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2022-10-19 5:00 pm
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Promo strategies
How to Generate Unique Random Coupon Codes?
Mike Sedzielewski
Mike Sedzielewski
September 26, 2017
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How to Generate Unique Random Coupon Codes?

A few years ago generating unique coupon codes wasn’t easy – companies needed not only unique, but also safe (fraud-protected), trackable and personalizable codes, and there weren’t many options available at the time.

In 2022, though, generating random, but highly usable coupon codes is at hand – all you need is an easy to use, yet advanced software that would create perfect unique codes for your needs.

Read on and learn how to generate any number of coupon codes that provide outstanding customer experience by being customizable, 100% safe and trackable.

What are unique vouchers?

Generating random coupon codes (numeric or alphanumeric unique character strings) will help you with 1:1 tracking, marketing personalization, influencer management, affiliate sales management and fraud prevention. We’ll dive into each of these aspects and see what potential lies in unique vouchers.

Let’s start with the most obvious aspect, fraud protection. You clearly don’t want your vouchers to be easily forgeable. The key to generating hard-to-guess coupon codes is a large set of possible codes where only a small fraction of them is actually valid. Take a look at the example below:

Voucher generator – a list of combinations infographic

With the Voucherify unique coupon codes generator you don’t have to worry about the number of generated codes – it’s possible to create an almost unlimited set of codes (though you may generate no more than 9999 in one batch). Just generate as much as you can, put them all in .xls (or any other) file, and create another set – three clicks and you’ll have almost 30,000 randomly generated codes!

Customer experience and coupon redemption

How to improve the customer experience with coupon redemptions?

Once you make your codes un-guessable, you should think about customer experience. First of all, keep in mind there’s a trade-off between codes security (particularly length) and ease of use for the end user. It’s you who decides how to compromise these issues in your business reality. There are, however, a few general tips that should cut down on customer complaints without substantial security trade-off or too much development effort: 

  • Don’t make it too long - Usually, an 8-12 characters string should be un-guessable and unique enough.
  • Avoid ambiguous characters - It’s difficult to see the difference between O and 0 in the random string. I (upper case i) and l (lower case L) is even more tricky. We all recall the feelings when forced to try different combinations over and over again. So, you’d better prevent this before it hits your customer service team. Just exclude them from the character set. Of course, I wouldn’t mention it, if we didn’t have such an option in our code generator. Everything you need to do to avoid confusion, is to remove problematic characters from the “Character set” field.
  • Cut the code into a few small parts, e.g. ABCD-1234-XYZ - It’s a subtle change but it simplifies typing at the checkout view. This adds up to the overall buying experience and customer satisfaction.

Vouchers tracking and ROI monitoring

It’s often the case that you run different voucher campaigns at the same time. Once they’re finished, the marketing team asks you for the performance reports. How many vouchers have been redeemed, what’s the number of failed redemptions, how many new customers have been acquired and so on. To handle different campaigns separately and to help further data crunching, it’s reasonable to extend your codes with a proper prefix or suffix from the first campaign. For example: BF-XXXXXX-22.

Such coupon personalization is a perfect way to inform customers what those codes are for – one quick look and they’ll be sure that it’s a Black Friday coupon, and not a St. Patrick’s Day one.

An example of unique coupon codes created in Voucherify generator

Why you should use unique coupon codes

The alternative to unique coupon codes is one master code used for the whole promotion. Let’s say your company organizes Black Friday sale – you can create a sale promotion with a single code: BLACKFRIDAY22 for example. Companies tend to choose master codes because they are easy to manage – you just need to issue one coupon and then distribute it between target audiences (newsletter subscribers, loyal customers, new users and so on).

But here’s a disadvantage of such an approach: once issued and distributed, the master code is no longer trackable nor in control of your company. Each customer can easily share it within their network and the code can be used multiple times with a minimum effort (even if the customers need to create an account in your store to place orders).

Unique coupon codes, on the other hand, are – as we mentioned before – easy to track, you can set redemption limits, and each customer would receive their own coupon code –– they still can share the code with someone, but after first redemption the code will become useless. That’s a perfect way to prevent fraud and make sure the promotion won’t be too costly for your company.

Coupon campaigns 101

Having a batch of unique coupon codes is certainly not the end – to make them work for you, you need to create a campaign around them and then take care of proper distribution. You might, of course, build the desired solution in-house, but you can also use a ready-made promotion engine instead. Voucherify features much more than a mere random code generator – it’s rather a nice addition to our portfolio of products. Take a look at this short webinar below and learn how to create discount coupon campaigns in Voucherify from scratch:

...and here comes the gift

If you need to generate unique coupon codes, passwords or any unique numbers strings, especially when needed in bulk, we have good news; we open sourced a library that generates unique coupon codes – fraud-protected and customizable. And the best thing – it’s free of charge!

Random code generator from Voucherify  – it’s pretty flexible and enables all the small hacks we shared above (length, charset, prefix, suffix, and pattern).

It can generate an unlimited amount of codes in batches (but no more than 9999 at once! The generated codes can be used as random promotional codes, serial numbers, strong passwords, sweepstake codes, pin codes, voucher redeem codes and much more. And if you’re about to generate super-long codes, be warned that the maximum single code length is 100 characters (including optional prefix and postfix).

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