Simple Marketing Monday – Year Long Coupon Book

coupon booklet
Custom printed Coupon Booklets for your company.

Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate traffic, increase sales, and stimulate a trial. If you own a brick and mortar store or online store and want to keep guests coming back, a good idea might be to send or hand out year long coupon books. The idea behind the booklet is to provide a different coupon or coupons for every month, week, etc. The person would hold onto the booklet for a longer set time frame to cash in on the deal in the upcoming months. With the customer holding onto the booklet (most likely on the fridge with a magnet) they will see your branding every time they go to open the fridge. This idea works well for some retailers, restaurants, entertainment businesses and some service businesses.

The print outs could be a simple flyer that is mailed out to your surrounding area with 3 months worth of coupons, or a small booklet with pull out coupons for every month of the year. You can place them around your surround area or team together with other companies and put together a sharing program that gets customers moving between stores. If you are an online retailer you could still add active coupon codes based on a time frame and have them send in online orders. Making customers wait for a promotion will most likely keep you top of mind and keep the customer coming back for more savings.

Contact us together to help put together a coupon booklet or flyer for your business, we can walk you through the whole process and help you get the best return on your investment.

Simple Marketing Monday – Custom Newspaper

Custom Newspaper
Custom Newspaper

Best For All business types

Objective Increase awareness, increase frequency

Target The entire community

People put a high value on news and information about their own communities. Even when you can’t get the local papers to write about you, you can write about yourself, both for your existing customers and for prospective customers. This program consistently exceeds expectations. It’s an “advertorial” presented in a newspaper format, four pages printed in color. With this tool, you can promote just about anything, including features about regular customers or key employees and useful information about your area of expertise. You can also include testimonials, publicity reprints, coupons, punch cards, and even sales copy about employment opportunities.

You may be able to cut the cost by getting a vendor or vendors to underwrite some of the expense in exchange for prominent sponsorship ads. Your custom newspaper can be sent out as a self-mailer, inserted in a local or suburban paper, or even hand-distributed by employees. Businesses that have used this promotion tactic report sales increases of at least 10 to 12 percent, and some as high as 35 percent. It can be done two or three times a year. You may be surprised to learn that once you’ve done it a few times, your customers will complain if you stop.

Materials Custom newspaper


  • Eight weeks prior – Determine what you want to say, the offers you want to include and the distribution method – in the newspaper or in the mail.
  • Six weeks prior – Prepare write-ups and offers.
  • Four weeks prior – Review first draft of custom newspaper
  • Three weeks prior – Approve custom newspaper
  • Two weeks prior – Print custom newspaper and deliver or direct mail.
  • One week prior – Discuss program with staff
  • One day prior – Discuss program with staff again
  • Start – Redeem offers from custom newspaper
  • Six weeks after – Evaluate program

Simple Marketing Monday – New Resident Direct Mail Program

New Resident Direct Mail Program
New Resident Direct Mail Program

Best For All consumer-oriented businesses

Objective Stimulate trail

Target New residents

As many as several hundred new residents a month move to within a three- to five-mile radius of your business, and most of them are anxious to learn about the businesses serving their new community. Sending these new neighbors a full-color mail piece for your business, along with an offer for a free product or service or some other special offer redeemable
at your location, is an effective way to stimulate new trials.

The latest digital printing technology makes these programs affordable, and they can be highly personalized. Be sure to include some visuals in your mailer, such as photos of your personnel and your location and any other imagery that will help the recipient visualize why he should patronize you. We offer addresses on a regular basis from a list broker.

Materials Self-mailers


  • Four weeks prior – Prepare photos
  • Three weeks prior – E-mail photos to us
  • One week prior – Discuss program with staff
  • Start – Collect redemptions
  • Ongoing – Once established, this tacit can easily be repeated every month. Track your redemption rate, collect customer information, and build your database.

Simple Marketing Monday – Scratch-off Mailer

Scratch-off Mailer
Scratch-off Mailer

Best For Retailers, restaurants, some service businesses

Objective Increase awareness, create excitement, generate traffic, increase sales, and stimulate trail

Target Existing customers and potential new customers

This tactic works particularly well if you have multiple locations and/or concepts, or as a partnering opportunity with other businesses. It’s a flyer containing mystery gift certificates, with the offer hidden under a scratchoff box. Contact a local advertising agency, direct-mail specialist, or commercial printer to find out how to go about producing these. Mail the flyers to your database. If you don’t have a database, purchase a mailing list, or, if mailing is too costly, you can hand out the flyers. Customers bring the flyer into one of your locations, where an employee scratches off the offer to see what the customer has won.

Make sure your flyer explains what the prizes are, and make sure the prizes are of sufficient value to get people to come in. If you don’t have multiple locations, you can work a similar program by partnering with a dozen or so other businesses in your trade area. They could be stores in a shopping center located nearby, stores in a mall, or any stores that share your target customer base. For example, you can team up with other noncompetitive businesses, such as a gas station, a quick oil change facility, a car wash, a tire store, a muffler shop, or an auto repair shop.

If you’re handing out the flyers, once the customer gets the flyer at the first store, that customer has an incentive to visit all of the other stores on the flyer. Each of the participating stores shares in the cost of printing the flyers. They are distributed to each of the participants based on the expected weekly customer count during the week of the promotion. Support the flyer with a point-of-purchase display and other in-store marketing to make customers aware of the promotion.

Materials Customer gift certificate with scratch-off offers, merchant gift certificates or sporting/concert tickets


  • Six weeks prior – Make a list of merchants you want to partner with. Contact each merchant to explain the promotion and get a commitment. Explain that the printing costs will be split by all merchants.
  • Four weeks prior – Develop flyer with scratch-off
  • Three weeks prior – Send flyers with scratch-offs to print.
  • One week prior – Discuss program with employees. Have flyers shipped out (we offer all local and broad mailing services)
  • One day prior – Follow up with employees on plan of action.
  • Six weeks after – Evaluate program


Simple Marketing Monday – Incremental Punch Cards

Incremental Punch Cards
Incremental Punch Cards

Best For Retailers, some service businesses

Objective Increase awareness, generate traffic, increase frequency
Target Existing customers

Many businesses use the traditional punch card to gain repeat guests. This innovative version is an incremental punch card and is much more effective. Most punch cards require a series of purchases, with customers getting something free once they complete all the punches. The incremental punch card gives customers something of value every time they visit, and the value increases with each purchase.

On a customer’s first visit, the customer gets the card. When the card is punched on the second visit, the customer saves 10 percent. On the third visit, the discount is 15 percent. On the fourth visit, it’s 25 percent, and it’s a whopping 50 percent on the fifth visit. What makes this approach work so well is that it gives your customers instant gratification. They don’t have to wait to get value, and therefore they are more likely to come back repeatedly. The traditional punch card takes too long for the customer to get any value, so generally the only ones who redeem them are your die-hard loyal customers.

Another variation is to use dollar amounts instead of percentages. Adjust the amounts so that they are appropriate for your situation. You can go up by the same dollar increment: $1, $2, $3, $4, $5. Or, for some real excitement, you can double the offer with each visit, if your margins allow for it: $1, $2, $4, $8, $16, and so on. The punch card can also be mailed to your database or handed out within the four walls of your business.
Materials Punch cards & Punch


  • Three weeks prior – Prepare punch cards
  • Two weeks prior – Print punch cards
  • One week prior – Discuss program with staff, mail punch cards (if applicable)
  • One day prior – Discuss program with staff
  • Start – Hand out punch cards to all customers

Simple Marketing Monday – Cheap, Targeted Mailing Lists

Cheap, Targeted Mailing Lists
Cheap, Targeted Mailing Lists

Best For All business types
Objective Generate traffic, increase sales, stimulate trial
Target New customers
You can use an inexpensive technique that many big marketing companies employ to find the most likely audience for your product or service: public lists of things like real estate transfers and new business filings, trade association lists, and lists you swap or barter for with other businesses in your neighborhood.

A young man I know of had worked for several years for a unit of a national chain of sign shops. He finally had learned enough to feel competent at his trade, and he had grown tired enough of working for someone else to go into business for himself.  He knew from studying the store he worked in that the customers who needed signs most frequently were new businesses and, in this fast-growing suburb, the construction industry.  He also knew that there were five other sign shops in the area that he would have to compete with, not including his previous employer.

He contacted the state corporations department and got a list of all the new incorporations that had been filed in the past year. He sorted the list to pull out those that were in his trading area and sent them all a mailing offering his services. New companies need new signs.

He also contacted the local building trades association, got its mailing list for a reasonable fee, and sent a different mailing, offering quick turnaround for the signage these firms use to mark and announce new projects. In a couple of months he had more business than he could handle.
If you are marketing to high-end customers, you can obtain lists of owners of large parcels of real estate from your county deeds office. The IRS maintains lists of nonprofit organizations. Every licensed physician is on a list. There are many services online that maintain corporate records that you can sort by state and zip code. Bar associations maintain lists of lawyers. Many states have professional regulatory agencies that keep lists of all practitioners in each field, from psychology to pest control.

If you want to target people who are politically motivated, you’ll find complete lists of donors to specific political campaigns, often online. Join your chamber of commerce and you’ll automatically get access to its mailing list. Membership can cost as little as $150. Check out trade associations. Look in your Yellow Pages under “list brokers” and “mailing services” to see what they have to offer that’s within your budget. Your community newspapers and magazines also make their lists available for a fee.

Make sure you know your target market, which you researched by doing the customer survey. And think creatively. If you are a dentist, why not do a mailing to all your local doctors offering them special hours on Sunday when they aren’t so busy at the hospital?