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11 Ways to Master Coupon Marketing for Improved Sales

ByNitesh Chand

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Coupon marketing has always been a smart move for growing a business. One of the earliest examples of this strategy is Coca-Cola's campaign in 1888, where they issued tickets for a free glass of their beverage. This effort was not only innovative but also immensely successful, leading to the redemption of 8.5 million tickets by 1913.

Today, coupon marketing has evolved with digital marketing, offering diverse online coupon formats such as promo codes and SMS discounts. These methods continue to be effective for attracting new customers and boosting sales.

Giving a discount can really push someone to buy something. But remember, if you don't market your coupons well, they won't do much to help your sales.

In this guide, we'll explore what coupon marketing is, its benefits and drawbacks, and some coupon marketing strategies.

Table of contents

What is coupon marketing?

Coupon marketing is a way businesses attract customers by giving them special prices or deals. This approach benefits both customers and businesses. Customers enjoy savings on their purchases, while businesses gain from increased sales and customer retention.

In 2023, 57% of U.S. coupon users preferred online coupons, highlighting the growing trend towards digital discounting.

Benefits of coupon marketing

Coupon marketing can really make a difference for your ecommerce business. Here are some benefits:

  • Increases sales: The shift to digital coupons in Q2 2020 and the increase in digital coupon users to 145.3 million by the end of 2021 indicate a growing preference for digital over traditional paper coupons. This trend can be leveraged to boost sales, as digital coupons are more accessible and can be targeted more effectively to encourage purchases

  • Expand customer base: Coupons do more than just please your current customers; they also increase the chances that these customers will engage in word-of-mouth referrals by telling their friends and family about your business and offers. Giving coupons to your regular customers also shows that you value them, which can encourage your irregular customers to become regulars too, just to get those same perks.

  • Positions your product in a competitive market: When you're up against other businesses that offer similar services and products, offering coupons is a smart way to make your products more attractive and popular. They would feel that they're getting much more value for the money they're paying.

Drawbacks of coupon marketing

While coupon marketing can be highly effective, it's important to be aware of its potential drawbacks. Let us take a look at a few of them:

  • Risk of brand damage: Offering too many discounts too often can make your brand look cheap and less attractive and customers may not make purchases at normal prices. Also, if people can guess when you'll have sales, they might wait for discounts instead of paying full price.

  • Attracting one-time buyers: Using lots of discounts might attract online shoppers who only want cheap deals. This could mean they won't buy again, you'll spend more to get new customers, and your marketing budget could run out fast.

  • Overspending marketing budget: If your coupon campaigns aren't closely monitored, you could accidentally give away too many discounts, hurting your profits. There's also the risk of fraud, like codes being shared or copied without permission. To avoid this, manage discounts carefully, use unique codes, and always keep an eye on how much you're spending on these offers.

11 coupon marketing strategies

Coupon marketing works as a catalyst for businesses seeking to drive sales and create lasting customer relationships. Here are 11 coupon marketing strategies that can help you increase your sales:

1. Discount for feedback

Businesses need to improve every day, and customer feedback is a great way to do this. But getting feedback isn't easy. In a world where even a simple 'like' on a video is rare, it's hard to get people to give feedback.

To tackle this issue, you can offer discounts as an incentive. A good way to do this is with discount coupons. When customers give feedback, they get a discount. This makes them more likely to share their thoughts because they get something back for helping you.

You can also leverage an ESP like Mailmodo to do this. Send them an interactive email asking for feedback that they can fill within the email and receive their coupon within the same email once they submit their feedback.

2. Sign-up discount

Get more people to sign up on your site by giving them a coupon after they create an account. This coupon can be used for their first purchase. Put this offer on your main page and other key pages to grab attention. It's a friendly hello and a smart way to get folks interested right away.

3. Subscription reward

Motivate visitors to subscribe to your newsletters and marketing emails by offering a discount code in return. When they provide their email address and agree to receive communications from you, they receive a coupon as a thank you. This builds you an email list of all your customers and also opens a direct line of communication with potential customers, fostering a relationship right from their first interaction with your brand.

4. Membership boost discounts

If you have a membership or loyalty program, you can offer your special members special coupon discounts. It's a thank-you to them and shows others why they should join. Your membership numbers could go up because of this.

5. Win-back email coupons

You can even consider using win-back emails as part of your coupon marketing strategy. These are targeted emails sent to past members or inactive customers, offering them special discounts or exclusive benefits to rekindle their interest and encourage them to make purchases.

6. Thank-you email coupons

Show your appreciation to customers who make a purchase by including a discount coupon in your thank you emails. This gesture thanks them for their business and also encourages repeat purchases. When they receive a coupon after buying, it’s a pleasant surprise that can strengthen their connection with your brand.

This coupon strategy helps in maintaining ongoing engagement with your customers, increasing the likelihood of them returning to your online store, and fostering long-term customer loyalty. Plus, it's a great way to keep your brand image fresh in their minds, even after the sale is completed.

7. Clearance coupons for dead stock

It's normal to have items that don't sell as well, but ignoring them might lead to losses. To sell out these items, consider offering big discounts.

You can place discount offers for slow-moving items on your website's homepage and their specific product pages and also include them during the checkout process to encourage last-minute additions to the cart.

8. Referral program coupons

Mix up your coupon marketing by adding a referral program. You can start by giving your current customers a unique coupon code that they can share with friends. When a friend uses this code for their first purchase, both the friend and the person who shared the code get a special discount or reward. This way, your customers help bring in new people, and everyone gets a bonus. Referral marketing is a simple, effective way to grow your customer base and keep everyone happy.

9. Exit intent popup coupons

Set up popups on your website that show up when someone is about to leave. These exit intent popups can offer a last-minute coupon to encourage the customers to make a purchase. It's like a final attempt to get them to buy something they are interested in. This can turn potential exits into sales and is a simple yet effective trick to keep people engaged with your store.

10. Cart abandonment email coupons

If someone adds items to their cart but leaves without buying, you can send them a reminder email. This email can list the products they left behind and include a coupon discount to encourage them to complete the purchase. It's a gentle push to help them make up their mind and a smart way to reduce lost sales, turning shopping cart abandonment into successful transactions.

Additionally, with Mailmodo, you make it even easier for them – they can finish the purchase right in the email, which is super handy and helps you get more sales.

11. Gamification-based coupons

Engage your customers by running games and contests on your website, in your emails (using gamified widgets in AMP emails), and on social media.

Get a sample AMP email in your inbox

Experience the power of interactivity right now

These fun activities can reward participants with coupon discounts. This approach increases engagement and makes the coupons more valuable to your audience. When people win a coupon through a game or contest, they're more likely to use it, adding an exciting element to your marketing efforts and driving sales. As a reward, you can also offer free shipping to your customers.

Conclusion

Coupon marketing is much more than just a quick fix to sell extra stock or attract people looking for a deal. It's a great way to bring back customers who haven't shopped with you in a while or to say sorry if something goes wrong. You can make these coupons hit the mark by tailoring them to different types of customers. This approach keeps your customers interested and coming back, not just once but again and again. In short, it's a handy way to make sure your customers feel valued and stay connected with your brand.

FAQs

Deciding the right discount for your coupon campaign is challenging. Start with smaller discounts and adjust based on customer response and goal achievement. Only offer deep discounts for clearing discontinued, slow-moving, or expiring products, ensuring it doesn't undercut your profit margins.

Coupon marketing can make customers come back for more, because they feel like they're getting a good deal. It rewards them for staying loyal, making them more likely to stick with your brand. Plus, regular coupons can keep customers interested and excited about what's next.

To measure the success of your coupon marketing, look at your ROI by comparing the sales from the campaign against its cost. Also, check customer engagement by seeing how many coupons were used and if they led to repeat purchases or new sign-ups. You can also track any increase in website traffic or social media activity linked to the campaign.

You can start by setting limits to align with your campaign's goals and target audience. Also, you can limit the number of times a customer can redeem a coupon within a set period, and a defined campaign duration. These limits help prevent fraud and ensure campaign effectiveness.

What should you do next?

Thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

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