Seller Handbook

Advice and inspiration for successfully running your Etsy shop

Encourage Repeat Business With Improved Coupon Codes

Attract return customers with 11 tips for offering discounts in your shop.

By Nickey Skarstad Feb 25, 2013
Photo by Colette Paperie

Mastering the art of repeat business takes time, creative thinking, and a bit of experimentation. One way to bring buyers back is to reward their return with a discount, which, on Etsy, often comes in the form of coupon codes. We're excited to announce that we've made some improvements to coupon codes to make them easier to use.

Improvements to Etsy Coupon Codes

First up, we added a fixed discount, which allows sellers to offer a discount of a specific amount that does not vary by cart total.

Pro-tip: For sellers with high-end items or items that vary greatly between price points, offering fixed-discount coupon codes is a great way to maintain your profit margins.

Next, we’ve added the ability to set a minimum purchase amount that’s applied to a coupon code. The minimum purchase amount means you can limit the use of a coupon until a minimum purchase is met by your buyer.

Pro-tip: Discount types like free shipping pair perfectly with minimum purchase amounts (MPAs). MPAs allow you to stay on top of your profit margin while incentivizing your buyer with something they love — like free shipping.

Additionally, you can now also attach an expiration date to a coupon code. That means you can control when a coupon deactivates.

Pro-tip: Attach an expiration date to create a sense of urgency for buyers. Hurry up, don't wait!

“Thank You” Coupon Emails

Finally, inspired by the current practice of encouraging repeat business with coupon codes, we’ve worked on a new feature called “Thank You” coupon emails. As a seller, you’ll now have the option to opt in to have your coupon code emailed by Etsy to your buyer as a thank-you after a purchase to encourage them to come back in the future.

Pro-tip: Take advantage of the staying power of an Etsy email (not to mention the searchability) to make a lasting impression with your buyers.

Creative Ways to Use Coupon Codes

Here are some additional creative ways to use Etsy Coupon Codes in your shop:

  • Organize a group sale. Get together with your Etsy Team or Etsy friends and set up the same coupon code! Promote each other’s discount code by linking to a common tag in your item listings.
  • Include a discount code in each of your packages to encourage repeat business.
  • Reward your fans and followers by creating special codes for each of your social networks — your Facebook fans, Twitter followers, blog readers, and mailing list subscribers. Encourage your network to promote and share the code. This will help you understand where your most engaged followers are and where you might need to pay more attention in other networks.
  • Host an event or contest — for example, sharing a favorite item or your entire shop via Facebook, Twitter, or blog post — and let your participants know a set of lucky winners will receive an exclusive discount code for use in your shop.
  • When publishing an online ad or partnering with a blog or media outlet on a feature, consider extending a discount code exclusively for their readership.
  • Use a coupon code to track offline events and promotions. For example, have a code printed on the business cards you give out at a craft fair.
  • Host a shop-wide sale by placing a public discount code in your shop announcement, banner, profile, and other public areas of your shop during the dates of your promotion. This is a great option for publicly recognized shopping holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day when shoppers are searching for special promotions.
  • Clear out old inventory to make room for new products by hosting a sale.

How do you use coupon codes to encourage repeat business? Share your ideas in comments.


Nickey Skarstad from knickey

Nickey Skarstad is a senior product manager on the Shop Management team at Etsy — the team that builds the tools sellers use to manage and run their shops. During her tenure at Etsy, Nickey has managed more than ten prototype teams, and is a long-time Etsy seller and community member.


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