Today we finish up our talk with Kara Tupy Marketing Director of LocalElements. You can read the first post here.  If you are curious about using coupons, this post has a lot of good info.

Q. Do you think coupon sites should be national, regional or location specific?

A. There’s room for both local and national coupons sites as they each serve a different purpose.  That’s the great thing about the Internet.  If I want to buy something from a national brand, I can find a way to save money online.  But if I want to shop locally, it’s often difficult to find similar savings.  It’s important to me, on a personal level, to see small businesses given the opportunity to compete for the customers in their local area.

Q. Current, a business can have their coupons listed at:
– their website
– Localelements.com and other coupon sites
– Search engines like Google
-Directories like Merchant Circle

What advantage(s) are there to having one’s coupons on each one of these options? Which is best way?

A. I say, do them all!  Get your content out there and you’ll see an increase in traffic to your website or storefront.  Unlike writing articles or blogging, creating a coupon takes just a few minutes.  Yet the results in organic searches can be just as effective, if the platform that you use allows for that (like Local Elements does).  Like any advertising method, you can’t rely on one thing unless you want to risk losing a significant portion of customers should that advertising platform die out.

Listing your coupons on multiple platforms that link to your website increases your website’s ranking, assuming the referring site is reputable.  Just be aware of the individual advantages that each site may bring and make sure that any potential costs associated with the site make sense for your business over the long haul.

And finally, make sure that you can calculate the Return On Investment for posting your coupon through the site.  Local Elements provides it’s users with detailed information about the number of times their coupon is viewed or printed, the number of visitors that clicked on their website link and so forth.  This way, a business owner can, let’s say, change the headline of a coupon that’s not performing as well, or adjust the offer to increase the views, prints, or visitors to their website.

Q. What does the future hold for Localelements? How often are you guys adding cities?

A. Within the next 12 months Local Elements will be adding new features to the site such as the Local Wiki (a user-generated local tour guide), Business Profile Pages (think mySpace for businesses), Community Calendars, Business Forums and the LE Mobile Edition which will allow users to search for coupons on their cell phone or PDA while they’re already out and about and more likely to become a paying customer.

Local Elements is open to businesses in any city, nationwide.  Businesses can be the first in their community to post coupons and get all of the same Search Engine Optimization benefits as those that list in the more active Local Elements communities.  We are currently launching an awareness campaign through local Chambers of Commerce that will bring the message of Local Elements to communities across the nation.

Q. What are some of the other things you are doing to help provide local visibility for small businesses?

A. We provide local businesses with a complete kit of marketing tools that can be downloaded and customized to display in their establishment, on their website or to be included in other marketing collateral.  Again, this gives business users full control of their marketing and the ability to drive customers to their coupons time and time again.  Customers in our test market use these tools frequently and have had great success at generating repeat business.

Thanks Kara for your time and providing some insight into online coupons. From what Kara has said and what I have seen Localelements.com is a very easy and effective way to get your coupons online.  I will keep you updated with Localelements as their new projects get going.