Special offers are hardly a new marketing strategy.

Long before email and social media marketing, special offers and promotions played an important role in how small businesses could attract new customers and drive repeat business.

While offers used to consist of coupons in local papers or promotions spread through word of mouth, today there are more ways to promote an offer and track its impact on your business.

Want to create the perfect offer to engage your audience and boost business? Answer these questions first:

1. What is valuable to your audience?

For your offer to be effective it needs to be valuable to your audience. Offering a discount or coupon is a great way to get your audience’s attention, but how do you make your offer so compelling people can’t help but act on it?

Plan your offer around your audience’s interests, and then make it timely. Here’s an example from retail store, La Provence.

la provence valentine's day email

We recently created a worksheet to help you plan timely email promotions all year round.

If coupons or discounts don’t make sense for your audience, offer value through exclusive content, advice, or a free product trial. Just be clear on what you’re offering and how it will help your audience.

2. What is the goal of your offer?

A great offer benefits your audience and your business. Spend some time thinking about what you hope to achieve with your offer.

Are you looking to drive last-minute sales during a slow day? Maybe you want to bring first-time customers back into your store?

Your goal will dictate the terms of your offer, the discount you provide, the length of time you decide to let it run, and who you promote the offer to.

For example, Door County Coffee & Tea sends an offer to new customers for $10 off their next purchase. This helps the store turn new customers into repeat business.

Constant Contact customer - Door County

3. How are you going to promote your offer?

Email is one of the most effective ways to promote your offer. In fact, 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message.

You can create a trackable coupon in your Constant Contact account. Promote your coupon with a mobile-responsive email template, and keep track of its performance all in one place.

Beyond email, make your offer visible in-store and on your active social media profiles.

Tip: One of the best parts of special offers is that they’re highly shareable. Remind your existing audience to share your offer with their friends, so they can get in on the deal. Whether they forward your email, share your social post, or simply tell their friends — this a great way for your business to get in front of new customers.

4. How will you measure your results?

If you’ve run an offer in the past, tracking your results may have been one of the hardest parts of your promotion.

Today, there are easy-to-use tools that can help track the results of your offer from start to finish. When you create a trackable coupon with Constant Contact for example, you can monitor who’s claimed, redeemed, and shared your offer.

trackable coupon image

Start planning your next offer!

Answer the four questions above, and you’ll be ready to create an offer that engages your customers and drives business.

No matter what your offer entails, you need to have the right tools to put your offer into action — Constant Contact can help.

Start planning your upcoming opportunities with this worksheet, and learn more about our coupon feature here.