For many years I’ve been studying other businesses, building businesses, and using all sorts of software. I learned along the way about the power of scarcity and how it affects purchase behavior. I’ve been a victim of this many times, and it happens monthly. For example, I buy a lot of vitamins through Vitamin Shoppe. Whenever they send me a coupon with an expiration date, I buy something immediately before I forget about it and it expires. The better the offer, the more likely I am to take action, especially since I know I’ll be buying them at some point.
Using coupons can be a very effective method to keep users coming back and kickstart your traction early on. When we started King of Maids, we used coupons to do just that by offering huge discounts on Craigslist. We knew that users on Craigslist are heavily influenced by low prices, so we undercut everyone by offering huge discounts in our ADs. We then pushed every client we got from Craigslist to leave us reviews on Yelp. Once we got enough reviews, Yelp ranked us on their 1st page, finally gaining traction. You can say that coupons are what kickstarted everything.
We no longer use that strategy since we don’t use Craigslist anymore, but here are some ways that we do use coupons today to increase bookings and gain more revenue.
Sending out offers using Campaigns
We use Campaigns to send out email and text offers to our existing clients. These offers are sent out on certain Holidays or if we need more bookings to fill out schedules for the week. Whenever someone clicks on the offer from the email or text, they land on a page like this:
Here the coupon code is automatically applied, and some scarcity is added by displaying a countdown bar, so users are more likely to take action.
Daily discounts to organize our bookings
We use discounts to push customers to book for the days we have trouble filling up. For us, Mondays are usually the slowest, so we offer a $10 discount on the booking page for those that book for that day:
Making sure that we push customers for Mondays leaves more room for other clients who need weekend spots. It also fills up the Providers schedule and ensures that they are getting enough jobs throughout the week. Some cleaners also only work Mondays, and by doing this, it ensures that they get work.
Using coupons when we run paid advertisement
To hook new users, we do it by offering discounts. The image above is a photo of an AD we run. Then when someone clicks on the link, they are taken to an offer/landing page like the one you saw in the first example above. We again apply the discount automatically, add scarcity by including a countdown bar and an end date. If the user leaves, they will never see this offer again, and they will have to book with the non-discounted total unless they call us and we honor it.
Using coupons to kickstart our business
As mentioned above, we used to leverage coupons to undercut everyone to build a reputation somewhere where it mattered. We don’t do this anymore, but I repeat it here if you skipped the intro to the blog post. This can be a very effective marketing strategy, and for us, it was something that helped us gain traction.
Join Our Facebook CommunityJoin Facebook Group
If I were to do it again, I would find a channel that lets me post ADs for free, and I would include a link to my online booking page with a coupon code mentioned in the AD. I would also apply the coupon automatically with a countdown bar so that when a user lands on your page, it’s already there showcasing the discounted price. Then, after the service, I would figure out a platform that I can leverage, and I would try and get a review out of every customer I service.