If you sell products or services through your WordPress website, consider offering customers or clients a coupon.
Coupons help e-commerce businesses overcome disadvantages like the lack of face-to-face interaction with customers that establishes a connection that’s important for sales. On the web, coupons can help you:
- Encourage visitors to make a first-time purchase
- Offer volume discounts
- Reward loyal customers
Even if your fees or prices are incredibly competitive, a coupon can provide you with a big payoff in terms of repeat customers who feel loyal and enthusiastic enough to share their positive experiences with your online store!
If you use WordPress, you’re in luck: there are several plugins that use coupons as one of several incentives, as well as a couple of stand-alone, well-rounded WordPress coupon plugins. Here are eight WordPress coupon plugins that have proven their value.
Coupon Creator: the Most Popular WordPress Coupon Plugin – Free!
If you’re new to the art of the coupon, consider using Coupon Creator for your initial plunge. It’s probably the most popular WordPress coupon plugin and best of all, it has a free version that offers more options than most free plugins.
The free version, shown at left, features coupons with a dotted line border and can be printed out. Create coupons with images that let you set a discount rate and expiration date. Or create a plain coupon without an image.
Coupon Creator’s Pro version has many more templates to select and more customization options for borders, columns, and image placement. You can add links and codes for click-to-reveal teasers, pop-ups, cookies to limit coupon use, expiration based on the print date, and tracking functions.
Here are Coupon Creator Pro samples from the plugin’s gallery page. They include coupons with columns, images, and background designs.
A single starter license costs $34 and includes support and unlimited coupons for one year. A business license covers four sites for $99, and an unlimited license is $299.
The Business and Unlimited licenses offer extras such as the click reveal feature, additional templates, and vendor/location taxonomy searching.
WP Coupons and Deals: A “Lightweight and Insanely Easy” WordPress Coupon Plugin
WP Coupons and Deals also lets you create coupons for your e-commerce site. Its free version offers a simple template:
Try a free 14-day Pro trial where you can explore seven templates. Here are a few of them:
Images are always a great way to remind site visitors about what they haven’t yet bought and what they’re missing!
The expiration counter embedded in the coupon above can be a particularly effective tool for visitors who linger on the site but haven’t responded to a call to action.
This classic coupon is a dressed-up version of the freebie and far more attractive.
WP Coupons and Deals offers a monthly subscription after the initial free 14 days for $3.99 per month. An annual subscription costs $29.99, and a lifetime subscription is $99.
Pro features include printable coupons, click-to-copy codes to boost affiliate marketing, an expiration feature, and customization options. Coupons can also be placed in sidebars.
Social Offers: Coupons and Other Incentives
The Social Offers plugin delivers an intriguing way to encourage site guests to sign up for your newsletter. It’s an excellent incentive for websites whose visitors need more information than most to be persuaded to buy a specific product, service, membership, or subscription.
Social Offers’ incentives include coupons, free downloads, templates, files–anything that piques interest in the core product. For example, a musician may offer a file of snippets from an upcoming CD or a coupon to fans who sign up for his or her newsletter. As you can see, this e-coupon also includes social media links.
You can try Social Offers free for 14 days. A basic, single-site subscription is just $19 per month and includes unlimited agents and conversations through chatbots, Slack, and other services.
For five sites, the cost is $39/month and includes white label widgets, which allows you to create a kind of mini-website for each product within your site. An Ultimate package for $79/month covers up to 10 websites and adds priority customer support. Enterprise packages are also available. Customers who pay for an entire year receive a 25% discount.
WP Coupons For Affiliate Marketers
WordPress is a very popular tool among affiliate marketers who promote products and services created by other people in exchange for a commission. WordPress offers several affiliate marketing plugins, but few have the history and depth for coupons that WP Coupons brings to the table. For one thing, it was developed by affiliate marketers who happened to also have valuable WordPress plugin development skills!
WP Coupons focuses on increasing conversions and click-through rates (CTRs), the two things affiliate marketers live and die for. The plugin offers four templates for listing coupons: three columns, a vertical list view, a compact list view useful for pages with sidebars, and a minimal view with thumbnails. Plus, there’s a widget that puts a coupon in a sidebar that follows visitors as they scroll up and down a page.
It’s important to understand that this plugin does not create coupons, but focuses on organizing and showcasing coupons for affiliate products. You can choose different size fonts and colors for coupon content, background and accent colors, and add buttons. The affiliate link imports logos and other items the seller wants to be displayed on the coupon.
We were intrigued by WP Coupons’ Feature Request page that lists features requested by users that are under discussion or in planning pages. Now, that’s listening to customers!
A personal, single-site license for WP Coupons costs $34.95/year for a single WordPress site, $84.95/year for three sites, and $174.95 for unlimited sites. All packages come with updates, support, and 30-day money back guarantee.
Don’t Like Popups? Consider the Notification Bar
There’s a lively debate about the value of popup ads. They certainly get a visitor’s attention, but not always in a good way.
Enter the Notification Bar, a plugin that replaces distracting popups with a call to action. The free version is “sticky,” meaning it stays in one place. Other than that, it offers features.
The Notification Bar Pro version, however, is another story. It lets you create as many bars as you like to place around the site. Here’s one notification bar that updates the expiration date seen on a traditional coupon, using a real-time countdown clock:
You can create bars with customized messages and functions according to different actions visitors take on the site. There are lots of options for the bar’s appearance (fonts sizes and colors, images), add animation, schedule when and how bars appear, incorporate links to social media, even use them to collect email addresses to build up newsletter subscriptions.
A basic, single-site license costs $29.60/year and includes over 50 templates; a page builder; access to 500,000+ stock photos; access control; social media integration; and code support. A three-site license is $69.60/year and adds additional features like integration with email services like MailChimp, Drip, and Constant Contact; subscriber management; and GDPR compliance.
A Pro license allows use on unlimited sites for $99.20/year and has even more features such as custom logins; custom branding; a customized 404 page; landing pages; fraud detection; and access to Zapier’s integration services. A lifetime license costs $239.20.
Keep in mind that since the November 2018 Chrome update, Google will lower rankings for sites whose popup ads block too much content (which it hasn’t defined), especially on mobile devices. Sites that dissolve the screen to show an ad (called “interstitial”) will also see their rankings downgraded. With that in mind, a notification bar sounds a lot safer than risking a Google penalty.
OptInMonster Persuades Customers To Stay or Return, With and Without Coupons
OptInMonster may be the most popular e-commerce plugin on the market. It’s really a full-scale marketing tool, where coupons are just one item in a very thorough toolbox.
Created by WordPress experts that include the founder of WPBeginner, OptInMonster looks at visitor behavior and uses retargeting solutions to persuade visitors to respond to calls to actions and return to abandoned shopping carts. It focuses on displaying relevant promotions–including coupons and discounts — to make a sale, persuade visitors to sign up for special offers or newsletters, and so on.
This popup coupon created for an Australian holiday parks network recovered more than half of visitors about to exit its website.
Another OptinMonster strategy delivers coupons directly to subscriber inboxes, providing another opportunity to close a deal. This lightbox coupon, tested against similar ones for the same customer, converted over 20% of site visitors about to leave the site:
OptinMonster works with yearly subscriptions, starting with $108/year ($9/month) for a Basic subscription for one site and three campaigns. Features include lightbox popups; page targeting that personalizes offers based on site visitor actions; subscriber recognition; and integration with services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and CampaignMonitor.
Working a Coupon Website? CouponXL Is Your WordPress Theme!
If your business is coupons, we’d be remiss to not suggest you look at CouponXL, probably the highest-rated WordPress theme built for coupon-driven sites and affiliate sites.
With coupon XL, you create coupons and advertisements for deals (with or without coupons) for eight different industries. Visitors sort by industry and U.S. state. It integrates payments through PayPal, Stripe, and Skrill. It includes SEO tools to optimize coupon content, including graphics and video. It also works with MailChimp, allowing you to build an email list and boost customer loyalty.
The coupons themselves include these features:
- Random, automatic code generation
- Expiration date setting
- Links to vendors’ social media
- Customized coupons
- Statistics on visits and clicks
A regular, six-month license costs $39/year. Extending it to an additional six months costs $10.13.
Consider Converting Your E-commerce Site to WooCommerce For More Coupon Options
If you are running an e-commerce site and sell a lot of product this way, consider using WooCommerce.
Chances are, you’ve heard of WooCommerce if you’ve already used Etsy or some other online commerce site. WooCommerce is actually a WordPress plugin that has its own unique eCommerce environment based on the WordPress platform. The plugin itself is free.
Over the past several months, developers of several popular WordPress coupon plugins have phased them out. That’s shortened the list of available and updated ones. Some have opted to focus on WooCommerce plugin development and have either requested WordPress to remove their plugins from the directory or have stopped updating them–more or less abandoning them.
A plugin that hasn’t been updated for WordPress 5.0 probably won’t work well and may even interfere with site performance. As WordPress hosts, we are familiar with scenarios in which clients’ sites suddenly cease to function because of one or more old plugins no longer worked or hadn’t been updated.
How to Install a WordPress Coupon Plugin
WordPress plugins are easy to install. There are two ways to access them: through the WordPress plugin repository you access directly through the software, or through their own sites.
To install from the repository, navigate to the plugins directory from the WordPress dashboard and click on “Add New.”
Then, look for a search box on the right side of the plugin directory that appears on your screen:
Type in a keyword like “coupon” to get a listing of plugins you want. Or you can use the drop-down menu to enter the name of a plugin developer or a tag, which may give you the same results as a keyword. Usually, entering the keyword, which is the default search setting, will get you a suitable listing.
A recent search showed 786 coupon plugins in the WordPress directory. They include WooCommerce plugins that may not actually work on WordPress.
In addition, WordPress had just updated a couple of days before our search, so most plugins had not been tested for the current version (even if they were updated within the past day!).
Generally speaking, you should look for plugins that have been updated within the past several months, or sooner if there has been a major update like the recent addition of the Gutenberg Editor. It’s important to update WordPress regularly even if you don’t plan to use all the features because updates usually fix errors or add more security.
You’ll see two buttons that let you install the plugin or click for more details. We highly recommend you take a look at the details. There, you will get a rundown on plugin features, maybe a link to a demo video, and usually, samples of what you can create.
Here is how Coupon Creator presents itself:
Once you decide on a plugin, click on install and WordPress automatically installs the plugin for you if it’s free, or collects payment information. Most plugins are activated upon installation.
After installation, you’re returned to your plugin page, where you’ll see an option for settings (or “options”) which let you customize the plugin. Most WordPress plugins are also added to the dashboard, where you can customize and access the services.
Plugin customization menus usually have a few tabs that show different features to activate. Coupon Creator includes a robust Help tab in addition to offering help on each tab.
When Your Plugin Isn’t in the WordPress Repository
Not all WordPress coupon plugins are in the WordPress repository. Many developers that don’t offer a free version of their plugins skip it, so their plugins are only available through their websites. Click on the “download” feature, and tell the software where you want the plugin to go. It’s easiest to direct it to your desktop. It will download in a .zip file.
From there, you upload it to your plugins page. Navigate to that page from your WordPress directory as shown above. Click on the Add Plugins button but this time, ignore the plugin directory that appears. Instead, click on the blue Upload Plugin button at the upper left, and this message will appear on the page:
Upload the plugin from your desktop and WordPress will install it. From here, you follow the same steps to activate and set up the plugin.
Got questions about WordPress, coupons, or other plugins? Need meticulous WordPress maintenance services and WordPress management that will leave you at ease when it comes to your website? Visit our website and get in touch!