Discount Coupon Criteria and Checklist

In the beginning of 2008 the Tropenmuseum participated in a coupon action with ETOS one of the biggest drugstore companies in the Netherlands. For every 15 euro’s spend at ETOS you would get a coupon. With this coupon the second ticket at several theme parks (and a museum) would be free of charge. In three weeks there were 450.000 coupons distributed to customers of ETOS. Eventually several hundred spend there coupon at the Tropenmuseum.

Almost every week I am called by a company, or a PR company who is representing that company, if want to participate in a coupon action. Most of the time a company is searching for a nice offering for their customers. No money is exchanged between us and the company who offer the coupons. It is a so called barter deal. The benefit for us is extra exposure to that specific customer base. I turn down a lot of requests to participate. I have made some criteria to consider when asked to participate in coupon action:

  1. Brand strength of the company handing out the Coupons. Can this brand lift your own brand up or bring your brand down? Participating in a coupon action with a mom and pop store is probably not a good idea.
  2. Products/services the company offers. Heineken is a strong brand, but would we do coupons targeted at children if they would ask us?
  3. Reach of the coupon action. What is the size of the audience for this coupon action.
  4. Targetgroup. Is the target group extending beyond your normal customer base?
  5. Other companies who are joining in. If the coupon is valid for several other museums, theme parks or any other leisure activity are they on the same brand/value level as you.
  6. Can our staff handle anymore actions. All those coupons have to be checked at the cashier. To many actions drives them wild.
  7. Action conditions. Is it a small discount (20%) or a huge one (second ticket for free)

When you choose to participate I have also made a practical checklist to use when the coupons are designed. These items on this checklist are not always needed but choose wisely when you don’t put them on the coupon.

  1. Logo of your museum
  2. Picture of the museum/exhibition/event?
  3. Address
  4. Opening times
  5. Barcode/Action code
  6. End date of the action
  7. Action conditions

A final tip: Always approve the final design of the coupon.