How to Implement WooCommerce Coupons

A cartoon character holds a credit card with a dollar sign next to him

Learning how to implement WooCommerce coupons into your marketing strategy could be one of the most important decisions you make as we head into 2021.

Gone are the days of promoting a simple 20% off sale and watching the customers roll in. In today’s ultra-competitive eCommerce market, coupons and promotions need to be unique, exciting, and implemented correctly to be effective.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to implement WooCommerce coupons strategically and tangibly.

We’ll also look at some of the pros and cons of using this marketing strategy.

Let’s dive in.

Planning a Coupon Strategy

As with most other things in business, success in your coupon strategy begins with planning. The best way to have a failing coupon strategy is to make random, uneducated guesses about what offers you think may get the customer’s attention.

This lack of planning often leads to a marketing effort that appears confused and aimless to current or future customers.

The potential for this is one of the major cons of implementing a WooCommerce coupon strategy. However, with a little time and education, you’ll be able to overcome this.

Some other cons of coupon marketing include:

  • It can be difficult to ever return to the full retail price (thus, suggested retail prices will need to increase accordingly)
  • Customers may feel alienated if they miss a coupon code and pay full price
  • Coupon marketing campaigns can become clumsy to manage properly

And while these are certainly valid concerns in many marketing circles, the fact is that the pros of coupon marketing far outweigh the cons.

Some of the biggest pros include:

  • They inspire buyers to take immediate, unplanned action
  • The right coupon strategy allows you to target buyers where they’re already living online: SMS, email, and social media
  • 48% of customers buy sooner with a coupon than without one
  • 37% buy more with a coupon than they typically would without a coupon
  • Coupons show great customer appreciation
  • Coupons build customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth

Knowing this, it only makes sense to begin implementing a coupon strategy as soon as possible.

6 Tips for Planning Your Coupon Strategy

Let’s take a look at six essential tips that can trigger the inspiration for your coupon strategy.

Then we’ll look at the details of how to do it.

1. Add Coupons and Discounts To Lead Forms (Lead Magnets)

As the name would suggest, a lead magnet is a tool that helps attract new leads.

Lead magnets are highly flexible. They allow you to offer several incentives that are preferential for your customers and your business type.

As an example, if a lead provides you with their contact information, such as an email address, the new subscriber will be instantly given access to things likes:

  • eBooks
  • Exclusive webinars
  • Checklists
  • Resource guides
  • An exclusive members-only video that’s filled with detailed, insider information

One of the best lead magnets is a discount offer. A new subscriber will immediately save a given dollar amount or percentage amount on their first purchase.

You can set lead magnets to automatically pop-up on your site after a user either:

  • Has spent a given amount of time browsing your online store
  • Scrolls down to a specified area of the page they’re browsing
  • Moves their curser to leave the page

In the case of bullet point three, the idea is to get users to stay on your site longer by giving them a powerful offer or incentive right before they leave.

cartoon of a woman making a checklist

2. Limited-Time Offers

Limited-time offers are discounts that customers can use for a specific amount of time.

For example, you can set a coupon code to expire in a few hours or days. The idea is to get your customers to act as quickly as possible by offering limited access.

This strategy tends to work the best in the millennial demographic, according to studies.

3. Strategize the Types of Coupons and Deals to Offer

Dollar amounts and percentages off are highly-used coupon offers for a good reason: They work.

However, don’t feel like you need to limit your strategy to only these types of offers.

Feel free to use your imagination and experience. You’re only limited by your ability to manage the cost of an offer or discount financially. After all, while it’s great to give every customer $20 their next purchase, how might it negatively impact your bottom line?

Will it bring in new buyers or give a discount to a customer who was ready to purchase? 

Consider setting up a survey for your customers and have them tell you what kind of offers would most likely drive action.

4. Customer Reward Programs

Launching a reward program is the perfect way to encourage more loyalty from your customers. In exchange for buying your brand instead of your competition’s, your customers get exclusive, value-rich offers that save them money.

The longer customers remain loyal, the higher their LTV (lifetime value) and your revenue.

By all known measures, rewards programs continue to work year after year. Studies show that nearly 85% of customers are more likely to remain loyal to brands that offer a reward program.

5. Diversify Distribution Channels

There’s a lot of power in marketing your coupons through email. Studies show that businesses that employ email coupons increase revenue by 48%.

However, often emails aren’t opened immediately or ever. Low click rates make it essential to experiment with other marketing channels to maximize reach and growth.

One idea is to use Rich Media Messaging to share your coupons. The open rates for texts are much higher than emails.

Additionally, more than 53% of customers prefer their coupons to be sent directly to their mobile device via text.

6. Improve the Visual Appeal Of Your Coupons

When you think about what a coupon is, it’s just a request for your customer to purchase something from you. Because of this, it’s easy to send out coupon codes in plain text.

But is there a more impactful way?

People appreciate attractive visuals. Try to use your coupons and discount offers to incorporate eye-catching:

  • Colors
  • Graphics
  • Texts
  • Fonts

It’s all about getting customers excited to learn what your offer is.

Assuming that you’re using an email campaign in your coupon marketing strategy, consider custom visuals based upon specific customer segments.

More ideas to help you boost sales using WooCommerce

Creating Coupon Codes Using WooCommerce

If you’ve never used WooCommerce, first, you’ll need to install the WordPress plugin and add a few products to your store before creating a new coupon code.

To create a new coupon within your WordPress dashboard, navigate to WooCommerce:

  1. Go to:  WooCommerce > Settings > General > Enable coupons
  2. Tick the checkbox to Enable the use of coupon codes.
  3. Save Changes.

Create your code at the top of the screen. This is the coupon code users will apply when checking out and will give them the discount.

You’ll see that the coupon page, on the left side, has three tabs: General, Usage Restriction, and Usage Limits.

WooCommerce dashboard showing general coupon admin

1. General Coupon

This tab allows you to choose the type of discount you want to offer. Out-of-the-box, WooCommerce has several discount option types:

  • Cart Discount: A fixed discount amount on an entire cart
  • Cart % Discount: A percentage amount off of an entire cart
  • Product Discount: A fixed amount off of specific products
  • Product % Discount: A percentage amount off of specific products

For now, let’s focus on offering a product-specific fixed discount on a PlayStation 5.

To do this, start by selecting the Product Discount option.

Then, specify the amount of the coupon.

If you’ve chosen a percentage option, the number to use here will determine your percentage discount.

If you’ve chosen a fixed discount option, it’ll determine the dollar amount off in your store’s default currency.

For this example, go ahead and enter 150 into the field. This will give customers a $150 discount off the retail price.

Looking down further, notice that you can offer free shipping with a code by checking “Allow free shipping.”

Then, set the expiration date for the coupon at the bottom using the drop-down calendar.

2. Usage Restrictions

After configuring the General settings, it’s time to move to the Usage Restrictions tab.

In this tab, you’ll be able to configure the specific requirements of your coupon, such as how it gets activated.

For example, you can set the minimum and maximum totals that allow coupon use. Selecting a range works well for coupons offering things such as “25% off when you order $250 or more.”

Additionally, you can check the boxes to restrict the use of a coupon to one per customer.

What’s more, you can configure the coupon code to apply to (or exclude) any specific categories or products.

The first option we see in our example applies to the coupon code we’re currently configuring, which is a $150 discount on a course that your site offers.

To find the course, simply enter the first few letters, and it will populate. You can also use the product ID.

Setting up Usage Restrictions is incredibly simple. WooCommerce even includes a tool that gives you more info about each field for which you may have questions. 

A screenshot showing the coupons admin of WooCommerce

3. Usage Limits

Use this tab to restrict the number of times customers can use this coupon. It can be set by total uses or per customer.

In this example, let’s restrict the $150 discount to the first 200 buyers and only one use per customer. Additionally, we’ll limit the consumer’s ability to purchase the same course more than once in the same purchase. 

With the tab adequately configured, the coupon will expire either:

  • After the specified usage limit
  • After the specified expiry date (whichever comes first)

With that, you’re done and can publish your coupon and begin promotion.

And never, ever forget to fill this section out. The last thing you want to do is create unlimited coupons by accident.

Usage limits on coupons in the WooCommerce admin

Implement WooCommerce Coupons to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level

Remember that your coupon marketing strategy will work best when combined with other approaches.

If you only rely on coupons to grow your eCommerce store, customers eventually will stop seeing as much value in the products you sell.

Excessive coupon campaigns could drive them to a competitor who gives them a higher perceived value for the same product.

Because of this, it’s essential to get to know customers and what their expectations are. After that, you can begin building a powerful WooCommerce coupon marketing strategy that gets you noticed and converts more users.