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April 6, 2018

Promotion ideas for your WooCommerce store

Jagoda Hryszko
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This article is a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts while promoting your WooCommerce store. We guide you through the most effective promotion types, keeping in mind common pitfalls and the needs of digital consumers.

‍Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Prerequisite

We’ve made this guide with our WooCommerce store already connected to a promotion management system (Voucherify). In the following text, we're going to present how this free integration extends promotional potential. If you’d like to implement our ideas in your strategy, we’ve left details of the Voucherify plugin at the end of this article.

Rapid experiments with flash-sales

One of the most important parts of every type of promotion is timing. Every discount wrapped into a specific time frame creates a sense of urgency. Commonly used short flash-sales help retailers to drive more customers into a purchase. What works best for these campaigns are cart-level promotions and that’s why one of the bestsellers for WooCommerce are the plugins with cart-level sales. We recommend going a step further and combining cart-level discounts with advanced customer tracking. Firstly, flash-sales provide multiple variables to customize your campaign and adjust rules to your audience in no time. Secondly, they supply you with a great amount of delivered data; you can easily test a variety of campaign ideas and find out what works best. Finally, as much as possible, they shorten the way from buying decision to purchase.

Cart-level promotions need to be fast to implement and flexible once they are set live. With proper software, you can test multiple campaign ideas at the same time and catch significant clues instantly. (source: Voucherify)

Recurring discounts

Repetitive campaigns locked in a short time-frame are a great way to bring more life to your promotion strategy. For example, you can leverage your weakest days in sales during a month. Attractive discounts help you to drive more traffic and encourage revisits in the long run. From the technical point of view, you can set recurring campaigns, active only in particular, repetitive time windows. The flexibility of coupons enables you to reshape campaign params (discount, duration) along with changing traffic and current goals.

In the picture, you can see a campaign “Cyber Monday Every Month” which, once a month on 10 hours, activates a code with 25% discount. As a result, on the quietest day of the month, the store gains more traffic and sharpens up its sales stats.

Personalized coupon campaigns

With WooCommerce, retailers can target coupons at particular groups of customers, e.g. the most loyal audience. It's great to have exclusive discounts scheduled in a way that your receivers are 100% aware of how special these offers are. Otherwise, even the most attractive incentives lose a lot of their marketing power. It’s like building tension in a promotion plot; instead of single popup in the storefront, add a personalized email sent automatically when a customer qualifies for an attractive deal. Build a concise message showing the personal character of a discount and emphasize an expiration date. It may look like lots to do, but it's a piece of cake in fact. Marketing automation on a coupon platform makes personalization and distribution fast and scalable.

Abandoned cart offer

The typical abandoned cart offer is to add a coupon with 5% or 10% discount to the cart after a user abandons it. Without knowing their reason for leaving, discounts can’t always work efficiently. Because this knowledge is often hard to reach, think about multi-level abandoned cart offers. Scheduling a separate strategy on sending “abandoned cart” messages increases the chances to fit timing and push the customer to revisit. Let's go through an exemplary schema:

  1. Customer abandons the cart and gets 5% off their order at the storefront.
  2. If they haven't finished the purchase, on the same day a unique coupon with 10% discount is sent automatically to their mailbox.
  3. After three days the customer gets a reminder about the unredeemed coupon code.
With this approach, you reduce chances of losing customers because of mismatched timing. Without being spammy, you can improve retention rates and start building a 1:1 customer experience.

Data-driven loyalty program

The very first thing to understand is that no matter your service quality and marketing effort, only a small number of visitors turn into your brand enthusiasts. Still, investing in these customers can be very cost-effective if only you can listen and adjust to their needs. The greatest loyalty programs are data-driven machinery which turn collected information into a better customer experience. How to do this? Firstly, you need to go along with a digital consumer. Secondly, you need an exciting rewards schema which is easy to maintain. Finally, it should be flexible enough to adjust to individuals and provide attractive fresh ideas. Seems a little bit complicated? No worries. You can combine a data-driven approach, marketing flexibility, attractive incentives, and personalization by using sophisticated coupon campaigns. Start with building a dynamic customer segment which gathers your loyal audience. Offer attractive coupons secured with budget-based limits. Share coupons in personalized emails/ SMS to emphasize an individual approach. Collect coupon data through its entire lifecycle and learn the lessons for the future. That’s it!

The best thing about coupons is that you don't need extra "loyalty program software" to easily manage your loyal audience, even without a grand budget.

Follow-ups

Nearly all WooCommerce stores already know the potential power of follow-ups. They are meant to keep customers engaged thanks to their relevant content, however, regardless of channel, they are knocking on the private space of your customers (mailbox, phone, social media profiles). If you want to leverage follow-ups in your marketing strategy, you need to deliver real value and give customers a good reason to let you in. In any other case, your messages will cast their lot with poor, repetitive emails which fill SPAM folders every day. What can far more effectively activate dormant users is sending messages with personalized incentives limited in time. Incentives such as coupons or gift cards give each follow-up message real, measurable value.

With marketing automation, you can gather elusive users in one segment and manage follow-ups without constant manual effort.

MailChimp and personalized coupons on WooCommerce

If you already use a MailChimp plugin for WooCommerce to create follow-ups, you can easily improve them with personalized coupons. Platforms such as Voucherify integrate for free with WooCommerce and MailChimp to supply email marketing with all mentioned promotion types. You can track customers, generate personalized coupon campaigns, and deliver them to end customers in MailChimp templates.

Promotions’ underbelly - keeping budget safe

What often holds companies back, especially small companies, from speeding up their coupon strategy is the unpredictability of results. When the effect of a marketing effort remains unexpected, there is a way to keep the wheel no matter what. Equip promotional campaigns with the necessary limits to put in place and test marketing ideas even with a small budget. Before you discount anything, remember that discount alone is not any marketing strategy. Every idea needs a solid back up consisting of appropriate limits. Let's list the most important rules you can add to your WooCommerce promotions:

The upper value of a discount to offer a discount as long as it’s beneficial for both buyer and your brand.

Excluded products. Firstly, not every discount will work well with all your products. Secondly, you can’t discount everything. Promotions make sense only when costs and profits are properly balanced. If for some products a promotion could do more harm than good, exclude them.

Only one per customer guarantees that the number of coupon redemptions is limited to the number of attracted customers.

The total value of discounted amount needs to correspond with a promotion budget. Before launching any campaign make sure you have limits which stop your audience from discounting more than you can afford.

Last but not least, always remember the expiration date. You can quickly re-activate an expired campaign, but you can't stop or control coupons which are valid forever.

Keeping in mind the importance of rules and limits, let’s compare two rules engines.

  • Usage restrictions by using WooCommerce dashboard (enables you only for basic coupon limits)
  • Usage restrictions by using promotion management system (Voucherify dashboard). The difference is visible at first glance:

Summary

WooCommerce gives customers basic coupon types like fixed-code, a percentage off or free shipping. But if you want to run advanced product-oriented or budget-based campaigns, referral, and loyalty programs, it’s simply not enough. Although you can buy extensions one by one to cover every new promotion idea, you can also invest in a flexible promotion management system and make it easier. To implement the promotion strategy described in this article, you don’t have to enhance your toolkit with time-consuming and buggy software. WooCommerce works great with promotion management systems such as Voucherify or MailChimp. Combined together, they create a powerful marketing engine for your store.

Interested in developing such a promotion strategy for your store? Download the Voucherify plugin for WooCommerce and try it for free.
Tagged:
coupons
,  
coupon strategy
,  
referral program
,  
marketing tools
,  
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