Implementing Mobile Couponing in Print

Keith Caswell
Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Mobile couponing is something that we’ve been talking about a lot around here lately, and not without good reason. Thrifty shoppers armed with mobile phones have brought coupon clipping into the 21st century in a very big way. eMarketer Digital Intelligence suggests that in only two years time, 16.5% of adult mobile phone owners—rounding out to 35.6 million people—will scan a coupon somewhere. Why should this matter to you? Because that’s a whole lot of commerce being done using mobile coupons and it shows no signs of slowing down. In particular, mobile coupons can be a great supplement for print materials, so we’re going to break that down a bit today.

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The publishing industry is one that’s been hit particularly hard by the surge in popularity of newer technologies, so it only makes sense that print media work in tandem with mobile devices to expand the limits of the capabilities of print. Mobile couponing takes advantage of weaknesses inherent in print media. Accidentally leaving print coupons at home or stuffing our wallet with them are things we’ve all had to deal with. By making it easy to do and minimizing the possibility of simple forgetfulness, mobile coupons can bridge the gap between a print experience and a digital one.

Another way that mobile coupons can enrich print publishing is that they offer a wealth of extra information that ends up right at the fingertips of customers. The coupons can come with details about the business or the promotion, as well as videos and other web goodies that aren’t possible in print. This offers a new level of interaction and engagement with your publication that wasn’t possible before.

Along those same lines, mobile couponing offers greater relevance when using Tag than with print coupons alone. Because smartphones offer unprecedented mobility and versatility for coupons, it’s possible to focus in on aspects of individual customers that can allow for a more user-specific experience, which will ultimately translate into a greater redemption rate for coupons. Using Tag’s Real Time Location (RTL) feature, the coupon can be used to collect data about where that user is and provide information specific for them, such as directions to stores or better deals based on their region or city.

Additionally, bargains can be even further personalized by associating scans to their specific device using Device ID. Before smartphones came along, coupons had to be generic enough so that as large an audience as possible would be compelled to take advantage of the promotion. But this inevitably leaves a lot of people behind if they’re uninterested in that deal. Not any longer. The Device ID is an anonymous but persistent number that uniquely identifies a particular mobile phone. This allows you to see which devices are more actively interacting with the coupons and even to offer incentives for more frequent scans. Greater relevance to individual users and incentivizing have been part of Tag’s appeal and have been reported to increase scan activity across different types of campaigns, including coupons.

Not to mention that Tag is a totally free and completely customizable, allowing for greater personalization and a more eye-catching presentation. With nearly one in five smartphone users over 18 scanning coupons, there’s no better reason to start getting into mobile couponing.

Can you think of any other ways that mobile coupons can be used in print media? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.


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