Whether you're rewarding loyal customers for repeat business or enticing people to give you a try, there are plenty of reasons to offer promotional codes for your experiences. The best reason, though, is that customers want them. The majority of adult Internet users—more than 100 million people—redeem online promo codes, and 54% of travelers search for coupons while on vacation, according to research by eMarketer and ILoveCoupons.com.
So if offering promo codes is great for marketing, how do you get them into your customers' hands? Here are 10 ideas—some traditional and a few creative—for distributing your promo codes and boosting your bookings.
1. Social media
Twitter followers and Facebook fans have already expressed an interest in your business, making these social media platforms the perfect place to post coupon codes. More than half of travelers use social media for inspiration, and half of travel companies say that social media has been directly responsible for bookings, according to Tnooz. Post promo codes as a regular part of your status updates, and track this platform as part of your marketing efforts.
2. Your email list
If you send out e-newsletters, include promotions that are exclusive to your subscribers. Emails that contain a coupon have an average open rate of more than 14 percent, an increase in unique clicks of 34 percent, and a transaction completion rate increase of 27 percent, according to Experian Marketing Services's Email Benchmark Report.
3. Partnerships with hotels and restaurants
If your business attracts travelers, why not work together with other businesses that serve this market? Print coupons that can be handed out at local hotels and restaurants. Better yet, partner to create special offers. For example, you can create a getaway package with a hotel that includes your tour or activity and a two night stay. Or work with an area restaurant to create a promotion that includes your tour or activity and lunch. The more value you can offer customers, the more excited they will be to book with you.
Enthusiasts who blog about your industry or location love to give things to their readers. Offer a special discount code that is exclusive to their blog. Make sure you create a call to action by including an expiration date to your deal.
5. Local tourism boards
Check your local tourism board to see if it has listings for area tours, events and rentals. If so, offer a special discount code for their visitors. OC Helicopters, a company that offers helicopter tours of California's Orange County coastline, offers a 35-percent discount on three of its tours by posting discount codes on Caladventures.com, an online resource for fun adventures.
6. Thank you gifts
After a customer participates in your tour or event or books a rental, thank them by offering a discount on their next purchase. You can hand out a code on the spot, or send a follow-up email inviting the customer to come back. If they had a great time, chances are they'll take you up on your offer.
7. Coupon websites
Submit your promo codes to sites like Retail Me Not and Coupon Cabin that offer consumers lists of discount codes. Nearly three-quarters of consumers search online coupon sources to look for discount codes, according to a study published in Internet Retailer magazine.
8. Mobile billboards
Don't underestimate the power of the visual ads. Drum up business during your slow period by hiring a mobile billboard company that will drive around town advertising your business and code on its truck. The technique will get you noticed and you just might fill up spots and rentals that might have gone unused.
9. Random acts of coupons
Give your employees cards that offer promo codes to be passed out at their discretion. Encourage them to give them to family, friends and strangers who look like they might enjoy your tour, activity or rental. These surprise discounts will brighten the day of both the giver and receiver.
10. Local newspapers
Reporters are always looking for interesting stories; why not call your local newspaper and tell them about your latest tour or event? Then partner with them to provide a special discount code for their readers. Ellen White, founder of Ellen's Kimchi, shared her story with Asian Week, a San Francisco-based weekly newspaper for the Asian community and offered readers a special discount code
With an online booking software like ZOZI Advance, you can create, manage, and start allowing customers to redeem promo codes in just a few clicks. Learn more below.