What is the value of withholding a benefit from a customer or member of your enterprise because they do not have the appropriate coupon? An offer is extended to those who have a pre-existing relationship with an organization and then the success of the transaction hinges on a the client having the action code at their immediate disposal when they are ready to interact with your cause. Frustration and dissappointment are always present when any part of the system falters. Why not extend the offer and opportunity to anyone who meets a specific criteria?
Costco allows only members to shop in its warehouse. Then why not extend the discount on an item to anyone who purchases the product within the determined time frame and quantity. Perhaps Costco’s motivation revolves around hoping not everyone will redeem the coupon and their business model is focused on acting like a commodity instead of building a relationship with its customers.
The next time you offer a buy one ticket get another for free promotion, try designing the entry point to be simple. If you are sending out usernames and passwords (that can be distributed to non-members and friends in an instant), consider setting clear parameters and letting your community engage with you immediately.
In and age of Groupons, Woots and livingsocial offers, the competition for easy-to-use discounts are ubiquitous. It is incumbent on us to provide a transparent and efficient process. Engage, do not enrage your customers and fans.