Coupon Redemption Tactics

It’s not just the savings

A common mistake marketers can make is thinking that a coupon’s value to the consumer is only in the savings. For example, a coupon didn’t work because we didn’t give a big enough discount. But when assessing the value of a coupon, most consumers subconsciously go through a mental checklist that is much more complex than a simple measure of how much they’ll save. And it’s the result of this checklist that drives a consumer’s decision to redeem the coupon or forget it.

It’s all the delivery

One of the biggest reasons consumers end up not using coupons is that they can’t find any for the products they want. Conversely, one of the most compelling features of a coupon is the ability to redeem it instantly or at least on the next purchase. As they say, it’s all in the delivery, and this is especially true when it comes to coupons.

Make the coupon find the visitor

You have only 5 seconds to capture the attention of your website visitors, so why would you force them to hunt around for coupons? Instead, it’s coupons that should “find” the visitor by being available in the right place, at the right time. And even if your site does engage a visitor long enough for some items to end up in the shopping cart, there’s a 75% chance that visitor will never check out.

Offer incentives that are relevant to the visitor’s interests

No matter how good you think a deal is, a coupon’s value is ultimately determined by the consumer. To create a coupon that is relevant and compelling, use what you can learn about your visitors as they navigate and browse through your site.

Customize coupons to make visitors feel they’re getting an exclusive deal

Each visitor on your site is there for a reason. Remember that they may have picked your site over your competition. So make them feel special by recognizing who they are and giving them incentives tailored just for them. One way to do this is by creating customized coupons for each type of visitor entering your site. Using site statistics, you can target visitors based on past visits, referrers, and even geolocation.

Make coupons persistent, relevant and actionable

If a visitor dismisses a coupon, it is often because he or she does not see its immediate value. But as visitors continue to navigate your site and browse its content, their appreciation of what you’re offering increases, and this translates into a significant increase in the likelihood of a conversion. There are several ways you can take advantage of this gradual change.

Prevent coupon fatigue

Coupons should be a pleasant surprise offered to the right people at the right time. We find that offering the same coupon for more than a month results in diminishing returns. That’s because people are much more likely to ignore the message when they know what to expect. Some ways to prevent coupon fatigue are by varying appearance and messaging.

Create a sense of urgency

There’s a reason coupons expire. According to Robert Cialdini’s principle of scarcity (the sixth in his Six Principles of Influence), we like things more when there are less of them to go around or they’re available only for a short time. Take advantage of this social behavior by creating coupons that clearly let your visitors know a deal isn’t going to last forever.

Ask for something in return

According to another of Cialdini’s Principles of Influence, the principle of reciprocity, humans naturally want to return favors and treat others as they themselves have been treated. This is a powerful bit of knowledge to have if you’re wondering whether it’s okay to ask your visitors for information about themselves in return for a discount or promotion. So, yes, require visitors to provide at least an email address before they can get that valuable coupon code.

Use email to make sure your new leads convert

The bad news is that more than half of visitors will leave your site before they make a purchase, even if they’ve received a coupon. The good news is that, if you turn that unused coupon user into a lead (by getting that all-important email address), you can use email to recover the lost sale.

Recovery emails (also known as remarketing emails) are a highly successful way of recovering lost purchases. Nearly half of all recovery emails are opened (44% open rate) and more than 10% of them are clicked (11.6% click-through rate). Of those clicked, almost a third (29.9 %) lead to a recovered purchase back at the site.

To make the most of recovery emails, connect your coupons to your email marketing service so that a series of follow-up/recovery emails is triggered every time a visitor receives a coupon.

Want to learn more? Read about consumer promotionstraditional couponsin-store coupons or digital coupons.

Or, check out the following blogs focusing on consumer promotions:

Digital Coupon Redemption Rates

Consumer Promotions Tactics & Techniques

Online Coupons

Coupon Redemption Tactics

Mail-In Rebates


RAVEN5 is a contest marketing agency, that works with clients in developing and administering consumer programs in Canada and the United States. RAVEN5 works with clients to develop strategies and tactics with a focus on both traditional, digital and online coupons as well as redemption solutions that work for both B2B and B2C consumers. RAVEN5 Ltd. are leaders in Consumer Promotions that produce results.