Ways to Use Coupon Offers in Your Marketing Strategy

Coupon offers for eCommerce Marketing Strategy
Coupon and specific deals are an excellent way to encourage people to buy your products or services. Not only can they encourage lead conversion, but they can also drive up customer retention and boost customer loyalty. Despite their power, however, it can be daunting figuring out how to use coupons in the most effective way possible to drive up sales for your e-commerce company. After all, there are countless types of coupon offers that companies can make available — as well as endless ways that they can be made available to consumers.
If you’re a marketer or e-shop owner who wants to use coupon offers to improve your marketing strategy, the following information may help. This basic guide to coupons offers explains how they fit into your marketing strategy, and tips for attracting customers.

Types of Coupon Offers

There are many types of coupon offers that e-commerce business can make available to customers. The following are some of the most common.

Percentage-Based Discounts

The coupon offering a percentage-based discount is the most common type of coupon offer. It simply takes a percentage off the total order value or specific items for customers.

Dollar Value Discounts

A discount coupon takes a pre-set dollar amount off the total order or off of the price of specific items.

Redeem Free Gift Coupons

These coupons are straightforward and can simply be exchanged for a free item (designated by the company).

Apply Free Shipping Offers

Sometimes, e-commerce companies can choose to offer customers free shipping as an incentive. Free shipping offers can often be combined with other coupon offers for max effectiveness. For example, offering an item or product sales WITH free shipping is a popular way to encourage people to buy.

 

How and When to Use Coupon Offers

There are many times at which companies can use coupon offers to encourage customer purchasing or loyalty. The following are some of the most popular.

At Registration

Companies — particularly e-commerce companies — commonly make a welcome offer to customers these days. Coupon offers given at registration are usually a welcome gift or a percentage discount on a person’s first purchase. The goal of a coupon given at registration is to convert leads into paying customers — and to attract new customers, as well.

During Specific Holidays or Seasons

Companies use holidays and seasons as excuses to make coupon offers, and these offers or coupon codes can encourage people to make purchases for those occasions. Some popular times of the year during which companies make offers include Black Friday, Labor Day and Valentine’s Day. Companies can pair their offer with the theme of the holiday (discount on romantic gifts for Valentine’s Day, etc.). Companies can also offer an end-of-season clearance when season-specific merchandise is no longer selling well or a new season is

The Body Shop Black Friday Email
Black Friday Sales from The Body Shop with Coupon and Free Shipping

As a Reward for Customer Loyalty

If you want to thank certain customers for being very loyal, you can offer VIPs or frequent shoppers with occasional gifts or offers. For example, set a threshold amount (total spend or order number) customers must reach. When they reach it, automatically send a special thank you offer or gift.

To Recoup At-Risk Customers or Those Who Have Abandoned Carts

Coupon offers can incentivize dormant shoppers to return to your shop. They can also be used to encourage people who have an abandoned cart to come back and purchase the items they’ve abandoned. Offer those items at discounts — and you may just convince them they need to come back and buy

Abandoned Cart Reminders with Coupon Code
Example of Abandoned Cart Email with a Personalized Coupon Code

To Get Referrals or Drive Up Engagement on Social Media

E-commerce companies can reward customers who refer a friend, like or promote products in order to naturally boost brand awareness and expand their customer base.

 

Best Practices for Using Coupon Offers

If you want to use coupon offers as effectively as possible, follow these best practices.

Set Minimum Purchase Threshold to Ensure Profitability

Don’t lose money on the deals you offer. Make sure each person will spend a certain amount of money first so you can ensure that coupon offers are improving business — not detracting from it.

Personalize Offers as Much as Possible

Everyone likes to know that they are invited to something exclusive. So, the offers you send out should feel personalized and exclusive to your recipient. To make offers feel personal, do things like sending unique promo codes or coupon codes, or send a free, specific gift from a category that customers have expressly shown interest in. Personalizing offers also allows you optimize the value you can get from various segments. For example, you can differentiate discount-seekers from the trend-setters and provide them with different experience at different price points.

Segmentation is key here, and a marketing automation tool (like those provided by e-commerce platforms like Shopify or Bigcommerce) can help you out by analyzing what each customer has looked at or expressed interest in, then sending the right targeted email automatically. You can use marketing automation to accurately do things like sending out VIP rewards, encourage the reactivation dormant customers or mark birthdays/anniversaries.

Avoid Overuse

Coupons reflect your brand value and set base expectations for your customer. Don’t make them think of your product as not worth buying at full price or that you are only a discount company (when you’re not).

Don’t Let the Visitors Cheat the System

Vary the condition upon on when the offer is provided so customers are not conditioned to expect a coupon in the same situation every time (for example, at every abandoned cart or in the first abandoned cart email). Have a set series to re-engage customers, then offer a discount at the very last step of the sequence.


Also published on Medium.


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