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January 31, 2020

Coupon Tools For Restaurants: Distribute & Track Restaurant Coupons Easily

You might notice that a coupon or offer is working very well for your restaurant.

You distribute this coupon, and you see more and more new faces walking into your store every single day.

However, feeling that it is working isn’t the same confidence as knowing that it is working.

If you had the numbers to show how many people were sent the coupon, how many people claimed the coupon and how many used the coupon in your store, you would have the utmost confidence that your coupon is helping your business thrive.

But not all brick and mortar businesses have the techknowledgy (technology or knowledge) to implement such a sophisticated coupon tracking system.

In this post I will teach you how I use a coupon system that integrates with my marketing distribution lists as well as tells me how many people see, claim and use each coupon.

As an example, I’m going to use a random offer I found on Yelp:

This looks like a very attractive offer and I’m sure it brings in business for this restaurant.

The first thing we have to do is create the coupon. To do this, I use a tool called coupontools.

This tool is the main contributor to getting this tracking system in place.

You can get a 14 day free trial from coupontools to try it out: 

As you can see, many large operators such as Pepsi and Burger King use them to help them track their coupons as well.

Click on Register For A Free Trial and Sign up for an account.

Once you do so, my friend Tom over there will email you your username and password. I believe you will also be automatically logged in so we can straight into creating our coupon.

When you’re in the dashboard, you’ll see this page. You can hover over the coupons symbol on the left side and click on Overview.

As you can see, I already have the offer made as a coupon, but let’s get together and make it from scratch so you know step-by-step how to get this done quickly without making any mistakes:

Click on the + sign in left most empty phone screen to create a new coupon. Click on Regular Coupon.

Some premade templates will popup that you can choose from. It really doesn’t matter which one you choose because they all have the same structure of information for the customer to see. I’m drinking coffee right now so I’m going to choose the coffee template.

Now you should be in the coupon builder. You’ll be presented with a lot of options. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you focus on what you should choose so that you get to track your coupons and your customers have the best experience using the coupon.

First is the coupon style, where we’ll select how the coupon framing looks like. I like the rounded look so I’m going to choose rounded.

Next we have Logo where we will upload your logo and make sure customers know that this coupon is coming from your brand.

After that, we have Coupon image where we can replace the picture of the cup of coffee with any image we would like. It would be best to replace the image with a photo that is most relevant to your coupon or offer.

If you don’t have a photo that is relevant to your offer, any photo of your restaurant or food/beverages will work.

Next we have colors and fonts, which I don’t think you need to change right now unless you really want to stay on brand.

The next important option we need to change is the button color. Out of the many factors I’ve learned that get a person to take action, making sure the call to action is prominent has been one of the most important lessons. Do you see how the button doesn’t really pop off the screen right now? Well, I’m going to make it pop off the screen with a contrasting color so that the customer gets a fat hint on what button they should press.

In addition, I’m going to change the hover color to a similar color as the button but just noticeable enough to let the customer notice a change in the button and catch their attention.

See the big difference between the buttons now? The brown one did not stick out so much while the red one is now the first thing I notice.

Alright, that’s it for this section of making the coupon. On the bottom left of the page, click on save to make sure you save your changes! You don’t want to forget to save and have to do this all over again!

To go to the next page of options, look towards the left side and you’ll see different colored circles. Click on the Homepage button.

Here, we want to set the coupon name and put your company name. These are only for admin purposes and for your own reference only, so the customer won’t see them.

Let’s leave social login off. 

Now, we have to change the Coupon title, subtitle and Button text. These are pieces of information that the customer will see. I’m pretty keen on this button and I think it’s the key to get the customer to act, so I also want the text to say a motivating action.

Now, we want to set the expiration date of the coupon. This expiration will vary depending on the type of coupon you are creating and distributing. In this case, I’m actually getting signups from people whose birthdays are within the month, so I’ll be putting a 30 day expiration on my coupon.

If you’d like, you can show the countdown timer for the coupon expiration. I like including this because it creates a sense of urgency in the coupon user.

Lastly, I set the number of validations to 0 (unlimited) because I want this to be an evergreen coupon.

Save your work and let’s move to the next page of options! Go to the left side panel and click on Claim.

The only things we need to change here are the Title after claiming and changing the Show detailed coupon information after claim from Yes to No.

Save your work and let’s move on to the next page. Almost there!

Now that we are on the Save page, we just want to change Skip to validation from No to Yes.

That’s it! These options are getting easier aren’t they?

The next page is the Validations page. This is one of the most important pages that really determines how your coupon users On here, we need to change the Discount Value to show what exactly the customer gets.

Since you aren’t using the QR code (yet), you should disable it. Also, you don’t want our customers to be able to “accidentally” press the Validate button before they visit or else the coupon won’t be valid anymore! So, you can input a password that only your staff knows so they can officially validate the coupon.

One additional benefit to entering a password is that you can only let your managers or yourself know the password. Then, this forces your managers and yourself to visit the table and make sure everything is going smoothly for the customer. Remember, you are in the service business!

I also changed the Title on validation page to give specific instructions on when to show this page to our staff members. If you have any additional information about the coupon or restrictions for the coupon, you can enter them into the Description on validation page.

Okay, let’s save these options and go to our 2nd to last page!

On this page, we’re going to add our business information and map to the bottom of the coupon page to maximize the chance that customers don’t get lost if they haven’t been here before. And in that case… Awesome! New customer!

Since I want the actual map and business information to show on this page, I’m going to choose Embed:

I also want to show the map and set my address as American since this restaurant is in America.

Each of your coupons will have the Coffee Shop as a default address, so you can go ahead and click on the red trash can on that listing to delete it.

Then, you can click on the “+ Add location” button to enter your own business information:

As you can see on the right side of the screen, the preview of the coupon shows the map, business address and phone number! What’s even cooler is that when you click on the address, it will go to Google Maps and when you click on the phone number it will start dialing!

Okay, last set of settings!

On this page, you just need to set your sender name and sender email:

On the next page, you can set the additional information if you have any about your business or coupon. However, I chose to set as “Do not show” because I don’t want an additional button that distracts my customer.

You can skip the terms page, unless you have special terms you want to add to your coupon.

You can also skip the social media page. I personally plan on distributing my coupons via email after the customer signs up for the coupon with their email address!

On the Advanced page, there are some very important options here that you should notice.

First, you can send an email notification to yourself or anyone else when a user claims a coupon and when a user validates a coupon in your store. This gives you real time knowledge of when and how often people are claiming and using coupons. Don’t worry, you’ll have access to a full report if you want to see the big picture.

Next, you can ask for the user’s GPS location while they are using this coupon so you know where, geographically, your customers are coming from. I set this to On.

After, you can make all of these coupons single-use coupons, which means that each person can use the coupon once and ONLY once. I always turn this to on so I know exactly who is using which coupon.

Lastly, there is a yellow section at the bottom of the page where you can remove any of coupontools branding and put your own brand in here!

Now for the exciting part, let’s look at the stats of this coupon!

Click on Save and Quit so you can go back to the main dashboard.

Hover over the coupons icon on the left side and click on statistics.

Hover over Select Coupon and choose your coupon:

You can start to see the number of views, claims, and validations for your coupon. But you must be asking… why are there numbers already? Well, statistics are added even when you are creating your coupon and testing your coupon. But to easily remedy that, you can click on “Remove statistics” to reset the stats!

Okay, so now you know how to create a coupon that you can measure the success of. The next question is… how do you want to distribute this coupon?

Let me know in the comments below and I will write more tutorials on how to correctly distribute the coupon on any distribution platform (email, social, sms, etc.)

See you next time!

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Wilson Muh


Wilson Muh

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