Issue #112: Coupons That Create Word of Mouth

Learn to turn a simple coupon into a word of mouth generator:
1> Coupons for the friend
2> Coupons for the office
3> Coupons that email well
4> Coupons that give status
5> Coupons that can’t be used

1> Coupons for the friend

Coupons are great. But coupons that customers can give to their friends are better. Every time you print a coupon, be sure to add a second coupon that offers the same deal for a friend. The extra coupon will get cut out and passed along. 

2> Coupons for the office

Create a coupon designed for the office bulletin board. Instead of a single offer, photocopy a page of identical coupons, with the headline, "Share these deals with your co-workers." Hand them to customers who are shopping during the work day, and tell them it’s a gift for them to give their colleagues. They’ll get passed around, taped to the fridge, and everyone will see it. 

3> Coupons that email well

Every email coupon should be forwardable. Make sure the design is clean and that it’s still readable after 100 forwards. Why pay to print paper coupons when your customers will distribute them for you? Bonus: If you put a unique code in each coupon, you’ll learn which people on your list are the big word of mouth evangelists. 

4> Coupons that give status

Nothing beats the "secret discount code" offer. Create deals that make the person who shares them look important. Use special codes, offers not available in the store, or secret passwords. When you make your customer look like a VIP insider they are more likely to forward the offer to show off their status. Bonus: Use wacky discount codes that use the forwarder’s name, like "welovestevejones" — it’ll get shared. 

5> Coupons that can’t be used

Create coupons that can’t be used by a single person. Try giant books of dozens of offers or multiple coupons that expire on the same day. People will share them instead of wasting them. 

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