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Written By Julius Somoye
4 minute read

Effective promotions can take your business to new heights. No matter what you sell or whom you sell to, everyone loves knowing that they’ve got a great deal. In fact, in this highly competitive and digitally led landscape, consumers have come to expect promotions. And not just any old promotions, either. They expect personalised offerings based on their prior interactions with the brand or, at the very least, promotions that give them more of what they want. 

In other words, it’s no longer enough to simply offer promotions — you need to offer irresistible promotions. 

If you’ve found that your promotional codes, discount codes and other promotional offerings have received a lukewarm and lacklustre response, here are 7 ways in which you can improve the effectiveness of your promotions and ensure that your brand resonates powerfully with your target audience…


1. Increased personalisation 

A promotional code or discount only has so much appeal when users know that everyone else has access to the same codes. Personalised codes, however, can help to build a much more meaningful relationship with the brand. Indeed, almost 80% of consumers will only engage with promotions that are matched to their needs and previous experience with the brand offering them. 

A personalised discount code is a gift from you to them. And by collecting customer data (and being transparent about how you collect it), you can help to ensure higher quality and more personalised offerings and promo copy which are more likely to engage consumers who are sitting on the fence.

Even something as simple as addressing them by name or showing them items they’ve already looked at on your website can make them more likely to engage with your promotions. It’s not just personalised offerings that make a difference, either. Personalised messaging can also be effective. When users feel like a message is especially for them and not for the masses, they’re much more apt to consider what you have to offer them. 

Yes, it requires a little extra work and ingenuity, but the statistics show that 48% of consumers will spend more when their experience is personalised.


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2. Gamification

It’s safe to say that the novelty has long gone from the online shopping experience. Still, that’s not to say that you can’t make shopping fun again with promotional codes. Especially unique, single-use codes. These have extremely broad scope for gamification as they can be tailored to a wide range of needs and tweaked for a variety of purposes.

For example, gamification can be as simple as customers collecting certain items to which promotional codes are attached, resulting in bigger and better offerings the more items are collected. Likewise, QR codes or hyperlinks to unique single-use codes can be displayed on your website or even around your physical store to provide a special bonus gift to eagle-eyed customers.

The great thing about gamification is that it’s limited only by your imagination. And because the software that creates unique codes also has its own analytics suite, you can track which games and promotions resonate the most with audiences as you experiment and A/B test. 


3. Scarcity marketing

In today’s online retail climate, consumers can do with a little encouragement to engage with the deal that’s right in front of them. Even if you present them with a great deal, they may want to carry out their own research to make sure it’s the best deal. 

And they just might get lost along the way. 

Scarcity marketing can be a formidable tool when it comes to getting indecisive consumers off the fence and engaging with your offers. The promo code software that allows you to create single-use codes also allows you to build in an expiry date to encourage users to respond within a certain time period to claim your offers. This can be a couple of days or even a couple of hours. You can even use diminishing discounts which reward early birds with greater discounts. 

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4. Good timing 

Sometimes a promotional code needs to be seen in the right place at the right time to be gleefully snapped up by a prospective customer. The great thing about unique single-use promo codes is that they can be deployed in inventive ways at just the right time to ensure optimal engagement.

For instance, they can be presented at the intent-rich “micro moments” when consumers instinctively reach for their mobile devices, presenting them with geolocated offerings that are attuned to their needs. O2’s Priority app is a great example of this in action. Showing users a great price on what they need when they need it can help to ensure that promotions are snapped up rather than passed over. 

Alternatively, well-timed promo codes can also be used to address the age-old problem of shopping cart abandonment. If a customer drifts away from a full cart, a well-timed email or remarketing ad with a link to a unique promo code can be just the ticket to lure them back.

Just be wary when deploying codes in this way. The last thing you want is to condition customers to abandon every cart they make in the hope of getting a discount.


5. Good design/copy

Never underestimate the importance of high quality or clever design and unique copy in your offerings. When promo copy is witty, engaging and shows a clear understanding of the prospect’s mentality, it’s much more likely to result in a claimed promo code. 

Likewise, an intriguing or engaging design (like a Golden Ticket — to use a tired example) can help offerings seem a little more special and personal. 


6. Frictionless delivery systems 

If there’s one thing today’s consumer abhors, it’s friction. We’ve all become accustomed not just to getting what we want, but to getting it quickly and easily whenever we want it. And when it comes to frictionless delivery systems, we need to talk about mobile apps. 

In an age where consumers instinctively reach for mobile devices to carry out research and make purchases, using mobile apps is the logical solution when it comes to frictionless delivery of promotional offerings. Email offerings can get ignored or consigned to spam folders. Mobile apps, however, can deliver high value and relevant promotional codes to engaged and motivated consumers. 


7. Insulating your offerings against the risk of fraud 

While promotional codes carry a wealth of opportunities, they also represent vulnerabilities — especially when they are spammed or otherwise abused by less than conscientious consumers. Fraud damages the effectiveness and profitability of a promotional code campaign and potentially reduces the perceived value of the offering or brand. 

Unique, single-use codes solve that. Because they can only be used once by the intended recipient, they are immune to fraudulent use, protecting your brand and your coupon campaign’s profitability.   


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Experiment with your strategy and track your results

When it comes to carrying out a promotional campaign, you want to ensure it works. So when implementing any of these 7 methods to help improve your promotional effectiveness, track and analyse your results, so you can see what performs well and what doesn’t.  

You can do this even more easily with the help of promo code software which can deploy unique, single-use codes to help bring your customers personalised discounts that you can then track. This means you can see who uses the codes and how well the discounts are working, and makes it easier to A/B test to experiment with the offerings you provide. And because this software makes it easier to gamify discounts with features like time limits on the codes, you can try out various ways to provide discounts and see what works best to help you secure the customers you want!


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