45 votesbrian commented
I would say to be robust a coupon/ discount system should do the following:
1. Work hand in hand with the Marketr component so that discounts or coupons could be sent out based on various reports in turn Marketr could keep track of all incoming coupon responses when entered into invoices etc. so that it can either automatically or manually run an analysis of your marketing campaign.
2. The coupons could include UPC or QR Codes
3. Unique numbers or series of numbers either generated from a number that can be entered or randomly
4, Ability to regionally track these coupon codes... in example as part of the coupon code lets say you ran a special promotion (that promotion could also be different or the same one) in two different areas such as Brooklyn NY and Manhattan NY and you wanted to track the response so you know where your marketing campaign was effective.
Taking it a step further the coupon code system could use the actual map coordinates as part of the discount code or you could create a custom overlay over a google map where you point and click to define your different marketing areas by clicking on each area that is divided up in the google map. This would be useful if you are marketing on a smaller scale such as neighboring small suburban towns.
The codes would include a numbering system or other way to track regionally (if so desired) In turn this data would show up in marketr with statistics such as the amount of coupons/ codes you created (1,000 codes between two areas in this example). 33% response came from city A 12% response came from city B overall response was 10% or 100 total responses out of the 1,000 coupon codes. All of this data would be presented and broken down. Maybe even marketr could eventually make suggestions to improve your reach based on years of marketing experience in addition it could partner with 3rd party providers of print services to have mailers designed and sent out of marketr and eventually make marketr two flavors. A fully robust marketing application that ties into repairshopr and a light version that does basic or tracking but can create coupons.
5. Coupon codes could be generated electronically for email and so forth and also a custom template/ PDF type coupon along with a JPG or PNG image could be created in case you wanted to include it with a mailer that you are sending for printing.
6. Coupon system should be flexible so that I can put either percentages or dollar amounts in addition it would also allow the ability to only apply the discount if multiple items/ quantities were purchased.
7. It should have the ability to set an expiration date and/or expiration event. If the expired coupon was entered into the repairshopr invoice you would be alerted but it could be overridden and accepted if you wanted to still honor it, it would be manager or user discretion. Also an expiration based on response limit say a coupon that is limited to the first 100, 1000 people etc.
8. Offer third party integration into services such as Groupon and other third party coupon type systems.
9. ability to track the referrer for a unique coupon code was generated to be shared by a previous client or it was generated for a specific website, forum, blog etc. This data could then go into Marketr and show who or what are the top referrals based on response to that unique electronic coupon code.
10. Automated coupon codes sent to clients/ customers from Marketr based on a purchase of an anti virus software or other subscription based service or an event such as a new release of Windows being released or other software package.
You could set it up so that 2 weeks before the anti virus expires marketr generates a unique coupon code based on that customer ID and the av product they have that is unique to them that says "contact Us now your anti virus is due to expire, use the special coupon code below to receive a discount on your (anti virus, security software, desktop publishing, os ((insert product here)))" Maybe even embed a special URL to the coupon code where it automatically logs the customer into a purchasing portion of the customers portal (without giving them full access, they have to sign in still for that) so this is all automated, automatically invoices and updates the client record when they purchase it, including updating the date of their anti virus to one year or whatever the term selected is to do this all over again.
I personally would offer coupons on flyers, mailers, emails, posting on web forums, cards. I would also want the ability to track by area, region, referrer etc.
sorry for the long post but this is my idea of a "robust" coupon system. Let me know if you ever have a position at the company for an idea man... ;)