Ways to Add Value: Coupon For Your Customers
There was a case study I did recently where I posted on a fashion blog about a new type of hat-wear that’s been coming into fashion: the wide-brimmed hat. After talking about what it is and why it’s becoming popular, I put a small list of coupon codes that connected to Lids’ website (where they could presumably buy this hat). I used a coupon code plugin that makes you click the button to reveal the coupon code (a new browser window opens up and takes you to Lids.com). Now, normally when I blog about a new fashion trend and put a link to Lids.com at the end of my post, I’ll get a couple dozen sales and $70-80 in commission.
The result of my coupon experiment? Over $500 in commissions that day. Most were for the hat, but there were also lots of other items people purchased that day.
My jaw hit the floor. I was expecting/hoping for a marginal increase in sales, but I wasn’t expecting anything that substantial. But it does demonstrate a very valuable piece of advice that you’ve probably heard before: people like it when you give them things for free.
The Forces at Work:
There were two forces that led to this massive increase in sales: giving value to my readers (at no extra cost to me), and the type of coupon plugin I was using. I’ll explain the type of coupon plugin first, because it’s very simple and straightforward.
The coupon code plugin is one that requires you to click on the button to see the promo code. This prevents people from copying and pasting the code and then not using your links to go to Lids.com. Or they can simply use their memory to remember what the code is. I have tried the ‘honor system’ when it comes to giving promo codes, but as honorable as I feel about it, the clickable coupon codes massively increase the amount of clicks/commissions.
First, I collected some promo codes from one of those coupon sites (update: here’s the link for those that requested it: http://coupongo.org/lids-coupon/. Then, I found a coupon code plugin that I could easily install into my WordPress site: JCcoupon. The plugin is completely free to use, but I ended up paying for the premium version because it had a better styling option. I think the premium version cost $70. Which may seem pricey, but if you consider that I managed to make $5,000 in commissions from one post alone, it paid for itself many times over already.
The best thing about giving promo codes to customers is that they cost nothing: you can find them for free, and your customers will be grateful that you have made their online shopping purchase easier. There are people who would have bought that hat bag regardless. But for those who were undecided, or thought: I’ll buy it later, the promo codes gave them a compelling reason to buy it right now: if you make your purchase right now it’ll be cheaper, and it’ll be easier than shopping sometime later, where the promo codes may not work and you’ll have to go searching for some valid ones yourself.
The benefits speak for themselves: I spent maybe three minutes collecting coupon codes, and I spent about 20 minutes browsing for a coupon plugin (which I’ll never have to do again). It’s a simple way to add measurable value for your visitors.
Long Term Benefits?
The only downside is this: promo codes expire. You don’t want to have to keep updating every post on your website with these codes. But with my fashion blog, 95% of my website visitors read my posts within the first few days of it being published.
The other thing you can do is to keep updating the discount code in the WordPress plugin, which will then update on every post without you having to do anything.
Let me explain: lets say you always put three coupon codes to Lids.com at the end of your post so that your website visitors can save on their purchase. You add these coupons to your posts using a shortcode. Let’s say the shortcodes are ‘code1’, ‘code2’, and ‘code3’. What you can do is update these particular coupon buttons each week, as Lids always has two or three coupons live at any given time. So if you update these particular coupon codes, every post that has these coupons on them will update themselves.
So even if your website traffic tends to come in through organic search, and your posts are two or three months old at that point, the codes customers see will always be updated and valid.