In honor of National Coupon Month, we tip our hats to the rapidly growing trend of digital coupons. With constantly evolving technology and multiple communication channels, the delivery of digital coupons is quickly becoming key in creating customer loyalty. Companies that provide coupons to consumers and foster relationships across channels including email, online hubs, social networks and mobile messaging, increase their chances of gaining loyal brand advocates.

The foundation of any good coupon strategy is engagement. Customer engagement starts with providing all of the deals in one convenient location. As Kroger Co. found with their digital coupon library, a simple coupon marketing strategy delivers “more value and convenience to the consumer” as they are able to find and upload savings to store loyalty cards for future use. By providing an online savings hub, companies lay the groundwork by making a connection with consumers, while the consumers become familiar with the brand and what it offers.

Once the groundwork has been laid and brands have engaged a core audience, expanding their digital coupon program becomes an important factor. By going to the online channels where customers spend the most time, brands can encourage consumers to connect for additional savings on a more personal level. Contrary to how moms of the past waited for the Sunday paper to receive coupons, coupon-savvy moms of today (who seek out new coupon technology) are actively engaging with brands to receive deals through emails or Facebook pages, such as Target’s My Target Weekly. In support, 37% of Facebook users “Like” a Facebook page specifically for coupons, making this point of connection one that should not be overlooked.

Finally, advances in digital coupon technology, such as location-based services and mobile coupons, give brands yet another avenue to increase loyalty and provide value when consumers are in a “purchasing frame of mind.” The targeted messaging taking place here not only provides customers with useful coupons, but does so through a hyper-personal channel (mobile phones). Making it safe to say that many customers are comfortable welcoming a brand into their lives and eager to hear what they have to offer.

For each aspect of a couponing program, large amounts of information can be gathered to track the engagement and success. This information provides brands the opportunity to continually refine their messaging for buyers by focusing on shopping habits, which coupons are redeemed, search terms and where the deals were used.

In an increasingly fractured media market, many brands struggle with how they will remain top of mind to their consumers. By utilizing digital coupon programs that factor in consumer wants and behaviors, brands can provide a welcome service catered to customer needs. Taking advantage of these opportunities to connect and engage through digital couponing is a great first step to increasing customer loyalty.