There are differing views amongst business owners and marketers on offering coupons or special offers to bring customers into their stores. Many believe that coupons are an effective way to bring both new and returning customers, while some are concerned that coupons devalue their goods or services and train customers to wait for coupons to be issued to make a purchase.

Coupons and special offers, when used appropriately, can be very effective ways to increase revenue. You can develop a campaign, using what is called A/B testing, to see whether offering a coupon can make a difference in your email marketing efforts.

A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of, in this case—an email campaign, to see which one performs better.

Keep this information in mind as you learn more about how to make your coupons more effective. Plus, when you align your coupon offer with your sales objectives and email best practices, Analytics has the tools to watch sales activity increase.


Let’s go through an example for using A/B testing, whether including a coupon or not, for an email campaign:

Jodi is planning a Happy Hour promotion and has been considering adding a coupon to bring in more business. She decides to send out two different emails to measure the effect of including a coupon offer.

The first week, she created an email encouraging existing customers to Bring a Friend to Happy Hour on Thursday, hoping to increase traffic from both existing customers and with their help add some new customers too.

The next week, she created an email offering a single use Buy One, Get One (BOGO) when they bring a new customer friend to Happy Hour on Thursday.


She can set up her campaign tracking with just a few easy steps to view the results of her A/B testing.
  1. Access Analytics dashboard

  2. Go to "Daybook" section

  3. Add "Happy Hour Promo – No Offer" to the date it was sent out

  4. Add "Happy Hour Promo – BOGO" to the date it was sent out the following week

  5. Track results to discover the effectiveness of her campaign to see if the BOGO offer brought in more new and existing customers than the Happy Hour without the offer



Here are just a few things that Jodi should keep in mind when creating her email coupon campaign:


Mix and match your offers

Coupons don’t have to be a percentage off discount. When building your promotion consider other offers that may better achieve your business goals.

  • BOGO (buy one, get one free)
  • Minimum order value
  • Limited to specific customers
  • New customers only

Include an expiration and note single-usage

Create a sense of urgency by giving customers a deadline to take advantage of the special offer. Also by noting that this coupon is good for a single-usage, you’ll avoid customers trying to re-use the coupon.

Create a win-win offer

For the most effective results, make sure that your coupons and offers both fit your business goals and what your customers value. If you’re not sure, use an email to survey customers or ask them directly for feedback.

Don’t overdo it

Over-using coupons as a sales tool may create a discounted value for your quality product or service. Using the mix and match practice above will help spread out the offers to different audiences.


According to the 2017 Coupon and Promo Code Use Study, 92% of respondents reported using coupons in the past year for purchases.
CouponBox conducted a nationwide survey of U.S retailers about their coupon usage. Retailers reported an approximate revenue of 40 percent from coupons alone.


Want to automatically link your email efforts to your Analytics graph? Try our Email Marketing module. It has the tools you need for more data-driven email marketing including:
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Campaign Creation

Create an email campaign, promoting new items, special deals or events with prepared templates
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Sign-Up Widget

Gather email addresses with a simple widget added to the merchant website
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Contact Importer

Create mailing lists from existing contacts using a simple tool
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Use a campaign dashboard to easily see how the campaign is performing backed by card processing analytics