Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching, and hopefully you’ve already completed a lot of your holiday promotion setup and put strategies in place to improve holiday conversions.

Even if all of your holiday preparation is done, there are always some additional campaigns you can set up before the holidays to increase sales. Rewarding holiday shoppers will encourage them to shop and share your store with friends during this busy season.

While rewards can come in the form of free gifts, loyalty points, or perks like free shipping, many customers appreciate discounts for the holidays, especially if the discount allows them to make the most of their gift budgets.

WooCommerce stores can easily share, personalize, or automatically apply discounts with the URL Coupons extension ($49).

Automatic WooCommerce Discounts: Overview

WooCommerce URL Coupons lets you create a unique coupon URL to share with your customers, which can:

  1. automatically apply coupons, even waiting to apply them until the cart meets your requirements,
  2. optionally add one or more products to the cart, and
  3. optionally redirect customers to a page, such as the shop, checkout, or a generic promotional page.

This allows you to share a unique coupon link with customers, such as mystore.com/coupon/holiday-shipping/, which will apply the coupon and potentially add products to the cart or redirect the customer — the customer doesn’t even have to enter a coupon code.

You can also take a different tact, and use an existing URL to automatically apply a coupon. If you set the URL to an existing part of your site, such as mystore.com/blog/hello-world/, then anyone who visits this page / post will have a coupon applied automatically.

Either strategy can be used to reward your most loyal customers, and we can do so in a few ways.

Reward Loyal Blog Readers

Customers who read your blog (especially company announcements) tend to be loyal fans of your brand. As a result, applying a coupon for visiting a blog post is a great way to reward these customers to thank them for reading and encourage them to make a holiday purchase.

We’ll apply a coupon to the existing blog post’s URL to do this, which requires a few steps.

  1. Write your promotional post for which you want to reward customers who visit. Make a note of the URL, such as: mystore.com/blog/new-holiday-products/

    WooCommerce URL Coupons blog post

  2. Create a coupon (the code doesn’t particularly matter) with the discount amounts, requirements, and usage limits that you’d like to give to these readers.

  3. Now we’ll set up the URL part. You’ll want to use the URL of the blog post, including the trailing slash, for the coupon URL. You can remove the http://mystore.com/ from the beginning.

  4. Additional, leave the redirect blank so that we don’t send people away from the blog post immediately — we want them to read it after all 🙂 If you have any minimums or requirements, you’ll also want to enable “Defer Apply” so the coupon gets saved in the customer’s session and automatically applied when they meet the requirements. Without this, the coupon won’t apply if they didn’t meet the minimum already upon visiting (as they most likely haven’t).

    WooCommerce URL Coupons blog coupon

If you’d like to further promote your new products, you can even automatically add them to the cart with this coupon. As soon as a reader visits this URL, the products will be added and the coupon will be applied.

Reward New Customers to Incentivize Purchase

If you’re ramping up your PPC or advertising campaigns for the holidays, you may be driving traffic to a landing page. This could welcome new customers, tell them about your store, or if you want to automate some things, you can automatically apply a coupon here.

Let’s say you sell backpacks and you have a Facebook ad running. Not only can you apply a coupon for visitors to this page just as we did above, you can even add the backpack to the cart for the new customer.

First, create your landing page, and note the URL, just as we did in our blog post example.

WooCommerce URL Coupons landing page

Create your coupon with the correct values, restrictions, and limits. Again, be sure to use the right URL (including the trailing slash), and this time, choose the product to add to the cart. No redirects again, we want them to read this page 🙂

WooCommerce URL coupons landing page coupon

Now any visitor landing on this page (most likely from your advertisement), will have a head start on their shopping and a discount already applied, encouraging them to continue checking out your store.

Reward Your Email List

Your email list is an excellent marketing tool full of highly qualified leads — these are customers that have either purchased from your store already, or were interested enough in your brand to hand over one of their most carefully-guarded possessions: their email address.

Chances are you’ll already be marketing holiday discounts to this list, so why not apply them automatically upon click? You can even use the strategy above to pre-fill the cart with new or on-sale products to which the discount applies, making the shopping (and purchasing!) process easier.

When you create the coupon for your email list, this time you can use any URL you want — the URL doesn’t have to exist on your site. Something like http://mystore.com/coupon/promo-name typically works well to signify this is a coupon.

However, you should note one thing: since this URL does not exist on your site, you must set a redirect for the coupon. Without this, email subscribers will land on a 404 page, which isn’t a great way to start off the shopping experience.

WooCommerce URL Coupons email list coupon

Offer Personalized Coupons

On a final note, you can create personalized URLs for coupons very easily with WooCommerce URL coupons.

Personalized emails have higher open and transaction rates in comparison to non-personalized emails, so this can add a nice finishing touch for holiday shoppers.

In every example we’ve shown so far, we’ve added a trailing slash to our coupon’s URL. This ensures that only that URL will apply the coupon.

However, URL Coupons will let us use a URL without a trailing slash as a generic coupon URL — kind of like a “wildcard” URL. This can let you personalize your coupon links for customers when including them in emails.

Here’s an example: mystore.com/coupon/thanks/ will only work if that exact URL is visited. If we remove the trailing slash — mystore.com/coupon/thanksnow this will work for mystore.com/coupon/thanks-john, mystore.com/coupon/thanks/jane or any other URL that begins this way.

WooCommerce URL Coupons: Personalized coupon

When you send emails to your customers, you can leverage this to insert their names, personalizing the email and coupon to increase open and click rates.

Typically email marketing providers have “merge” tags to allow you to insert customer details, like first names (if you’ve been collecting them and including them in your list). For example, MailChimp can let you do this with the *|FNAME|* merge tag if you’ve been collecting first names.

You can personalize the call to action for the discount URL, and could even personalize the URL if you’re showing it as a plain link to customers.

WooCommerce URL Coupons - personalized coupon email

For generic URL coupons like the ones we’ve outlined in this section and the ones above, it’s also a great idea to limit their usage per user so that customers can’t reuse them over and over.

Using Automatic Discounts as Rewards

Automatically applying discounts for customers can save them from having to remember or copy and paste discount codes in the middle of the shopping process. It also starts the shopping and browsing process for them, inviting them to continue shopping or to purchase knowing that they already have a discount (and maybe a product in the cart).

Automatic discounts are a great way to reward holiday shoppers for visting, reading your blog, or subscribing. Customers also appreciate that discounts help them stretch gift budgets and encourages them to spend with your store during the holiday season.


Disclosure: I work for SkyVerge, who developed the WooCommerce URL Coupons plugin. It’s still one of my favorite plugins and I made every effort to be unbiased in writing this.

Cover Photo Credit: photochem_PA (CC BY 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.