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🧠Discounts & coupons, how to make yours more effective

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New here? This is Inbox Hacking, a Free Newsletter for fearless email marketers wanting to level up. Email marketing insights, tools, & tactics sent twice per week. Someone forwarded you our Newsletter? Sign up for your Free subscription. Ahead→ how to make discounts & coupons more effective in your campaigns. 

Buckle your chin straps, Inbox Hackers. Maybe wear a cup.

Because we’re about to do a crash course on how discounts and coupons can affect your sales. We’re talking brain science and stats to show when and if you should give your email subscribers a special deal. Plus, I’ll point to a case study in stupidity that offers reasons to use caution with major discounts.

Two Keys to Email Marketing Discounts & Coupons


The hours I spent scouring the filthy web revealed… you can only maximize the use of discounts if you’re invested in solid list segmentation. Not all your subscribers should get a deal.

Sure, if you’re trying to shed hot dogs on the brink of expiration, give 50% off to everyone I guess. Otherwise, be selective about who gets which type of discounts (facts on that upcoming).


You want your coupon code or sale to be seen. So here’s where eyeballs go. 

👁In order, people look for → movement → what’s in focus → something different → what’s brighter → biggest object → what’s in front. Details here.

👁Mobile study shows text before a photo (vs. after) to start an email was more effective at grabbing attention. And…

👁CTA seen by 77% of readers of a summarized email vs. 53% on longer a message.

👁Readers skip or ignore content that appears repetitive.

👁Nielsen Norman study found 67% of readers skipped newsletter intros.

👁13% click-through boost attributed to the P.S. in one experiment.

Don’t forget. Subject lines are seen even in unopened emails. So your best chance to have a discount viewed is in the subject line – *test the sales results.

What works once eyeballs land?

Coupon & Discount Stats & Facts to Utilize

  • Research shows getting a discount makes buyers happy – but more crucially, they feel smart. 💡Smart people will feel confident buying when you email them an upsell.

  • Offers over $100 perform better with dollar figure discounts versus percentage discounts which perform better with offers under $100 (Jonah Berger).

  • Easy. I mean EASY math works best on discounts. Don’t give human shoppers credit for smarts because each month 260 people ask Google this…

  • Yes, 19.99 still feels cheaper than 20.00

  • I left the dollar sign off above on purpose. Since this can make prices seem less painful.

  • In reverse, use a giant $ in on coupons and discount amounts!

BTW. More evidence for segmenting.

“NCH Marketing Services shows that when millennials become parents, they act like Gen X and baby boomers, with 89% of millennial parents using coupons when planning their shopping, compared to 78% of millennials without children.”

Now to wrap up…

Cautionary Tales

Two issues with discounts, sales, and coupons. First, don’t give away your stuff. That math won’t work and when attempted in bulk, it speeds up the going outta business sale.

Second, your audience may see a discount as sketchy. Moldy hotdog trauma perhaps. A fix for non-believers is to explain why the discount exists. A link with a tiny pop-up can ease their minds. 

Now – remember Groupon? They had early success because they were thrilled to give away other businesses’ stuff. Turns out, it put some small businesses under and eventually will do the same for Groupon. 

The company has lost 99.4% of its value since the IPO. They also turned down like $6 billion from the Googsters who wanted to buy the company.

If anyone at Groupon is reading this, I’ll give you $20 for the company right now. 

Want some UI and UX know-how on coupon best practices— go here.

More facts on discounts and coupons here.

Read below for updated inbox stats + today’s hack.

Knowledge Base

🔌Knowledge is power but first, best uncle ever (true story).

Up your follow-up email game (5 examples).

💯Case study breaks down targeted opt-in campaign→ produced 10x subscribers.

A landing page clinic.

📑32 digital marketing terms (bet a few are new to you).

Q&A on BIMI 


🚮 Landfills contain megatons of flyers, postcards, and sales letters. Most trashed before readers even read the business name on the paper.

Same with marketing emails. No digital weight but still a giant waste.

Protect your email campaigns from being trashed before readers even see your subject line.

You can get up to 7 out of 10 emails opened and read with Inbox Mailers.

Yep, up to 70% open rates. Not only that. Click volume increases too.

Learn how Inbox Mailers is helping other email marketers like LeadMark triple their open rates. Schedule a free live demo today. 


book demo

Self Help 

This is for solopreneurs. 

“Don’t let your muse become your mule.”

Shield your passion from burnout however you can.

As for those in a company, best just do what the boss says. Take up poetry or archery on your days off or something. 

*Shout-out to Inbox Hackers:

😇Alice at Kiwi Partners (non-profit guidance)

🖼Alanna at Big Wall Decor

Facts and Stats

  • BIMI case study shows 4% to 6% more engagement as a result (Redsift)
  • Only 20% of email marketers have invested in tools to track Apple’s MPP impact & 60% don’t plan to (Media Post)
  • A/B testing email subject lines and content can boost ROI by 28% (Litmus)

Bonus: How many email marketing articles start with “the number of worldwide emails sent daily”? Answer— every single one! Now, what key fact gets 50% of mailers’ agreement? There is no best time of day or day to send. (Snov)

Email Strategy a Hot Mess?

🔥Apple’s MPP has muddied email metrics for email marketers.

🔥2023 is seeing new spam filtering troubles. 1 in 6 legitimate emails fail to make it to the inbox.

🔥Budget struggles for B2B & B2C targets. 

🔥As for deliverability? It’s tough to comprehend and is full of variables that have marketers on shaky ground. Inbox placement for B2B could be as low as 68%.

🧯A simple solution that puts out these dumpster fires? Inbox Mailers.

Demo today for improved sender score, more clicks, & up to 70% open rates (billions of test sends prove it). 


Marketing Musings

Non-profits have vicious competition.

TikTok. Netflix. Butts stuck to sofas.

But also? Other non-profit groups. They are everywhere!

And only so many donors and volunteers to go around.

Using email marketing can set your group apart— use these 7 tips for non-profit campaigns.

Get Hacking

todays hack

Doing what your audience likes isn’t enough.

You gotta avoid annoying them too. Since you’re inside the bubble of your marketing efforts and have no time to spare anyway…

Find a couple of testers to sniff out anything that annoys them:

  • On your landing page
  • Sign-up forms
  • Surveys
  • Email campaigns

Testers with no filter or hint of kindness work best. Honesty will help remove annoying bits of marketing. 

Goes without saying… if you’re using a cat in any visuals, switch to a dog😅.

*Know other fearless email marketers? Please forward Inbox Hacking to them.

📝Please take survey below. Benefits someone, somewhere.