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How to Use Promo Codes to Boost Your Bottom Line

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Everyone loves saving money. In fact, research has shown that the modern consumer tends to shop around to find retailers that offer the best discounts—or simply waits until their preferred brands or desired items are on sale before making a purchase.

By integrating promo codes into your marketing emails and automations, you can incentivize customers to buy while they’re already thinking about your products.

If you operate a Shopify or BigCommerce store, you can generate promo codes in your store and add them to your Mailchimp email or automation campaigns with a drag-and-drop Promo Code content block. Then, track their performance directly through your campaign reports.

These tips will help you get the most out of promo codes.

Target the right customers

Personalized messaging increases the effectiveness of marketing. And since Mailchimp’s powerful personalization tools allow you to send tailored content based on a customer’s interests, location, demographics, purchase activity, and more, you’re able to experiment with different techniques and segments until you find the best combinations for your business.

Consider, for instance, adding a promo code to a birthday automation to show customers you’re thinking of them on their special day. Or, add a promo code to a welcome automation to encourage new subscribers to make their first purchase from your store.

Find the right time

Promo codes will bring traffic to your store (and, in turn, help you sell more stuff), so be strategic about when you use them.

Does your business typically experience a slower month or two throughout the year? When you connect your online store with Mailchimp you can track your campaign revenue over time, giving you insight into the seasonality of your business. Add a promo code to your calendar to drive additional traffic to your store and boost sales during sales valleys. Or, plan your promo codes around specific dates and holidays to encourage customers to choose your store when they’re looking for the perfect gift or seasonal item.

A timely discount can be beneficial for both your customers and your business, but relying on promo codes too often could actually have the opposite effect and cause customers to tune out. Being mindful of the frequency and cadence of your email marketing—and the timing of your promotions within those emails—will help keep customers engaged and make each promotion feel special.

Extend the right offer

Once you’ve determined the segment of customers you’d like to target with promo codes and when you’d like to target them, it’s time to think about the specifics of the offer itself.

Online shoppers appreciate receiving emails offering discounts on products they’re already viewed, so consider adding them to your abandoned cart automations to incentivize customers to complete their purchase. Shopify users can even combine promo codes with product retargeting emails to remind customers about items they viewed and encourage them to make a purchase.

Pricing discounts vs. free shipping

Research has shown that shipping incentives see higher conversion rates than pricing discounts. But don’t be afraid to experiment with different promotion types—dollars off, percent off, or free shipping—to see which resonates more with your customers.

Mailchimp automatically pulls in discounts from your online store, so it’s easy for you to find what works best for your business. One way to test an offer’s effectiveness is to include all discount types in an automated series. Or take a cue from Topo Designs by A/B testing different types of offers to determine which results in a greater number of orders or a higher average order value. Just make sure to account for how these discounts affect your profit margin.

Expiration dates

A sense of urgency in your messaging can be just the thing to convince on-the-fence shoppers to buy something from your online store. Try specifying a limited time window—like “This week only!” or “24 hour sale!”—for your promo codes so folks know they have to act fast.

And, since Mailchimp only pulls in active promo codes from your store, you’ll never have to worry about accidentally including an expired or inactive code in your email.

Create the right look

An effective promo code is eye-catching and easy for customers to remember, so give careful consideration to the naming conventions and styling of your promo code and code blocks.

As you’re creating your code in Shopify or BigCommerce, be sure to select a memorable name that aligns with your promotion. Then, customize the appearance of the promo code block in your Mailchimp email so it matches the design and branding of your business. Adjust font and button styles, modify text alignment, add a background color, or use your existing brand assets to create a visual that will grab the attention of your audience. Include beautiful product photography to highlight items from your store, or take a cue from Alexandra Kathlyn Accessories and add animation to entice readers.

Promo codes are an important incentive in a small business marketer’s toolkit, because they’re easy to track and optimize. You can monitor your conversion rate, the ROI of the promotion, and how much money you’ve made. You could even use a different code for each channel, so you’ll be able to monitor the performance of each and learn valuable lessons for future campaigns. And in Mailchimp, promo code stats appear alongside your other campaign reports, so you know exactly how you’re doing.

Ready to get started? Find out how to add a promo code to your next campaign.

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