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How to Drive Sales with Discount Codes and Coupons

One of the biggest challenges of creating and promoting an online course, a coaching package, or any other kind of educational or consulting content is getting people into it at the start. Like most products, you need a few seeds before a real crop starts to grow, but how do you convince people to join you when no one has done so thus far. How do you get that first student to jump in the water?

You do it with coupons and discount codes.

One of the most effective ways to drive early adoption and to build a user base of happy, evangelistic followers who will leave positive reviews and share your content with others is to offer them an early adopter discount.

How Online Course Coupons Work

Discounts with Yondo
Discounts with Yondo

A good video e-commerce platform will offer an easy way to create coupon codes that you can then give away to people either directly or through coupon-distribution channels. Once you create the coupon, you will assign a unique code to it and a number of times it can be used, sometimes with an expiration date attached.

We recommend that you create a unique code for every coupon you plan on distributing. Don’t reuse the same code for multiple sites, because it will be harder to track where you had the greatest success with your campaign. It may take longer, but this will enable you to measure ROI more effectively.

Which Is Better – Free or Discounted?

The type of coupon or discount code you create will depend on what you need right now. Free coupons will fill up your seats very quickly. The problem with free coupons, however, is that often the people who use them are freebie seekers.

They hunt out free stuff and take it, often with little or no inclination to use it. If you need people to see that your content is popular enough to drive an audience to it, free coupons will do the trick, but if you need people to actually be interested in what you have to offer and watch your videos and then leave reviews, discounts work better.

People love free things, but when they've given up nothing to acquire something, it holds less value.Click To Tweet If they pay even a small fee, value will be associated and they are more likely to actually participate. And if they participate, they are far more likely to leave a review.

And that’s the trick – reviews alone won’t drive full-priced sales, nor will sheer volume of participants. You need a healthy mix, so combining both free and discount coupons will get you to your goals.

How to Distribute Coupons and Drive Adoption

There are a number of sites where you can list your coupons, but start with the immediate surroundings. Offer coupons to your friends and family and post them to your Facebook Page or Twitter feed – get people who already know and trust you to test out your content with little or no investment required and acquire that early feedback.

Once you’ve exhausted the lowest hanging fruit, move to the coupon distribution sites. These include some of the following (though there are many more):

  • RetailMeNot
  • Zulily
  • ShopAtHome
  • SlickDeals
  • eBates
  • Gilt
  • com
  • DealsPlus
  • DealCatcher

Because you are selling a digital product and there is no direct physical cost of providing a coupon to someone to access it, the usual math doesn’t apply. You don’t have to worry about the cost of lost inventory or the loss-leader on getting someone in the door that brick and mortar retailers do. You do however need to keep in mind the cost of advertising your coupons.

These sites are free but it takes time to upload coupons to each and if you plan on using paid advertising for your offerings, there will be an even greater cost as you pay for that traffic.

Are Coupons and Discount Codes Worth It?

If you plan on launching an online course or any kind of video content, then coupon marketing is one of the most effective ways to drive early adoption and increase the conversion rate of your content.

You can drive more traffic, build an audience, and get reviews on your materials faster and with minimal cost to you.Click To Tweet It’s well worth your effort to use them as much as possible in your marketing campaign.


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