Discount codes: why, when and how
Okt 05, 2016 - GROWTH
Olivier Stapylton-Smith

No-one can resist a bargain and discount codes are an amazing way to get your customers excited, especially in the fast paced e-commerce space.

A cleverly placed discount is a great way to encourage wavering customers to purchase which boosts your sales and makes your campaigns as successful as they can be. If you haven’t used discount codes before, or just want to learn how to use them more effectively, then read on.

Usually the tactic behind discount codes is that offering a discount makes people worried to miss out on an exclusive bargain, which in turn creates a strong call to action which should increase clicks, conversions and those all important sales! Of course, by offering a discount you reduce your profit, so think carefully about the percentage discount that you’re offering to make sure your campaign stays profitable. The safest way to do this would be through A/B testing your adverts to see if the increased sales from offering a discount code makes up for lost profit.

An important point is to be careful not to upset your first buyers by offering discounts at the end of the campaigns. Previously, we’ve seen complaints from buyers who had bought a product and then subsequently seen the same item available at a discounted price a few days later. Of course this is similar to any High Street store with seasonal sales, but this is important to consider if you hear of any complaints.

In the short term, it’s worth testing a code on one of your current campaigns to see what difference it makes, and, more importantly, as a final push for people who clicked on the product but did not continue through to the checkout page.



Rather than creating a code and hoping for more sales to immediately happen, it’s worth spending a little more time examining how you can maximise conversion rates through the copy that you writ to accompany your posts. Small tricks in how you phrase your advertising text can make big differences to how readers interact with them.

One of the best examples is offering a percentage discount vs a monetary discount. Let’s say an item costs £10 - would you rather have £2 off or 20% off? Although the monetary discount is the same, for most people the percentage discount seems like a bigger and better deal. Another similar trick is the statement ‘save £5’ vs ‘get £5 off’. Although both ultimately mean the same price, using the word ‘save’ is a stronger proposition and may result in a higher number of sales. If you want to catch people’s eyes on their social feeds, we’d suggest always offering a saving with a percentage discount but obviously the decision is yours - test with both and see which works best with your audiences.

Free shipping is also a great way of encouraging people to buy if they’re not 100% sure. With free shipping, it seems like you’re getting something for free, even if a percentage discount could save you more money. And people love freebies!

With Moteefe, you can offer limited discount codes in two different forms: either a code to be used within a specific timeframe from one day or until your campaign ends, or by offering a code to the first ten purchasers. Essentially, you want to create discount codes that force people to buy RIGHT NOW. Your copy should mirror this by using terms like ‘new customer offer’ or ‘limited time offer’ to increase click through rates.


Offering codes through retargeting is a great way to give a second chance to customers who dropped off before clicking through to the checkout page. The main reason for abandoned carts is often that the price is slightly too high. After all, they were interested enough to click on your design but not to pay for it. One solution to this is to reduce the price - even if by a slight discount - as it gives people a new reason to buy. However if this doesn’t work, head back into your design and check that it’s the best it could possibly be for your target audience’s wants and needs.

If you’re using the new Facebook pixel, you can easily track the Facebook users who abandoned their cart and create some new adverts to re-entice them. In this case, the best strategy is to create a discount code that works with your profit margins (try somewhere between 5% and 20%). You can then create an advert just for retargeting these users, clearly advertising the new discount with enticing copy that emphasises that they only have a short and limited timeframe to make their purchase.



So now we know why and when to add a discount code to a campaign, it’s time to learn how. On Moteefe it’s super straightforward to add a discount code to an existing campaign, simply login to your dashboard area and follow the steps there.

Stay up to date
Others you might like