Offering Mobile CouponsCouponing has been popular with moms for years, but it’s just catching on with mobile phone and mobile device users. Coupons are a cheap way to market your business, and they don’t take up a lot of your time, either. There are some things you need to know about offering mobile coupons to your customers, and here they are.

Make it easy to use your mobile coupons. Your customers want coupons that are easy to use, so look for formats they can understand and are basic. Coupons that only use text fit this bill. They are easy to create using your email marketer or Short Message Service (SMS). You can send them via mobile email or text message. Unfortunately, you only have 160 characters to use when you use these types of coupons.

Graphic coupons. You can use an image or graphic to create your coupon. Your graphic designer can use a .jpg or .gif file for just about any mobile device, or you can use your own logo for the coupon. They can go out via email, social media, or Multimedia Message Service (MMS). These types of coupons can be too small to read on some media devices.

Finally, you can create app coupons and coupons on your website. You can use online sources, like Yelp, Foursquare, and Google Places to create your coupons in HTML, to make mobile web pages or put coupons on your web pages. These coupons work really well for local directories and mobile web pages, but they have to be optimized for most mobile devices

So, how do customers redeem your coupons? First, your employees need to know how to redeem the coupons. Your coupons should state that customers should show their mobile devices to employees to redeem the coupons. Your employees should also know how to validate the coupons. You have many options on how to validate, from using unique redemption codes to asking your customers to use a code when they call to redeem the coupon. If you use bar codes, you may have to use a unique type of scanner that can detect the bar codes from a mobile screen.

Now, distribute those coupons to mobile devices using a text-messaging provider or your email marketing service provider, and remember that you have to send your coupons to an opt-in list. You can put them on your website, too. You can build good customer relationships with your mobile coupons, and you can build your business, too.