Friday, May 9, 2008

Using Coupons In Advertising - Part 2

Using Coupons

Many on line sellers are fearful of using coupons basically because of the difficulty of handling them. One of the biggest problems many on line sellers have with using coupons is tracking and issuing them. I want to give you an idea on how to address these two issues. Web sites that have this capability built in make using coupons easy but many that we all use don’t have these features so let’s look at an alternative.

Let’s look at tracking. Now if you have an accounting program you use to handle your business finances, you may very well have the ability to use it to handle the tracking part of the issue. You will need to look at your software to determine this. If you don’t have this capability, there is still a relatively easy way to keep track of coupons. Almost any spreadsheet program will work for our purposes here.

You will need to give these names to your columns

Coupon #, Coupon Value, Issuing Date, Expiration Date, Customers Name, Address, City, St, Zip, Email, Use Date, Use Amt, Balance, Use Date, Use Amt, Balance, Use Date, Use Amt, Balance, Use Date, Use Amt, Balance, Current Value (usually a coupon is used up long before you reach a 4th use date). If you need assistance with the formulas, I have a spreadsheet you can obtain simply by emailing us through The Hand Made Directory.

Now for the more complicated part of the issue. How to issue and use them. First, you will need to design a coupon that you are capable of giving individual different numbers to each one issued. This graphic can be either printed and used in a delivery or can be sent via email. You must make it clear to the customer that in order to be able to use the coupon, they must contact you prior to its use so you know they have a coupon. By doing this, you are capable of invoicing the customer with the appropriate price adjustment already being made prior to the purchase. This saves the problem of having to go into PayPal for example and issuing a refund. You can always do this, but it is more work and simply doesn’t present as good an image as the other method.

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