5 Coupon Conversion and Retention Best Practices for Sustainable Growth

4 minutes

Promotions continue to drive engagement for omnichannel commerce, offering the extra nudge that increases conversion and retention rates to power growth for your business. We’ve put together a list of best practices and scenarios so you can test whether your next promotions not only acquire new customers more efficiently, but also boost metrics like customer value and recurring revenue.

Abandoned cart recovery

Even with conversion rate, multivariate testing and purchase funnel optimizations, you still lose the vast majority of potential shoppers through cart abandonment. Everybody’s favorite quotable statistic comes from the Baymard Institute, indicating that cart abandonment rates can be as high as 70%. Recovering abandons through email campaigns is a core tactic for any online store these days. To increase efficiency even more, include a special promotion when reaching out to these shoppers. The right combination of basic follow-up notifications and promotional emails can get a click rate of 10% and an average conversion rate of 5%.

Best practice
We’ve tested out a few strategies for reducing cart abandonment and unfinished payments to give you a jump-start in this area. Promotions can play a big role in generating conversions, especially if you find that shoppers ignore simple reminders. Send out a discounted offer as the last attempt to salvage a purchase, two days after shoppers abandon the cart. Make a special effort to target customers who had second thoughts because of the price.
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Upsells vs. plain vanilla discounts

Increasing conversion is all about communicating value, so keep in mind that consumers tend to favor getting more over spending less (whether they realize it or not). In other words, offering 50% more seats at the same price is a more effective incentive than offering 30% off, even though these offers are essentially the same. Forrester research indicates that upsells and cross-sells drive some 30% of e-commerce revenue, and there are stats pointing out that the first offer is 20 times more efficient than the latter.

Best practice
If you choose upsells over pain vanilla discounts, remember to test the impact of higher costs on your conversion rate before going all out with upsells. For example, after A/B testing the effectiveness of the one-click upsell on its thank you page, Avangate customer Bitdefender experienced an 18% increase in its upsell attach rate, and an increase in average order value of 12%. This is generally in line with other customers on the Avangate platform, who average a 48% attach rate for upsells.
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Anti-churn discounts

Just as you can use promotions to increase revenue per visitor, you can offer similar incentives for customers to continue using your services. Offer discounts at the moment when subscribers attempt to cancel the auto-renewal to increase your retention rate, along with the all-important customer lifetime value metric.

Best practice
Based on existing churn prevention campaigns, Avangate recommends asking for feedback and offering a 15% to 35% discount for one billing cycle to discourage customers from disabling recurring billing. This configuration recovered subscription volumes worth more than four times the value of the discount awarded, even without considering the entire customer lifecycle value. You can easily see recovery rates between 5% and 10%, depending on the size of the discount. Remember, subscribers enrolled in auto-renewal campaigns are 3.5 times more likely to continue their subscription, so it’s in your best interest to not only change their mind, but also have everyone opt in for recurring billing from the start
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Customer loyalty promotions

Do engagement right by rewarding your loyal customers and focusing on long-term customer lifetime value (CLTV) rather than short-term average order value (AOV). One tactic to upgrade your trial users or upsell to existing base is using early renewal promotions. Identify engaged users and offer them early renewals to increase your sales with an immediate call to action, such as receiving discounts for the next month or even across subsequent billing cycles. Because 39% of shoppers talk about purchases with family and friends, an excellent renewal experience at a discount is just what’s needed to turn your customers into advocates. And 68% of consumers agree that promotions generate loyalty, according to a Forrester study.

Best practice
Use incentivized early renewals to solidify your recurring revenue and reward loyal subscribers, turning them into brand advocates. Early renewals are a great tool to upsell to your existing customer base. Incentivize upgrades to a higher value offer to sweeten the deal even more.
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Targeted discounts

The Econsultancy 2016 Digital Trends report pinpointed targeting and personalization as the top digital priority of 2016 for marketing executives. In the Avangate platform, we recently enhanced our promotions engine to include advanced dynamic segmentations that will make your campaigns even more personalized and effective.

Best practice
If you’re already segmenting audiences and creating personalized interfaces, emails, and products, why not offer targeted promotions as well? Automate coupons according to where your customers originate. Shoppers have different interests and needs based on their location, so use Targeted Promotions to trigger discounts for your shoppers by sale source, increasing your conversion rate and maximizing CLTV while accounting for various criteria, such as website URL or domain localization.


Boost your AOV by upselling high-value offers to customers at discount, with dynamic coupons that can be activated for purchases that include multiple products, order value tiers or specific plans.

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These are just a few examples of the many ways you can increase conversion rates with creative promotions. Having a self-service advanced promotions engine with dynamic segmentation will speed up your ability to experiment with growth campaigns, meaning that your possibilities are pretty much endless.

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