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HomeOntraport for paymentsSetup and orientation > Creating coupon codes
Home > Setup and orientation  >  Creating coupon codes
Creating coupon codes
Learn how to make your own coupon codes in a few easy steps so you can reward your loyal customers and entice new leads to buy from you.
You'll learn:
  • When to use personal coupons versus group coupons
  • How to create your first coupon code
  • How to get your coupons into your customers’ hands
  • How to set up your system to make it coupon-friendly
Matthew Bixby
Creating coupon codes
Learn how to make your own coupon codes in a few easy steps so you can reward your loyal customers and entice new leads to buy from you.
You'll learn:
  • When to use personal coupons versus group coupons
  • How to create your first coupon code
  • How to get your coupons into your customers’ hands
  • How to set up your system to make it coupon-friendly
Course Instructor
Matthew Bixby
Related resources
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  Everyone likes a deal, and with Ontraport’s coupon code feature, you can give your prospects the little push they might need to make a decision to buy now or entice old customers with a hard-to-resist 15% off discount to come back for more.

In this video, I’ll show you how to make your own coupon code in a few simple steps. 
  1. First, you’ll decide if you want to use personal or group coupons,
  2. Second, you’ll create a coupon in your account, 
  3. Third, you’ll send off the coupon to your customers, and
  4. Last, you’ll enable coupon codes on your order form.

Here we go!

First, figure out if you want to make a Personal Coupon or a Group Coupon.

Personal coupons are codes that are automatically generated when sent to individual contacts. They’re not designed to be shared, and they’ll be invalid after they’ve been used once. 

They’re also good to include in your follow-up automations with leads. For example, if a lead visits your order page but doesn’t buy, you could set up an automation that sends them a personal coupon code three days later. To reel them back in as a repeat customer, maybe you’ll offer them a 10% off coupon once they buy.

Group coupons are, as you probably guessed, meant to be used by groups of people rather than just one person. 

Let’s say you’re running a winter holiday promo for 25% off everything. For what it’s worth, I’d definitely shop that sale. 

You could create a group coupon with a “HOLIDAY25” promo code, then share that code in a newsletter, on your site, on your Instagram page or wherever you want. 

Be aware that since these codes aren’t personal, anyone could pass them along to anyone else, and someone might even post it on the internet. That could be a good thing for you, but it’s something to keep in mind. To make sure you’re not on the hook for selling too many of your products at a discount, you can limit the total number of times a group coupon is used before it becomes invalid. I’ll show you how to do that in a minute.

Ok, let’s  create your first code.

Start by heading to your “Sales” tab, then click “Settings” and “Coupon Codes.” From there, click “Add New Coupon.”

Now you’ll see options for “Group Coupon” and “Personal Coupon.” For this example, I’ll just make a personal coupon. 

Notice that on this screen, the “Coupon Code” field is greyed out so you can’t edit it, because the system is going to generate a unique code for each contact.

But if you were working with a group coupon, it’d look like this and you could write whatever you wanted in the space provided.

The “Coupon Description” section will show up on your order forms and invoices, like this. Here, you’ll quickly describe what the coupon does, along with a little congratulatory message if you want. Something like “Happy holidays! Enjoy 25% off your order!”

In the “Valid for these products” section, you have two options: “All products” and “Specific Product.” 

The first option makes your coupon applicable to all products. The second will give you a new window for you to select which products you want to be eligible for this discount. Maybe you only want discounts to apply to your membership site but not your coaching programs, for instance. 

The “Value of the discount” section is where you’ll pick — you guessed it — how much your discount is worth. You have a few choices:

First, you can offer a flat rate discount in a specific dollar amount — or whatever currency you’re using. So you could, for example, do a $5 off promo, rather than a percentage-based discount.

Or, if you want to do a percentage-based discount — which is the more commonly used option — you could do 20% off. 

Finally, you can offer up a free trial of your subscription products, rather than slashing the price. So if a subscription to your membership site goes for $10 a month, you could create a coupon code that gives new subscribers three free months.

Here, in the “If product is sold as a subscription or payment plan” section, you’ll decide if you want your discount to apply to all subscriptions or payment plans, or just the first payment.

For instance, if you offer new subscribers 10% off the first month to your membership site, you’d select “Apply discount to first payment only.”

But if you wanted that 10% off to last as long as the membership does, you’d choose “Apply discount to all payments.”

The “When are they valid?” section is where you’ll decide how long a discount code is valid. This comes in two flavors:

First, you can select specific dates. This can be great for things like that holiday promo I’ve been talking about. If you run a holiday promo that’s only good for the month of December, you can set your dates for December 1 through December 31. 

Or, you can use the “Coupon is valid for” fields to decide how long the coupon is good once the coupon code is generated. Note that the time window can be days, hours or a combination of both.

This is good for those promotions that create a sense of urgency. You know the ones — the “Act fast! Buy within the next 48 hours to get 20% off your order!”-style promotions. 

Once you have everything the way you want it, click “Save.”

Before I move on, just note that this screen is your coupon collection, so if you ever need to edit, delete or copy any of your codes, you can do it here.

Now that you have a code, let’s talk about how to actually get these coupons in your contacts’ hands.

Once again, you’ve got some options here.

If this is a group code and you’re doing a big broadcast to promote it, you can just type up a quick email. Simply type in your “HOLIDAY25” code into the body copy and hit send. 

You can also share your code on social media or right on your website in one of those little floating windows people do on Black Friday that I’m sure you’ve seen.

With personal codes, things change a bit. Since the codes are generated automatically for each contact, you can’t just type it in yourself. Instead, you have to use a merge field. 

So go to “Contacts,” then select a contact, click the email button and type up a quick email.

From here, click on the merge field button and scroll down until you find the name of your coupon.

You’ll see three fields that can be merged into your email:

The “Code” is the actual coupon code you’ll send to contacts.

The “Date Created” option lets you merge in the date that the code was created. 

The “Expires” option lets you merge the info for when the code expires. This is dynamically generated, just like the code itself. This date will be different for each person who gets the code, depending on when they got it.

The last step is to make sure your customers have a place to actually use your coupon code. Order forms don’t automatically include a place for your customers to enter a coupon code, so make sure you enable it. 

This is quick and easy: Hover over your order summary element and click the settings icon. In the Settings tab you can see all the order forms you can display. Just toggle on Coupon code like this, and you’re good to go!

Some final pro tips for you:

All these steps can be repeated for things like SMS messages and even merged into PURLs and membership pages. And, you can use automations to fire these codes off whenever you want!

You can also use different triggers to kick off your promo, like when a certain date arrives or if a contact visits your order page but doesn't bite. You can tempt these cart abandoners to come back and finish their purchase by offering them a coupon code.

And that’s creating coupon codes in a nutshell! All that’s left for you to do is come up with some sales and other promotions to run. You’re well on your way to boosting engagement with your contacts and generating more sales — ka-ching!

Keep watching the rest of this course to learn about the types of offers you can sell with Ontraport, how to run transactions and refunds and much more.
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