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Promo code: best practices and channels for distributing promotional codes

Updated: Mar 7

A promo code is a code a business offer customers to receive a discount or other special offers when purchasing. Promo codes are typically offered during special sales or promotions and can be used to save money on various items, including food, clothing, and travel. Hence offering great incentives for customers that cannot be ignored, especially during holiday seasons and special occasions.

Businesses often release promo codes to generate buzz and attract new customers. They can be found online, in newspapers and magazines, or through email and social media.

Types of promo codes

They are a great way to offer discounts and incentives to your customers. There are several different types that you can use, 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

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.

The benefits of promo codes

They are part and partial of the customer journey. They help build customer loyalty, boost brand awareness, and drive sales.

Business owners can use promo codes to attract new customers, encourage them to take action, and probably return after the first purchase. Offering discounts on products or services, free shipping, or other special offers will incite customers to take a leap of faith and buy.

Codes allow businesses to stand out from the competition and improve conversion rates.

Additionally, promotional codes are sometimes referred to as part of marketing campaigns. Indeed, they boost marketing messages and give people more drive to act instantly.

One example of using codes for marketing efforts is cart abandonment messages. Cart abandonment notifications seek to reengage customers and convince them to finish the buying journey. One reason for abandoning the cart could be financial overload. Hence, providing promo codes with an expiry date will urge the customer to return to your website and buy before it's too late!

They also add a sense of personalization to your customer service efforts. People like feeling special, and sending them special codes ensures they are not just a digit on a company's growth report.

Here’s how to rest assured you are using them effectively and the right way. After all, you don’t want to miss out on those tremendous benefits!

Tips for using promo codes like a pro

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


There is yet to be a definitive answer to how frequently businesses should use promo codes. Some companies might use them sparingly, while others might 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, businesses 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 are aware of 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

To use promo codes effectively, businesses should use data and set spending targets. By studying customer behavior, companies can learn how much customers are willing to spend and put promo codes accordingly. This ensures that customers are incentivized to spend more, increasing the average order value.

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 coming back 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.


Offer rewards for using promo codes. For example, you could give a discount on future purchases.


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.

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

Promo codes distribution channels

Apart from 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 mass promotional messages containing coupons.

According to us, WhatsApp is the perfect channel because it allows you to specifically target the people you wish to send a code to. 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.

Contact Businesschat now and let us help you set up a WhatsApp account to start reaching 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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