8 Great Coupon Campaigns You Need Right Now

Marketing
-
Mar 9, 2021
Christoph Gerber
Christoph Gerber
CEO
8
Min to read

Did you know that coupon users spend 24% more than regular shoppers?

All businesses should keep this statistic in mind when planning their own digital marketing promotions.

If you're looking for ways to increase conversion rates, boost ROI and improve customer engagement, start off by implementing coupon campaigns. Coupon campaigns can help you with all other aspects of your promotional marketing strategy, and they’re simple to set up and monitor.

A study by Juniper Research predicted that the number of mobile coupon users worldwide would surpass 1 billion by 2019. - Juniper Research

In this blog post, we’ll run through 8 great coupon campaign ideas that should give you some inspiration for your own coupon campaigns. We’ll explain how each campaign type works, and what results you can expect when implementing them for your own business.

Before we run through some effective coupon campaign ideas that you can use for your own business, let’s take a look at how coupon campaigns actually work.

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How do coupons work?

Businesses offer coupons to increase the value proposition of their products in the eyes of consumers. The value proposition of a product or service can be altered in many different ways. But coupons alter the value proposition in relation to cost.

Coupons can hold value in a few different ways:

  • Percentage discount - this type of coupon could offer a customer 20% off a product or their basket.
  • Monetary value - this type of coupon holds value equal to a certain amount of money. This means that customers could use it to purchase any combination of products up to the value of the coupon.
  • The value of a specific product - this type of coupon can be exchanged for a specific product only. It has no value besides that specific product.

Using different coupon formats, businesses can tailor their coupon campaigns to achieve specific objectives.

So, there are a few different ways you can set up coupons to alter your value proposition to customers. But how do customers exchange their coupons?

There's also a variety of popular redemption methods which have their own positives in different contexts. Firstly, you can separate coupons by the way they’re distributed. The most common distinctions are:

1. Public coupons:

These are coupons that are made available to anyone. Businesses usually distribute them as coupon ads via public channels, like the front page of their website or newspapers, for example. Even though they’re technically public, many common restrictions apply.

For example, public coupons can often only be used once per customer. They’re also usually limited by region too. Because these coupons are available for anyone to use, they usually offer smaller discounts than more targeted personal coupons.

2. Personal coupons:

Unlike public coupons, personal coupons are distributed to customers individually via private channels, like emails or in-app notifications. They’re often tailored with customer-specific promotions, and sent out as part of reactive promotional campaigns.

3. Prize coupon codes:

Prize coupons are less common than public or personal coupons. They’re distributed via prize giveaways and gamified promotional campaigns. This process can either be random or based upon some gamification mechanism. A good example is the codes given out in McDonald’s Monopoly promotional campaigns.

McDonald's Monopoly coupon example

Coupon example

Using some of the coupon variations mentioned above, let’s take a look at a coupon example that would be applicable across a number of different industries.

  • 15% off first order
  • Applicable to new customers only
  • Can be used in conjunction with other promotions
  • Appears in an on-screen banner after 10 seconds on-site
  • Shown on EU sites only
  • Limited to 4000 total redemptions
  • Available between 01.04 and 31.05

Taking a look at these points, what do you notice about this digital coupon example?

Let’s quickly break it down:


  1. Firstly, this coupon example would be applicable across many different consumer industries. That’s as long as the business has some form of online shop. 
  1. The coupon is publicly available, meaning any potential customer arriving on the site can use it. In this case, only new customers can use the coupon. This suggests it would be used as part of an acquisition campaign.
  1. The coupon is also only applicable in the EU. This may be because the business running the campaign is expanding into the EU as a new market, or they’re trying to win customers from a competitor.
  1. To entice potential new customers even further, the coupon can be used in conjunction with other promotions. It also appears on-screen after a short wait as a pop-up or banner, mimicking the type of reward you might see in a game. This technique makes the customer feel like they've earnt the coupon in some small way. 
  1. Finally, the coupon is time-sensitive and limited to 4000 uses. This helps protect the business from coupon overuse, and adds a small degree of exclusivity in the eyes of customers.

Understanding how each of these small coupon features can be used to tailor the promotion in favour of the business or customers is vital. This way you can customize your own promotions to give specific results much more easily.

Sale sign in a shop window

Coupon campaign examples

Now that we’ve gone through a generic, hypothetical coupon example, it’s time to look at some more specific ones. Remember, each of the 8 examples of coupon advertising campaigns below are applicable in specific situations.

1. Welcome coupons

Example

When a customer first visits your website, offer them a welcome coupon with a small discount on their first order. You can either make the coupon appear in a pop-up, or send it in an email after the customer enters their email address.

Strategy

Creating a memorable first interaction with new customers helps you build brand loyalty. Incentivizing a purchase with a discount also increases the likelihood of a sale.

Why?

92% of customers don’t buy on their first visit - Episerver

Welcome coupons can be a useful tool for your business if you’re looking for a simple, easy way to bring in new customers. You can customize these coupons by location if needed. But generally, a basic welcome discount will be enough to catch a new customer’s attention.

2. Flash sale

Example

Boost site traffic and sales with a 72-hour flash sale. You can time the sale around specific events and offer free shipping to increase the incentive.

Strategy

Adding a clear time limit to your flash sale gives a sense of urgency that will encourage your customers to shop. Offering free shipping is another popular and effective way to incentivize purchases. 

Why?

While free shipping has always been an effective incentive, customers increasingly expect it as standard.

In 2019, the National Retail Federation found that 75% of consumers expected free delivery on orders over $50. That was up from 68% the year before. - National Retail Federation 

This trend has been fuelled by companies like Amazon offering free shipping as standard with services like Amazon Prime. Free shipping is by no means a must-have, but you should at least consider swallowing some of the cost to increase the attractiveness of your deals.

3. New product coupons

Example

Drive awareness of a new product with a new product coupon. This coupon could offer a time-limited discount on your new product. You can also link it with wider marketing campaigns around the new product launch.

Strategy

Use data around existing customers’ product preferences and buying habits to target your new product coupons. To appeal to your most loyal customers you can alter your messaging. You can also ask for reviews and ratings as part of the coupon offer.

Why?

Offering customers a discount on a relevant new product won’t just help you increase initial sales on that product. It will strengthen brand loyalty among your existing customers too.

91% of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with businesses that give them personalized recommendations - Accenture

Positive reviews and feedback can also help you maintain momentum after the initial product launch.

Sale tag on a rack in a clothing store

4. Holiday coupons

Example

Encourage holiday sales with a special, time-limited holiday coupon. Give customers a 10% discount if they enter the code 'HAPPY-123-HOLS' and make a minimum purchase of 50€.

Strategy

Send the coupon inside a special holiday e-card. You can either target your most loyal customers, or send the coupon to all of your existing customers. Alternatively you could make the holiday coupon available to anyone. 

Why?

Sending a custom holiday coupon to your customers will help you promote brand loyalty. You can send it to your highest spending customers, or everyone that has purchased from you before. Either way, it will help you promote customer loyalty and increase sales around various holidays.

67% of consumers say it’s important for brands to adjust content based upon context - Adobe

Customers like to see reactive promotions that change based upon wider context and their own preferences. They’re also more receptive to promotions that are based around holidays and other events. 

5. VIP Coupons

Example

Reward your most valuable loyalty program members with a special VIP coupon for 50€. To maintain exclusivity, you should set a high loyalty point requirement.

Strategy

You’ll need a promotions or loyalty platform that can reward, store and track loyalty points based on purchases. The more compelling the incentive, the more valued your customers will feel. You can also personalize your messaging to make your customers feel even more appreciated.

Why?

Loyalty incentives are one of the most effective ways to influence customer purchasing habits. You can encourage customers to spend in specific ways with rewards that are fully tailored to their individual interests and preferences.

66% of customers will change their spending habits to maximize loyalty rewards. - Bond

It’s important to make your highest-spending customers feel valued for their business. If you offer them the same rewards as lower-level loyalty members, they’re not going to feel any incentive to spend more.

6. Cart abandoned coupons

Example

If a customer abandons the checkout process, trigger a coupon with a 10% discount on one item in cart, valid only in the next 24 hours.

Strategy

Cart abandoned coupons can help you secure a sale if a customer is unsure about a purchase. They also offer a good opportunity to find out if the customer has an issue, or to suggest a different product that you think they might like instead.

Why?

Businesses lose out on a huge portion of sales because of cart abandonment (when a customer leaves an online store without completing a purchase).

The average cart abandonment rate among ecommerce businesses is 69.8%. - Baymard

A simple, well timed coupon incentive could be the difference between an abandoned cart and a sale. In the long run, this could result in significantly increased revenue.

Abandoned shopping cart

7. Apology coupons

If a customer reports a service issue or a problem with their product, compensate them with a coupon that they can use for their next purchase. Customize the coupon amount based upon the severity of their complaint.

Strategy

Enable your customer service team to give out apology coupons via your CRM when they receive complaints. A quick, easy interaction will help you avoid damaging the relationship with the customer further. 

Why?

Negative experiences are one of the most common reasons customers stop shopping with businesses.

67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for leaving a brand. - Signal

The costs associated with customer retention are also much lower than the costs associated with customer acquisition. This makes any investment in apology coupons more than worth it in the long run.

8. Review or rating coupons

Example

Offer customers a 10€ coupon in return for a review and/or rating on recently purchased items from your store.

Strategy

Send a follow-up email to customers one week after their purchase asking them for a positive review. Outline the required steps and clearly communicate the coupon reward so they know what’s in it for them.

Why?

Customer reviews are very important when it comes to building trust around a product. Once consumers trust a product, they’re much more likely to buy it.

A product with at least five reviews has a 270% higher chance of being purchased than a product with no reviews. - Spiegel Research Center

Customers will usually leave reviews on their own if given enough time. But review coupons are useful for getting the initial few you need to build trust around a product.

Customer paying with mobile coupon

Common coupon questions

To increase the effectiveness of your coupons, it’s also helpful to be aware of some of the most common coupon-related questions.

How do I get coupons for free?

Before shopping, the majority of customers will check to see if there are any relevant coupons they can use to get a discount or special offer on their order.

8 out of 10 consumers say they at least occasionally look for relevant coupons before shopping. - Shopper.com

To reach these potential new customers, you should consider creating welcome coupons that can be found quickly and easily via online searches. Make sure you’ve set up the coupons for one use per customer, and create a dedicated, SEO-optimized landing page that will bring customers to your site.

Customers are interested in getting coupons for free, so it’s important to make clear your coupons are available without other obligations. To make your welcome coupons as easy to use as possible, allow first-time customers to use them on any product. If you do, you may find that a monetary value coupon is a better choice than a percentage discount coupon.

How do I get unique coupon codes?

Many consumers also want to know how to get unique coupons. Unlike public coupons codes, which are available to anyone, unique coupon codes are given out to specific individuals.

These specific individuals are usually loyalty program members or high value customers. The best way to attract customers who are looking for unique coupon codes is a loyalty program. They allow you to tailor your coupons and other offers specifically around your customers’ interests and shopping habits.

Well personalized loyalty rewards increase customer satisfaction with the brand by more than 600%. - Bond

Creating your coupon campaigns

You now have a wide selection of coupon campaign ideas that you can use to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.

But, to run a successful coupon campaign, you need the right coupon engine to support you with secure code generation, validation and fraud prevention.

You'll also need to be able to monitor your campaigns closely with tracking and analytics to see how they are converting.

A powerful API-based solution like Talon.One's Promotion Engine can help you create, manage and track these campaigns.

To find out more about our industry-leading solution, feel free to get in touch, or check out our Content Library.

Takeaways

Now that you have some inspiration, here are a few things to keep in mind when implementing your coupon strategy:

  • Use compelling incentives
  • Personalize content and be creative for your audience
  • Choose the best channels (website, email, messages, social, banners, etc.)
  • Include social sharing components
  • Add redemption limits and expiry dates
  • Track and optimize with campaign analytics
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Prevent Coupon & Discount Fraud: Download Your White Paper
Get Your Free White Paper
How to protect your business
How to thrive in uncertain times
Insightful tips for your promotion solution
Download Your Talon.One Loyalty Playbook
Loyalty Playbook Cover
Best Practices for loyalty programs
How to gain a competitive advantage
Your definitive guide to loyal customers