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Creating Coupons

That Will Immediately Drive Your Prospects To Take The Specific Action Required To Do Business With You


The main purpose of a coupon is to get someone to try your service. There are three main types of coupons:

  1. An order now coupon to request either a free sample or to buy.
  2. A coupon for redemption for cash value or goods and services.
  3. A discount towards the purchase of goods or services.

I acknowledge that there are many uses for coupons, but I will only cover the above listed three in this section. First let me provide you with definitions.

#1 “order now” coupon

This coupon is often used in the corner of an ad for the reader to request a product or free information. This kind of coupon can be used to make a sale or as part of a two-step process to make a sale. For example, if it is to be sent in for a special limited edition designer plate, that’s asking for a sale. If it is to request a free catalog or free information, the information that is sent to the prospect after they have filled out the coupon and sent it in makes the sale.

#2 “redemption” coupon

This coupon is used to provide a discount on a product or service or to get a prospect into a store where they will be exposed to buying opportunities. For instance: Bring this coupon in to Walt’s Wax World for your free candle. Or bring this coupon in for $5 off any candle of your choice over $15.

#3 “discount” coupon

This coupon is similar to #2, except it is worded in a way that requires the prospect to spend some money in order to get a discount. Examples: Good for $3 off a large pizza. Buy one dinner get one free.

Essentially the elements of a good coupon are the same as all other good copy. But there are a few key things to remember.

  • Use dollars off instead of % whenever possible. Or combine the two i.e. “save 30% on these items with this coupon, a savings of $22.
  • Use the word FREE whenever possible at the top of the coupon or in a prominent place.
  • Put an expiration date on it.
  • Make it simple to understand and use — example: ” This coupon is good any day except all Saturdays of the month and between 4:30 and 7:00 only except on Saturdays” that is not simple! This is: ” Valid all day on Saturday and anytime after 4:30 PM Sunday through Friday, till 7:00 PM.

You will typically use a coupon in combination with compelling copy on a space ad or a direct mailer, but you can use them in virtually every type of application you can think of.

If you use them in conjunction with a larger amount of copy, they should accentuate or make what ever you talked about in your copy seem irresistible. If they are used as stand alone’s or with very little copy, then they need to have an offer that jumps off the pages.