Advertising or marketing campaigns are a part of virtually every business. You can never do too much advertising; as a general rule you do as much as you can afford. Running promotions is one of the commonly used techniques to generate more sales; any many businesses are likely to run promotions with more than one advertising company at the same time. I’ve seen many business owners who run these campaigns in mindless ways; as a result they are unable to track the effectiveness of their promotions & advertisers.
Generally, it’s a good idea to keep your sales records in an electronic POS interfaced system or other accounting system which has the ability to run different reports based on your specified criteria. This is a powerful tool in your arsenal to track any type of marketing campaigns & see how they affect your business. Fortunately, most of the software available today will be capable of doing this, however, do your research before committing to a software package, because switching to a different one later can cause a lot of headache. Most of small business owners don’t really need overtly advanced software, in order to track their promotions, in some cases though, especially if you are planning to use affiliate marketing, having a promotion code & being able to track them can be necessary.
Let’s concentrate on a simple model, when you can simply track your promotions without having thousands of coupon codes & see how we can use them wisely. It’s quite simple actually. First of all, if you run regular promotions for you customers, don’t use the same promotions with advertisers, second – use a unique promotion(s) for each advertiser if you have the campaigns running at the same time. Let’s see an example on a common pizza business: every pizza business likely has a set of coupons that go out with their menus, you know, the usual $2OFF, $3OFF, $5OFF etc. Now say you want to run a promotion with an advertiser. If you let them to promote the same deals you already have on your menu, you won’t be able to track this campaign and know how much sales it will have generated. Use a unique coupon and you can run a simple report after the campaign & know exactly what the return was for the money spent, be it the number of sales generated, the number of new accounts it brought to your business or just gross amount of sales. The same way, if you have more than 1 advertiser, you can give each of them a unique offer & have the ability to track the ROI for each. Later you can use the same offers on your next campaign, but switch advertisers, this way you can judge the effectiveness of each of your advertisers & see who brings higher ROI. As you can easy, it’s easy, effective & simple.
Depending on your business type having a coupon code can be a good or a bad idea. In our example above it would be pretty uncomfortable & generally not a good practice to ask your customers for a coupon code over the phone. Online business models however work exceptionally well with promotional codes.