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The Ultimate 3-Step Coupon Marketing Strategy (Rinse & Repeat)

The Ultimate 3-Step Coupon Marketing Strategy

Are you looking at forming a coupon marketing strategy for your store?

Coupons can be a great way to grow your sales and increase customer loyalty, whether you’re running an e-commerce or even a physical store.

But if you approach it without knowing your strategy, you’re shooting in the dark, hoping to find success.

That’s what this post is all about introducing you to a proper coupon marketing strategy.

3 Factors To Consider When Creating Your Coupon Marketing Strategy (WooCommerce)

When it comes to forming a solid coupon strategy for your store, you want to look at three things:

  1. Purpose – what is your motivation for using coupons: what are you trying to achieve with them?
  2. Implementation – what deal types are you going to use
  3. Testing – how are you going to test different deal types to see what resonates with your customers
3 Step Coupon Marketing Strategy
Coupon Marketing Strategy triangle (click to zoom)

Without knowing your purpose, you might be able to come up with coupon ideas, but they won’t be targeted and measurable.

That is why it is important to set that purpose before coming up with coupon deal ideas.

Coupon deal example
Coupon deal example (click to zoom)

Next, the implementation will cover creating coupon ideas that match the overall purpose and implementing those into your business.

The testing phase will show you how to iterate over coupon deal types until you find the combination of deals that resonate well with your audience. Once you do, you can implement more permanent promotional mechanisms to maximize your results.

3 Steps To Create A Coupon Marketing Strategy

Now that we have that sorted, let’s dive into the three easy steps that can help you create a powerful coupon marketing plan. With this guide, you’ll be able to attract new customers and keep your existing ones happy with some irresistible deals:

Step #1: Set the purpose of your coupon deal.

Using coupons is a marketing strategy that can be extremely powerful if you put just a little time into the preparation stage. Deciding what the purpose of your coupon deal is will set the stage for how you implement it, how you craft the deal, and how you eventually test and iterate on the promotion concept.

Example: retain customers with 10% off deal
Example: retain customers with a 10% off deal (click to zoom)

I encourage you to set aside some time to think about the best use of your marketing budget (both time and money) at the moment.

Here are a few ideas to get you started choosing the purpose of your coupon deals:

  • Building customer loyalty
  • Attracting new customers
  • Encouraging repeat purchases
  • Saving abandoned orders
  • Getting new visitors to take action
  • Reactivating old customers

This is just a starting list, but a pretty good idea of the power of setting your purpose.

Can you see how these concepts might drive how you could implement a deal? It’s more than just throwing together marketing collateral and spruiking a blanket % off!

Choose your purpose, and that will drive the next step.

Step #2: Implement your coupon deal.

There are 1001 ways to implement a coupon deal. You can email it out, provide a physical flyer, or you can do manual outreach. The ways to get your coupons in customers’ hands are almost limitless!

Reactivating old customers is one of the purposes we outlined in the previous step, and I will use that as an example so that you can get some solid takeaways from this article.

Reactivation email example
Reactivation email example (click to zoom)

When you look at your purpose, you must consider what kinds of coupon structures would fit that purpose. For this example, “reactivating” means finding customers who previously purchased and having them come back to purchase something else. It’s not strictly a repeat purchase; they might want to buy a different product, so this also covers upsells and cross-sells.

If you’re looking at reactivating old customers, you can do any of the following:

  1. A straight % off deal – e.g., % off some other related product to what they purchased before
  2. Buy one, get one style deal – e.g., come back and buy 1 of these products you previously purchased again, and we’ll give you something else for free (or half price)
  3. A timed offer that forces action – activates FOMO, the fear of missing out
  4. Giving away free products – gets them to take some action to get the freebie
  5. Free shipping offer – everyone loves a bargain on shipping

You can also combine these deal types. For example, I love combining free product giveaways with timed offers, which get people to take action quickly. It means things fly off the shelves.

Does it matter if you’re in a physical or online store? Not really.

At Advanced Coupons, obviously, we focus on e-commerce stores and, in particular, WooCommerce store owners because our plugin helps people implement these kinds of deals.

#1-rated WooCommerce coupon plugin
#1-rated WooCommerce coupon plugin

But you can implement the same concepts we’re discussing in a physical store. You’ll find some condition checking a little harder to vet, making it much more important to ensure you’re only sending your deal to the correct people.

For example, in WooCommerce (with Advanced Coupons installed), you can easily implement a timed coupon deal with a free product that is restricted to existing customers only:

Add a free product
Add a free product click to zoom
Schedule the start and end times to increase time pressure
Schedule the start and end times to increase time pressure (click to zoom)
Restrict who is allowed to get the deal to make it exclusive
Restrict who is allowed to get the deal to make it exclusive (click to zoom)

You can even go one step further and make sure that the person has purchased something in the past and that they have a certain product or a product from a particular product category in their cart:

Set cart conditions so customers must satisfy the conditions before they can get the deal
Set cart conditions so customers must satisfy the conditions before they can get the deal (click to zoom)

The other trick I have found works well is forcing yourself to come up with 5x different concepts for a deal. So when you set your coupon deal purpose, brainstorm 5x different coupon deals that you could use to achieve that purpose.

This is good practice for the next step, which is testing.

Step #3: Test your coupon deals.

Finding what resonates with your customers is hard, but a commitment to testing and measuring separates weak store owners from successful ones.

Sure, testing coupon deals over and over will take time, but it will lead you to find what types of coupon deals work best for what purpose with your audience. And that is the key to success with your coupon marketing strategy.

In the previous step, I recommended each purpose. You come up with 5x different coupon deals that could deliver on that.

In this step, you will test each coupon deal concept you came up with in Step #2 with your audience and see which one they like the most. This can then be used as the basis for your next round of testing.

Can you or should you test multiple coupon deals at once? Sure. But I recommend that you only test one coupon deal per purpose at once.

This might take longer, but it clarifies which deal drove those people to buy. This muddies the testing waters if you run deals that have the same purpose at once.

Why It’s Important To Evolve Your Coupon Marketing Strategy

Your coupon marketing strategy should evolve as you learn more about your customers. You see, different niches and customer groups respond differently to the same deals. So that’s why something in one niche might work spectacularly while it barely makes an impact in another niche.

By committing yourself to Step #3, I hope you will get more and more clear about the type of offers and coupon deals your particular customer audience responds to the best.

Exit-intent coupon deal example
Exit-intent coupon deal example (click to zoom)

Once you do, you can start baking those coupons into your permanent marketing lineup. You’ll be able to reach into your pocket and pick the exact deals for the exact purpose you need at the time and have confidence that this deal will deliver a certain result.

Although nothing is certain in commerce, and customers can be fickle at times, this is about as close as you’ll get to a predictable response to a marketing effort, and for a store owner, that knowledge is worth its weight in gold.


If you’ve been in the marketing business for any time, you know there’s no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Each market has its unique set of challenges and requirements, and the best way to ensure your brand is ready to meet them all is by constantly testing and refining your strategies.

Coupon marketing is no different. Given its highly seasonal nature, forecasting success in this space can be especially challenging. But with a little persistence, experimentation, and tweaking, you can master the art of digital coupon generation and dominate the spending season!

In this article, we 3 easy steps to create a coupon marketing strategy:

  1. Set the purpose of your coupon deal.
  2. Implement your coupon deal.
  3. Test your coupon deals.

Do you have any questions about coupon marketing in WooCommerce? Let us know in the comments down below, or send us a message!

author avatar
Josh Kohlbach CEO

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