Does coupon marketing strategy help drive more sales?

Navneet Yadav
Urban Tech
Published in
5 min readMar 17, 2020


Do you know you have only 10 seconds to grab customer attention before the customer leaves your online store without buying anything? The customer ends up in annoyance when he wants to buy a product but couldn’t find a coupon code to get that product at a reduced price. He is delighted with his purchase if he gets the product that he wishes to buy at a discounted price so catching a customer attraction at this point is really important. Let the customer find the coupon codes at the right place and at the right time.

Why do customers leave the store?

  1. Feels the product was over-priced.
  2. Was just checking the store and did not want to actually buy anything.
  3. Found the same product at a lesser price at some other store.
  4. Expensive shipping charges.
  5. Concerns about online payment security
  6. Delivery options were unsuitable
  7. The checkout process is too long where he is required to fill so many personal details.
  8. Didn’t find relevant code to apply and get the product at a lesser price

There could be multiple reasons why a customer leaves the store without buying but one thing is sure, if he gets a chance to get the product at a reduced price, he will buy it without a single doubt.

To recover this lost sales, Coupon based marketing comes into play.

Coupon Codes, also known as promo codes, voucher codes, discount codes or offer codes, are a popular form of sales incentive offered by online retailers. Discounts can be a percentage based or of some amount. It can also provide customers with Free Shipping, Freebies or other benefits. This is a very common marketing strategy to give customers another reason to buy a product. This is used as a tool to try and boost conversion.

There are multiple types of coupon codes referring to eligibility, visibility etc.

  1. Public Codes: These are coupon codes visible to all customers and are widely promoted across the online store on their Homepage. Any customer who visits their store can use it and end his purchase.
  2. Private Codes: These codes are created for a specific set of customers. Codes are shared with loyalty customers, for new visitors coming to a store to acquire them etc. Visibility of these codes is set to the selected audience.
  3. Restricted Codes: These codes are restricted on certain eligibility criteria i.e., a code gives 20% off to customer on certain cart value. These codes are usually promoted over a thank you mail once a customer completes his purchase, on his birthday etc.

You can promote all three codes to your store, so the customer will have multiple reasons to buy it again and again from your store.

Do Coupon Codes actually help an online store to increase conversion?

Some retailers feel this is a great way to boost sales while others feel by this way, they end up losing a good margin on the product. Also, some retailers feel by this way, they are creating an image in their customer mind to never buy the product at its retail price.”

When a store issues a coupon code, it is giving a customer an incentive to buy. It is helpful for both new and returning customers.

Are coupon codes eating your margins?

To ensure coupon codes don’t end up eating your margins, you can always use some tactics that can help you bring a new purchase to your store and also bring revenue.

  1. Promotion Strategy

To avoid the overuse of coupon codes, you can always follow this rule to reduce the visibility to the selected audience. Never make it visible to all.

For example, Show a coupon code to users who are coming from an affiliate link and that can be identified using a UTM parameter placed after the link of the store. Open the discount code box for all such users so complete their purchase.

2. Private codes that can’t be shared

Sending coupon codes to a specific set of customers and ensure these codes are not shared or used by anyone else. You can do this by putting a condition to the coupon code that it can be used only by selected users (identified by their customer ID). This is a great way to boost sales from loyal customers that always explore your store before making their purchase.

3. Build an email list by promoting Coupon codes

Try building your database for future marketing campaigns by promoting coupon codes.

Like, Add an Email Subscriber Pop-up on your store that says “Are you interested in receiving Coupon Codes in your Inbox?”. This way you will get a good set of audiences that are really interested in buying your products at a reduced price and you can share coupon codes with them as a reward.

4. Keep it hidden somewhere in the store (Less visibility)

Let customers explore your store, make it harder for them to get a coupon code to ensure its usage is limited. Keep it under a minimize tab or add usage restrictions under the code like on fixed cart value or can be used within a specific time frame.


Keeping all the above tips in mind, there is no doubt that the use of Coupon Codes can help increase your conversion rate, turn your website visitors into customers and can generate a significant increase in the drop off rate in your website carts. Offer the right coupon on the right page and to the right audience can make your visitors feel special, create a sense of urgency, help you collect email address database and follow up with your customers from time to time. Always remember “Customers are the King of your store.”