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5 Deadly Coupon Codes Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

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Coupon codes can be a great tool for your business. They bring in new customers and get those customers – as well as returning customers – to spend more with your company. However, if used incorrectly, coupon codes can be ineffective, or worse, can be detrimental to your business. If grossly misused, they can even cost your company some serious money.

That’s why it’s important to consider both the benefits of coupon codes and their proper application as well. Here are some mistakes you should avoid when creating coupon codes.

1. Not Understanding Customer Acquisition Cost

The concept of customer acquisition cost is a fundamental one, and it’s the principle that drives your coupon campaigns. The customer acquisition cost is the amount of money you need to spend in order to gain a customer.

You want to spend some time thinking about what CAC is right for your business; after all, one that is too high might harm your company’s finances, just as you would by overpaying on advertisements. The point here is not to spend a long time crunching numbers, but it is worth taking note of what you stand to gain – and lose – by offering coupons.

2. Offering Too Steep of a Discount

While a calculated large discount such as 30% off can work out very well for your company, bad things can happen if you don’t take the time to figure out where to apply this discount and how many discounts you give out. For one, a high discount rate might mean a higher CAC.

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But on the other hand, a large discount can also work too well by bringing in a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise shop with your business (and won’t plan to again) just to buy the steeply discounted product. Furthermore, if your company fulfills its own orders, you could be putting unnecessary strain on shipping and logistics, as well as your sales team.

3. Offering Unlimited Discounts

If you offer store-wide discounts, such as nordstrom coupon codes make sure that they’re limited number of uses. Shoppers could easily take advantage of your discount and buy much more at discount than you had anticipated, leading to a lot of sales but low revenue.

Furthermore, if you give out too many discount codes, you run the risk of running out of inventory. If your coupon campaign was designed to push out older stock, you may end up having to order more of this old, unwanted stock, which could cost you more money than originally anticipated.

4. Not Giving Away a Good Enough Discount

Most of the mistakes you can make err on the side of giving away too much. But, don’t forget that you can also be guilty of not giving away enough. Sure, not much is lost if your coupon deal isn’t the greatest on the market. You can always provide customers with a better discount.

However, by knowing the sweet spot, you can save yourself some time experimenting with different discounts. There will need to be some give-and-take as you find the happy medium between what’s good for you and good for your customers, and it will take some time and a few attempts, but the closer you get the first time, the happier everyone will be.

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5. Discounting Money Cards

This mistake is easy to make and could prove to be fatal to your business. If you choose to offer a discount, be sure not to allow that discount to be used on products tied to real money, such as gift cards. If you allow a 10-percent discount on all your products and one of those products happens to be a $50 gift card, guess who’s taking advantage and buying themselves free money? Everyone. Keep it safe and allow your discounts to be applied only to certain products.

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Featured photo credit: CouponMate via lifehack.org

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