Why Coupons—Yes, Coupons—Could Be Email Marketers’ Secret Weapon (And How to Add Them to Your Arsenal)


It’s time for digital marketers to reconsider the humble coupon. This venerable marketing tool has drawn price-sensitive customers to businesses for decades. But too often, it gets overlooked and lost in the constant flood of shiny new tactics emerging from the world of digital.

In fact, if you know how to use coupons (and their close cousins, promo codes), they can be incredibly effective in driving conversions online, especially when distributed via email.

Emails with promo codes boast 14% higher open rates, 34% higher click rates, and 48% higher revenues than emails without them.

Statista reports consistent growth in digital coupon users over recent years, and predicts 145.3 million U.S. adults will be redeeming them by 2021.

Deal-seekers certainly don’t feel limited to clipping coupons exclusively from their weekly shopper. According to research from VoucherCloud, the enormous majority are willing to use digital coupons, too.

The Unique Advantages of Digital Coupons in Email

Emails already see widespread use as promotional vehicles for sales events and discounts. So why bother setting up a email coupon system?

Digital coupons bring unique benefits to marketers and and customers alike:

  • A digital coupon makes it easier to make targeted, specific promotions for specific products, events, and segments of your audience. A sale takes a comparative ‘spray and pray’ approach, acting as bait to catch attention and bring shoppers in the door. Use your coupon marketing ideas to help move a specific product or generate conversions among a particular audience segment.
  • Coupons make it possible to incentivize or reward consumer activity without extending big, expensive offers to the wider customer base. You could offer coupons to new email subscribers to grow your list, or distribute them to loyalty members after reaching certain rewards thresholds.
  • Finally, coupons allow some of the best attribution of any marketing tool. Tying a particular coupon code to a campaign, offer, and customer is a simple matter that provides invaluable data about individual customer preference and overall marketing performance. On the other hand, it’s much more difficult to attribute specific conversions to a sales promotion and track that campaign’s effect on the bottom line.

How to Use Coupons in Email (The Easy Way)

Digital coupons have myriad uses and enormous potential; so why aren’t more marketers using them in email?

Once the appropriate systems and support are set up, it’s easy enough to start acting on your coupon marketing ideas. But the upfront resources, time, and expertise needed to establish and maintain such a program are enough to dissuade many marketers from taking the dive.

Then there’s the tedious matter of setting up audiences, dividing up lists, and developing a different email for each segment and test. As Liveclicker VP Account Development Kenna Hillburn said, “Email marketers already have enough on their plates without having to manually segment and create several different deployment sends in order to serve certain coupon codes to certain individuals and find out what works.”

That’s part of what drove Liveclicker to develop our latest email marketing innovation: LiveCoupon. This flexible new element empowers marketers to generate unique, irresistible, personalized coupons that populate effortlessly in subscribers’ inboxes. The simple, user-friendly interface means anyone can start improving email performance with coupons.

With LiveCoupon, you can:

  • Dynamically serve unique or universal coupon codes all in one deployment (instead of having to send multiple different emails to various segments)
  • Test engagement on various offers and find out what deals drive the most engagement and best ROI
  • Re-target for future campaigns based on coupon redemption and usage activity

Leading brands are already using LiveCoupon and getting results.

“LiveCoupon enhances our ability to continue delivering personalized messages and incentives to consumers.” said Jennifer Chiang, Sr. Analyst, Email Marketing, BCBG. “LiveCoupon reduces operational complexity for such campaigns by automating the messaging of the promotions based on consumers’ previous engagement (with the same promotion). This further helps us with customer segmentation, making our program more relevant and effective.”

What creative coupon marketing ideas would you be able to pursue with this capability?


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