How to build the perfect coupon email

First things first, why should you add coupons to your email marketing?

The power of giving

Haven’t you noticed that acts of generosity often create an urge for “payback”? You will never lose money for taking care of your customers, if you do it properly. In fact, according to a study, you will eventually make money: emails containing coupons see a 48% increase in revenue per email.

Additionally, coupons are a perfect incentive to use in retargeting campaigns, to convert an abandoned card, to create emergency, etc.

But sending a code in the middle of an email is far from enough to convert!

Here is how you can build coupon emails that convert:

Subject and preheader

Coupon emails get 14% higher open rates for a reason: the offer is always mentioned in the subject. Personalize the preheader too to get the perfect combo.

Best tip for this part is to keep it short! You want your subscribers to open the email right away, so here are a few examples of email subject lines:

  • Your offer expires tomorrow, %%Firstname%% ⏳
  • Free delivery on all orders over $XX!
  • Two for the price of one… today only 🎉
  • Your exclusive discount: %%VoucherCode%%
  • FREE with $XX purchase

The CTA

It is a best practice for coupon emails to focus solely on the conversion… Therefore, make it straight to the point with only one CTA (call-to-action).

For example:

  • Shop now!
  • Redeem discount
  • Claim your deal

The coupon code content block

Examples of coupons in email marketing

Make it big, appealing, and clear!

For the discount code in itself, you have to choose a font that your customers will be able to read quickly and easily. Don’t forget about colors too, contrast is everything.

You also have to avoid putting too much content in your email, as it could drown out your code!

Try a title like “Gift Card”

A coupon is a discount that can be forgotten, as it is mostly valued as a “trick” from a brand to make you buy more. While a gift card is a more personal discount. Give it a go!

Emphasize the value

Define your coupon code value, it needs to either be an amount in your currency or as a percentage.

While it can be difficult for small business to offer discounts, it can also helps to create a recurring list of customers.

Optional but recommended: add conditions

Because of the potential loss of business with coupons, it is recommended to add conditions to the use of these discounts. And it has to that make sense with your business.

  • Minimum $XX purchase is required.
  • Free delivery for orders $XX+
  • $XX off when you spend $XX or more

Use unique codes

It is best if the codes used in your communications are unique. This means that they can be used only once or for only one customer.

Limit the offer in time

To encourage your customers to make a quick decision regarding their purchases, the coupon has to be available only for a limited period. You can either add an expiration date or a countdown timer.

For example:

  • Offer ends on 31st of march
  • Today only!
  • Now through June 15
  • Special offer valid only for 2 weeks

See also the next part with Gmail, this can be helpful to create emergency!

Promotional email annotations

If you didn’t before now, you really need to use Gmail Promotions tab!

With the help of Gmail, your email can now have a preview for your discount offer: add a logo of your brand, an image for the offer, a description, your discount code, and both the start and end time for the availability of the offer.

Gmail promotional annotations

Segment your subscribers

It is important to segment your subscriber list.

While a coupon can be sent to everyone of your customer, if you split them based on the revenue per customer or their interests or their activities, you will be able to send more personalized promotions.

For example, it is always a good incentive to get a coupon when you subscribe to a brand’s list. Or when it is your birthday. Another way to segment would be by country, especially if your brand can only offer free delivery in the US and not for all your worldwide customers.

Segmenting is also a great way to attract your former customers.

A/B test

Don’t shoot all the codes at once, test your subject and content before the big launch.

Testing will permit to send two (or more) versions of the communication to audiences from your subscriber list. Depending on the metric you track, the remaining subscribers will either get the version with the highest unique open rate or with the highest click-through rate.

Choose the winner with the most clicks if your test is within the content of your email.

As an example, you can test a discount code or free delivery. Or naming your discount either coupon or gift card.

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