Discount and Coupon Ideas

This category isn’t about slashing prices to make sales, it’s about making unique offers to attract people to purchase your products for the first time.

The way you word your offer can make a big difference in how many people act on it. Coupons for 10% off just aren’t working the same way they used to.

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Buy one get one free. A good spin on this is buy one, get your next one free on your next visit to get that second visit and turn them into a repeat customer.

For example, a restaurant could offer a BOGO on desert under the condition the next desert is for the customer’s next visit. With a free desert voucher, the customer is much more likely to come back for another meal.


BOGO Alternatives

Buy one get one half-priced is a great alternative if giving away a product for free makes you want to pull out all of your hair.


Buy Now and Get a FREE…

Add a bonus product or service for free to add value to your regular price.


Certificates – Not Coupons

Ditch your 10% off coupons for certificates that have a perceived cash value. A $5 certificate towards a $50 item is perceived as more valuable to the consumer because it feels more like cash.

Make your certificates feel like they are dollar bills. People do not often throw out or lose dollar bills.


Crosspromotion Discounts

Include a discount on a complimentary product/service with your invoice or receipt to convince the customer to buy other products they hadn't intended on purchasing.


Discount Cards

Give people a card that entitles them to a specific discount every time they visit.

The card will very likely make it into their wallet, which will be seen frequently as they dig through it on a regular basis to find other cards.

Guerrilla Discount Card Idea

Have customers perform a crazy task to earn their discount card. Take pictures of customers attempting the stunt (with permission of course) and post them on Facebook. People are sure to talk about the crazy stunt they performed to earn their discount/VIP card.


Discounts for Specific Groups

Offer a parents discount or family discount - or target a specific group like teachers with a 'Teachers Discount'.


Distribute Coupons

Rather than designing an advertisement, try designing a coupon instead. It is much easier to track the response rate of coupons over advertisements.

There are many unique ways to distribute coupons, such as partnering with complementary businesses, or giving them to your customers to distribute to friends.

Guerrilla Coupon Distribution Idea

Leave coupons around town here and there whenever you see a good place to put them. Leave a few sitting at the doctors office, leave one or two on your seat on the subway, and give some out to everyone you meet (friends, family, the hot dog vendor you buy a hot dog from in the morning).


Experiment With Different Offers

Experiment with a variety of different ways of packaging what you sell in creative and interesting ways. Test every idea you come up with, and measure the response.


Freebees to Close the Sale

Offer a free consultation, evaluation, preview, special report, or trial to prospects that are on the fence.


FREE Delivery

Offer free delivery, free shipping, or open up a mobile showroom that comes to the customer. Freebees that make it easier to buy from you can go a long way.


Fun with Bundles

Bundle a bunch of products or services together then show what it would cost for all these products individually. Next, discount it to the price you are selling it for. This almost always gives the appearance of a huge cost savings to the consumer.

If you are writing a 350 page book, consider instead writing four smaller books, some checklists, a couple short reports, and a short video instead so that you can use this approach to command a higher price.


Giveaway Tables

Place some coupons, low-cost giveaway items, samples, branded merchandise, or promotional giveaways, in front of your store on a table which says “TAKE ONE”.

If you run a pet store, place a bucket of dog treats in front of your store, with a sign indicating people may take a few for their dog. If you run a children’s store, place balloons outside your store for children.

Pick a giveaway that will appeal to your target market. Place a poster close-by indicating what services you provide, or promoting a current sale, special, or promotion.


Give Coupons to Business Owners

Create coupons, and ask business owners you know if they will distribute them in the bag with their customer’s purchase.


Give Your Employees Discounts to Give Away

Give your employees discounts or special offers they can give to friends and family.

Make coupons for employees to give out, place a special mark on each one to track which employee gave it out, and reward the employee that has the most coupons returned each month.


Give Freebies to Viral Groups

Figure out who is the most likely to talk to a lot of people about your product/service, and give them a freebie.



Give products away for free or at cost to a visible organization, a select group of people, a large client, or a charity or non-profit. If you do a free giveaway, make sure it gets you a lot of free publicity.

A website design agency could get a lot of business by designing their town’s new website for free.


Limited Time Offers

Offer a bonus for acting now, or a penalty for delaying.


Loss Leaders

Use a Loss Leader – a product you lose a bit of money on, but gets people into your store and buying your more expensive products.

A video store gave away a free small bag of popcorn to each child that visited the store so the kids would demand to go to their video store instead of the big franchises that were driving stores like theirs out of business.


Off Peak Discounts

Throw a prominent sale on your slowest day, or at the slowest time of day


Offer a Seniors Discount

Offer a special discount to seniors. This can work especially well if you are in an industry that doesn’t generally offer seniors discounts.


Quantity Discounts

Offer a quantity discount for customers who buy a certain number of products, or spend a certain amount.


Small Freebies

Use a small freebie or giveaway to get prospects into your store or office.

Timeshare companies often give away low cost electronics to book 90-minute timeshare sales presentations.


Students Discount

Offer a student’s discount to get high school or college students into your business. High school and college students are the leading spreaders of viral marketing messages. This is because they love to talk, E-mail Tweet, Text, and post things on Facebook.


Trade a Small Freebie for Contact Information

Figure out a small inexpensive freebie you can offer in exchange for a person’s contact information, and create a form on your website or place a sign-up form in your store which enables people to accept the offer.


Two for One Days

Offer a two for one day to encourage your customers to introduce a friend to your business.

This is similar to Buy One Get One Free promotions, but with the stipulation that the freebie must be for a friend, which helps generate referrals.


Have a Creative Discount Idea to Add?

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