It’s Friday night and my wife and I are trying to decide what to go pickup for dinner. We decide on chicken. In our neck of the woods we have two choices, and we have no partiality toward either.
Being frugal we went online to look for coupons. Chicken Website #1 was a real bore from a design standpoint. We clicked on a couple of links that looked promising but couldn’t find any coupons. So we went to Chicken Website #2. There we found a nicely designed website with a large COUPONS graphic. Two clicks later we printed out our coupons and the decision was made.
On the way to Chicken Place #2 I heard a radio ad for Chicken Place #1. That’s when I realized that the radio ad wasn’t enough to get me to go to Chicken Place #1. At that moment the lowly coupon was what decided it for me, and my business was not going to the people who had a great radio ad, but to the ones who offered me a coupon.
You may not think a website would have that much to do with where people get their fast food from, but never underestimate the consumer. In this case, all things being equal, the company that offered the coupon got the business. But not just a coupon – a coupon that is prominently displayed on their website. Maybe the other people had a coupon, but I couldn’t find it fast enough due to their poor website design.
Bottom line for you: If you want to offer something of value as an incentive to get business, don’t bury your offer three pages deep into your website. Make it obvious so people can find your coupon or freebie in six seconds or less. That simple little distinction can give you an advantage. Who would’ve thought a coupon could make the difference?