Mobile coupons are the easiest way to dip your toe in the mobile marketing pond.

If you haven’t already developed and deployed a mobile marketing and mobile advertising strategy, then mobile coupons is the simple and easy way to get started.  The investment in time and money is minimal, the results are immediate, and it’s a low stress way to test the waters.

Getting started with mobile coupons is an easy and painless process.

In order to start working with mobile coupons, you’ll want to do three things –

#1 – Sign up for an account with a mobile wallet company that issues coupons on your behalf.

Nothing difficult here, pick a mobile wallet company and find a plan that issues coupons as part of the services.  Coupons are a native feature in Apple Wallet passes, as well as several Android compatible third party apps.

[LISTEN: How Mobile Affects the Shoppers Journey – PODCAST]

#2 – Provide the graphics, text, and links for the coupons you want to issue.

Again, nothing difficult.  You probably want to stick with your company colors and logo on the coupons for continuity with the rest of your branding efforts.

Depending on what type of mobile coupon company you’ve chosen to work with, you (should) have options for text links to other content or apps that you’re using for marketing, and they should be directly accessible from the back of the coupon.

[READ: Engagement is more than discounts and coupons]

Here’s an example of the back of a mobile coupon issued using an Apple Wallet compatible platform (um, yes, that’s us!)

Labeled back of pass

As you can see, there are plenty of additional ways to interact with customers, prospects and referrals when you have the ability to direct them to all of your content, marketing and other collateral.

#3 – Mobile coupons aren’t only for physical stores and business locations.

Don’t worry about whether or not you have a physical business; you can also stop wondering if you’re required to actually give out a discount when you issue a coupon.  There are no hard and fast rules about what you must and must not do (unless you are in California where something called a coupon never actually expires by law) with your coupons.

Use mobile coupons to inspire prospects to check out all of your marketing materials.  Ask them to refer your business to their friends, co-workers, family and neighbors using the Share feature of a digital coupon.  Offer them the option of joining your loyalty program (um, if you don’t have one, this is a GREAT way to start one on the cheap) or points/rewards program.

Be sure to offer something of value to your target demographic – and that’s not always a discount.

You can offer access to special merchandise, expedited customer service options, a selection of goods that aren’t available to the general public, or possibly administer your VIP program using mobile coupons.  It’s only limited by your creativity – the technology, especially when using Apple Wallet as the primary iOS coupon manager, is superb.

Keep in mind that if you are running a brick and mortar store, you’re going to want to make sure you have location and proximity based triggers on your coupons – here’s an article from earlier in the year that details how linking iBeacons to mobile coupons can lead to more than 50% of coupons being redeemed within 2 minutes when used correctly – something to keep in mind!