If you are a marketer, and you sell products at retail, you might have wondered: "how do I make a manufacturer coupon that works for any retailer?" The answer is quite complex, but I've figured it out.. and here are my instructions/thoughts:
1. Get a GS-1 barcode. You'll have to have an approved GS-1 Prefix (ID) number. http://www.gs1.org/
2. Your products should have a GS-1 barcode on them. Start grouping your products with the 3-digit group id. (Products around the same brand or price can be grouped for example).
3. Your coupons will use that same GS-1 Prefix.
4. Find a Coupon Design shop... (here is my favorite: http://couponsindemand.com/ Small company, but great service!). Got a big budget or making a LOT of coupons? Go to: http://coupons.com (expensive but good in volume).
5. Build a coupon! (use their wizard, as understanding the GS1 codes is not easy!).
6. Get (or borrow) some legal text for the front of your coupon... (example: look at any other MFG coupon, and 'borrow' the legal verbs from it).
7. Test the coupon! (be sure to put your street address where the coupon can be redeemed).
8. IF you don't want to handle processing coupons yourself, get a "clearing house" to do it for you... this is the best one for small companies:
9. Good to go!
It really is that easy to do MFG coupons. You might get some flack from your retailers, so giving them a heads-up is a good idea. But in general, coupons can be a great thing to reward or motivate your loyal customers or get some new people to try your products.
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