coupon code strategy

Beginner’s Guide to Coupon Marketing Strategy

Consumers today try to spend their money wisely. When they are going to buy something, they evaluate all the alternatives and try to choose the best option. Of all the reasons customers consider when purchasing something, saving money is at the top of the list. This is why many of them use coupons and discount codes to keep more of their money. According to research, 96% of millennials say they search the internet for coupons before making a purchase. Coupons affect the buying decision of almost every consumer.

Coupon marketing is one of the oldest and most effective marketing strategies – I’m sure many of you remember the days when your parents used to clip coupons from newspapers and magazines. One of the earliest examples of coupon marketing is Coca-Cola’s campaign back in 1888, where they issued tickets for a free glass of their beverage. Decades later, coupon marketing has stood the test of time and even evolved with digital marketing.

In this article, we delve into the fundamentals of coupon marketing, exploring its benefits, and best practices for success.

What is Coupon Marketing?

Coupon marketing is a promotional strategy to attract customers, stimulate sales, and enhance brand loyalty by distributing coupons offering discounts, special offers, or incentives. Coupons are typically distributed through various marketing channels such as email, social media, mobile apps, print media, and in-store promotions. The goal of coupon marketing is to encourage customers to make purchases by providing them with tangible value in the form of savings or other benefits.

Coupons can be physical (traditional paper coupons) or digital and both are widely used by different type of businesses to attract more sales opportunities. Although physical coupons were used more in the past, today digital coupons are gaining momentum, due to reasons such as the widespread use of technology, shopping shifting to online and the distribution of digital coupons being much cheaper and easier. (And in this article, we will mainly focus on digital coupon marketing).

You can offer different types of coupons to your customers, such as welcome coupons percentage discounts, abandoned cart coupons, free shipping coupons, gift cards with purchases, limited time offers, happy hour promotions, birthday & anniversary coupons, feedback coupons, influencer discounts etc.

Benefits of Coupon Marketing

Coupon marketing offers numerous benefits for businesses that implement a well-planned strategy. Here’s a summary of the key benefits:

  1. Attract new customers: With coupons, you can not only satisfy your existing customers but also gain new ones. Coupons are an effective way to attract new customers who can be enticed by the possibility of savings or a special deal. They serve as incentives for potential customers to try out a product at a discounted rate. According to new survey results, approximately 80% of those surveyed said a coupon would influence them to purchase a brand they typically would not buy. This means that if you use coupons correctly, it is very easy to reach new customers.
  2. Increase sales: Coupons can stimulate immediate purchases as consumers are motivated to take advantage of discounts or special offers, leading to an increase in sales revenue. Coupons can be used for boost in sales in different ways:
  3. Coupons often have expiration dates or limited availability, creating a sense of urgency. This urgency can lead consumers to make quicker purchasing decisions.
  4. You can encourage customers to spend more by offering discounts for higher-value items or bundling products together at a reduced price. This way, you can increase the average order value and overall sales revenue.
  5. By offering discounts or deals, you can motivate consumers who may have been hesitant to buy at full price.

Based on a survey, 67% of shoppers say that they decided to buy something solely because they found a coupon or a discount even if they were not originally planning to make a purchase.

  • Collect data: Coupons can be used to collect valuable customer data, such as email addresses and purchasing preferences, which can be used for future marketing efforts. Using this information, you can personalize marketing campaigns and tailor offers to specific customer segments. According to this research, 63% of millennial consumers and 58% of generation X consumers are willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalized offers, discounts, experiences, and product recommendations.
  • Customer Retention: Coupons can increase customer loyalty by rewarding repeat purchases and encouraging customers to continue doing business with you. By offering special discounts and promotions for your existing customers, you can encourage them to stay engaged and loyal with your brand.

How to Develop a Successful Coupon Marketing Strategy?

Now that you know the benefits of coupon marketing, here is a 5-step guide to help you make the coupon marketing strategy to drive the best results:

  1. Understand Your Audience: The foundation of any successful marketing strategy, including coupon marketing, is a deep understanding of your target audience. You should conduct thorough research to identify your target demographics, preferences, and purchasing behaviors. Understanding who your customers are and what motivates them will help you tailor your coupon offers and messaging to resonate with them effectively, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion eventually.
  2. Create Compelling Offers: The success of your coupon campaign depends on how attractive your offers are. You need to develop compelling discounts, deals, or promotions that provide real value to your customers. Whether it’s a percentage discount, a Buy One, Get One (BOGO) offer, free shipping, or exclusive gifts with purchase, ensure that your offer stands out and motivates customers to take action.
  3. Choose the Right Distribution Channels: It is very important to choose the most appropriate distribution channels to reach your target audience effectively. You should consider where your audience spends their time online and offline and choose the channels that best suit their preferences and habits. This might include email marketing, social media platforms, coupon websites, direct mail, in-store promotions, or partnerships with other businesses. Choosing the right channels will ensure that your coupons are seen by the right people at the right time. (And please note that according to a survey, 93% of coupon users are very likely to use coupons or discounts they receive via email.)
  4. Promote Your Coupons Widely: Once you’ve developed compelling offers and chosen your distribution channels, it’s time to promote your coupons widely. It would be a good idea to take advantage of various marketing channels to increase the visibility and awareness of your offers. This could include social media promotion, email newsletters, website banners, paid advertising, and partnerships with influencers.
  5. Track, Measure and Optimize: The last step is to track and measure the performance of the campaign. You should monitor the performance of your coupon campaign to understand whether your campaigns are working fine, or which campaigns are more successful than others. Analyzing these results allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign and make data-driven decisions for future optimizations.


Even though coupons are one of the oldest marketing methods, that doesn’t mean they’re outdated – they’re still frequently used by both brands and customers. They have a wide range of use – you can use different coupon types at different touchpoints in the customer journey. In the digitalizing world, delivering coupons to customers has become much easier. In fact, customers expect coupons from brands. When used with the right strategy, coupon marketing will benefit all businesses.

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