Did you know that nearly one in three consumers searches for a discount code every time they shop online? These short alphanumeric strings are more than just a convenient tool for offering savings – they’re powerful catalysts that can drive purchases, build brand loyalty and encourage direct bookings. For this reason, we have gathered a series of proven tips and updated statistics to help you use discount codes as part of your marketing strategy. Curious to learn more? Then let’s dive right in!
The Benefits of Coupon Marketing
Coupon marketing is an advertising tactic that offers customers a financial incentive, either as a percentage discount or a fixed dollar amount, to encourage product purchases. While it has traditionally been associated with magazines or newspapers, today’s coupon marketing has largely gone digital, with online promo codes, vouchers, and mobile app offers gaining significant traction.
How does coupon marketing drive sales and engagement?
Increased sales – Coupons directly lower the cost barrier for potential customers, making them more likely to make a purchase. In a recent GlobeNewswire survey, 38% of respondents said they are even willing to buy something unnecessary if they can take advantage of a promotion! In particular, limited-time discounts make shoppers feel like they’re getting a value-added deal, which can lead to a quicker purchase decision.
Visibility and brand awareness – Publishing discount codes online, especially on a dedicated landing page, can give you more visibility on search engines. In addition, when customers find valuable coupons, they tend to share them with friends and family. This builds brand awareness, which can lead to increased sales and brand recognition.
Customer acquisition – For those on the fence about trying a particular experience or service, a coupon can be the nudge they need. According to recent statistics, 86% of customers feel more comfortable buying from a business they don’t know if they have a discount code.
Brand loyalty – An eye-opening Nielsen study shows that 84% of customers make repeat purchases from brands that offer a loyalty program. Discount codes are an effective way to show your clientele that you value their patronage, and foster a long-term relationship.
Increased ancillary revenue – While a customer may come in for a discounted product or service (a so-called “loss leader”), they often end up purchasing additional items. For example, a traveler may redeem a coupon for one of your tours, but may decide to purchase merchandise or additional experiences once they are engaged.
How to Create Effective Discount Codes
Creating a successful coupon marketing campaign is more than just slashing prices. It requires strategic thinking, an understanding of your target audience, and a keen sense of timing. Here’s a breakdown of how to create discount codes that truly engage and convert:
Set a duration
Short-term offers – As we’ll discuss below, limited-time codes create a sense of urgency that encourages customers to act quickly.
Seasonal or event-based offers – Tying discount codes to holidays, festivals or special events can make your promotions feel timely and relevant. For example, a tour operator might offer a couples discount for Valentine’s Day or a summer early bird special.
Long-term offers – These are ideal for ongoing promotions, such as discounts for seniors, students or locals.
Define the discount type
Fixed amount vs. percentage – A fixed discount (e.g., €10 off) can be more tangible and appealing for lower-priced services, while a percentage (e.g., 20% off) can be enticing for your most expensive tours and activities.
Tiers – Consider offering incremental savings based on spending levels. For example, give a €10 discount on every €100 purchase, which increases to a €25 discount when they spend €200.
Specify the terms and conditions
Minimum purchase requirement – This can encourage higher spending. For example, “Use our discount code to save €20 on purchases over €100.”
Exclusion clauses – Be clear about any exclusions, such as certain dates, products or categories that don’t qualify for the discount.
Restrictions and limitations – Decide if the code can be used multiple times by the same user or if it’s a one-time offer.
Best Practices for an Engaging Coupon Marketing Strategy
As we have seen, discount codes are more than just a means to an end; when used effectively, they can drastically shape consumer behavior, drive purchase decisions, and increase brand awareness. Here are some proven techniques that can supercharge the impact of your marketing strategy:
Leverage urgency & scarcity
You’ve probably heard of FOMO (fear of missing out), an acronym that describes the state of anxiety people enter when they feel they’re not participating in an experience that others are having. FOMO is a powerful purchase driver: according to a Trustpulse study, 60% of shoppers buy something because of it. For this reason, creating discount codes that are only valid for a limited period (perhaps 48 hours) can create a sense of urgency and scarcity that drives consumers to act quickly. An example might be a weekend special on a wine tasting experience or a two-day sale on adventure activities.
Highlight hidden gems
Discount codes can draw attention to the tours and activities that are overshadowed by your best-selling experiences. For example, if a city tour is always in demand, but a quiet nature walk is less so, a promo code can bridge the gap and diversify the customer’s experience.
We have already mentioned that a loyalty program can encourage repeat business. In the same vein, another idea might be to offer your customer a discount for their birthday, possibly using a custom code. It’s a token of appreciation that shows you value their patronage, and care about them personally.
How to Structure Your Coupon Marketing Campaigns
Before creating your marketing campaign, there are a few elements you should consider:
Goals – Want to increase sales during the slow season? Or maybe you want to create more buzz around your new experiences? The goals you set will determine what is the best way to promote your discount codes.
Time frame – Define the duration of your campaign, whether it’s a flash sale or a month-long promotion.
KPIs – Set clear key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your goals. We recommend tracking metrics such as redemption rate, user engagement, and revenue growth.
Build a dedicated landing page
Navigating a website can be an overwhelming experience, especially for first-time visitors who are unfamiliar with your offerings. To communicate the value of your offer in the most effective way, create a dedicated landing page. When designing it, it’s imperative to minimize distractions, use compelling graphics, and maintain consistent branding. Also, don’t forget to:
- Address potential buyers’ fears (for example, by stating your cancellation policy).
- Include your company’s contact information.
- Clearly state the discount code that customers must enter to take advantage of the promotion.
- Include customer testimonials and glowing reviews.
- Use video content, which can increase conversion rates by up to 34%, according to the Aberdeen Group.
- Include a CTA button that stands out and encourages visitors to redeem their discount code.
- Track your performance using tools like Google Analytics and make adjustments as needed to improve conversions.
Effective channels and touchpoints
Now that you have a state-of-the-art landing page, it’s time to let the world know about your promotions. We suggest you try the following marketing channels:
Even in the age of social media and instant messaging apps, email is still a powerful tool. In fact, according to a Hubspot report, the return on investment (ROI) for this marketing channel is $36 for every $1 spent. The best part is that creating a compelling newsletter is not that difficult. The key is to pay attention to these two elements:
- Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Segment your email list based on your customers’ past behavior, preferences and demographics.
- A compelling subject line can make all the difference. Use urgency (“24 hours left!”) or exclusivity (“Special offer just for you!”) to pique interest. As a benchmark, Campaign Monitor claims that the average open rate for emails in the travel industry is 20.2%.
Social media networks
Instagram Stories, Facebook posts or TikTok videos can all be effective ways to share discount codes: after all, social media is the primary source of shopping inspiration for nearly a third of customers. The secret to success? Post on the platforms your customers actually use. In addition, try creating polls, quizzes and other forms of content that get your followers actively engaged with your brand. The rule is simple: more interactions = more reach.
Not all websites and landing pages convert visitors on the first try. Retargeting allows you to reach back to those who have shown interest, and using a customized promo code is the way to sweeten the deal. It’s an effective strategy, as evidenced by the fact that retargeting ads have a 10x higher click-through rate (CTR) than display ads.
We recommend using platforms such as Meta (i.e. Facebook and Instagram) and Google Ads (Google search engine, Maps, YouTube, etc.) to set up your campaigns. Be sure to segment your audience based on their level of interaction and offer more aggressive discounts to those who may have abandoned a cart.
Common pitfalls and how to avoid them
The appeal of using discount codes is undeniable: when done correctly, they can drive sales and engage customers like never before. However, there are potential pitfalls that tour operators and activity providers need to be aware of. Let’s take a look at some common missteps and how to avoid them:
Discount code oversaturation
Problem: Flooding the market with too many codes can devalue your offerings. If customers are constantly seeing discounts, they may hold off on purchases, waiting for the next deal.
Solution: Make sure there’s a balance between full-price and discounted sales. Seasonal offers or discounts tied to specific events can provide a controlled approach.
Unclear or ambiguous terms and conditions
Problem: If the terms and conditions of a discount code aren’t clear, it can lead to confusion, customer dissatisfaction and potential disputes.
Solution: Always be transparent. Clearly state the terms of the discount on your landing page or website, whether it’s only valid on certain dates, for certain activities, or has a minimum purchase requirement.
Problem: Overly aggressive discounting can hurt profitability. If you’re constantly selling at a deep discount, you may not be able to cover operating costs, which can lead to financial strain.
Solution: Calculate the break-even point for your tours and activities. Understand your costs and set discounts that maintain profitability while providing value to customers.
Tracking and Redemption Challenges
Problem: Without a system to track code redemptions, you can’t measure the effectiveness of a campaign.
Solution: Use a reliable booking and management system like Regiondo that can seamlessly track and manage the redemption of discount codes. Speaking of which…
Using a Booking System to Supercharge Your Discount Code Strategies
Implementing a discount code strategy can be a complex endeavor, involving multiple steps from creation to distribution and redemption. Using a robust booking system like Regiondo can significantly streamline this process, increasing efficiency and effectiveness. Check out the key benefits:
Seamless integration – Regiondo allows you to easily create, manage and track discount codes, ensuring that they are effortlessly integrated into your booking process without technical hitches.
Real-time monitoring – Effortlessly search, filter, enable or disable discount codes from an intuitive dashboard. Understand which codes are driving the most conversions and make timely adjustments and optimizations.
Limit controls – Prevent oversaturation by setting limits on code redemptions. Whether it’s a total number of uses, a specific expiration date, or both, you have complete control over your campaign parameters.
Improved customer experience – A smooth booking process combined with attractive discount offers improves the overall customer experience, leading to positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals.
Ready-to-use Discount Code Campaigns
Discount code promotions can be as varied as the experiences you offer. Here are some sample campaigns that you can adapt to suit your business:
Concept: Offer a 20% discount on tours or activities booked during the summer season.
Suggested pitch: “Celebrate the warm season! Book your next adventure with us and get 20% off. Use code SUMMERFUN20 at checkout”.
Concept: Encourage new customers to book by offering a 10% discount on their first purchase.
Suggested pitch: “First time with us? Get 10% off your next adventure. Enter FIRSTTRIP10 at checkout.”
Concept: Reward repeat customers with a 15% discount on their third booking.
Suggested pitch: “We love seeing you again! As a token of our appreciation, enjoy 15% off your next experience. Use code LOYALGUEST15.”
Flash Sale Fridays
Concept: Offer a 25% discount on all bookings made on a Friday.
Suggested pitch: “Friday just got better! Book any experience today and get 25% off. Act fast, the offer is only valid today with code FLASHFRI25”.
Special occasion offer
Concept: Birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions can be celebrated with a 10% discount.
Suggested pitch: “Celebrating a special day? Make it unforgettable with us and enjoy a 10% discount. Enter BDAYTREAT10 at checkout”.
As we have explored in this comprehensive guide, discount codes can help tour and activity providers sell more tickets, build brand loyalty and improve the customer experience. However, effective implementation of coupon marketing requires a well-planned strategy and constant monitoring.
This is where Regiondo comes in, providing industry professionals with the robust, easy-to-use solutions they need to get the most out of their promotional efforts. When you adopt our booking system, you’re not just acquiring a set of tools, you’re investing in a partner who is committed to your success.
If you’re intrigued by the potential of Regiondo and want to explore how it can revolutionize your discount code strategies, why wait? Book a demo with one of our consultants to find out how we can help your business shine.