← Back to blog posts

WooWednesday: Automatically apply coupons via custom URLs

Let’s say you have a promotion for 30% off a particular product – a set of astronaut figurines, for example. That promotion, however, is only for those that click on a banner advertisement shown on the local museum’s page for their new Spaceflight exhibit.

Maybe they look something like this:

Cute, right? Found here

There are a few ways to tackle this situation, so let’s look at the “okay” way, and then we’ll look at the “best” way!

The “Okay” Option

Setting the product to be on sale for 30% off won’t work because then it will be available for that price for everyone at your site. That’s okay if that’s what you want, but that’s not what we’re going for here. We want to only allow visitors of the Spaceflight exhibit page to get this deal.

For that, you’ll need to set up a coupon code – something easy to share, but hard-ish to guess. Let’s set one up called spaceflight30. That’s pretty easy to remember but would take quite a while to guess if you didn’t know a promotion was happening at all.

Go to Marketing > Coupons and click Add coupon to create a new coupon.

Basic coupon settings: name, description, discount type.

Make sure that you restrict this coupon to your product under the Usage restriction tab.

Usage restriction settings: restrict to astronaut figurines product.

Now that you have a coupon code set up, you can share spaceflight30 in the banner advertisement and link the banner to your website.

Why is this not ideal and what’s a better way?

Well, for starters, you’ve put the burden on the customer to a) find your product on your website and b) remember to plug in the coupon code to get the discount. Speaking from experience, you will have customers forget to enter the code, make the purchase anyway, and then follow up with you to get a partial refund. That’s time not well spent for you or them.

The “Best” Way

Let’s now look at a better way of setting this up. You’ll still need the coupon code you set up in the previous section, so if you skipped down to here, you’re a go-getter! But you still need to set up the coupon as we did above. I’ll wait.

Okay, now that you have the coupon set up, let’s talk about the URL Coupons plugin for WooCommerce. Once enabled, you should see an additional option in your coupon settings called Discount links.

Here, you can set up a URL to automatically apply the discount and add the product to the cart! How cool is that?!

Looking at the image above, arrow number one shows where you can set the unique URL that will trigger the product(s) to be added and the discount to be applied. You can also use a page that already exists, but I always recommend using a unique URL to keep this from happening later unintentionally.

Arrow number two shows where you can automatically have your product added to the cart, too. You can add one product or many products—that’s up to you!

Why is this the best way? Well, it takes the burden off of the customer entirely, and it frees you from dealing with orders that didn’t quite go as expected. It’s a seamless experience for the customer and for you!

In this setup, the product(s) is/are added to the cart automatically, so the customer doesn’t have to track it down on your site, hoping they chose the correct one. It also automatically applies the coupon code, so the customer doesn’t have to remember what it was and enter it at the correct time!

One more thing…

In that last settings screenshot where you set up the URL, you may have noticed the “Provided by GoDaddy” logo at the bottom. At the time of writing this article, the plugin (also created by SkyVerge/GoDaddy) sits at $49 per year and is worth every penny. However, this plugin has been built into the native GoDaddy Managed WordPress Ecommerce hosting package for free!

Have questions about this article or any others we’ve written? Let us know on Twitter @headingtwo!
Today I was joined by Tabitha Turton from GoDaddy (and also formerly SkyVerge) to share a bit about the exclusive, native features that we've been able to add to GoDaddy's Managed WooCommerce hosting.