By Andrew
11 January 2023

Using Offer Codes in Direct Mail

There’s nothing new about Offer Codes. In fact, 93% of consumers are totally accustomed to using offer codes in ecommerce checkouts. The increasingly viable alternative to using Offer Codes is to simply embed the offer in a QR code. If you are using Offer Codes in Zaps, there are some best practices, and a few things to consider:

Random code vs Memorable code vs Logical code:

The type of code you use is important from a Customer perception perspective.

Remember, these codes appear in print, so ‘copy & paste’ is not possible.

Some demographics may be comfortable using native apps like Google Lens to copy the code but usage is still not widespread. 

Points to consider when selecting the type of code you use: Do you want the code to be shared publicly? This will be driven by your Business Goals, and the type and value of the associated offer.

Unique or Generic? 

Unique codes require a little more effort to generate but will restrict usage to only the intended recipients.  In any event, a code should only appear in one medium its important to ensure a code is unique to a Zap campaign as a minimum.  

How are you going to track and attribute the code usage?

Tracking code usage is essential to evaluate your Return on Investment.  Whilst Code usage is by no means the only metric you should measure, it is certainly important. Attribution of derived value is only possible if a promotion code is unique to each media source.  If you are promoting a campaign across multiple channels like email, ads and Zaps, the promotion code should be different for each channel, whilst offering users the same value. 

A random code may be either unique or generic.  

Example: $werg98y32s0!

PROs: This type of code is not ‘guessable’. Reduces public sharing. Trackable (if unique).
CONs: Not memorable. Not user friendly.

A memorable code 

Example: BFCM30

PROs: The recipient knows exactly what the code is for.
CONs: Not unique. Not attributable.  Easily shared across affiliate sites and peer-to-peer.

A logical code gives the recipient a sense of uniqueness - a code just for them.

Example:  JDoeRenewZ189
Your Recipient is Jane Doe and her code is logically generated:  {first_initial}+{last_name}+{campaign}+{source_ID)+{random_3_digits}

PROs: Positive Customer perception, feeling of appreciation & value.
CONs: Potentially guessable, so only use if you will not object to another Customer using the code.

ZAPOLOGY: Using logical codes is recommended, where possible. We do not share results data on code type usage as there are too many other variables that may impact response rates so, as always, the answer is to test.

Character length:  The shorter the code, the more likely it is to be remembered, and used, which may, or may not be a good thing, depending on your Business Goals and your attitude to code sharing.  

ZAPOLOGY: The type of code you use is more important than the character length.

Valid period: Any offer must be date limited. Shorter dates increase urgency and conversion.

ZAPOLOGY: Between 14 and 30 days, post anticipated receipt date.  Add a variable expiration date when using the Content Portal in the ZAP APP.

As an alternative to using promotion or offer codes, you can embed the offer code in a QR code, if the associated Call to Action is sufficiently explanatory.