The Power Of Push and Forever Coupons [Case Study]

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Coupon Subway Case study

This blog post is going to showcase how PassKit technology gamified the customer experience for Subway customers by converting paper coupons into digital perpetual coupons.

Digital coupons generated +300% in-shop traffic on peak hours and positively affected Subway brand recognition positioning Subway as a highly innovative company.

Subway coupons Before PassKit

We are all familiar with those… Little paper coupons that we always forget or lose somewhere. Those coupons provide little-to-no value as they are thrown away after being used. They don’t provide any insight about the customers’ behaviours and preferences, and they can not be reused. In two words: waste and inefficiency.

The innovation

By digitising paper coupons, Subway went from merely printing little pieces of paper, to actually open a whole new communication channel with their customers by directly getting into their phones. Digital coupons drove more traffic to the three chosen pilot stores, positioned the brand as an early innovation adopter and increased publicity.

Mobile Wallet Subway

After PassKit: a sexy customer experience

Here’s where the magic happens: Making your business and brand be in that little moment when it matters the most, when your customer is ready to make another purchase in your shop.

In fact, digital coupons can dynamically change their content in a matter of seconds, for unlimited times. And once they are installed in the customers’ phones, they will stay there. For the merchant this means the following things: a whole new, more personal and direct communication channel with customers, more traffic and brand seen as innovative.

This is exactly what PassKit made possible for Subway. But let’s take a look at this through a real example:

perpetual coupon Subway

Step 1: Customer is walking by a Subway branch during lunch time and a proximity notification is automatically triggered onto his phone through a beacon.

Step 2: Customer slides the screen notification and automatically gains access to the offer of the day. In the example above, a free can of soda for any 6″ or 12″ sandwich.

Step 3: Subway employee scans the coupon, which automatically changes into a ‘Keep Me Image’ for next offer.

Perpetual retargeting is the key

So, what happens to our Subway customer next? Let’s take a look at the second part of the example:

Subway digital coupon

After some time, Subway notices that the customer did’t make any purchase. Subway then decides to push a lock-screen notification onto the customer’s phone. Here’s what happens:

Step 1: Subway pushes a new offer. In this case, an upgrade to a 12″ sandwich upon purchasing a 6″.

Step 2: The customer receives a lock-screen notification and gains access to her new coupon.

Step 3: As in the first offer (previous part of the example), the customer redeems her reward and her coupon converts into a ‘Keep Me’ coupon again.

This process can be repeated over and over again, generating more traffic, more returning customers and ultimately more revenue.

The simple, yet thrilling Merchant Experience

Now that we have covered the customer experience, let’s see what it takes for the merchant to implement a forever digital coupon solution.


Subway coupon journey

Digital coupon creation: in this phase, the merchant just needs to log into CherryPie and easily create a digital coupon. Please take a look here to find out more about coupon creation.

Distribution: This step is related to the promotion of the digital coupon to the public. In CherryPie you will be prompted to a QR code and a link that you can share to distribute your digital coupon. Fantasy is the only limit. You can in fact take advantage of SMS, e-mail, your social media channels, newspapers, banners, adverts and basically any channel you prefer.

Mobile Wallet case study

Use: As in the example above, at one point customers with the coupon will actually use it. The employee who is attending, will just scan the coupon which will change into whatever the merchant decided. In the Subway example, a ‘Keep Me’ message.

Management: At this point the merchant has a new customer base that can be retargeted. The digital coupon can be updated to provide new offers, special treats or useful information to the customer.

The Results for Subway coupons

mobile wallet performance

After the PassKit implementation, the three pilot Subway franchises measured the following results:

Coupon Usage: 25k digital coupons were installed,

Traffic: peak hour traffic increased by 300%,

Redemption: more than 3000 coupons have been redeemed, meaning about 12% redemption rate,

Bran Reputation: The franchise got awarded and recognised as the best regional Subway franchise owner.

Results of mobile wallet campaigns

It’s your turn to make sh*t happen

Do you want to replicate the Subway experience in your business? If so, please contact us here and we’ll make it happen for you. If you liked this case study, please let us know by sharing it on your social media and following our accounts.

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  • Anish George

    Hello Mr. Nicholas, Great job. It looks more unique. But you could have add a little more. Anyway great job. Looking more from you…

  • Dave

    I was just studying Google’s rendition of the future of the Internet of Things and the Physical Web. They indicated that plans were to protect people against Spam by requiring them to turn on the process of scanning for a device. Then their phones will search for all devices sending out content.

    This requirement would eliminate the scenario above. The customer would first have to be looking for IOT devices.

    How do you anticipate overcoming this problem?

    Thank you,

    • Dave

      Pump. … Does anyone see a work-around for this dilemma?

    • Ferenc Brachmann

      Is there a problem here?

  • Dave

    Please allow me to pose several questions please.

    First let me get this straight. Let’s say we are putting out ads and someone clicks the link to our mobile coupon Pass.
    1) Does this action in and of itself opt him in to the Mobile Wallet to receive future push notifications?

    Now, let’s say we do a campaign where we provide an offer that they cannot refuse through email or an ad platform like Google Adwords; they accept the coupon, add it to wallet, and therefore opt-in to receive future push notifications (assuming that this is correct as asked above).
    2) When a prospect clicks to accept the offer, Can Cherry Pie take them to an appointment scheduler?

    And, once the appointment is made,
    3) Can Cherry Pie automate the follow-up process by sending automated Push reminder notices at set times and days according to the appointment?

    ALSO, when the coupon has been redeemed,
    4) Would it be possible to take them to a thank you page where prospects can participate in other, non-competing, local offers – a sort of local directory? …
    5) Where they would be able to say – choose 3 of the 9 offers that might be available – each selection sending them to a similar pass campaign for that local business establishment?

    • PassKit

      Hello Dave, thank you for your questions.

      Before jumping into the answers, I would recommend you to take a look at our library, as it should cover a big chunk of your questions. You can find it here:

      Another useful resource can be found here:

      Now, about your specific enquiries:

      1) Once received the pass, notifications will display as a lock-screen message. However, users can turn notifications off from the back of the pass.

      2) Yes, it is possible to redirect pass users virtually anywhere, including an appointment scheduler.

      3) CherryPie currently has some limitations. However, if you have some knowledge of APIs, you will be able to perform this action quite easily.

      4) Yes, same as point 3.

      5) This point would require some custom solution, as it is not something immediately available within CherryPie.

      Hope this helps,

      Please let us know if you have any other question.

  • Pingback: Digital Marketing Case Study: How Subway increased in-store traffic by 300% through digital coupons – Bill's Review Journal()

  • Tymek Majewski

    Is the integration done via the Apple Wallet?

  • Aman Shrivastav

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