Coupons - A Great Repeat Traffic Generator

Coupons are a great way to keep customers coming back to your Web site. Offering coupons or discounts from your site cuts down on overhead because people print their own coupons on their own printers. It is especially effective because people print coupons they want to use. Typically coupons they receive in their snail mail are not of interest and are rarely used. Because they have visited your site they want the information on products and services you offer, why not provide an incentive to use these products or services by offering them a discount or a free sample? Turn that hesitant prospective customer into a buying customer though a coupon.

1. Tips

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating your online coupons:

  • Change your coupons often. Tell your site visitors "We have new coupons every week...keep checking back and bookmark this site". 
  • Encourage permission and viral marketing..."sign up to be updated of new coupons on our site" and "tell a friend about these great coupons". 
  • Include an expiration date which is close to the release date which provides an incentive to:
    • use the coupon immediately

    • return to the site to see new coupons
  • Have a clear and concise call to action to use the coupon
  • Make sure the coupon is printer friendly
  • The graphic should be no more than 5k because:
    • it will download faster
    • if a page has lots of content to load your coupon will load before other content

      2. Tools

      The following tools will assist you in creating your online coupons:
      A free service that gives you the power to design and download professional quality animated banner ads quickly and easily. Use your banner to link to your coupon from another site or place your coupon on your banner (non-animated) and display on your Web site for printing.
      An online GIF image editor that is free. Just simply enter your information, select your colors and you have your coupon ready for use on your site.
      Allows you to create free banners using a variety of themed backgrounds. Simply enter your information and it will create a banner or coupon for you.
      Another site that allows you to create your graphic banner or coupon online.
      A site which allows you to download various banner sized backgrounds for manipulation in your own graphics program to create your coupons.

      3. Techniques

      • Promote your coupons through your signature file. For instance "Check out our Web site for coupons that are updated weekly!"
      • Encourage permission marketing by asking for permission to send visitors e-mails notifying them that new coupons are available on your site.
      • Encourage viral marketing by suggesting visitors "send this page to a friend" who they think might be interested in taking advantage of your coupons.
      • Trade coupons with non-competing sites that share the same target market and have a lot of traffic.
      • Do cross-promotion with sites that share the same target market in your area. For example if you are the owner of a ski hill and there is a restaurant in your area, trade coupons so that anyone who skis at your hill gets 10% off their meal at the restaurant and visa versa. 
      • Make sure you get listed on coupon sites in your area. Most cities and towns have coupon sites.
      • Also arrange to be included on national and international coupon sites that receive lots of traffic such as
      • Travel agents sometimes have e-special newsletters that are sent out weekly or monthly. Ask that your coupon offer be included in their mailing as it offers their subscribers great content but also places you front and center in travel agents' minds. 
      • In some instances it is not necessary to regularly change your coupon. For instance you could have a coupon that offers visitors to your restaurant "one free appetizer" every Friday night with the purchase of an entree. This will make patrons think of your establishment as the place to go each Friday if they know that your place is the "one where you get the free appetizer".

        4. Resources

        I have included a couple of resources for you to check out when developing your coupons. For additional resources on a variety of topics, I recommend you visit the resources section of my Web site at There you will find additional tips, tools, techniques and resources.

        Check out the following Web sites that feature coupons. You may want to investigate them further to see if there is an opportunity for your coupons to be featured on their sites.

        Visit my Web site at