Offering perks to your subscribers each month is a great way to provide value for your site subscriptions and limit churn, as members feel that they get benefits for every single monthly payment. A lot of subscription sites want to offer a limited discount (i.e., 10% an order per month) or “gift” products (i.e., choose 3 free products from a category each month) to their subscribers.

We’ve written about creating monthly member coupons for sites using WooCommerce Memberships ($199 $149) by leveraging workflows with AutomateWoo ($99).

However, a better way to do this would be to integrate with the renewal payments from WooCommerce Subscriptions ($199) — this way, coupons or perks are only sent once a payment is completed each month.

As of AutomateWoo version 2.0, you can now generate WooCommerce Subscriptions Coupons triggered by every renewal payment, which is perfect for subscription sites that want to offer continued perks in exchange for each subscription payment.

With this update, you can now provide a coupon for free products following each renewal payment, send a “thanks for paying” email with a reminder on the next payment date, or trigger other workflows with a successful subscription payment, which is a wonderful feature addition for WooCommerce Subscriptions sites.

Let’s take a look at how we can use AutomateWoo to generate a unique, user-specific coupon each month to give a subscriber 3 free downloads each month.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: Create Coupon Template

First, we’ll need to create our coupon template. This will allow AutomateWoo to generate a unique coupon code for the subscriber, and it will use the setting from our coupon template along with adding an email restriction for the customer’s account.

I’d recommend creating a product discount so that the coupon only applies to the products you want it to, and not to the entire cart. This way, if you have a 100% off product, you can discount that without giving customers other products for free, too.

AutomateWoo Subscriber Coupons: Create Coupon Template

Create Coupon Template

If the coupon only applies to certain products, don’t forget to create usage restrictions for it — putting products the coupon should apply to in one category is usually helpful.

WooCommerce Member Coupons AutomateWoo: usage restrictions

Create Usage Restrictions

Finally, if the coupon should have a usage limit (i.e., 3x usage), then add this as well to the template.

WooCommerce Member Coupons AutomateWoo: coupon template limits

Configure Usage Limits

All of the template settings will be copied over by AutomateWoo when it generates the unique coupon code for your customer.

Now we can use this coupon template for all of our emails. While I’m going to create a first email and then subsequent emails, you do not have to copy this process. In fact, if you want the same email sent for every subscription payment, just move on to the section for recurring coupon emails and forget my notes about “user tags” and the first email completely.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: (Optional) Create User Tags

One thing I’ll leverage is AutomateWoo’s concept of user tags, which will let me add a tag for a subscriber and run workflows based on the existence of this tag. You don’t have to use user tags to “tag” a subscriber, but I’m going to use this so I can identify a first coupon email vs subsequent coupon emails.

If you go to Users > Tags, you can add tags for your users (similar to a blog post tag), which you can then use in your workflows to check if a tag exists for the user or if it’s missing for the user.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: First Coupon Email

Now I’ll set up my first email, which I want to be different from subsequent coupon emails. I’ll welcome the member, and then tell them a bit about the coupon emails they’ll get each month. This way, the member will not get a generic coupon email for the first purchase.

For the initial email, I’m going to make sure the user isn’t tagged with my subscriber tag, and I’ll add that tag with this workflow. I chose tags for a couple of reasons:

  1. If I don’t limit this workflow in some way, the “first” coupon email will be sent for every renewal order, as every one will contain this product. I want to limit it to only the first purchase since I want a unique “first” coupon email.
  2. I don’t want to set a limit per user in case the person’s subscription is cancelled and they re-buy at a later time rather than renewing. I’ll later remove the tag when the subscription is cancelled or expired so this workflow would then start up again if the subscription is re-bought.

If these reasons don’t apply to you, feel free to scrap the user tags. Don’t forget to determine when you want to send this email after the order status you’ve selected.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: Subscription trigger

Initial purchase trigger

Once I set up my trigger, I’ll add my actions. I can draft my email, using my coupon template to generate a unique code for the subscriber.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: First Subscriber Email

First Coupon Email

I’ll also add the subscriber tag I mentioned, and can run any other actions I want here as well (such as changing the order status to “completed” or adding the subscriber to an email list).

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: add user tags

Add user tags

Now this email will only be dispatched for users who don’t have the subscriber tag, which means renewal orders will not trigger this workflow, as the tag will already be added. The customer’s email will be sent according to your schedule, and will have all merge tags completed:

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: email example

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: Recurring Coupon Emails

Now I’ll create my recurring emails. These will be triggered for every renewal payment for the subscription, and I’ll check for the “subscriber” tag. This will prevent the emails from being sent for the original order (as the tag didn’t exist for the original order), but will trigger emails for every renewal.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: recurring email trigger

Recurring Trigger

This email will be more generic, as it’s sent every month with a shiny new coupon code. I can even use the same coupon template as I did for my original email, as every email will generate a brand new code.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: Recurring Subscriber Email

Recurring renewal email

If you wanted to send the same email for every single subscription payment (both the original order and renewal payments), you could only use this section, and skip the “user tagging” idea. This will simply trigger the same exact email for every payment without an initial “welcome” email. (You could also trigger a separate “welcome” email if you wanted to do so.)

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: Optional End of Subscription Workflow

Finally, as I’d mentioned previously, I’ll want to remove the user tag if the subscription is expired or cancelled. This way, if it’s re-purchased, the tag will get re-added and then restarted the email lifecycle.

I can do that by triggering a final workflow on subscription status changes.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: remove tags

End of subscription trigger

And then removing the user tag as an action instead of adding a tag:

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: remove tags

This workflow basically “resets” my email campaign so that repurchasing a subscription (in case the customer doesn’t just renew) will still trigger emails and re-add the “subscriber” tag.

WooCommerce Subscriber Coupons: Summary

The addition of WooCommerce Subscriptions support in AutomateWoo is fantastically useful for subscription sites. Lots of merchants want to give subscribers a number of free products per month, or provide a limited use discount (for which WooCommerce Memberships doesn’t fit the bill, as it’s intended to generate static discounts).

You have a ton of flexibility in how your workflows are triggered, and can use subscription status changes, payments (or payment failures), and the trial period ending to trigger status updates, emails, user tagging, and other actions. This lets you send emails timed with subscription renewals to keep in touch with your subscribers or provide their subscription perks only following successful payment.


Cover Photo Credit: Christian Kadluba (CC BY-SA 2.0 license)

Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we get a commission from the plugin, theme, or service provider if you choose to purchase. Regardless of this, we are committed to providing high quality, unbiased resources. Have more questions? See our affiliate policy. You can use the plain links below if you prefer that we not receive a referral commission:

Articles you may also like:

Posted by Beka Rice

Beka Rice manages the direction of Sell with WP content and writes or edits most of our articles to share her interests in eCommerce. Or she just writes as an excuse to spend more time jamming out to anything from The Clash to Lady Gaga. Who knows.

16 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I hav Woo Subscriptions and Woo memberships – loved your reviews of those.

    The power of WooCommerce continues to amaze me and they all work really well together.

    Dale.

    1. thanks for the kind words Dale 🙂

  2. Thanks a lot for that tutorial! Just what I need to conclude my project! One doubt:Am I able to generate two diferent coupons and put in the same monthly renewal automatic email? Because Id like to offer 3 gift products of one category and just two for another.

    1. I haven’t tested this myself, but there’s certainly no reason you couldn’t! Just use two different coupon templates and include the “generate coupon” merge tag twice.

      1. Great! Thank you one more time!

  3. Hi there,

    We are setting up a site for selling tickets. Members get discount by giving 8 coupons per year.
    This wil do the trick! (Won’t it?)

    But can i also use this Automate Woo system to create a function to hide content for a set period to non-members?

    So they can see the product but can not order unless the become a member and get the coupon code immediatly after they register?

    Or do you know of such a function? Hope to hear from you, and if not, than thanks for the great explanation.

    1. Members get discount by giving 8 coupons per year. This wil do the trick! (Won’t it?)

      Sure thing! You can set up 8 emails / workflows to give a coupon code periodically, or you could just limit a coupon to 8 uses, depending on how you’d like your set up to work.

      But can i also use this Automate Woo system to create a function to hide content for a set period to non-members?

      Afraid not, AutomateWoo runs workflows, but it doesn’t get involved in content restriction. You could use WooCommerce Memberships for this, as it can restrict content and product purchasing.

  4. Fredrik Sjöstedt October 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Hi!

    First of all thanks for a great article…

    Now to my question:

    We are going to give all our subscribers one uniqe coupon each month that also should be able to work on extern webpages. Therefore we need to generate codes from a bulk that we can export to other extern pages.

    Is that possible?

    Hope hearing from you – big thanks!

    1. Hey Fredrik, this isn’t something I’ve done, but this plugin looks like it might be able to help you out.

      1. Fredrik Sjöstedt October 17, 2016 at 3:11 am

        Hi!

        Thank you very much for your answer! 😀

        So you think that plugin workshop with atomatewoo and woocommerce subscription?

        Thanks!

        1. Hey Fredrik, so the generated coupons need to be tied to this email sent by AutomateWoo? That changes things if they need to go out in the automated email vs just sent independently to customers.

          I’m not aware of a way you could use a “pool” of coupons with AutomateWoo — if you can let it generate the codes, then export those codes to external system (Smart Coupons will let you export codes), that’s probably the easiest. If this needed to be instant, you could either look into customizing AutomateWoo to use a certain coupon (for which you could pre-generate codes) instead of generating them itself, or customizing the coupon export to be triggered right away.

  5. Can I use it for Woocommerce PDF Vouchers instead of coupons?

    1. There’s no integration at present to generate vouchers on a schedule like there is with coupons. Looks like Subscriptions support is scheduled for PDF Vouchers though, so I’d keep an eye on that changelog.

  6. Hi there,

    Can we use the coupons as PDF vouchers?

    1. hey Omar, I’m afraid I’m not sure I’m following — are you looking to have a way to print the coupon?

  7. Hi Beka,
    We are looking for a coupon generator to use with Woo Commerce for our subscriptions.

    We need an add-on that will allow me to discount the first month by $80 and then $30 a month thereafter.

    Can sellwithwp help in our situation? Thank you

It's been over 2 years since this post was published, so comments have been closed. Thanks for reading!