Increasing your sales is a process of continually letting people know that your business exists and encouraging customers to visit it. Having an ATM machine and a sign that advertises the existence of it on your business premises will certainly motivate a lot of new customers, who otherwise won't come to you, to visit your business and buy something from you.
The ATM machine can be configured to dispense coupons via the second cash cassette or the thermal printer. Coupons are a cost-effective way to inform and motivate your potential customers to check out your new product or service, while offering them some incentive for doing so. This way you motivate your customers to both use your ATM machine and buy the product or service you are promoting with your ATM coupons. ATM coupons also promote customer loyalty to your business.
Coupons are cost effective because you can reach a considerable group of potential customers quite cheaply. They also allow you to measure the results of your marketing efforts. Knowing the effectiveness of your coupons helps you determine what you need to improve them, and how much money and customers they bring in.
To measure the result, record each coupon that is dispensed through the ATM and presented to you. Also, record any add-on sales, and note whether the customer was new to your store, pub, club, cafe or supermarket. When the promotion is finished calculate the number of new customers and then divide the amount of money you spent on the coupons by the number of new customers to reach a cost-per-customer figure. Add up the add-on sales, minus the cost of the promoted product, to determine your profit from the coupons promotion. You can use these figures to compare this marketing effort with other marketing strategies.
a) Designing your coupon
If you want to use the back of the ATM receipt roll to promote various services and products, we recommend that you use an advertising company that has experience with this sort of marketing. Many of the bank ATMs in busy shopping centres would use coupons already pre-printed on the back of the ATM receipt rolls. These coupons should have the name and contact details of the company that has designed and printed them for the advertiser. Depending on your marketing budget, they will be able to design attractive, targeted and effective coupons.
If you want to use the second cash cassette in your ATM to dispense coupons, again make sure that you use an established company to professionally design and print your coupons. Look in the Yellow Pages under ‘Direct Mail’ or ‘Advertising Companies’, and ask for referrals from other businesses that you see using coupons to market their products or services.
Probably, the most cost-effective way to design and distribute your coupon is to print the coupon together with ATM receipt for every cash withdrawal or balance enquiry performed by your ATM machine.
Whichever option you choose, remember two important things:
- Use coupons that are consistent with your image and target market
- Use coupons regularly for at least one year (response rates always increase over time).
b) Write a catchy headline
It is very important that you have a very effective headline for your coupon. The headline must draw the attention of your target market. Your potential customers have to be intrigued by it.
Sample power headlines might look like these:
- They didn’t think I could__________but I did.
- Who else wants____________?
- How_________made me_________?
- Are you_________?
- How I_______?
- How to_______?
- If you are________, you can_________?
- Secrets of___________?
- Thousands (hundreds, millions) now ________even though they_______
- Give me_________and I will_____________
- _________ways to_________
c) Back up your marketing statements
Today consumers are quite sceptical about advertising, so you will need all the proof you can muster to convince your potential consumers that your marketing statements are genuine.
Use attractive pictures, posters, graphs, drawings, and charts that capture the benefits of your product or service for your consumers.
- Use testimonials from your customers.
- Use testimonials from celebrities. If you can get a celebrity to autograph a photo or sign a letter, make sure you frame it and hang it somewhere prominently so all your customers can see it.
- Do demonstrations and sampling of your products. Let your customers sample your products (food, beverages, etc.) or do demonstrations for them if you are selling equipment.
d) Make irresistible offers
Your coupons will remain ineffective unless you stimulate your potential customers to take action now. You will have to make offers so irresistible that customers will be compelled to buy your product or service.
The offers you make must appeal to your target market. If you are in the CBD, make offers that attractive to office workers. If you are in an area frequented by tourists, make offers that are appealing to tourists. The following list contains some proven methods in getting customers to take the required action now:
- Limited availability: ‘We have only so much of so and so, so hurry and get yours’ (say this only if it is true).
- Premiums/Gifts: ‘Call or buy now this, and a get free____ with every purchase.’
- Deadlines: ‘A free ________for of all of those who purchase_____ by 1 December.’
- Multiple premiums/gifts: Give multiple incentives for multiple orders (e.g. a free mug with the purchase of a 1 kg of ground coffee, and a free wine cooler with a purchase of a dozen bottles of a particular wine, etc.).
- Discounts for fast response: ‘Receive 20% off the price of _______ this week.’
Give clear directions for what you want your customers to do with the coupon (call, come in, buy, write, email, etc.). Make it easy for your customers by requiring them to take the required action in one step.
Often, two or more of the methods mentioned above can be combined in one marketing effort. The key, as in all marketing, is to test and measure what works for you, your area, and your target market.
e) Offer a guarantee
Customers are wary of hundreds of marketing messages and false claims they are bombarded with on a daily basis. Guaranteeing your products and services is essential in overcoming the in-built cynicism in most of your potential customers. If you have a product or service you may have to refund, don’t offer it in the first place.
Your guarantee must be specific, measurable, and, ideally, it must be worth more than the amount of money and effort the customer is making. A simple ‘satisfaction guaranteed or your money back’ doesn’t work any more.
If you consistently deliver more than what your customers expect, just imagine where your business will be in two years?