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3 Holiday Promo Code Problems to Avoid


The holiday peak season is packed with unpredictable twists and turns that can lead to panicked moments and high-pressure decisions that will have a major impact on your peak-season sales.

Even the most detailed holiday marketing plans won’t cover those annual surprise shifts in consumer behavior that lead sales to boost or blunder in their wake.

BrooksBell has published “5 Testing Tips for the Holidays” to help marketers to prepare for these unpredictable shifts by testing during the season, measuring milestones and confronting catastrophes.

These tips were curated by our team to help you balance quantitative and qualitative insights while nimbly reacting to ensure you have a successful season. While we all want our holiday season to be successful, you need to prepare for some of the issues that can occur.

Many retailers will rely on promotional codes for holiday sales and there are often issues when a shopper tries to redeem the code. From a promotional code that doesn’t work to a discount that does not show in the cart, promotional redemption issues will cause customers to not only leave your site but to leave angry and unlikely to return.

Here are some tips to avoid common promo code problems during the holidays.

  • Make a QA List and Check It Twice
    You will likely rely on your vendors to provide your promotional code functionality. Meet with these teams before your sales launch to ensure all systems are functioning correctly and ready for a barrage of seasonal shoppers.Create a QA checklist that you can use before all of your promotions launch to ensure systems are coordinated and functional. As the season gets busy, your team can have these guidelines to ensure emails and site updates are done correctly.
  • Prep your Customer Support Teams
    If your promo codes aren’t working, your customers will certainly let your customer support teams know! This could be done via social media, live chat, email, phone, etc. You need to take the steps now to ensure these teams know what to do if there is a technical issue with a promotional code that could stunt your sales.Equip your customer service team with the information they need to match current promotions when customers call or chat with issues. Build a contingency plan for hot products that may sell out quickly. Offer alternative ways to buy, rainchecks for future purchases or other options that will calm the customer and give them a reason to still buy from you.
  • Say the Right Words When Things Go Wrong
    Your site has likely been updated or overhauled in the past year, but how well do you know your error messaging? If you’re like many marketers, the answer is not very well!This messaging can mean the difference between a sale and a customer service onslaught during your busy season. Have your team review forms, search results, the shopping cart and the checkout process to ensure helpful error messaging exists to guide the shopper when things break down.The right messaging can also motivate the shopper to find other ways to save when a code has expired, highlight similarly priced products that qualify for the promotion when an item is out of stock or direct them to your customer support team for other options. Just make sure you have the checks in place or you risk having frustrated shoppers who will abandon your site for your competitor.


bb_holidaynuture_thumnailTo learn more about how to build a successful holiday marketing plan and execute tests during the season, download “5 Testing Tips for the Holidays” today.