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How To Use Coupon Marketing To Grow (Strategies & Examples)

How To Use Coupon Marketing to Grow (Strategies & Examples)

Experienced entrepreneurs often say that success doesn’t usually come easy. While that might hold true in some situations, effective coupon marketing can offer a rapid boost to your customer base and sales.

Coca-Cola provided one of the earliest and well-documented instances of coupon marketing way back in 1887. However, digital coupons require new strategies. From promo codes to SMS discounts, numerous methods exist to expand your e-commerce business using this timeless marketing approach.

In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of utilizing online coupons and introduce you to some strategies you can experiment with. We’ll also address common questions about coupon marketing to help you grow your business. So, let’s get deeper into it!

An Introduction To Coupon Marketing

Coupon marketing stands as one of the oldest and most dependable marketing strategies in the book. Vouchers, discounts, and special offers represent various coupon types at your disposal to connect with fresh customers and supercharge your sales.

In the past, physical coupons ruled the roost, but nowadays, digital coupons are gaining momentum, even for brick-and-mortar stores. The rising popularity of digital coupons is partly owed to their remarkable convenience in distribution.

Advanced Coupons WordPress plugin
Advanced Coupons can help you create creative digital coupon discounts on your store

If you have a WooCommerce store, Advanced Coupons plugin gives you all the tools you need to set up and share your own digital coupons. Whether you want to run a BOGO deal, free shipping special, or bulk purchase discounts, Advanced Coupons makes it easy to market coupons on your WordPress site.

The Benefits Of Coupon Marketing

Coupons are a versatile tool in any marketer’s toolbelt. They can be used to achieve a number of objectives, and of course, coupons have many benefits. Now, let’s go over a few of them!

1. Attract new customers

Coupons are an excellent way to attract new customers. There are several methods you can use to accomplish this. A few examples include:

All these methods effectively capture attention, making them an excellent way to entice new customers into taking the plunge.

For instance, a 50 percent discount on first-time purchases often proves compelling enough to prompt many visitors who have been casually browsing your site to make their initial purchase. While the profit margin on this first purchase might not be enough, you could have just gained a customer for life.

50 off for first time buyers example click to zoom

The concept here is that at least some of these first-time buyers will transform into loyal, repeat customers down the road. If you provide a high-quality, one-of-a-kind product, it becomes hard to resist reordering, even if the price is a bit higher next time.

On the other hand, if your offerings have a longer lifespan, customers will develop trust in your brand’s commitment to excellence, making them more inclined to return.

2. Increase sales

Coupons provide an effective way to quickly increase sales, whether you’re offering broad discounts or targeting specific items. For example, when a company wants to generate extra revenue before the fiscal year ends, they can issue a 10% discount coupon to encourage more purchases.

Although it’s not a huge discount, it can motivate many customers to buy items they’ve been eyeing at full price. While the profit margin may not be as high, earning 90% is certainly better than nothing!

10% off discount example
10% off discount example (click to zoom)

Another smart tactic for boosting sales with coupons involves targeting particular products.

For instance, if your company is launching a new product and initial sales are sluggish, offering a 50% discount coupon for that product can breathe life into sales. Once the item gains popularity and starts getting people talking, you can gradually phase out the coupon.

3. Collect data

Digital coupons also give you the chance to connect with your customers on a more personal level.

While many of your website visitors might not spontaneously decide to join your email list, the promise of a coupon can be quite persuasive.

"Join mailing list" coupon
“Join mailing list” coupon (click to zoom)

That’s why offering customers who sign up for your email updates a one-time $20 discount coupon (or any other amount) can be a fantastic way to expand your email community. Additionally, keeping an eye on how people use these coupons can help you get to know your customers better.

To make this work, you can share unique coupons through different channels to see which ones are the most popular. You can also take a look at other details like shipping addresses and area codes to figure out where your most loyal customers are located.

Common Types Of Coupons In WooCommerce

Once upon a time coupons were exclusively slips of paper handed out or cut from newspapers. As e-commerce and mobile devices become more popular, new coupon types are popping up.

Below are some popular examples:

1. Digital coupons and mobile coupons

Digital coupons are the way to go for websites and apps. You can easily distribute these coupons via email, social media, or even in your digital shop itself:

Kroger digital coupons
Example of digital coupons (click to zoom)

Mobile coupons, tailor-made for mobile devices, typically smartphones, offer the advantage of versatility. They work seamlessly for both online and in-person transactions. To illustrate, a mobile coupon may feature a barcode that can be effortlessly scanned at a traditional cash register.

As long as a customer has their phone with them, they have the convenience of using a digital coupon.

The beauty of digital and mobile coupons extends to online usage as well. Though there are several methods to manage them, the underlying principle remains identical to that of a physical coupon.

2. Coupon codes and promo codes

Coupon codes, sometimes called promo codes, make it easier for you to use digital coupons. These codes simplify the process of tracking and managing coupons.

In simple terms, a coupon code is a unique and specific code, sort of like a secret password, that you can share with your customers. When they enter this code during checkout, the coupon discount gets applied automatically:

Amazon coupon code
Coupon codes are a good way for your customers to redeem their discounts (click to zoom)

Setting up this type of coupon requires some back-end work, but it’s worth it because delivering and using promotional codes becomes incredibly convenient.

This can significantly enhance your customers’ experience. With Advanced Coupons, you have the tools to generate and manage coupon codes, simplifying most of the behind-the-scenes work for you.

3. SMS coupons

SMS coupons are a less common, more specific form of mobile coupons. What defines an SMS coupon is that it is delivered via text message. 

These text messages can provide a coupon link or a standard coupon code. While SMS coupons aren’t as popular these days, they might work well for the right audience. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need a robust list of customer phone numbers to make this an effective strategy.

4. Giveaways and vouchers

Vouchers and giveaways involve providing something for free. As an example, a voucher for a free drink at a restaurant could be spent in place of money. 

Giveaways are similar, though they are usually attached to a coupon deal with additional stipulations. For instance, a free item giveaway coupon may require another purchase to be made or shipping to still be paid, in addition to presenting the coupon.

Discount voucher example
Discount voucher example (click to zoom)

Both giveaways and vouchers are great ways to attract new customers.

While customers may be reluctant to shop at a new store for any number of reasons, they are more likely to check it out if they know they’ll get a free ‘gift’. This strategy is particularly well-suited to social media platforms, which you can use to simultaneously encourage follower engagement.

5 Effective Coupon Marketing Strategies For WooCommerce

Below are five proven coupon marketing strategies that you can start using today to reach new customers or achieve other marketing objectives.

1. Get customers to your shop with special offers

Using first-time buyer coupons is an excellent method to expand your customer base.

There are various ways to achieve this, but it typically involves crafting a single-use coupon that’s so enticing it’s difficult to turn down. Usually, you can tracked these coupons by email address to ensure each person redeems only one:

 off first order coupon
$20 off first order coupon example (click to zoom)

Offering special deals is a fantastic way to encourage customers to make their initial purchases at your store. Moreover, once they’ve experienced their first checkout, they’re more inclined to return if they find your products appealing.

2. Use discounts to move slow-selling products and overstock

One of the oldest sales strategies in the book is offering a discount on slow-selling products. This way, you can kill two birds with one stone by offering coupons for specific items you are looking to get rid of. Here are a few common reasons why businesses might want to target specific products:

  • Speed up sales on slow-moving products
  • Unload overstock (perhaps as a result of a double-shipment)
  • Kickstart sales for a new product

By offering coupons for products in these categories, you get all of the advantages of coupon marketing in addition to encouraging customers to make those specific purchases. You can even set a threshold to encourage bundle offers and move items faster!

3. Offer digital coupon sign-ups for lead generation

As we mentioned, trading coupons for contact information is a great way to build an email list. There are a few ways you can do this. It usually involves requesting an email address and/or phone number, then sending a digital coupon discount as a ‘reward’ for signing up:

coupon marketing for email sign ups
Offering coupons for signups ensures that you can reach out again to customers or visitors (click to zoom)

The major benefit of this strategy is that it gives you the means to contact a potential customer with other offers or promotional material. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have users opt-in to those communications, otherwise you risk running into legal trouble down the line.

The ROI is easy to measure here in most cases. For example, if you offer a $10 coupon for signing up for your email list, you’re likely getting a sale and a new customer contact for only $10.

4. Market your brand with giveaways

Giveaways offer a remarkably fast way to grow your customer base. Everybody loves free stuff, so by offering it up, you can easily motivate shoppers to visit your online store.

Even if they don’t buy anything during that visit, it is more likely that they’ll return to your shop after being there once before. Maybe a product will catch their eye while they’re claiming their free gift, or perhaps creating an account was the motivation they needed to make a purchase.

Freebies example
Freebies example (click to zoom)

There is an obvious cost here (the free item), but this can be reduced by turning your giveaway into a contest. Rather than everyone getting a free item, only a select number of winners will.

This can reduce the ‘freebie’ excitement somewhat, but it’s still a great way to gain visibility through shares and contact information from contest entries. Even if not many people enter the contest, you’ll still have at least one excited potential shopper: the winner!

5. Attract shoppers with seasonal promo codes

Seasonal sales provide lots of coupon marketing opportunities, from kicking off the holiday season with Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to offering end-of-summer sales. You can even take advantage of the less celebrated holidays such as Presidents’ Day:

Presidents' Day Sale Sleep Sherpa
This is a good way to encourage your customers to buy your products (click to zoom)

Seasonal promo codes work as well as discounts in any other scenario, with the added benefit of customers expecting and looking forward to them on the calendar. What’s more, these are perfect ‘limited-time offer’ coupons.

Furthermore, around major holidays like Christmas, customers tend to be more likely to pull out their wallets. As such, you’ll want to advantage of the shopping frenzy with seasonal promo codes!

Coupon Marketing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In case you have any lingering doubts about coupon marketing, we’re now going to go over some of the most frequently asked questions about this approach.

1. How do you promote coupons?

Coupons can only be effective if your audience is aware of them. Luckily, there are many ways to promote digital coupons to reach the masses.

Social media is the perfect place to promote coupons. If your offer is good enough, users might even take to sharing your coupon themselves!

Another obvious place to promote your coupons is on your website’s homepage or other high-traffic landing pages. Customers visiting your site are likely to see coupons on these pages, and since they are already there to shop, there is a good chance that they will make use of your coupon as well.

Advanced Coupons has a lot of tools that can help you promote coupons. You can use our plugin to create a coupon that you can embed just about anywhere!

2. Are coupons considered marketing?

While less direct than say, a television commercial, coupons achieve many of the same benefits as other kinds of advertisement. Positive side effects of coupon marketing include:

  • People knowing about your company (even if they don’t use the coupon)
  • Attracting new customers to shop
  • Generating hype around your business

In fact, coupons are often included in marketing budgets and even used in tax calculations in some cases. So in short, yes, coupons are commonly considered a less direct form of marketing. 

3. How do coupons attract customers?

This one is simple. Shoppers like to save money. A coupon tempts customers to shop by offering savings that are hard to pass up. Those already familiar with your company may be motivated to make a purchase with the promise of saving money.

Meanwhile, those unfamiliar with your business or on the fence about buying may just need the nudge of a coupon to convert. Extremely good deals like free item vouchers, BOGO coupons, or high-percentage discounts can get both new and old customers excited about visiting your store.

4. Are coupons advertising?

Again, in an indirect sense, yes. Buzz-worthy coupons can get shoppers talking about your company and increase your visibility. 

A good example is free giveaways. While you are losing money giving away a product for free, what you are gaining is exposure and customers coming to your shop to redeem their freebies.

Coupons are also a great excuse to create an ad. Whether that be through social media, an email list, or through SMS, distributing coupons is a good reason to contact your customers. 

Imagine a big sign in the front window of a coffee shop that reads “Free Latte Vouchers Inside!” This is a form of advertising, and likely to get a lot of customers entering the store! Indirectly, coupons unlock a lot of advertising possibilities.

Conclusion

If you want your online business to succeed, you need to come up with the best online business ideas. Similarly, you’ll need to attract new customers and keep past shoppers coming back. These are crucial to any marketing strategy, and coupons are a great way to accomplish them all.

Some tried-and-true coupon marketing strategies you can use are:

  1. Get customers to your shop with special offers.
  2. Use discounts to move slow-selling products and overstock.
  3. Offer digital coupon sign-ups for lead generation.
  4. Market your brand with giveaways.
  5. Attract shoppers with seasonal promo codes.

We also answered some of the frequently asked questions about coupon marketing:

  1. How do you promote coupons?
  2. Are coupons considered marketing?
  3. How do coupons attract customers?
  4. Are coupons advertising?

Do you have any questions about how to use coupon marketing to grow your online business? Let us know in the comments sections below!

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