Better Hurry! Your Coupons Expire Soon!

One of my favorite pastimes is watching other people’s marketing campaigns and dissecting them. That and football.

Marketing is often a game of mimicry. Very few people blaze new ground and set their own rules. Everyone else sees a list of tips that some more successful marketer wrote and adapts them to their own purposes. There is nothing wrong with this if done correctly. Yet so often it isn’t done correctly.

There is this idea that if you create a sense of urgency people are more likely to buy. It’s rooted in some psychology. It is the cause for limited time offers. Expiring coupons. Countdown timers on long sales pages. Even to some degree, Black Friday.

You can make the decision to buy now and save $100, or continue to mull it over and miss out on this discount. It’s compelling.

Until it is abused.

I’m on an email list for Ruby Tuesday. I probably signed up to get a free burger or something. Every month or so I get an email with some coupons. Not bad, I do nothing and save ten bucks or so.

Every month these coupons expire. Recently I get an email a week or so before they expire. “Better Hurry! Your Coupons Are Expiring Soon!”

Then a few days later I get a new set of coupons. All good so far.

Except they are the same coupons that just expired.

Every single month.

This has gone on for at least two years now. Here are the same coupons back in December of 2013.

All sense of urgency is killed when I know I’ll receive the same coupons in a few days.

If that isn't enough, "our friends" at my home address also receive this little card each month.