In Part I of this Special Report last week (link below) we brought you metrics, security tips, and vendor data on online couponing. This week, you'll find three inspirational stories, including creative samples, of real-life campaigns that worked: Case History #1. Land O' Lakes
"Land O' Lakes had not done a lot of online coupons," says Julie Lynn York, Marketing Manager Retail Consumer Promotions at Land O' Lakes. "But we definitely felt it should be part of the mix."
The Land O’ Lakes program ran in the first half of 2003 on Coolsavings.com. "It was a qualified offer on butter products within the Coolsavings network," says York.
"Based on certain question such as frequency of purchase and brand preference, we offered consumers a coupon," she says. Consumers who opted for the coupon received a "nested offer" or subsequent coupon for a Land O' Lakes new product, Fresh Buttery Taste™ Spread.
The rationale, York says, was to use the Land O' Lakes equity to expose butter users to the new product. The coupons also offered recipes -— which were printed below the coupon.
"This was wonderful. It exceeded our expectations," she says. "70% of the Coolsavings network is women. Yet 82% of people who selected our coupon were women. That means we were reaching our target."
60% of coupons were printed by heavy Land O' Lakes butter users. "We like the idea of giving a coupon to a loyal user to keep them in the franchise," says York.
"25% of those who printed a coupon were competitive butter users." She adds that the redemption rate on these coupons were "higher than average."
Across the board, "redemption was higher than we expected. We had a redemption number from FSIs. We knew online was going to be higher, so we had an increased expectation. It beat even that."
Land O' Lakes was also able to get the word out about their new product. "42% of those who printed butter coupons also printed the coupon for the spread."
"We delivered more than 1 million recipes and had half a million consumers clicked through to the Land O' Lakes Web site."
Overall lift was harder to measure because other marketing programs were going on at the time. "What I can say is that there was overall lift during that time period."
"I think online coupons need to be part of anybody's consumer promotion program. You get much closer to the consumer," York notes.Case History #2. Act II Pop Corn
"Act II Popcorn’s first online promotion was appropriately named Pop, Peek, and Win!” says Kate Riddell, Online Marketing Manager at ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Here's how it worked: Consumers bought a specially-marked package of Act II Popcorn, popped it, and checked the inside panel to determine if they’d won one of five grand prizes or several hundred first-place prizes. Not a winner? Consumers were invited to try again via a special URL printed on the bag.
Upon arriving at the URL, consumers registered with basic demographic information and indicated if they’d like to receive information and special offers from Act II. A Flash game appeared for another chance to win. Afterwards, non-winners were offered a coupon. After filling out additional survey information, these consumers were invite to print a coupon for a free packaged of Act III Popcorn with the purchase of a package (BOGO).
ePrize, the online sweepstakes technology provider, assisted Act II with the online sweepstakes component of the promotion. The coupon was delivered using Coupons, Inc. technology.
"It was a great promotion," says Riddell. "It was wildly successful and relatively cheap." The brand went from "Zero people in the database to a substantial number. "
Act II's monthly email newsletter sent to these names features a column from a professional movie reviewer "and every month subscribers get a coupon for the featured product."
However based on initial campaign results, ConAgra Foods has stopped doing BOGO coupons online. Anything with 'Free' on it Riddell says, "brings out the nutties." So, now the company only does lower value online coupons. "Since we instituted that policy, we have had no problem at all."
Another thing they did to improve security was to increase the size of the consumer's name on future e-coupons.
Riddell and her team have done a fair amount of education among the brands. "I have really worked hard to correct misperceptions," she says, such as the one that developed over the summer when retailers in the Southeast stopped accepting computer-generated coupons. Those coupons, which originated with an FSI, were scanned and ended up on eBay. But the incident confused many people who thought print-at-home online coupons were to blame.
Her team's educational efforts, and efforts by Yahoo! and eBay to restrict the auction of coupons online have "helped a lot," she says. "It was a real headache 6 months ago," she says. "But it has calmed down a lot."
Riddell notes the high redemption rates as a key win in online coupons. "Those who receive online coupons seek them out," she says. "They are not passive recipients like those who get an FSI."
"It is the only method for CPGs for a closed loop tracking back to the consumer," she adds. "We know who you are, we know if you printed a coupon, and we know if you redeemed it."Case History #3. Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme has enough success with email campaigns to its opt-in house list of fans, that one main marketing goal for 4th quarter 2003 was to grow that list.
The team decided to test a viral email campaign based on e-coupons. In October they sent the house list an emailed coupon for a free Caramel Kreme Crunch doughnut. For extra impact, the personalized creative was bordered with classic "clip here" lines and featured a large photo of the doughnut, so real-looking you felt like you should lick your screen.
Recipients could redeem the coupon for one free doughnut at any local Krispy Kreme location. They were also encouraged to invite friends to sign up for Krispy Kreme's email newsletter, whereby their friend also got a free personalized coupon. These friends could then also invite friends -- and, hopefully viral the campaign continuously outward.
Krispy Kreme's house list grew by 71% in 42 days. The initial email campaign to current house list members got a 65% open rate (showing the power of a solid brand name in your subject and from), and the viral messages sent "from" friends achieved a 72% open rate (showing the power of a personal referral.)
Although Krispy Kreme headquarters weren't able to determine a precise redemption rate across all their franchised locations, store managers did say the average coupon redeemer purchased a dozen more doughnuts during their visit to pick up the free one.
(We bet some people got coffee too.)
Plus, during the campaign the Caramel Kreme Crunch became the Company's best-selling special doughnut.
So, Krispy Kreme anticipates e-coupons will continue to be an important element of the marketing mix for 2004 campaigns.Useful links related to this article:
Creative samples from all three campaigns
Part 1 of this Special Report, including data, security tips, and vendor profiles:
Quotient Marketing - the agency that created the email campaign for Krispy Kreme: