advertisements follow a certain set of rules. To make the most out of your efforts, here are the general best practices when it comes to creating your offer and getting the most out of it:
- Articulate value and encourage customers to act. How does this offer benefit the customer? Why should they care?
- Know what’s popular and provide value. Customers are going to be looking for discounts on your most popular services and products. The ones with the broadest appeal will create the best outcomes for your business.
- Manage expectations. Be upfront about end dates and restrictions. This will save you a ton of headaches and misunderstandings down the road.
- Show the dollar value. Even if it’s a free offer, consumers will need to know the dollar value of the offer in order to understand the value of the transaction.
- Encourage a sense of urgency. Customers need a reason to act, so “limited time only” offers and expiration dates can be used to create a sense of urgency. It’s okay to extend expiration dates from time to time, but be sure not to get lazy and extend the same offer’s expiration date over and over again. Customers will get wise to this tactic and they’ll lose their sense of urgency if this happens.
- Segment, segment, segment. Make note of which customers opted for which coupons and offers in your database. This segmentation will come in handy when designing drip marketing campaigns, setting up custom and lookalike audiences on social media, and more.
Not too long ago, the daily deal site Groupon achieved meteoric success through offer-driven advertising. The company’s star has dimmed a bit, but the company still is a major player in the offer driven advertising game. It advises business owners to take a few steps before launching an offer-driven campaign. Chief among these is preparing your staff for the promotion, understanding ahead of time whether the deal is meant to be profitable or if it will be a loss-leader, and to closely monitor the results.
Promoting Your Home Services Business
Coupons and special offers are an effective way to promote your home services products and services. Mediagistic recommends including two to three coupons on all creative pieces and highlighting at least two special offers on your website at all times.
To help home services business owners brainstorm some possibilities, we’ve included a number of sample offers and coupons below. Offers outlined with an asterisk have been compiled by Valpak’s Category Research Center (CRC) as high performing offers during the past 40 years for their respective categories. They recommend including a certain dollar or percentage amounts to increase the call to action performance. Potential offers might include:
HVAC Installation Offers
- Free Estimates on Replacements
- 15% off a new A/C Unit*
- $100 Off a New A/C Unit*
- $XXXX Off New Heating or Cooling System*
HVAC Repair Focused Offers
- 20% Off any repair*
- Free Service call with Any Repair ($XX Value)*
- $25 Off Any Repair of $100 or More*
- $XX Heating or A/C Tune-Up (Reg. $XXX)*
HVAC Maintenance Agreements Offers
- $XXX Annual Maintenance Package (Reg. $XXX)*
- Maintenance plans for $X/month (Reg. $X/month)
- One Year Free Maintenance w/ New System Purchase
- $XXX off Any Plumbing Service
- $XXX off Water Heater Installation
- Free Water Heater with Whole Home Repipe ($XXX value)
- Free Camera Inspection with Hydro Scrub ($XXX value)
- $XXX off Main Circuit Breaker Panel Installation
- Install One Ceiling Fan, Get the Second One 50% Off
- $XXX Off New Electrical Panel
Remember, including dollar amounts, percentages, or free offers are all effective ways to grab the customer’s interest and highlight the benefits you’re offering.
Make the Most of Offer-driven Advertising Campaigns
If you’re looking to get the most mileage out of your advertising or marketing campaigns, then you need to have a strong offer. Done correctly, an offer-driven advertising campaign will create a real sense of urgency to purchase your products and open up the doors for long-term customer acquisition.
Our team at Mediagistic is well-versed in the best practices for crafting effective coupons and special offers to help you promote your brand. We also can advise on how to best leverage your offers and coupons through custom-designed, holistic, multi-channel marketing and advertising campaigns. Get in touch today to talk to one of our marketing consultants about how you can best plan and implement an offer-driven marketing campaign.
April Turner is a client services manager at Mediagistic. Connect with her on Linkedin.
Image via Pixabay by rawpixel
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