8 Plugins for Making the Most Out of Coupon Codes
Finding a very good deal feels like a small victory, right? People love bargains, so much so that we’ve turned into a bargain-hunting species. The love for a good deal traverses cultural, geographical, or state borders. Our hunting grounds are websites, stores, and magazines, and we express our success in how much of the regular price we didn’t have to pay.
Businesses love good deals, too. In fact, businesses have figured out that it’s much better for their bottom line to offer an occasional discount than to keep prices consistently low. Turns out, people love deals and discounts more than they love genuinely affordable things.
Among the many ways you can offer your (potential) customers the rush of finding a good deal, coupons are especially popular. They are versatile, easy to create and share, and people are very much accustomed to using them. Let’s figure out why, and what are the best coupon code plugins you could be using for your WordPress website in 2020.
What Makes Coupons so Great?
For an e-commerce business — any type of retailer for that matter — coupons and coupon codes aren’t as straightforwardly attractive as they are for the shoppers. The main downside of coupons, the fact that they eat into your profits, is a very real consequence of their misuse.
But that’s just it — if you know how to use coupons, you don’t have to deal with their downsides. Coupons are not a panacea that will solve all your business troubles. They’re not a magnet to attract an unlimited number of sales, just like they’re not a method for driving your business into the ground.
Coupons and coupon codes are incentives. You whip them up when you want to get people — customers and those that are in the process of becoming customers — to do something you want them to do. The things you can achieve with coupons are many, and they include:
- Increase the average order value by incentivizing users to make additional purchases in order to get a coupon code.
- Offload excess products by offering coupon codes that lower their price or by offering them as a freebie for purchases over a certain value.
- Attract new customers by giving them an incentive to buy something at your store.
- Gather customer information by giving coupons in return for information such as email addresses or phone numbers.
- Reduce advertising costs by letting your coupon codes do the advertising for you — all you need to do is include your business information somewhere on the coupon or the code.
One thing more thing that belongs on this list is ease of use. If you run an online store using WordPress and one of the more popular store plugins, such as WooCommerce, you can easily install a plugin and start offering coupon codes in a flash. If you’re wondering which to choose, here’s a short list of WordPress coupon code plugins you might find interesting.
Advanced Coupons expands the limited features of the native WooCommerce coupon functions. It allows store owners to have flexibility in running the best customer deals. Here are just some of the advanced features this plugin is capable of.
- Cart Conditions – allow for conditions to match before applying a coupon. From product quantities, categories, user roles, cart quantity and more, store owners can now choose how and when they give out discounts.
- Buy One, Get One Deals (BOGO) – store owners now have the power to run Buy One, Get One deals. They can choose different combinations of products and more to make their BOGO deals more exciting.
- Loyalty Programs – boost customer loyalty by introducing a loyalty program for your store. Customers can earn points on orders and they can redeem coupons with their points. It encourages repeated orders and higher quantity orders and definitely higher sales.
- URL Coupons – make it easier for your customers to use coupons. URL coupons can easily be used anywhere, from email marketing to offering discounts on other sites. It can be as easy to redeem as just clicking on a link.
- Shipping Overrides – create more interesting shipping discounts than just free shipping. You can now override the price, apply fixed discounts or percentage-based discounts to specific shipping methods.
You can also do One-Click Coupon Notifications, Automatically Apply Coupons, Restrict User-Roles, do Time-Sensitive Deals and more.
Let’s start with something basic — using coupon codes to increase the average order value. A surefire way to do it is by offering customers an incentive before they finish the purchase and leave your store. You want to say to them “hey, if you do something else with your order, you’ll get a discount.”
That “something else” can be, for example, increasing the value of their purchase. However, you can also ask them to increase the volume of items bought to become eligible for a coupon. This is the type of coupon codes and discounts you can offer using WooCommerce Volume Discount Coupons.
With this plugin, you can set volume-related discount conditions, and set where you want your customers to see the coupon. You can either let the customers apply the coupon on their own as a coupon code or have it apply automatically as a discount. Either way, seeing that they’re an item or two away from reaching a discount is as good an incentive as any to get them to increase their order.
The WooCommerce Volume Discount Coupons plugin gives you plenty of control over the usage of coupon codes, including limits to the volume of items, whether the volume discount stacks with other coupons or not, and what types of product are excluded if you apply the discount to whole categories of products.
You can never have too many entries on your mailing list. Seriously, year after year, you can read how this is the time email will finally die off as a marketing tool. But it never does, making things like building good mailing lists an essential task for any marketer or retailer.
Offering a small discount in exchange for your customers’ email addresses is the least you could do, right? It’s not likely you’re outright buying their information, or like you’re stealing it in some way. It’s a simple transaction, you offer them a coupon code for one of their purchases if they decide to sign up for your email list. And you can do it all with Coupon Box.
Here’s what the plugin does for you: you can set up one of several actions (the Pro version gives you a bigger pool of them) as a trigger to display a pop-up box to the website visitors. The box contains your offer, visuals, and a form field for capturing the email address. If the visitor complies and gives you the email, the plugin sends a coupon code to their email address.
You can customize a lot of things in Coupon Box, and especially in the Pro version. So besides editing the box and the copy it contains, you’ll also be able to change the number of fields that appear in the box, and to set what happens when the visitor decides to close the box. As for the emails the plugin sends out automatically, you can set everything from email design to custom CTA.
Picking a present for someone can be a tricky business, and it can be a complete waste of time. That’s why retailers have invented gift cards: to let the gift-givers off the hook and to offer gift recipients a choice in the matter. It’s almost like giving someone money as a present, only slightly better because it requires some kind of effort.
Retailers get something in return, too. When you let someone buy a gift card for your store, you have basically acquired yourself a new customer. Even if the gift card offers a discount, the incentive still might be worth it depending on the lifetime customer value your business tends to attract. With YITH’s WooCommerce Gift Cards plugin, you can set up and implement your gift card strategy easily.
With the free version of the plugin, you’ll be able to create gift cards for fixed amounts of money. Then, when the customers purchase them, you will automatically send them out via email. They, on the other hand, we’ll be able to use that code to pay for an order in your store or a part of it. Or, better yet, they’ll forward the code to someone else, netting you a brand new customer.
The paid version, as it’s usually the case, lets you do a bunch of other things. You can set the minimum amount the users can insert for gift cards, for example, but also offer a percentage discount on the gift card price, and send the card and the code manually if there was something wrong with the automated system.
What’s more effective at lighting a fire under your customers than presenting them with awesome discounts? Slapping a time limit on the deal. If they don’t move now, they might lose it, so they better act as soon as possible and get that thing you’re offering them before the offer expires.
This is the strategy behind flash sales, certain holiday sales tactics, and pretty much any other time-limited offer. The need to beat the clocks and secure the deal is real. It can make a huge difference in your sales if you know how to leverage it correctly. And that’s exactly what the WooCommerce Coupon Countdown is very good at — making people hurry up and purchase stuff.
When this plugin deals with regular coupons, they look like any other coupon. But if you put an expiry date on them, the plugin will make sure your website visitors’ see it. It doesn’t matter if the coupon is valid until a certain date and time, or for a period of time after user registration, the WooCommerce Coupon Countdown will be the ticking clock nudging the website visitors to make a purchase.
The plugins also let you do some interesting things, such as making the coupon available only to the customers after they’ve made a certain purchase. They can also expire based on when was the last time the customer actually bought something from you.
How long would you pursue a cart-abandoner before you gave up? Cart abandonment is a huge deal in online retail, with more than half of all online browsing and shopping sessions end with abandoned cart, costing online retailers what could amount to billions of dollars of profit. So if you’d say that you wouldn’t give up the pursuit that easily, you probably have a good point.
Among the many things you can do to get people back into the mood for shopping — with the intent to go all the way, mind you — sending emails has proven to be decently effective. You might be able to get up to a half of the cart-abandoners back just by sending them well-timed emails with an occasional coupon to sweeten the deal. And if you want to do it with as little hassle as possible, you should look into Retainful.
What this plugin does is really simple: it automates a large part of sending emails to people after they’ve abandoned the cart. You can schedule the exact intervals at which you want the emails to go out, and you can keep them going out until the customer finally makes the purchase.
But even if you don’t want to go as far as to spam people into completing the purchase, you can do something else to incentivize them to finish what they’ve started. You can, for example, include a coupon code into one of the emails you’re sending them. If that doesn’t change their mind, it’s unlikely that anything other will.
You can try a whole lot of different things when trying to figure out how best to use coupons and discounts. There’s no such thing as a universal solution you can apply to every industry and sit back and watch the sales roll in. You have to try out different things, see what works, and then improve on it until it works even better.
When translated into your coupon game, this means that you could do with a plugin that lets you create all kinds of interesting discount rules. Why stop there? Have you ever heard about dynamic pricing and all the wonders it does? Why not have tailor-made discounts for specific people, maybe your most valuable customers? You’ll be able to do these things with the Discount Rules for WooCommerce plugin.
Here’s what you get for free: you can set store-wide, percentage-based discounts. You can offer discounts based on cart value, total order value, volume, and date. If you don’t want to offer discounts on certain products, you can easily exclude them.
Things get more serious in the paid version. You can start offering fixed discounts, coupon codes, discounts that are specific to some product categories, the “buy-one-get-one” discount, as well as the dynamic pricing feature.
No matter how much you want to explore and be creative with how you use coupons, you’ll soon realize that having one go-to coupon plugin that covers all the basics is an excellent idea. It’s best to use one of the bestselling coupon plugins for this purpose, with plenty of features, activity, and installations.
If you adopt coupon codes into your business model, you want to have a tool that will make their use reliable and consistent. Plus, you don’t want to go through learning how to use a new coupon code tool every week. One of the better and most widely used general coupon tools, if you use WooCommerce, is the Smart Coupons plugin.
You’ll find nothing amiss with it. It lets you choose different types of discounts, whether you want to include shipping or not, and it allows you to create social-media shareable coupons. You can bulk add coupons with a CSV file, embed, and send them out via email or embedded into website pages. Finally, you can choose whether you want to put a time or geographical restriction on the coupon. And more awesome features like that are on their way according to the Smart Coupons’ developers.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
Among the many tools you can use to support your marketing and sales campaigns, coupons should have a special place. They’re not like PPC marketing, events, or even content marketing. Coupons are quiet and discreet. They don’t get in the way unless you want them to, but even then they are not as aggressive as some other promotional tools. Don’t let that fool you, though, because a well-placed coupon code can do wonders for your business. Just try one of these WordPress coupon code plugins and see for yourself.
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!