Many practices routinely send patients a coupon as an incentive to get them to come to physical therapy. This coupon could be for a free screening, discount on services, promotional offer etc. However, practice owners and marketers often comment that patients do not respond or forget to use the coupon. Why? Does the coupon’s design encourage response, does the messaging make sense and is the incentive worthwhile? If you cannot answer yes to all three of the above, then maybe it’s time to revamp your coupon.
Coupon Design Don’ts
Usually, we focus on the Do’s. Bbut with coupons, it is often a challenge to know exactly what will work for your practice. Instead, we will tell you what we know to avoid in the coupon design space.
Overcrowd the design
Choose one (and only one) incentive to promote with the coupon and stick to it! It’s easy to want to add a list of all your services, hype your social media…but that only confuses the customer. Choose one message and stick with it.
Forget key details
Think carefully about the incentive you are promoting. What are the key details that can encourage response and prevent awkward confusion about redemption? Every coupon should have:
- A clear promotion ie. Free 15 minute Injury Prevention Screening
- An expiration date
- Fine print for exclusions or restrictions ie. Only valid for new patients
Create multiple versions
The best solution is to create a template for all your routine incentives and coupons. This provides consistent branding and makes it easier for you to create coupons quickly. If you want to use a coupon in your newsletter, on flyers, and on social media, then choose a design template that works with all those platforms.
Be gimmicky with your fonts
Look at sales and coupons from national brands for inspiration (we like Nordstrom’s, REI, and Apple). They don’t change their font for coupons, which keeps their promotions in line with other branded marketing. FREE (bolded, italicized, and underlined) is font styling overkill! If you want to emphasize something, choose a word or phrase (not a whole sentence) and one style like bold. This adds prominence without being gimmicky.
Add a dashed border
The “cut along the dotted line” dashed box around a coupon is an instant throwback to 1980s grocery store circulars. Instead, choose a ffull-color background or image that makes the coupon stand out. If you need a border (say for a black and white printed flyer), use a double line stroke with varying thicknesses to add visual weight without the dashed line.
Designing an effective coupon that gets patients into your clinic and generates revenue takes time and some degree of trial and error. If you try a new template or design, monitor the coupon’s results. Do more people respond? Does it work better on one platform versus another? Tracking your response rate is key to a successful promotional campaign and coupon design. For more graphic design and marketing advice, contact our expert team! We have years of experience, across a variety of industries, and know how to promote your practice.
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