Coupon marketing 101: How to build coupon marketing into your customer journey orchestration

Neeraj Manivannan

Sep 15, 2023

Many of us remember our parents cutting coupons out of magazines, or the local newspaper. Decades later, it’s clear coupon marketing has stood the test of time. Discount codes, special offers, and exclusive deals still have the power to attract, engage, and convert customers. 

But these days, you can put down the scissors. Coupons are accessible on every device.  From gamification to personalized emails, it’s up to you to ensure your customers engage with them.

In this article, we will cover exactly what we mean by coupon marketing, its benefits, and help you understand how to leverage it across your customer life cycle. 

Table of Contents
  1. What is coupon marketing?

  2. Why you need to incorporate coupon marketing into your omnichannel customer journey

  3. 7 coupon marketing strategies for across the customer lifecycle

  4. Introducing Architect: Insider’s omnichannel customer journey tool to automate your coupon marketing strategy

  5. Coupon marketing FAQs

What is coupon marketing?

Coupon marketing is a strategic approach that leverages the appeal of discounts and promotions to influence customer behavior. 

It’s a time-tested method that businesses use to:

  • Attract new customers: Coupons pique the interest of potential customers who might be hesitant to try your products or services at full price. The appeal of a deal encourages them to take that first step.
  • Encourage repeat purchases: Coupons aren’t just for acquiring new customers,  they also play a vital role in retaining existing ones. By offering special deals to loyal customers, you can foster brand loyalty and encourage repeat business.
  • Boost conversions: A well-timed coupon can be the nudge that turns a hesitant browser into a paying customer. The perception of added value can significantly increase conversion rates.
  • Track and analyze: Coupon campaigns offer valuable insights into customer preferences, allowing you to fine-tune your marketing strategies.

When consumers have countless options and ads on every platform, coupon marketing captures attention and creates a sense of urgency. 

Why you need to incorporate coupon marketing into your omnichannel customer journey

Integrating coupon marketing into your omnichannel customer journey is a strategic move with many tangible benefits for marketers. According to a recent study, 86% of millennials said a coupon discount could persuade them to switch brands

Adding coupon campaigns to your Insider omnichannel customer journeys allows you to leverage the power of incentives and personalization, providing customers with tailored offers across various touchpoints, which can increase engagement and conversions. By seamlessly integrating coupon marketing into your omnichannel strategy, you can enhance customer loyalty, boost sales, and create a cohesive brand experience, ultimately driving long-term success for your business.

7 coupon marketing strategies for across the customer lifecycle

Unsure how to use coupon marketing to benefit your business? We’ve pulled together seven examples to inspire your next campaign:

1. Offer discounts to first-time website visitors

As the saying goes, you only have seven seconds to make a first impression…and nothing says a warm welcome like 10% off.

Two ways to incorporate a new-user discount are: 

  1. Create an immediate pop-up or banner for new visitors.
  2. Create coupons as exit-intent pop-ups, strategically timed to appear just as the customer is about to leave your platform. 

Whenever you decide to display the offer, encouraging visitors to stay a bit longer and explore the discount is a great way to enhance the chances of converting them into customers.

Welcome new website visitors with a welcome coupon code

2. Nudge customers towards their next purchase with follow-up coupon codes

Enticing your first-time visitors by offering a discount coupon often results in success. The biggest challenge is retaining their custom.

Offer a discount coupon post-checkout to draw customers back to your platform for a second purchase. At this point, your customers are no longer anonymous and are unlikely to make another purchase so soon after their first one, so you need to nurture them and build coupon marketing into your omnichannel customer journey. 

Use customer data on behaviors, preferences, and purchase history to reach customers of their favorite channels with relevant discount codes that they’ll actually use. 

Create follow-up discount codes to encourage customers to make a second purchase

3. Create channel-specific coupon codes to build customer loyalty

The best way to build brand advocates is to reach them on as many channels as possible. When a customer goes out of their way to download your Mobile App, you need to lock in that loyalty. 

Encourage app downloads with exclusive coupon codes. By tailoring discounts or incentives specifically for your app users, you encourage downloads and create a compelling reason for customers to return and make purchases within the app. 

This approach allows you to harness the unique capabilities of mobile apps to deliver a personalized and effective coupon marketing experience straight to your customer’s favorite device.

Create exclusive app-only coupon codes to encourage mobile app downloads

4. Trigger in-app coupon codes to nurture buying interest

Using in-app coupon codes as trigger points is a great way to nurture buying interest among your mobile app users. iI fact, 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if they receive a personalized offer through an app. 

By strategically timing and delivering these discounts or promotions within the app, you can capture the attention of potential buyers, guiding them closer to conversion. No business wants their app to sit forgotten in the depths of your customer’s phone. In-app coupon triggers serve as an effective conversion tool and enhance the overall user experience, making your app a valuable resource for customers looking for tailored deals.

Trigger in-app messages at the right time with attractive discounts to increase conversions

5. Send Web Push coupon codes to retrieve browse abandoners

Cart and browse abandonment is a major challenge faced by eCommerce marketers. Adding items to the cart suggests an interest in purchase, so now you need to get them back. 

Send enticing Web Push notifications containing personalized, timely coupon codes to those who abandoned their browsing session to reignite interest and prompt them to complete their purchase. This approach reduces cart abandonment rates and boosts conversion rates and customer retention.

Use coupon marketing in your Web Push notifications to reduce browse abandonment

6. Reactivate dormant customers with an email coupon marketing strategy

Many businesses often overlook the potential of re-engaging customers who have drifted away. By implementing a well-structured, personalized email campaign strategy that includes coupon offers, you can encourage new visits and reactivate interest in your products and services.

Customers often expect coupon codes via email and are more likely to open a brand email offering a discount—so make sure to put it in the subject line. Additionally, regular communication via email can help keep your brand top-of-mind, ensuring that dormant customers return and continue to engage with your offerings. 

Integrating email coupon marketing into your strategy can lead to increased revenue and sustained customer relationships on one of the most popular marketing channels.

Create a personalized email coupon marketing strategy to re-engage dormant customers

7. Leverage SMS coupon marketing to draw your customers to your website

Harnessing the potential of SMS coupon marketing is a dynamic strategy to drive customers to your online platform. With the widespread use of mobile phones, SMS messages have the highest open rate of any channel at 98%. 

By sending personalized SMS messages featuring enticing coupon codes or creating QR codes to share featuring exclusive promotions, you can capture your customers’ attention instantly and entice them to visit your online platform. 

The strategy increases online traffic, generates immediate engagement, and can increase conversions, contributing significantly to your marketing objectives. SMS coupon marketing is one of the most direct and efficient ways to connect with your audience.

Use SMS coupon codes to drive traffic to your website and increase customer advocacy

Introducing Architect: Insider’s omnichannel customer journey tool to automate your coupon marketing strategy

Architect is Insider’s omnichannel customer journey orchestration tool, built by marketers, for marketers. It empowers businesses to create highly personalized and effective omnichannel experiences across 12+ channels and hundreds of APIs.

With Architect, users can seamlessly integrate coupon marketing and other engagement strategies into their omnichannel customer journeys in one flexible, intuitive platform. We’ve made it as easy as possible for marketers to launch campaigns in the quickest time to value, so you can design, automate, and optimize customer interactions across multiple touchpoints, including email, Mobile App, Web, SMS, and more. 

Powered by 360-degree, unified customer data, you can use Insider to build personalized, segmented campaigns and coupon codes your customers will engage with. 

Architect in action: How Coca-Cola increased conversions by 19% with coupon codes

Struggling with low website conversion rates, Coca-Cola turned to Insider’s coupon strategy to drive engagement. By offering product-saving coupons to new and returning users, the team saw an impressive 19% increase in conversion rates within just three months.

Read Coca-Cola’s full story

Coca-Cola uses Insider’s omnichannel customer journey builder, Architect, to increase conversions by 19%

Coupon marketing FAQs

What is a digital coupon?

A digital coupon is a digital or electronic form of a traditional paper coupon that provides discounts or incentives when shopping online or in-store. It can be in the form of a code, QR code, or a digital image.

How to use coupons?

To use coupons, you typically need to present them during the checkout process when making a purchase. For digital coupons, you might enter a code online or show a barcode on your mobile device in a physical store.

What is coupon marketing strategy?

Coupon marketing strategy involves offering discounts, promotions, or incentives to attract customers, encourage repeat purchases, or drive specific behaviors such as signing up for newsletters or referring friends.

Are coupons an effective marketing strategy?

Coupons can be an effective marketing strategy when used strategically. They can attract price-sensitive customers, boost sales, and create brand loyalty. However, their effectiveness depends on how well the coupons are integrated into the overall marketing plan.

Is coupon a direct marketing?

Yes, coupons can be considered a form of direct marketing because they are a targeted promotional tool used to reach specific customers and drive them to take action, such as making a purchase or visiting a store.

How do I begin couponing?

To begin couponing, start by collecting coupons from newspapers, online coupon websites, and mobile apps. Familiarize yourself with store policies and coupon stacking rules. Organize your coupons, plan your shopping trips, and look for sales or promotions to maximize your savings. Gradually build your couponing skills and knowledge to become a savvy couponer.

Neeraj is an inquisitive person with an interest in Marketing, new-age technologies, and analytics. Having started his professional journey in the Martech industry, he hopes to build a long career in the SaaS space. Beyond work, he's a sports fanatic who manages his own football YouTube channel and writes about other sports like cricket and F1 during his free time.