Conversion rate optimization E-commerce Entrepreneurship

18 Discount Code Ideas to Get More Deals [+Examples]

Fact—

Discount codes and coupons make people happy.

Customers feel smarter, happier, and more satisfied when they use discount codes. No wonder, right? Everybody likes saving money.

For you as a business owner, coupons and discounts are also pretty great: they drive sales, conversions, and customer loyalty. If you’d like some discount code ideas to achieve these goals, this post is exactly what you need.

Jump to sections:

Do coupons and discounts help sell?

To cut a long story short—

Yes, they do.

Here’s evidence from fresh surveys and reports to back it up 👇

There’s a great deal of discount and coupon code ideas to try. In the next section, take a look at the most popular ones.

Discount code ideas

1. First order offer

The name says it all: this discount code is offered to website visitors who have not bought from you yet. This idea can get you new customers by helping to convert first-time visitors. You can offer these coupon codes to build your email list and improve customer acquisition.

Tips:

Example:

Here’s a first-order discount code offer in a welcome popup from Blume that converts 5% of visitors.

First-order-discount-idea
💡 Idea

Make a popup to share discount codes with new visitors on autopilot

👉 How to create a welcome popup
welcome-popup-for-first-order-discount-codes

2. Weekly deal

This discount or coupon code is valid only for one week. This idea will help you get a boost in orders, specifically when sales are slow. You can allow customers to use the code for a specific product category, chosen products, or during a special holiday week.

Tips:

  • Send multiple emails throughout the week to notify customers about your offer. For example, you can announce the deal on Monday, send a reminder on Wednesday, and then make the last call on Sunday.

Example:

Foot Locker shares a 20% discount code for Freshers Week 2022.

weekly-discount-code-idea

3. “Deal of the hour”

This one’s pretty simple: you offer a great deal for one hour only. The deals can include gifts, VIP discounts, and, of course, coupon codes. Online businesses often use this discount code idea in Black Friday marketing strategies.

Tip:

  • Use this coupon code idea to get more sales on holidays. You can create special promotions for each hour to create both anticipation and a sense of urgency. Make sure to let your customers know about the upcoming discounts, of course.

Example:

This hourly promotion offers a discount for a specific product category.

product-category-discount-code-idea

4. Flash sale offer

“Flash sale! Limited time only!” Wouldn’t a message like this attract attention and motivate impulse buying? Definitely! Sales promotions like that are incredibly effective: Americans spend about $2.5 billion a year on them. So, consider trying this coupon code idea to get quick sales.

Tip:

  • Have extra information like customer reviews on products you offer. They will help customers feel more confident making that very fast decision to buy.

Example:

TOMS Shoes often holds flash sales. The company notifies customers with emails like this one—as you can see, the code is easy to find and remember.

flash-sale-coupon-idea
💡 Insight

TOMS is also a company with a large philanthropic component that shines in their marketing.


Learn more: Examples of Ethics in Marketing
toms-promotion-example

5. Exit-intent discount offer

This discount code idea gives you a chance to convert visitors who are about to leave your website. You present the code with an exit popup, so every visitor will see the deal. The goal is to convince the visitor to reconsider and buy something.

Tip:

  • Keep your offer short and sweet. Since the visitors want to leave, our goal is to get our message across as quickly as possible
  • Use a popup app like Wisepops to create exit popups for your website

Example:

This exit popup from Fashion Nova has a clear message: if you buy, you’ll get 10% off. The large font quickly draws our attention to the discount.

Exit-intent-discount-example

6. Holiday discount

This coupon code idea is a no-brainer. Offer a festive discount on special days to draw more customers to your store and get sales. Besides the holiday season, you can try promotional campaigns on Mother’s Day, Fourth of July, etc. 

Tip:

  • Choose a list of holidays to strategize your campaigns. Here are all major public U.S holidays when consumer interest reaches its peak (spoiler: there are 17 of them).

Example:

Maud’s Coffee and Tea offers this $20 discount code on Labor Day for all visitors.

Holiday-discount-code-idea

7. Free shipping discount

Removing shipping costs means getting rid of a major demotivator to buy for customers. This technique could help you increase sales from both first-time and repeat customers, as they perceive free shipping as a risk-reducing factor in case they have to submit a return.

Tips:

  • Offer free shipping to first-time customers
  • Try free shipping for products with high-profit margins
  • Consider this incentive for items with small dimensions and/or low weight

Example:

This free shipping offer applies only to orders above $150. Doing so is a good way to increase average order values and potentially boost sales of all items.

free-shipping-discount-idea

8. Product pre-launch offer

Does your business take pre-orders? Or maybe make pre-launch marketing campaigns? If yes, then this discount code idea is perfect for you. You can offer a coupon to those who wish to buy a not-yet manufactured product.

Tip:

  • Start marketing your products before pre-orders launch
  • Share email reminders and notifications to keep the momentum going
  • Use emails and website messages to tease new info and updates

Example:

Asphalte, a clothing brand that takes pre-orders, offers products at a much lower price compared to when they’re available.

preorder-discount-code-idea

See how Asphalte generates leads and collects customer feedback with one onsite campaign:

✔️ Asphalte’s lead generation strategy

lead-generation-discounts-case-study

9. Newsletter signup offer

That’s probably the most common discount code idea. You offer a discount in exchange for visitors’ emails, which helps you build a customer base.

Tip:

  • List all the benefits for customers to motivate them to sign up. The more perks you offer, the more conversions you’ll get. Like in the signup form example below, the brand also mentions news, offers, and exclusive events.

Example:

This campaign from Emma Bridgewater promises 15% off for signing up for the brand’s newsletter.

newsletter-signup-discount-code-idea
💡 Convert more first-time visitors

Death Wish Coffee converts visitors with a sticky tab that shows a newsletter signup with a discount 👉

To create this campaign: 
✔️ Create a popup design
✔️ Add a clickable tab to make the discount accessible
✔️ Activate the campaign on your website
newsletter-signup-discount-idea-example

10. Product-specific discount

This coupon code is applied to the price of a specific product. Customers often look for such promotions when trying to stock up on items that need regular replenishment. Offering this deal can improve ROI and personalize your offers.

Tip:

  • Try this discount code idea to speed up sales of a specific item

Example:

Backstory Coffee Roasters offers a coupon code to get a discount for a special “Summer Break” blend of coffee.

Product-specific-discount-code-idea

11. Product bundling discount code

This discount code idea is about combining the same or go-together items. Clothing brands use this strategy often to sell entire looks (pants + sweaters + belts, you get the idea). You can also discount bundles of one product—works perfectly for replenishable items.

Tip:

  • Know the profit margin of each product in the bundle to define the best price. Once you know that number, choose a discount that works for you (a rule of thumb says that margins of less than 50% call for a discount of no more than 10%)

Example:

Death Wish Coffee gives away a 20% discount code to increase the sales of coffee bundles.

Product-bundling-discount-code-idea

12. Minimum purchase discount

Want to increase the average order size? Try this coupon code idea: “a discount for buying an amount higher than $X.” It’s a great technique for sellers who’d like to draw customers’ attention toward certain products while increasing sales.

Tip: 

  • Try this discount code idea for replenishable products to motivate customers to buy before the deal expires

Example:

Here’s how Valerie Confections promotes this discount campaign in an email.

Minimum-purchase-discount-code-idea

13. “Buy one, get one free” (BOGO) deal

BOGO creates a sense of urgency, “pushing” customers to buy with the promise of a free product. Online businesses often use this discount code idea to move overstock inventory and sell edible or bulk products.

Tip:

  • Make sure that your BOGO promotion is easy to access with a reasonable price for the two priced items

Example:

Fashion Nova uses BOGO discounts to move inventory at the end of the summer season.

bogo-discount-idea-example

14. Customer referral promo code

Over 90% of customers are likely to buy a product recommended by friends or family. That’s why this discount code idea is great for both building a customer base and selling more.

Tip:

  • Use a customer referral app to automatically generate and track every discount code. This way, you can monitor your referral sales and manage codes in one place (the entire referral process will be automated)

Example:

PRESS Foods offers 20% off for both the referrer and their friend.

referral-discount-code-idea

15. Abandoned shopping cart offer

This idea here is to send a coupon code to convince customers to finish their purchase. It’s a really popular strategy to recover sales since unexpected costs are the top reason why customers leave without buying.

Tip:

  • Use a time-limited coupon code. Knowing that the deal expires in, say, 24 hours, will create a sense of urgency to complete the purchase

Example:

Chubbies, one of the top Shopify stores, recovers abandoned carts with email campaigns containing discount codes that expire in 24 hours.

abandoned-cart-recovery-discount-code-idea

16. Loyalty-based discount codes

This discount code idea is about celebrating your loyal customers. Consider giving them discounts at certain milestones (such as a certain amount of purchases) to show your appreciation and drive loyalty.

Tip:

  • For every $1 your customers spend, make sure they earn points towards a discount size on their next purchase. This strategy will make them feel like they’re getting the best deals

Example:

Steve Madden’s loyalty program SM Pass includes giving a 20% discount for the first purchase for new participants.

Loyalty-discount-code-idea
Want to know how successful loyalty programs work?

👉 10 Best Customer Loyalty Programs

17. Code for purchasing in store

Selling both online and offline? Then this coupon code idea is for you. You can send an email with a coupon code that can be redeemed only in your brick-and-mortar store. This technique can motivate customers to pay you a visit.

Tip:

  • Use this coupon code idea to create a local base of loyal customers. Let’s be honest, creating a great first impression would be way easier in person.

Example:

Saugatuck Brewing Company gives a 10% discount code for beer in the email. The customers can use the coupon only at their brewery, the address of which is also given.

coupon-code-idea-for-purchasing-in-store

18. Coupon for shopping in a mobile app

This discount code idea is about encouraging customers to make purchases in a mobile app. So if you want your brand’s app to become one more major source of orders, consider encouraging customers to use it this way.

Tip:

  • Consider giving extra incentives to encourage customers to download your app

Example:

NET-A-PORTER encourages shoppers to buy through the official app by giving a 15% off coupon code.

in-app-coupon-code-idea

What’s next?

If you’d like to learn more about growing your business with other strategies, take a look at these guides:

Have some discount or coupon code ideas or suggestions? Need more tips? Just write a comment below, I’d be happy to help 🙌

Oleksii Kovalenko Oleksii Kovalenko is a digital marketing specialist with a degree in international marketing. He has 6 years of experience helping ecommerce store owners to promote their businesses.

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