I got this question recently: Why would I give coupons to my Facebook fans? They will pay full price. This question can be framed in several ways. For example, you could argue that it’s akin to this question: Is it true that the closer a consumer gets to actually parting with money, the dumber it is to offer them a deal?
But let’s stick with the original. A couple of responses come to mind:
- You don’t know that a Facebook fan is willing to pay full price, especially if you’ve ever asked Facebook users to Like your page in order to get access to deals
- Your understanding of the power of promotions is too narrow — you might be willing to trade “paying full price” for trying a new product, bringing a friend, writing a positive review…
- You might give a coupon to someone willing to pay full price to increase their loyalty and advocacy
Let’s take this scenario. You are a local restaurant owner using Four51′s FanTools platform. Every table in the joint features a table-tent that asks customers to login to Facebook from their mobile phone and get the SmartDeal (offer) available on your Facebook. The offer is $2.00 off any appetizer. Many people ask why you would just “give” them this deal when they are already planning to spend money in your restaurant. The possible reasons? Trial, cross-sell high-margin items, and up-sell to boost average ticket size.
Here are some other reasons to offer a deal to in-store customers:
- Promote a special event or a loyalty program
- Advertise a new store opening
- Promote restaurant services (catering, delivery, take-out, ect.)
- Encourage visits during other day-parts — i.e. come back later today for X or come in this weekend for Y
Finally, let’s say you did forgo $2 in sales because you gave a discount to someone who was poised to pay full price. Is that such a terrible thing? Don’t offer discounts and then hope no one hears about it. Instead, be smart and have a plan. Be excited about the opportunities to use promotions to drive your business and your brand, and shrug off the handful of customers who (you think) would have paid full price.