Coupons are a great way to increase interest in your child care. We’ve all used coupons before and know why we like them.

Now it is time to think about using them to help promote your center. Google places along with many other local business listings provide a means for you to post coupons or special offers to people. These are then seen when people click on your listing or sometimes will be displayed in the search results.

On Google, the offer will show up under the details section and above the reviews. When someone clicks on it, they are taken to a page similar to this.

A couple of items for you to keep in mind with coupons.

* You should try to make a compelling offer that stands out. Make it different and about the target you are looking for.
* Make it worth their while. If your offer does not have a high enough perceived value people will not take action.
* It is about perceived value not about cash value. Often times you can find ways to make an offer with high perceived value that does not cost much. Books and small toys fit this very well.
* Information can also be given as a great offer. A white paper or 20-page book on how to find the best child care can be inexpensive for you but extremely valuable to parents. (These papers or books can be very quick to make, so don’t worry about that.)
* Target the people you want. If you need infants target parents of infants with your offer.
* You should set an expatriation date in the near future, you can always update the offer to extend it later. I recommend no more than 2 weeks. This keeps people from procrastinating. One of the biggest issues we find online is people thinking they will come back in a week or so to take action then forgetting where they were.
* You can have multiple offers at the same time. Google does not limit how many you can have but I would keep the number manageable. You do not what to make it confusing by having overlapping offers. However, you can easily have an offer for infants, another for your preschool programs and one for summer camp all at once.
* Make offers to encourage people to take the first step. If you want them to take a tour, make the offer based on a tour, if a call make it based on that. Money off enrollment is a long ways down the road in many people’s minds.
* Rotate and test your offers to find what works best. We are not our customers and no matter how much we think we know what will work until we test we cannot be sure. Testing is especially important in the beginning.
* Think about printing the offers out and including them in your communications with current parents or making a QR code to the offer.
* Think of reasons to make offers and tie them to it. Think a Christmas in July offer, or a release of a new movie. People always want a reason why you are making an offer so give it to them.
* Have fun with it! There is nothing worse than dull and boring so have fun with your offers, show your personality and you will be surprised at the response.

There is no time like right now to get a coupon offer up. Let me know what you are thinking about or where you think an offer would be helpful. I can work with you to make sure we sculpt the best offer then get it out to the best places.