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Promo codes
May 24, 2023

Promo code: best practices and channels for distributing promotional codes

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A recent survey conducted by coupon company RetailMeNot shed light on fascinating consumer behavior: 80% of shoppers initially purchased from a brand solely because of an enticing offer or discount. Even more intriguing, two-thirds of consumers admitted to making unplanned purchases solely based on the discovery of a coupon or discount. 

These findings highlight the tremendous potential of promo codes as powerful tools to influence consumer behavior and tip the scales in favor of a purchase. 

This article will explore the types of promo codes and offer tips and best practices. 

Types of promo codes

Promotional codes are a great way to offer incentives to your customers. You can use three main types, depending on your goals.

Public promo codes

These are open to anyone and can be a great way to attract new customers.

Private promo codes

These are distributed to a specific group of people, such as loyalty program members or new customers.

Restricted promo codes

These offers are for private individuals and can be used during special occasions, such as someone's birthday.

These codes will generate revenue and increase traffic if used strategically and attentively.

Types of promo codes

The benefits of promo codes

 The benefits of promo codes for businesses include the following: 

  • Increased customer acquisition: Promo codes attract new customers to your business by offering enticing discounts and special offers, encouraging them to make their initial purchases.
  • Boosted brand awareness: by utilizing promo codes, you can increase brand visibility and awareness as customers share and discuss the discounts and deals they receive with friends and family.
  • Enhanced customer loyalty: Promo codes foster customer loyalty by incentivizing repeat purchases. Customers who receive discounts are more likely to return to your business in the future.
  • Improved conversion rates: the use of promo codes can significantly improve conversion rates by creating a sense of urgency and motivating potential customers to take action and complete their purchases.
  • Effective marketing tool: Promo codes can be integrated into marketing campaigns, effectively amplifying marketing messages and driving customer engagement. They serve as powerful call-to-action triggers, urging customers to act instantly.
  • Competitive advantage: offering exclusive discounts through promo codes sets your business apart from competitors, attracting customers seeking the best deals and incentives.
  • Customer data collection: promo codes can collect valuable customer data, such as email addresses or demographic information, enabling you to understand your target audience better and personalize future marketing efforts.
  • Inventory management: promo codes can be strategically utilized to manage inventory and promote sales for specific products or services that may require a boost in sales or need to be cleared out

Tips for using promo codes like a pro

Like any other marketing or advertising tactic, promo codes must follow specific guidelines to appeal to the right audience correctly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:


There is yet to be a definitive answer to how frequently you should use promo codes. Some companies use them sparingly, while others use them more regularly. It ultimately depends on the company's goals and what they feel will work best for their business. 

However, promo codes should not be used so frequently that people start to expect them and become accustomed to using them. Otherwise, people might begin abandoning their shopping carts on purpose to get a promo code. Therefore, you should balance using codes often enough to drive sales rather than using them as frequently as expected.

Make it subtle

It's important to remember that only some people are aware of promo codes or how they work. Making a promo code too obvious can be off-putting to some customers, as it can make them feel left out. And also limit the number of coupon users to maintain a high average order value.

It's essential to strike a balance with promo code visibility - make it visible enough so that people who know the code can easily find it, but don't make it so obvious that it feels like an announcement. Use subtlety and discretion when placing promo codes on your website or marketing materials.

Set clear targets

You should rely on data and set spending targets to use promo codes effectively. By studying customer behavior, you can learn how much customers will spend and put promo codes accordingly. This ensures customers are incentivized to spend more, increasing the average order value.

Set loyalty programs

While it may seem common sense to focus on acquiring new customers, research shows that retaining existing customers is much more profitable. For example, businesses are 75% more likely to increase profitability by keeping existing customers than by acquiring new ones.

One of the best ways to retain customers is through loyalty programs. Loyalty programs provide incentives for customers to keep coming back, such as promo codes and exclusive offers. By making your loyal customers feel appreciated and valued, you'll keep them returning for more. 

Make it fun

Did you know promo codes don't have to be boring? On the contrary, they can be a lot of fun! Here are some ways to make promo codes more exciting for your customers:


Use promo codes as part of a game or contest. For example, you could hide promo codes around your store or website and let customers find them. Or, you could have a scavenger hunt where customers have to collect promo codes from different places.


Use promo codes as part of a competition. For example, you could have a contest to see who can collect the most promo codes or spend the most money using promo codes.

Promo codes best practices

Making promo codes fun is a great way to excite your customers about using them. But how to make clients aware of these codes? What’s the best distribution channel to use?

Promo codes distribution channels

Besides traditional techniques like in-store announcements or magazines, you can use digital channels to send promo codes at scale. As we mentioned somewhere else, these codes are essential to promotional messages. Email, SMS, and WhatsApp are the top three best channels to send promotional messages containing coupons.

According to our analysis, WhatsApp is the perfect channel because it allows you to target the people you wish to send a code specifically. It's also 100% guaranteed that the message will be opened, with high click-through rates.

Suppose you are a small business owner using the WhatsApp business app. In that case, you can easily leverage the group feature to send customized codes for a specific audience.

Otherwise, if you are a large or medium business owner, you will need WhatsApp Business Platform, as the group limit on the app will not meet your needs.

Once you set up a WhatsApp API account, you can reach out to your customers more efficiently. You will have the advantage of tracking your promotional messages' performance and the codes' utility.

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