Do you offer coupons, discount codes, or other similar promotions? Do they work? [level-members]
I know it sounds like I’m turning the tables here and asking you for advice, but I’m really trying to be more Socratic in my method – even if I”m not that smart.
In trying to get you to think about discounting, I’m hoping you’ll examine whether you’re tracking the effectiveness of your efforts. What you want to know is whether the coupons are attracting enough incremental business (whether from new clients or old) to offset the cost of the discount.
Obviously, offering discounts to folks who would come into the shop anyway is bad business. (Then again, not offering preferential treatment to your best customers isn’t smart, either.)
There are other pitfalls, as well. Do you discount so regularly and so attractively that you poison some of your customers? Meaning, do you train them to show up only when you have a discount running?
That’s going to hurt long-term, especially if they are taking the rest of their business elsewhere.
Discounting can be an excellent idea, particularly for periods you know are slow, but you need to now your market, track your activity, and be judicious in the frequency and depth of your discounts.