Why Coupon-Offering Is Great for Your Membership Site

The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, and that means shopping is at its high for the year, which also means it’s an opportune time to recruit new customers and reward your most loyal clients. But before you start slashing prices left and right, be sure to take stock of your membership site as a whole. You want to make sure your coupon, discount, offer, or special deal is actually worth it as far as your business goes.

Take Stock!

Checking your analytics to see if offering discounts is healthy for your business at this time is crucial. Lowering your prices decreases your profit margins and overall profitability. So is it worth the risk? The last thing you want to do is sink your own ship! Coupons, discounts, and deals work best and are most profitable for sales on something that doesn’t perform quite as well as your other products. Possibly the best advice is to start small and measure results. Ultimately, though, the reason you offer these deals is to entice customers to buy—or to continue to buy—your products. 

Types of Deals

You’ve carefully studied your reports and are ready to offer a discount. What types should you give? There are a number of different kinds of deals, and once you read through them below, you’ll realize you’ve seen them everywhere, on- and offline. 

  • Take a certain percentage off. These are popular because you can give a small discount as a reward (5 percent to 10 percent) or a large percentage to capture new leads (30 percent off new memberships!). Percentages are also good for getting rid of stock, which is good for physical product (think clearance racks), but they also work for webinars and e-courses that aren’t “breaking news” any longer. 
  • Knock off a certain number of bucks. Twenty-five dollars off a membership? Sounds like a sweet deal! Dollar-value discounts can also be used as credit: “Here’s twenty-five dollars toward your upgraded membership!” This entices customers to buy—especially when you include a deadline or require a minimum purchase for them to be able to apply the discount to the balance.
  • Freebies for the win! These are a great reward for any type customer. If you’re worried about losing valuable products, think of offering something that isn’t as high-selling or isn’t moving as quickly any longer. You could also offer free shipping if you have physical products. No physical products? No worries. How about offering an hour of free access to restricted-by-membership-level community boards?

Discount Campaign Ideas

Now that you know what types of deals you can offer, here are a few ideas on when you can offer them.

  • Time is of the essence. We mentioned above that putting an expiration date on your deals encourages customers to take advantage of them now rather than waiting. Expiration dates work great during holidays—not just the “holidays.” Try sending out a themed coupon for Halloween: “Jump on this deal before it’s dead and buried!”
  • New product celebrations! Ready to launch an exciting new service or product? Take advantage of having your customers’ attention and offer them a discount on the new product. Additionally, you could ask existing customers to share your new-product news and offer them a coupon for simply spreading the word on their blogs and social media sites. Marketing and sales!
  • Thanks for sharing! Speaking of social media, a great way to get the word out is by asking current clientele to share your business with their followers. But so they don’t feel like they’re doing something for nothing, offer them a social-media-sharing coupon: “Share this post and receive five dollars off your next e-course!” For even more oomph, ask them to share it within a certain timeframe for an extra amount off.
  • Newsletter-subscriber appreciation. Similarly, rewarding newsletter subscribers is a great way to not only thank them for their continued interest in your business, it gives you a chance to remind them about some of the services you offer that they may not have taken you up on yet. 
  • Thanks for attending the webinar. Your customers love to feel appreciated and want you to know they’ve invested time and/or money in your business. Why not give them a few bucks off their next month’s membership for attending a webinar you put on? Or maybe you offered a free webinar to new leads—give them an incentive to join your site at a discounted price directly after the webinar ends.
  • Please don’t say goodbye! Have you ever had a customer who wants to cancel their membership subscription? Of course you have. Have you tried to retain them by offering them a deep discount?  

These are just a few ideas of the deals, discounts, offers, and coupons you can offer leads and customers and generate more business and memberships for your site. And because that most glorious time of year is upon us (right?), now is a great opportunity to try a discount campaign. Holiday shopping is the perfect time to try a time-expiring or themed coupon, and, since you are cyber-based, be sure you get one out for Cyber Monday!

Now that you have a solid knowledge base about deals and discounts, you’re going to want to know how to set them up in MemberPress. Great news! We make it super easy for you to offer coupon codes, as shown by fellow MemberPress blogger, Joe Fylan in this article. Joe also shares a few nifty ideas about what types of codes to use, why you’d want to use them, and the best time to offer them. 

What coupons have worked best for your site? Please let us know in the comments below!

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About Lindsay Flanagan

Lindsay Flanagan is a senior editor and project and social media manager at Eschler Editing. She earned her Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing and spent over a decade working in higher education before joining the Eschler team. She and her husband are the proud parents of two brilliant daughters and make their home in Heber, Utah.