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How and Why Marketers Should Use Coupon Codes

Sarah Steimer

Consumers have come to expect coupon codes in e-commerce. Savvy marketers can use codes to delight customers and track the ROI of their campaigns

Pop-ups featuring promo codes have become ubiquitous to the online shopping experience. Most inboxes are clogged with similar offers: Use MYDAY15 for 15% off on your birthday! Use MEMORIAL10 at checkout for $10 off your order over Memorial Day weekend!

Promo codes are so prevalent that many online shoppers expect them and will search sites such as RetailMeNot or SlickDeals if they aren’t offered one by a retailer before purchase. Chris Johnson, client services director at Vouchercloud, says the discounting trend accelerated during the recession. Now consumers know they can shop around to get the best deal.

“Promo codes are a valuable part of most retailers’ marketing mix and, if used with the right strategy, can deliver results that either exceed expectations or play a significant role in budget management,” Johnson says.

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Sarah Steimer is a staff writer for the AMA's magazines and e-newsletters. She may be reached at ssteimer@ama.org or on Twitter at @sarah_steimer.