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How to Measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of Discount Coupons?
Mike Sedzielewski
Mike Sedzielewski
January 18, 2023
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How to Measure the ROI of Discount Coupons?

Was the coupon promotion a success? This is a single most difficult question any marketer has to answer. As brands are searching for a reliable way to measure their campaigns' success, marketers are looking for tested frameworks and tools that help them track and attribute sales to specific marketing campaigns, including promo codes and discounts.

Gif of a confused lady
Actual footage of a marketer calculating coupon attribution

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How to calculate return on investment (ROI) from coupons?
  • Which metrics are important to measure in discount marketing?
  • How to efficiently test different discount variations?
  • How to build coupon ROI measuring infrastructure?
  • How proper coupon software helps you deal with those tasks?



How to build the right coupon ROI framework?

Discounts or free items are an investment. To make sure your campaign is successful, you need to calculate your return on investment (ROI).

To do that, you'll need a plan for gathering information, tools to analyze that information, and a benchmark for what success looks like. Without these things, you won't get the results you want and it could end up hurting your bottom line. The key is to make sure you're offering the right deals for your business in the right way. Here are some tips on how to build a proper framework for calculating the results of your coupon campaigns.

1. Define campaign KPIs

It's important to know the costs and potential benefits of a voucher marketing campaign, but to truly measure the ROI, you need specific goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) in place. These will be the markers that tell you if your campaign is a success or not. Without clear goals and KPIs, it's hard to know if your campaign is achieving the desired results. So, before you launch your campaign, make sure to define your goals and KPIs so you can track your progress and make adjustments as needed.

2. Automate KPI tracking

Tracking your success factors and KPIs is crucial, but it shouldn't consume all your time. While you could manually track them and input them into a spreadsheet, this can be difficult to maintain for large campaigns. A better solution is to use a CRM and eCommerce software system that work together, allowing you to easily track all the information.

3. Start with single-use promo codes

One of the best ways to understand ROI is by using unique, single-use promo codes. Single-use promo codes not only protect you from the risk of code leakage and misuse, but they also make it easy to track KPIs and calculate ROI. Especially if you are just getting started with building your framework for calculating discount performance, unique promo codes are your best bet.

Key metrics for measuring coupon ROI

Before I talk about measuring effectiveness of your promo codes, we should stop at some basic measurement criteria. Let's start with refreshing the definition of metrics that are important in calculating the effectiveness of coupon promotions.

1. Break-even point formula

The break-even point (BEP) is a situation in which the project does not generate profit or cause losses. At this point, the revenues are equal to the total costs, and the financial result is zero. In other words, all you have spent to produce or deliver the service is covered by the money you made on it, including all the discounts you gave with coupons.

The following formula is used to calculate the profitability of a promotional campaign: Total costs / Product margin.

Break-even point formula

2. Coupon redemption rate formula

In the context of promo campaigns, code redemption is the act of exchanging an incentive (promo code, gift card, referral code, loyalty points) for a discount or a product. Coupon redemption rate, as you may expect, is a ratio of people that actually used the promo code. You can calculate it with this simple formula: Number of redeemed coupons / Number of published coupons x 100.

Coupon redemption rate formula

3. Coupon marketing ROI formula

Having covered the initial two metrics, we've reached a crucial point in coupon processing – calculating the return on investment (ROI) of your coupon campaigns. It is one of the most frequently used profitability metrics. It shows you the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

To calculate the ROI for coupons, you need to determine the overall increase in revenue from increased sales due to the coupons. You can do this by comparing sales before and after the coupon promotion, or by conducting a split test to see how your product sells with and without a coupon. Most brands calculate the ROI of promo codes by using the following formula: Total revenue attributes to the coupon campaign - Total costs / All costs related to running the campaign.

Basic ROI formula for coupon programs

Let's face it, you can't build advanced coupon campaigns without measuring the contribution that a given promotion has on your revenue and profits. Why? Because not all deals will work for your business.

How to measure coupon redemption rates?

Let's start off with an easy one. You want to push out a public, fixed-code code to promote your brand. Something that can be shared on Groupon or ad banners. With Voucherify, you can build the following coupon types:

  • Amount (e.g. $10 off)
  • Percentage (e.g. 20% off)
  • Unit (e.g. 2 free piano classes)
  • Free shipping
  • Fixed amount
  • Dynamic discounts

Once the digital coupon code is created, the tracking is super simple. In this case, you just monitor the number of redemptions. A good coupon software should not only track successful redemptions, but also monitor any failures or fraud attempts so that you can quickly respond and fix issues.

Voucherify – Redemptions overview list

So, now there's nothing blocking you from launching the next campaigns with different discounts to see how they convert. If you've achieved your goal or you noticed that the code is being misused, you can disable it with a single click and any further code redemption attempts will fail.

And that's how you can perform your first coupon A/B tests while keeping campaigns under control. All of this is at your fingertips in a simple user interface and no developer has to be involved.

But what if you want to explore coupon revenue attribution in-depth? That's possible too; just let your software developers know what data you want to collect and they can feed Voucherify with details when the redemption is made. With our rich software libraries, it's a 15-minute job and, in the end, you'll be able to see the information right in the platform.

So far, you've hopefully learned how to run digital coupon campaigns with a data-driven approach in mind. In an ideal world, this should be enough to calculate the ROI of coupons and to figure out what discount types yield the best results.

Unfortunately, it's often the case that some redemptions are fraudulent or can simply be made by mistake. This will distort your numbers and can ultimately lead to inaccurate conclusions. To overcome this, Voucherify comes with rollback functionality, allowing you to revert any redemption. You can also easily integrate it with your e-commerce system so, whenever an order is canceled the coupon rollback happens automatically.



How to test discount limits?

Now that we have a basic coupon campaign designed and we know how to measure key redemption metrics, let's start testing various promotion scenarios. Supposing your campaign isn't performing well, what can we do to increase the coupon redemption rates and as result boost the campaign return on investment?

One of the most common tricks to push customers to quicker redemptions is to put a limit on your coupon code. With Voucherify, you can achieve this in several ways:

  • Limiting the number of redemptions.
  • Setting the expiry date.
  • Defining recurring time periods when codes are active.
  • Making coupons active only on particular days of the week.
  • Devaluing coupon codes as time passes.

The campaign manager gives you an easy way to set a timeframe for when the digital coupon is valid. You can also limit the maximum number of redemptions to help create a sense of urgency. This also comes in handy when you want to set the maximum number of redemptions, so your business is safe when a campaign becomes unexpectedly popular.

Now, you can seamlessly introduce another factor to your coupon experiments and incentivize customers with promotions like “Promo today only!” or “Get one before September ends”.

Learn more: What are the best discount limits to use?

How to monitor the coupon campaign ROI?

To calculate the effectiveness of each campaign you need to be equipped with respective stats and metrics. Different expiration dates or discount types may distinguish promotions that work and don't. In the Voucherify dashboard, you can see each campaign with its details and current metrics updated in real-time.

If the redemption volume of a specific code increases suddenly, it is important to be able to trace it back to a specific marketing activity. This will give you insight into what strategies are working and which ones may need to be adjusted. It can also help you identify any potential issues with the code or campaign and make changes accordingly. By having this information, you can fine-tune your marketing efforts, optimize your ROI and get a better understanding of the impact of your campaigns.

Coupon campaign ROI overview


Coupon campaigns can be a great booster for your sales, customer acquisition, and user engagement as long as they bring a profit. Conversion rate and ROI calculation is an important thing, but a very challenging one, especially if you don't have accurate data.

It's no small task to compare the myriad of different coupon types and features. If you want to scale your coupon offerings, you have to make sure your marketers put more time and resources into what's working and improve the tactics that aren't delivering real value.

Voucherify – coupon ROI metrics

The good news is that coupon performance can be quantified provided that you employ the right infrastructure. Voucherify is a coupon infrastructure delivered through API that provides a quicker way to generate promo codes, distribute them via 3rd-party tools, and track their success rate. All that with a user-friendly interface for creating and managing coupon campaigns.


Start getting results with Voucherify

Try Voucherify


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