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Promo Code Best Practices

November 6, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Jake Anderson, Independent Technology Author

Particularly handy when it comes to attracting attention, promo codes can be useful whether you’re selling ebooks, pencil sharpeners or toiletries in an online store. With that said, they can also cause some rather significant problems if employed indiscriminately. These promo code best practices will help you avoid the biggest pitfall—offering discounts at the expense of profit.

cart 300x212 Promo Code Best PracticesTarget Usage

Limiting them to a customer fitting a certain set of parameters will reward the shoppers you designate without alienating those who do not qualify. This can be accomplished by revealing the promo code entry window to visitors whose URL parameter has been previously designated to see it. This way, anyone arriving from an affiliate promotion or an influencer campaign will get the promo code applied automatically.

Provide Private Codes

To reward specific customers who performing certain behaviors, send them a code associated with their email address. This will prevent other users from completing transactions with it. Better ecommerce platforms, such as those offered by Shopify support this strategy. You can also designate the codes as single-use to keep them from being shared—or used in ways other than you specify.

Use Them to Drive Specific Actions

If you want customers to sign up for your newsletter, refer other people, or purchase a certain number of items, tie unlocking a coupon code to engaging in those behaviors. As an example, if you are selling eBooks, you can grant a coupon code to customers who queue up three or more book for download at the same time.

Increase Page Views

Creating a page upon which your promo codes are listed, then leading users to it from other sections of your site will up your page view count, while rewarding users for clicking through. Placing a link on a product page intimating a promo code exists for the product is usually enough to get customers to click to find it. This offer could also be the tipping point that makes a customer decide to buy the item.

Want a promo code for this item? Find it now.

Hide the Promo Window

Rather than providing a window into which the code can be input, specify a button user can click to apply the code. This keeps it out of the view of users who don’t have it because they won’t think to look for it. A nondescript button inviting customers to add the coupon will usually do the trick. Make it a benign color to reduce the likelihood of it calling attention to itself. People who know to look for the code will scrutinize the page more heavily to see where they need to place it to get the discount.

Call it Something Else

Building upon the suggestion above, rather than inviting customers to find the promo code—or discount code, refer to it as a voucher, rebate or special offer code. This less blatant language, when accompanied by a nondescript button, will usually only attract the eye of the customer for whom it is intended.

Again, while promo codes definitely offer advantages you can cannibalize sales you would have made without them. Selectively employing promotions and discounts by targeting usage, making them private and rewarding specific actions will defend your profitability—even while attracting new customers and rewarding your best ones.

One more note regarding promo code best practices; it’s always a good idea to try a test run before committing to a full-blown campaign. That way, you can find the rough areas in need of smoothing out before going wide and creating a huge problem for yourself.

About the Author

Awestruck by Star trek as a kid, Jake Anderson has been relentless in his pursuit for covering the big technological innovations which will shape the future. A self-proclaimed gadget freak, he loves getting his hands on every piece of gadget he can afford.

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