Digital Coupons 101 [Plus, 4 tips to win with partnerships]

Discover how digital discounts and coupons can help you improve conversion rates, build loyal customer bases and optimize the customer journey with personalization. Then, enjoy 4 insightful ways to upgrade your digital coupon strategy with partnerships.

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Scott Gold
Scott Gold
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Read time: 8 mins

Over 85 percent of shoppers are likely to purchase if offered a coupon code, while 65 percent are more eager to buy a new product accompanied by a discount code. Considering over 142 million U.S. adults used online coupons in 2021 alone, it’s worthwhile asking the question: Are online coupons worth investing in, or do they hold brands back?

Digital coupons are still an active choice for consumers. According to Statista, only 8 percent of consumers say they never look for online coupons before purchasing. These offers create a big opportunity for brands to close the sale. Digital coupons can increase conversions, promote brand loyalty, and convert new buyers when done right. 

Key takeaways
  • Digital coupons are a cost-effective marketing strategy to increase traffic, drive conversions and acquire new customers.
  • The right partnership management platform, like, counteracts the cons of digital coupons, such as promoting negative shopping habits, damaging brand reputation, and encouraging uncontrollable distribution.
  • A diverse partner mix helps weave discount offers more seamlessly into the customer shopping journey.
  • Tracking features, like Promo Code Monitoring, help prevent ruining brand reputation caused by promo code violations.
  • Standardizing promotion information delivery and access nurtures productive partnerships and drives conversions.
  • Robust reporting provides important insights to boost performance and grow coupon campaigns

Digital coupons—a perfect way to drive online sales

Offering digital coupons is a cost-effective marketing strategy that provides discounts, offers, or promotions for a product or service. Strategically incorporating them helps increase traffic, gives you a competitive edge, and promotes more sales.

Coupon marketing adapts to changing customer behaviors. Brands can distribute them in various ways, including the following:

  • Promo codes consist of a combination of brand-specific numbers and letters that shoppers can use at the point of sale. 
  • Customers retrieve downloadable coupons from brand websites, coupon aggregation sites, emails, and social media posts. 
  • Brands use mobile coupons to drive traffic to their mobile applications with mobile-only offers.  
  • Automatic coupons require no action from shoppers. Their cart includes automated offers at checkout, reducing cart abandonment.

Leveraging the perks of digital coupons: Increased conversions, loyalty, and personalization 

Digital coupons help companies and advertisers streamline the shopping process for potential customers and offer the following benefits. 

Improves conversion rates

Digital discounts sweeten the deal for customers at checkout and can act as the deciding factor to encourage a purchase. It can entice new customers to try your product or affirm hesitant shoppers purchasing choices when they believe they’ve saved some money. 

For example, crafting limited-time offers, like flash deals or 24-hour discounts, speed up conversions by creating a sense of urgency.

Builds a loyal customer base

Coupon plans that reward customers for their loyalty—like point, tiered, or cash-back programs—help promote repeat sales, provide shoppers the value they seek, and show them your appreciation for their continued business. 

Additionally, using email partners that require customer details for a coupon code grows your email list and gives you access to valuable data. Brands can nurture long-term customer relationships with timely updates on exclusive offers and enticing promotions. Teams leverage essential customer data to optimize their coupon strategy for marketing campaign success.  

Optimizes the customer journey with personalization

Partnership management platforms like offer reporting features like the Behavior or Top Paths Report that provide insights to create and send customers highly personalized incentives and offers. With information into customer conversion behavior, preferences, and partners’ role in the conversion path, brands can use different partner types to provide tailored digital coupon promotions and recommendations. 

Digital coupon marketing challenges brands must overcome

Unfortunately, online discount codes and coupons aren’t foolproof. Brands could face hurdles and avoid digital coupons due to the following real (or perceived) challenges. 

Affects customer shopping habits

Relying heavily on digital coupons nurtures negative customer shopping habits. Shoppers might only buy products once they find coupons or promo codes, forcing brands to be more strategic on when (or not) to use them. Additionally, online coupons can interfere with the purchase path when customers abandon the shopping cart to search for an offer to use. 

Damages brand reputation and value

Marketing teams may worry too many coupons make their brand seem cheap or lacking demand. Each team needs to find the right balance. Perpetual discounts quickly seem like a cheap marketing tactic if shoppers notice nothing ever returns to full price. 

Encourages uncontrollable distribution

Some brands avoid the lack of control promo codes offer. Customers can add a simple code from a social media post to a massive discount website. Targeted coupons might be shared far and wide on Facebook—making tracking real customer performance and engagement even harder. Partners can also distribute expired promo codes. 

Thankfully, incorporating partnerships into your digital coupon strategies with the right management platform can help brands counteract and neutralize these drawbacks. 

4 ways to elevate your digital coupon strategy with partnerships 

Implementing a coupon strategy with partnerships offers a great way to address the challenges of digital coupons while enjoying its perks. Brands can overcome these concerns with the right partnership marketing platform, like 

1. Tap into a diverse partner mix.

Collaborating with different partner types increases reach and keeps customers engaged. The authentic connection established with your audience via partners counteracts the fear of damaged brand reputation through digital coupons. The right partners help weave special offers and promo codes more seamlessly into the customer’s shopping journey and experience. 

Management platforms, like, have Discovery tools that offer brands access to a pool of partners—social media influencers, content partners, coupon sites, and more. Each partner plays a different role in the customer journey, creating an opportunity to use digital coupons effectively. Brands can use mobile app publishers for limited-time discounts to reward loyal shoppers or assign promo codes to influencers to promote new products. 

2. Use tracking tools to avoid violations 

Promo code violations are harmful to brand reputations. Tracking features, like’s Promo Code Monitoring, manage the risk around partners promoting expired promo codes or ones not meant to be shared publicly. 

Brands can create policies to streamline distribution by tracking where partners promote discounts, identifying how customers use them, and setting rules defining violations. 

3. Equip partners to drive conversions

Ensuring partners receive and distribute promotional offers and data promptly gives them the resources to increase conversions and helps brands form productive partnerships. 

Features like’s Product Promotions promote efficiency by standardizing information delivery and access. The feed allows brands to load product promotions, and partners can discover and share relevant promotions with customers via the Product Marketplace. 

4. Leverage reports to improve performance

Access to performance metrics such as actions, revenue, and other KPIs helps grow your coupon campaign through partnerships. The Performance by Promo Code Report shows performance data broken down by promo code to aid brands in achieving the following: 

  • Identify partner(s) that drove action with a promo code
  • Calculate the total revenue of all actions associated with that promo code
  • Highlight the total cost of actions linked to the promo code

With these insights, brands can pinpoint pitfalls in their digital coupon strategy and ways to optimize for success. 


How do digital coupons attract customers?

Discount and promo codes encourage shoppers to get the best deal possible. This might sway a potential customer who is wavering between the two brands. Or, it could inspire cautious buyers to make an immediate purchase. Finding deals helps save money, and digital coupons can often lead to bigger purchases overall. 

How do you distribute digital coupons?

Marketers can promote coupon codes according to specific campaigns or target audiences. You can send special offers via email partners, attach exclusive promo codes to social media influencers promoting new products or apply automatic discounts during the checkout process—just to name a few.

How do coupons affect demand and brand awareness?

Recent data shows that 68 percent of people agree that coupon codes increase brand awareness and loyalty. Digital discount codes can help bring more attention to brands: increasing demand for their products and giving customers a deal on immediate purchases.

Merging partnerships into digital coupon strategies for success

Flashy discounts and exclusive offers will continue to motivate customers’ purchasing decisions. However, upgrading your digital coupon strategy to include partnerships will give you the competitive edge to adapt to evolving customer behavior while maintaining a good brand reputation. 

Tapping into the influential power of partnerships by leveraging innovative features, tools, and services from partnership management platforms like will help you thrive with digital coupons. 

Find more resources to supercharge your digital coupon plan with partnerships: 

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