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Draw Customers to Your Website With Coupons

Using coupons can be a great way to get new customers to visit your site-if you do it right.

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This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Are promotion codes a good marketing tactic to use to get consumers to visit your Web site? That depends on whom you ask. Some e-tailers swear by promotion or coupon codes, believing they're a wonderful way to increase sales and gain new customers. Even better, they're easy for consumers and e-merchants to use, they're immediate, and most shopping cart and e-commerce software programs have the technology to support coupon codes. At least one study, however, has found that they may actually drive customers away from your company's site. So what should an e-tailer do?

On the Plus Side

Today, most e-tailers offer coupon codes through coupon site marketing partners like CoolSavings.com, Coupon Mountain (www.couponmountain.com), DailyeDeals.com, E-centives (www.ecentives.com), eCoupons (www.ecoupons.com), Eversave.com and SmartSource.com. With these programs, e-tailers decide on a promotion they would like to offer-such as cents off, dollars off or a percentage off a purchase-and then create a coupon code comprising letters and numbers, such as "ABC123." E-tailers then sign up with Web sites that advertise these codes and pay to have their codes listed on the coupon sites or linked to their Web sites.

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