Do you want to drive attendance to your events and increase your revenue? Use promo codes in your marketing campaigns and you won’t be disappointed!
Have you already wondered how offering discounts can affect your business? Whether you organise big live events, weekly workshops, yoga classes or other exciting adventures and activities, this insight might be just what you need to incentivise ticket purchases among your potential customers.
At Smeetz, we use promo codes to:
- increase sales,
- attract new customers,
- retain customers by making them happy,
- increase our visibility,
- track the success of our marketing campaigns.
5 good reasons why you should use promo codes
1. To increase your sales
Promo codes are monetary incentives to buy. They benefit both your business, by converting visitors, and your customers, by reducing the price they pay.
When users receive promo codes, it can increase the amount and the value of unplanned purchases.
2. To increase your customers’ happiness and brand loyalty
The first scientific research about a neurophysiological response to the reception of online coupons illustrates that:
- When people receive a coupon, it increases their levels of oxytocin (a hormone related to love and happiness), decreases their level of stress and makes them feel more relaxed.
- Not only do coupons save customers money, they induce an emotional relationship, which in turn leads to brand loyalty.
3. To track the success of your marketing campaigns
Tracking the ROI of a specific promotional marketing campaign has never been easier. The trick is to display unique codes in each channel (one promo code for Facebook, one for Instagram, one for e-mails, etc).
Unique codes have different names, but can offer the exact same discount. Those codes will allow you to have a better understanding of your conversion rate and link it to traffic coming from specific campaigns.
4. To increase your visibility and online presence
To incentivise the sharing of your discounts, you can give influencers or loyal customers personalised promo codes to share with their family, friends and followers. It will engage a larger audience and create a feeling of trust. It will also get people talking about your activity or your event.
Promo codes can be incentives to motivate users to engage with you as you reward them. In return, you can ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, follow your account, like your page, share your posts, participate in your surveys, etc.
5. To increase your e-mail opening rate
Studies have shown that
E-mails with promo codes boast 14% higher open rates, 34% higher click rates, and 48% higher revenues than emails without them. - Michael Quoc, CEO/Founder Dealspotr
Take the time to come up with an attractive subject line, otherwise you won't give your promo code a chance to do its magic.
Did you know that many users expect a welcome discount when joining an e-mail list? So what are you waiting for?
Advice based on real success stories
Many websites offer discounts when registering to their newsletters, when placing a first order, for special holidays or birthdays. The choice of what discount to release into the world, when and where is completely up to you.
Let me just share two instances where the use of promo codes was a success for our customers.
The case of a Yoga Studio in Lausanne, Switzerland
This local studio offers daily classes, multiple times a day. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Yogi, more into relaxation or an adept of AcroYoga, this studio has a large range of classes to fit your needs.
One day, the studio contacted our CEO, Alexandre Martin, to discuss how they could increase their class attendance. To offer the best strategical advice, we first needed to better understand the needs of this client.
We organised an informal meeting at the Etoile Blanche in Lausanne, sat down, ordered some coffee and started discussing business. We started by asking two important questions: what is your objective and who is your target ?
A lot of laughter and a few cups of coffee later, we came up with 5 strategies aimed at different types of customers:
- To attract new customers: we proposed the use of public promo codes shared on social media (theirs and ours). The codes offer a discount for the first class booked. We also suggested to print some codes and distribute them to local hotels. In that way, a new audience is reached and relationships are built with local businesses.
- To reward loyal customers: we proposed the use of private promo codes sent by personalised e-mails to special customers. Those codes are restricted and can only be used once by a specific person. The occasions to offer such a discount are limitless: when a number of class attended is reached, given the length of the relationship, for birthdays, etc. Show your gratitude to loyal customers, they are the best ambassadors for your brand.
- To increase the average value of the shopping cart: we proposed the use of discount bundles to stimulate the purchase of multiple classes. This offer can, for example, motivate a customer to discover AcroYoga and relaxation.
- To increase the attendance to slow time slots: we proposed the use of discounts for specific classes. With experience, the studio knows which particular slots are the busiest and which ones are the slowest (on a Tuesday night for example). A discount can help spread the irregular frequency of attendances. The offer can stay up for a while and maybe some yogis will actually enjoy the quietness of a Tuesday night class and make it a routine.
- To increase social media activity: we proposed to offer free or discounted entrances against participation in a contest (or else) on social media. It engages the audience and can create the buzz around the activity. Imagine that you could win a class or a monthly subscription to a renown local yoga studio; would that motivate you enough to participate?
Elements to consider: can each code be used more than once by the same user? can multiple codes be added and used together? How long will a code be available?
The case of a festival in Zürich, Switzerland
This festival organiser had two objectives when he contacted us: boost early tickets sales and increase the awareness around the festival. We met and suggested two options to incentivise the festival's audience to register early:
- Early bird discounts: the participants who buy their tickets first get a discount. The offer can be limited to certain amount of tickets (let's say the first 20 tickets) or unlimited for a period of time (for example the first week of sales).
- Flash discounts: the offer is only valid for a very short period of time. It creates a strong feeling of urgency.
The organiser chose to personalise option 2. He asked for promo codes that were only valid 24h. At the end of the meeting, this organiser asked us two recurrent questions worth sharing with you:
- How to name the promo codes? Our advice: make them fun but practical. Luckily promo codes can be 100% personalised! Use that to your advantage and make something unordinary! Please keep it simple and practical. Online promo codes should be easy to copy (no one wants to remember them), short, visual, linked to a relevant webpage, etc. Promo codes can only include capital letters and numbers. "SMEETZ2019" for example is a boring example. "ROCKURWORLD" on the other side is funnier.
- Should we use percentage-based discount or monetary value discount? Our advice: what matters is the highest perceived value saved by the customer. It is a subjective choice as, surprisingly, most potential customers don't do the math. You can follow the rule of 100: for a price under CHF 100: use percentage-base discounts (25% off), for a price above CHF 100: use monetary value discounts (CHF 10 off). Even if the final discount is exactly the same, the belief is that for a $25 t-shirt customer, 25% off is the better deal and for a $2'000 laptop customer, $500 off is the better deal.
Let's get back to our festival organiser. He wanted an opportunity to engage with the festival's potential audience. Hence, to obtain a discount for the festival, people had to show up to special promotion dates. After the promotion date events, the attendees had 24h to validate their festival ticket purchase to benefit from the discount.
The incentive of getting a promo code for the festival allowed the organiser to meet the festival's audience and develop a personal relationship with the attendees. And of course, it was another welcomed opportunity to further promote the festival itself.
Final thoughts: everyone benefits from great discounts
If you want to drive attendance and increase revenue, make your customers feel they caught a great deal. They will be happy and so will you.
Most importantly, personalise your promo codes, be creative with surprise discounts, emphasise the feeling of belonging to a private and exclusive group and create a feeling of urgency.