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Everything You Need To Know About Coupon Codes: How To Use, Create & Increase Sales


If you want to save money on your online purchases or increase sales for your eCommerce business, this article is for you! 

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about coupon codes, including how to use them, create them, and boost sales. As you read on, you’ll discover helpful tips, best practices, and strategies for leveraging coupon codes effectively. 

Whether you’re a shopper or a business owner, understanding the power of coupon codes is essential. So, let’s dive into the world of coupon codes together and learn how to maximize their benefits.

What are coupon codes?

Coupon codes, also known as promo codes, discount codes, or voucher codes, are a series of letters, numbers, symbols, or custom-generated QR codes that customers can enter during online checkout to receive a discount on their purchase. 

Coupon codes can provide various discounts, such as a percentage off the total price, a fixed amount off, free shipping, or other special offers. They are commonly used by eCommerce businesses to incentivize customers to make a purchase and track the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. 

Coupon codes are also popular among online shoppers looking to save money and get the best deals.

Importance of coupon codes in increasing sales

Coupon codes play a crucial role in increasing sales for eCommerce businesses. About 37% of consumers regularly or always look for coupons before making an online purchase. Here are some of the ways coupon codes can help businesses boost their sales:

  • Attract new customers: Coupon codes are a great way to attract new customers to your business. You can encourage first-time shoppers to purchase and try out your products or services by offering a discount.
  • Encourage repeat business: Coupon codes can incentivize customers to make repeat purchases. By offering exclusive discounts to existing customers, you can encourage them to return and shop with you again.
  • Increase order size: Coupon codes can motivate customers to spend more by offering discounts on larger orders. For example, offering a 10% discount on orders over $100 can encourage customers to add more items to their cart and increase their total purchases.
  • Track marketing efforts: Coupon codes can track the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By assigning unique codes to different marketing channels, such as social media or email campaigns, you can see which channels generate the most sales and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

How to apply coupon codes during checkout?

How to apply apply coupon codes

When shopping online, applying a coupon code during checkout can help you save money on your purchase. Here are some step-by-step tips on how to apply a coupon code during checkout:

  1. Add items to your cart: Browse the online store and add the items you want to purchase to your cart.
  2. Proceed to checkout: Once you’ve added all your items, click the shopping cart icon to review your order. Then, click on the “checkout” button to proceed to the checkout page.
  3. Find the promo code box: On the checkout page, you’ll see a summary of your order, including the total price. Look for a box labeled “promo code,” “discount code,” or “voucher code.”
  4. Enter the coupon code: Type or paste the coupon code into the box. Make sure the code is entered correctly and doesn’t contain any typos.
  5. Apply the coupon code: After entering the coupon code, click on the “apply” or “submit” button to apply the discount to your order.
  6. Check the total price: Once the coupon code has been applied, check the total price to ensure the discount has been deducted. If the coupon code doesn’t work or the discount isn’t applied correctly, try a different code or contact customer service for assistance.

PRO TIP: Remember always to read the terms and conditions of each coupon code and check the expiration date before using it.

How to stack coupon codes for maximum savings?


Stacking coupon codes can help you save even more money on your online purchases. Here’s how to stack coupon codes for maximum savings:

  • Check the store’s coupon policy: Before attempting to stack coupon codes, check the coupon policy to see if stacking is allowed. Some stores may only allow you to use one coupon code per order.
  • Look for compatible coupon codes: Find compatible coupon codes. For example, you could use a store coupon code for a percentage off your order and a manufacturer coupon code for a discount on a specific product.
  • Apply the coupon codes in the correct order: If the store allows stacking, apply the coupon codes in the correct order. For example, apply the store coupon code first, then the manufacturer coupon code.
  • Combine coupon codes with cashback offers: To maximize your savings, combine coupon codes with cashback offers. Look for cashback offers from websites that offer cashback on purchases made through their website.
  • Check for exclusions: Some coupon codes, such as specific products or brands, may have exclusions. Read the terms and conditions of each coupon code before using it.
  • Compare prices: Before purchasing, compare prices from different retailers to ensure you get the best deal possible. Don’t just rely on coupon codes to save money, as sometimes other retailers may offer lower prices even without coupon codes.

Different types of coupon codes and their benefits

Coupon codes are available in various types, each with its benefits. We’ll discuss the different types of coupon codes and their advantages:

Percentage-based discounts

Percentage-based discounts

Percentage-based discounts offer a specific percentage off the total purchase price. For example, a 20% discount on a $100 purchase would save the customer $20. These coupon codes are popular because they allow shoppers to save significant money on their purchases.

Free shipping

Free shipping coupon codes offer customers free shipping on their purchases. Shipping costs often deter customers, so free shipping can be a strong incentive to purchase.



Buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) coupon codes allow customers to receive a free product when they purchase a specific item. BOGO deals are popular because they give customers an extra product without additional cost.

Clearance discounts

Clearance discounts offer customers discounts on clearance items. This is an excellent way for businesses to move excess inventory and for customers to get products at a lower price.

Loyalty discounts

Loyalty discounts

Loyalty discounts reward customers for their loyalty to a particular brand or store. These discounts are often offered to customers who have signed up for a loyalty program or made several purchases.

Referral discounts

Referral discounts reward customers for referring new customers to a business. These discounts are often offered to customers who share a referral link with their friends and family.

Abandoned cart coupons

Abandoned cart coupons are sent to customers who have added items to their online shopping cart but haven’t completed the purchase. These coupon codes encourage customers to return to the website and complete their purchase by offering discounts or other special deals.

First-time purchase discount

First-time purchase discount coupon codes are offered to customers making their first purchase with a business. These coupon codes encourage new customers to try out a business’s products or services by offering them a discount on their first purchase.

Exit-intent discounts

Exit-intent discounts

Exit-intent discounts are displayed to customers about to leave a website without completing a purchase. The customer’s mouse movements trigger these coupon codes. They are designed to capture their attention and encourage them to complete their purchase.

Holiday and Seasonal discounts

Holiday and Seasonal sales coupons are offered during special times of the year, such as Christmas, Halloween, BFCM, and other seasonal holidays. These coupons may offer discounts on certain products, free shipping, or even free gifts with purchase. They are typically time-limited and are often promoted heavily during the holiday season.

Businesses can use various coupon code types to suit their needs. Whatever the coupon code type, the benefits are clear: customers get great deals, and businesses increase their sales and customer loyalty.

6 Best practices for creating coupon codes that convert

Coupon codes are a great way to attract customers and drive sales, but not all codes are equal. To make the most of your coupon code promotions, it’s essential to follow these best practices:

  • Make it easy to use

Ensure that your coupon codes are easy to find and easy to apply. Display them prominently on your website, email newsletters, and social media posts. Make sure the instructions for using the code are clear and straightforward.

  • Create urgencyCreate urgency

Use expiration dates and limited availability to create a sense of urgency. This will encourage customers to act quickly and purchase before the coupon code expires or runs out.

  • Offer a significant discount.

Customers are likelier to use coupon codes if they offer a significant discount. Consider offering a percentage or dollar amount off the total purchase price, free shipping, or a buy-one-get-one-free deal.

  • Target your audience

Create coupon codes that are specific to your target audience. For example, offer discounts on products or services that are popular among your target demographic.

  • Use social proof

Use social proof

Use customer reviews, testimonials, and social media posts to show how others have benefited from using your coupon codes. This will help build trust and encourage more people to use your codes.

  • Track your results

Use analytics to track the success of your coupon code promotions. This will help you see what works and what doesn’t so that you can adjust your strategies accordingly.

6 strategies for promoting coupon codes to customers

Promoting coupon codes to customers is essential to increase customer loyalty. Here are some strategies for effectively promoting your coupon codes:

  1. Email newsletters: Send regular newsletters to your subscriber list, highlighting your current coupon code promotions. Make sure to include a call-to-action and a clear expiration date.
  2. Social media: Use your social media channels to promote your coupon codes. Share posts with your followers, run paid advertising campaigns and consider collaborating with influencers to reach new audiences.
  3. Popup on the website: Use a popup to promote your coupon codes. This can be triggered by the customer’s behavior, such as when they are about to leave the site or add a product to their cart.
  4. Referral programs: Encourage customers to refer their friends and family to your business by offering them a coupon code as a reward. This will help promote your coupon codes and increase customer acquisition.
  5. Partner with other businesses: Consider partnering with complementary businesses to offer joint promotions and coupon codes. This can help expand your reach to new audiences and increase brand awareness.
  6. Loyalty programs: Use loyalty programs to reward customers who make repeat purchases with exclusive coupon codes. This will incentivize them to continue shopping with your business and promote your coupon codes to their friends and family.

Common mistakes to avoid when using coupon codes

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your coupon code promotions are successful and help drive sales for your business:

Making it too complicated

Avoid making your coupon code promotions too complicated to understand. Ensure that the code’s instructions are clear and easy to follow. Avoid using long or complicated codes that are difficult to remember.

Offering discounts that are too steep

While offering, significant discounts can be a great way to attract customers, be careful not to offer too steep discounts. This can erode your profit margins and train customers to only buy from you when a deep discount is available.

Not setting clear limitations.

It’s essential to set clear limitations on coupon codes, such as expiration dates and minimum purchase requirements. This will prevent customers from abusing the promotion and help maintain profit margins.


Coupon codes can be a powerful tool for businesses to increase sales and build customer loyalty. 

By following best practices for creating and promoting coupon codes, you can effectively use them to drive sales and engage with your customers. 

Avoid common mistakes and continuously track your results to optimize coupon code promotions. With the right approach, coupon codes can be a valuable addition to your marketing strategy and help take your business to the next level.



Janani H is a Content Marketer at TargetBay, an Ecommerce Marketing Cloud used by thousands of online stores across the globe. She enjoys writing about the power of emails in marketing, and when she isn't writing, she can be found riding the Metro and trying out new local foods.

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