Tying Search To Coupon Campaigns


What's the value of a coupon campaign when tied to search, email, mobile, social or display? Earlier this week, RevTrax launched Optics 3.0, an upgrade to its digital security offline to online coupon analytics platform. It brings together data from a variety of media and connects to any point-of-sale (PoS) system, allowing brands to measure, optimize and what the company calls "protect" the authenticity of printable and mobile coupons on in-store sales.  

Some of the security concerns point to retail PoS systems accepting coupons and then invalidating each after a one-time use. The platform does not require consumers to register or install software, but codes can track purchases.

The platform enables a search marketer to measure the impact of search on in-store sales to fully understand the impact of search, whereas traditionally they have only been able to measure the impact of search on ecommerce sales, according to Seth Sarelson, co-founder and COO at RevTrax. This is critical because studies have shown that consumers spend $16 in the store for every $1 spent online, Sarelson said, citing a Yahoo study.



Sarelson explains that a search marketer can code a URL in a paid-search campaign to a coupon. It ties information about the marketing tactic such as search keyword, ad group, ad network, and creative ID to a landing page where the consumer can retrieve a digital or printable coupon with a unique barcode compatible with the merchant's PoS system.

After the coupons are redeemed, RevTrax works with clients to understand how search can optimize the campaign and bidding strategy to gain a higher return on investment in the store. "For example, a client might realize that certain keywords generate a much higher in-store transaction size and invest more heavily in those keywords, or might notice that certain search ad creative leads to a higher conversion rate from printed to redeemed coupons," Sarelson said. "The goal is to make sure that brick-and-mortar merchants have access to real cross-channel analytics tools to measure in-store ROI."

Merrell Wreden, vice president of marketing for AMF Bowling, has been working with RevTrax for about a year. The company ties a variety of media such as search marketing into its coupon campaigns. Affiliate marketing campaigns do well to find prospective customers, most of whom are the "Wal-Mart shopper," he said. The company also made a huge commitment to email, with more than 500,000 consumer names growing to 2 million by the end of the company's fiscal year. Emails go out at least once biweekly.

That growing email list also makes mobile couponing possible. Mobile couponing offers discounts to consumers received the night before -- typically on a weekend, giving kids enough time to ask the parents for a ride. But it's not just for kids. AMF also plans to launch a mobile campaign to reach corporate event planners, giving the group leaders new ideas on alternatives to activities, especially during the holidays. The company makes the majority of its revenue between Thanksgiving and April 15.

AMF's latest email campaign kicked off on Memorial Day weekend. Dubbed AMF Bowling Summer Unplugged, consumers sign up to receive email, click on the coupon when it arrives, print or pull it up on a mobile device, and bring it in to redeem. It's simple.

As digital coupons become an increasingly prevalent method for driving in-store traffic, marketers are faced with a new set of challenges. These include establishing control over distribution of coupons to target audiences, assuring that redemption fraud is blocked or minimized, and understanding how a specific digital coupon led to an offline transaction.

"It just doesn't make sense unless you can see the metrics," Wreden said, pointing to the company's 294 bowling centers across the nation. The dashboard gives marketers a method to review campaigns, generate reports and export data.

1 comment about "Tying Search To Coupon Campaigns".
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  1. Chris Agro from Agrotising, Inc., June 9, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.

    Great article. As a Web designer I love the track-ability of any marketing effort done online. ROI is what it is all about! I was not aware of RevTrax so thanks for bringing that resource to may attention. Also, I am an avid bowler so hats off to AMF and their cutting edge coupon efforts.

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