As an ecommerce marketer, you know an incredible variety of ecommerce marketing tools are at your disposal to help you drive sales within your target audience. But you still need to manage your time and determine your best options. One of the most powerful tools for ecommerce marketing is coupon codes.

Coupon codes are a great way to encourage customers to shop with your brand. They can help you attract new customers, increase sales, and boost customer loyalty—and can usually be directly integrated into your ecommerce platform.

There are many different types of coupon codes that you can use, and the best kind of code for your business will depend on your specific goals. Below, we discuss some of the most popular coupon code types and provide some ideas for how to use coupons to grow your business.

Types of coupon codes, discount codes, and promo codes

Coupon codes, discount codes, and promo codes all refer to basically the same thing: a code a customer gets to get something. There are many different types of coupon codes that you can use, but some of the most popular include:

  • Percentage off: This is the most common coupon code, and it offers a percentage discount on the purchase price of an item. For example, a coupon code for 20% off would give the customer a 20% discount on their purchase.

  • Dollars off: This type of coupon code offers a flat dollar amount off the purchase price of an item. For example, a coupon code for $10 off would give the customer a $10 discount on their purchase.

  • Free shipping offers: This coupon code offers free shipping on the purchase of an item. Free shipping can be a great way to encourage customers to commit, as many are used to getting free shipping and don't like to pay for it.

  • Buy one, get one free: This coupon code offers a free item when the customer purchases another item. BOGO can be a great way to increase sales of your most popular items.

  • Free gift: You can provide a free gift (such as a small item that you have in stock) with every purchase. This could encourage repeat customers, as they may find that they really like the new product that you gave them.

All these coupon code types essentially make making a purchase seem more attractive. And it engages FOMO (fear of missing out) because the coupon code could go away at any time.

7 coupon code ideas for your ecommerce brand

There are a lot of coupon code types, but you still need to distribute them as a part of your broader market strategy. That’s where these coupon code ideas come in.

1. Offer coupon codes to new customers

Attract new customers to your store with a first purchase code. You can offer coupon codes through your website, email marketing, or social media to first-time customers. For example, you could offer a 20% off coupon code to new customers who sign up for your email list or your ecommerce podcast.

2. Offer coupon codes to existing customers

Encourage your existing customers to shop with you again (and improve customer lifetime value) by offering a coupon code on their next purchase. For example, you could offer a $10 off coupon code to existing customers for a limited time. You can also bake this into your loyalty program; customers can get coupon codes after a certain number of purchases.

3. Offer coupon codes during special events

Boost sales during holidays, seasonal events, or other special occasions. Consider offering a coupon code on Black Friday, for a limited time, or during a flash sale. Cyber Monday is also a popular event for online businesses. Limited-time coupons create a sense of urgency and encourage commitment.

4. Partner with other businesses to offer joint coupon codes

Reach a new audience and boost sales. You can partner with businesses that sell complementary products or services. For example, you could partner with a local coffee shop to offer a coupon code for a free coffee by purchasing a new pair of shoes.

5. Use coupon codes to promote specific products

Increase sales of your most popular items, a new product, or even products you're just trying to get rid of. For example, you could offer a 10% off coupon code on your newest product launch—or you could offer a 10% off coupon code for your clearance products for a limited time.

6. Send an abandoned cart code to those who didn't commit

An abandoned cart code is sent to anyone who started to make a purchase but abandoned it in the shopping cart. Most frequently, this is because of shipping costs, so consider sending a coupon code for free shipping.

7. Send out a referral code for your loyal customers

Let your loyal customers get a discount for getting other people to sign up. Offer discounts to encourage influencers to post your business on social media. If you can attribute these purchases properly, you can even reward them based on tiers and conversion rates.

How to send coupon codes to your customers

Once you create your coupon codes, how do you actually distribute them? There are multiple channels you can use to send coupon codes to your customers. Most retailers will use multiple channels at once for every campaign.

  • Email: Email is a great way to reach a large number of interested customers at once. Only loyal customers and disinterested prospects will sign up for an email list, boosting engagement. Send coupon codes en masse through email newsletters or directly to customers based on triggers (like abandoned carts).

  • Text messages: Text messages live on a customer’s device, as long as you can get them to opt-in to your text messaging. Send coupon codes through SMS marketing campaigns or, like with email, trigger them based on activity (like visiting your site). 

  • Social media: Social media reaches a large number of people quickly, including those who aren't aware of your store yet. You can post coupon codes on your social media pages, or you can run social media contests and giveaways that require customers to use a coupon code to enter.

  • Website: You can also display coupon codes on your online store or blog, alongside the rest of your content marketing strategy. Remind customers about your coupon codes through a banner and post blog posts to introduce your coupon events.

Start sending your coupon codes today

Coupon codes are a powerful tool to help you grow your ecommerce business. Using the tips in this blog post, you can use coupon codes to attract new customers, increase sales, and boost customer loyalty.

Here are some additional tips for using coupon codes:

  • Make sure your coupon codes are easy to find and use.

  • Include a call-to-action, such as a direct link to your ecommerce store.

  • Offer a variety of coupon codes to appeal to different types of customers.

  • Track the results of your coupon codes to see what's working and what's not.

  • Use coupon codes with other marketing strategies to get the most out of them.

 Of course, none of that works without having a tool for attribution and tracking. Emotive Attribution is a single dashboard for all your advertising channels, so you know exactly how your marketing performs. Sign up for Emotive Attribution today.