Coupons have been around since at least 1894 when Asa Candler, a drugist, passed out slips of paper for a free glass of his brand new drink, Coca-Cola. Today, the enlightened consumer knows the value of using coupons to save money and to enjoy being able to partake of services that may well have been unobtainable absent the coupon. With the growth of the Internet, many now seek their printable coupons from the world wide web.
Savvy Businesses use coupons to attract new customers. Tanning Salon owners are truly people oriented and fully understand the need to keep their customer base pleased with high quality
friendly service and a near hospital standard of sanitation in the salon. They also know they must market their tanning salon to garner new clientele.
The big question for most business owners is: “Where do I get the biggest bang for my marketing buck?”
One means to analyze alternatives to ascertain just where the biggest bang comes from is to cost out the marketing plan for various media. For the coupons to go tanning for free one might look at print media such as newspapers, magazines, billboards, or even at radio and television. For the tanning salon owner, these usually prove cost prohibitive except in some smaller local markets.
Direct mail is certainly an option and can be anything from hand written postcards to exquisite pre-printed cards. E-mail has proven to be a very profitable means to advertise. For the latter two, the list is the key to the success of direct mailing and e-mail. For direct mail, a business owner can develop a list from their local phone book or pay a hefty fee to a list broker for a targeted mailing list or do something in-between.
So that we can use an example, please indulge me this, let us assume that three business owners each have paid for a list, printing, postage and handling for 1000 coupon postcards and each business owner’s total cost came to $730. The first business owner’s mailing list was a cold mailing list meaning a bunch of names and addresses to somebody somewhere. The first business owner received the usual cold-list response rate of about one-half of one percent which resulted in five brand new customers. The second business owner had a bit better list and was able to enjoy the national coupon redemption rate of about three percent resulting in thirty new customers walking in their door to redeem their coupons. The third business owner had a highly targeted mailing list of known local tanners who were looking for a new salon and they enjoyed a response rate of thirteen and two-tenths percent resulting in one-hundred and thirty-two new customers.
Obviously, five new customers is better than none. Thirty new customers is better than five. And, one-hundred and thirty-two new customers is better than thirty. Another way to say this is that the first business received five new customers for a $730 marketing expenditure or paid $146 per customer who walked through their door to redeem their coupon. The second business received thirty new customers for a $730 marketing expenditure or paid $24.33 per customer who walked through their door to redeem their coupon. The third business received one-hundred and thirty-two new customers for a $730 marketing expenditure or paid $5.55 per customer who walked through their door to redeem their coupon.
With e-mail one can make the same value argument for e-mail lists as above with one very large additional risk and that is called SPAM. SPAM can result in e-mail restrictions to shutting down an entire website.
In the early 1980’s the tanning industry was a baby. Now it is a fully grown mature industry and the answer to the question of where a salon owner gets the biggest bang for their coupon marketing buck lies somewhere else than in the same identical coupons their competition is handing out. While one may well have a great list, today’s consumer recognizes and receives many coupon offers. In 2000 there were nearly 4.5 billion coupons circulated in the United States alone. Roughly eighty percent of those making between $25,000 and $75,000 per year use coupons some time and folks with these income levels can afford to tan.
Continuing our example above, to the salon owner, is it worth spending $146 or $24.33 or even $5.55 per customer to distribute first time tanner coupons that almost every salon gives away or standard referral coupons or birthday coupons or buy three get one free UV Free airbrush tanning coupons? It occurred to us that salon owners and tanners may be better served by making these tanning industry standard coupons available to everyone for free off a website.
The tanner enjoys the benefit of the coupon to go tanning for free. The salon owner enjoys the benefit of not having to spend hard earned cash to pay for advertising common to most all tanning salons and the website enjoys a few more hits. That is called cooperative advertising. Please visit our website soon so you can enjoy your own coupons to go tanning for free.0
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