Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adding expiration dates to association coupons

In response to my blog post on expiration dates, David Patt posted this comment:

"Add discount coupons to your list. Always print an expiration date on them. Members (or former members) may want to use them years after they were expected to be out of circulation."

That is an excellent reminder! Here are a few thoughts on association coupons:

1. Discount coupons: If you provide coupons for discounts at bookstore, for membership dues, or for events be sure to be extremely specific - including the expiration date and if it's transferable to others. Be very specific with drink coupons too - either in your printed materials or on the tickets themselves.

2. Raffle tickets and other fundraising events: If you need to raise a certain amount of money for a fundraising activity to be viable, be sure to include a statement that indicates what would trigger it not happening, and how contributed funds will be returned. Also consider the potential for a staff or electronic error. If an entry is not properly received and accounted for by your e-commerce system and/or staff be sure to include that you can only return their contribution (and not compensate for a lost opportunity).

3. Association Prizes: If you give a prize, such as entry to a convention or "free dues", be sure it's very specific as to the year, along with its value. If it's an event, what is specifically covered in the prize and the exact location. And if it's transferable. And if there's any potential for cash value instead. So there's no confusion later. For example, if someone wins "free dues" and already doesn't have to pay dues, what happens?

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