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What are promotional codes and how do they work?

Updated: Feb 7

Shaina Peek  is the author of the article titled what are promotional codes and how they work

Author: Shaina Peek

Publication date: 25.08.2023

The uprising of COVID-19 in 2019 saw a similar uprising in online retailing. In 2020, online retailing increased by 43%. Due to this change in consumer behaviour, the use of promotional codes increased. Promotional codes give a discount on the price while buying products online. Also, the code can consist of letters and numbers. So, to avoid misunderstandings, the use of discount codes will be explained.

coupon code

Types of codes

To begin with, different types of codes serve different purposes.

Public codes

Public codes are visible to everyone. In particular, the code can be found on the retailer’s website, to encourage consumers to buy from the business. However, these codes can also be found on social media, for example through influencers. So, public codes are meant to promote the business and increase consumer awareness of the brand.

Private codes

Contrary to public codes, private codes target a specific group of people. These codes are sent to members of the company. The code can be offered as a reward, but also to make customers feel included. Therefore, private codes serve as a tool for customer support and improve customer relationships.

Secret codes

Secret codes focus on one person only. Sometimes, issues occur with orders. Therefore companies can offer promotional codes as part of customer care. Consequently, these codes compensate for losses and discomfort experienced by customers. For that reason, secret codes are part of customer service and are meant to improve customer satisfaction.

Promotional campaign

Besides understanding the types of codes, launching a successful promotional campaign is also important. In order to do so, it is necessary to understand current consumer and competitor behaviour. So, to learn about current consumer behaviour, you should consult online statistics or hand out surveys.

In other words, it’s essential to get informed about the competition by reading reviews, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and learning about their customer base. This extended research allows choosing the best option for a promotional code. As a result, making the code related to the brand also increases awareness of the business.

Code instructions

When introducing the code, the instructions should be clear. This means that it is important to mention all the details. Examples are the products included in the code, the valid period of the promotion, and the number of times that the code can be used. Also, explain where the promotional code can be submitted. Making clear rules prevents confusion and miscommunication, which can result in dissatisfaction among customers. Therefore, you should write out the entire plan before implementing the promotional code.

Communication platforms

Finally, the launching of the code. After having constructed the campaign, it is time to decide which platforms to use. For public codes, social media platforms can be used, like Facebook and Instagram. On the other hand, private codes can be sent to members via emails or texts. However, secret codes are sent privately. All in all, the right form of communication is chosen through proper research on consumer behaviour.

All about promotional codes

Successfully using promotional codes requires an understanding of the business climate. This helps in determining the type of code that is most effective. So, the code should be easy to understand and use by the intended audience. Therefore, if you follow these steps, the creation of a promotional code will be easier.


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