Updated November 2022 – Everyone can recall a time when they received a promo code that they were excited to use – or maybe even an occasion when a promo code was the final push that motivated them to purchase something they were on the fence about.

The power of a promo code marketing strategy is well-documented. In fact, online shoppers who use promo codes spend 24% more than shoppers who don’t. Similarly, around 38% of shoppers indicated that they bought more than they usually would because of promo codes.

It’s safe to say that if your tour or activity business has an online booking platform, you should definitely consider how coupon strategy could help increase valuable bookings.

What is coupon marketing?

coupon marketing strategy

In short, coupons are a word or code that you can set up in your system that allows your customers to receive a discount or a special deal at checkout. You can set them up for specific campaigns, such as holiday promotions, referrals, loyalty and more. 

How does coupon marketing drive revenue?

An online coupon marketing strategy helps businesses get more bookings for one main reason: they make people feel special. People who receive promo codes experience heightened levels of oxytocin (this means it creates a feeling of happiness), according to studies done at Claremont University. Meaning these customers are a lot more likely to go through with their purchase.  

A coupon promotion strategy also: 

  • Allows you to easily keep track of where your sales are coming from. 
  • Creates a sense of urgency and encourages customers to go through with their booking before the coupon expires.
  • Pushes specific products at specific times where you have excess supply. 
  • Builds loyalty from your existing customers.
  • Boosts direct bookings.

Coupon marketing strategies for tour operators

There are a wide variety of coupon marketing strategies that tour operators can employ to reach different outcomes. 

1. Create urgency with daily deals and limited-time offers

Humans by nature are afraid of missing out. By using phrases such as ‘Today Only’ or ‘Limited Seats’ your promo code marketing strategy can influence your customers to act sooner rather than later.

Daily deals are a great example of this. You could offer a special price for the first 15 customers to book a specific tour with your promo code. The next day you could offer a free upgrade. And so on. If the setup is too much of a hassle, you could also do it as a weekly or monthly deal. 

In addition to urgency, this creates a sense of regularity, which 51% of shoppers said they want, according to Claremont University

2. Market less popular experiences and sessions with promo codes

using promo codes in your tourism business

Promo codes are a great way to push your less popular experiences and/ or time slots. For example, many tour operators may find that their tours are not as full during weekdays, especially during the day. 

You could offer a special deal or upgrade on those specific time slots with promo-codes, for example 20% off – 74% of shoppers online prefer discounts that indicate a “percentage off” savings, according to Blippr

You can also use your booking payment system to set up the promo-codes so they’re only redeemable for your specific time slots. For example, you can set up your system so that it only accepts promo codes from Monday to Thursday, between 9AM and 3PM. Here’s how you can do it on Rezdy.

3. Target return customers with loyalty-based promotions and deals

discounts and promo codes

The 2022 PwC customer loyalty survey found that 51% of online shoppers reported wanting exclusive offers based on their loyalty to a brand. Reward your existing customers and build loyalty, by offering them a special deal. With travel beginning to reopen, now is the perfect time to reach out to your past customers and remind them about the great times they had with your company. Using a booking software with automated communications can also make this process all the more simplistic.

Returning customers are your greatest asset. After all, increasing your customer retention by just 5% increases your profits by 25-95% according to Harvard Business Review.

4. Offer personalized coupon deals

Personalized coupon deals are a persuasive way to target specific groups of customers. For example, students who would be able to go on your tours at times when your business has fewer customers. By creating a code like ‘STUDENT20’, you can make this segment of your customer base feel as if the special deal is catered for them.

Reach out to influencers to promote exclusive discounts

When businesses partner with influencers on social media, this often involves creating a special coupon specifically for the influencer’s audience to use. The influencer then uses this unique code to promote your product or service on their social media platform. Ideally, their fans and followers will take on board the influencer’s message and rush to your website, ready to make a purchase.

Investing in influencer marketing could prove to be a profitable venture for your business. According to a 2019 study, businesses make an average of $5.20 on every $1 spent on influencer marketing.

If you’re interested in partnering with an influencer, it’s important to take into account several things:

  • Take your time to research the influencer to confirm that their audience matches yours. Don’t focus on the influencer’s follower amount – an influencer with a smaller audience that is more engaged will almost always prove more valuable than an influencer with a large, disengaged audience.
  • Create a unique code for each influencer that you partner with so you can more accurately track revenue.
  • Use easy-to-remember codes. Consider incorporating the influencer’s handle or name in the code. If you are collaborating with a macro influencer, then going for offline coupon marketing using a QR code will help you widen the scope of the campaign.

5. Target cart abandonment

coupon strategy

Cart abandonment can result in many more problems beyond just a single lost sale. It also leads to higher customer acquisition costs, availability issues, and skewed website data. And unfortunately, the travel industry has the highest rate of cart abandonment – even higher than retail.  

One way to address this pressing issue is through promo codes. Emailing promo codes to visitors who did not complete their booking can help tackle cart abandonment. Emails are most impactful around 30 minutes after cart abandonment. In the case that the first email doesn’t work, businesses can send another one around 24 hours after cart abandonment to remind the user of the time-sensitive nature of the promo code.

6. Offer packages through promo codes

People like saving money, so it’s little wonder that promo codes can work wonders when promoting packages and enticing customers to upgrade their purchases. Promo codes can encourage customers to bundle multiple tours and save money in the process. Offering packages through promo codes might also involve partnering with local businesses to create coupons that apply to multiple experiences.


Once you master the art of enticing customers with coupons and promo codes, you need a system that equips you with the ability to run these marketing tactics seamlessly. By utilizing an online booking software such as Rezdy, you’ll be able to easily set promo code offers and integrate them into your website in just a few simple steps. To find out how, click here.

Furthermore, you can also utilize a distribution platform such as Rezdy Channel Manager that connects you to thousands of resellers. For example, you could connect with coupon-based resellers such as Groupon where you can sell your services with special offers.

Using Rezdy Channel Manager is as easy as:

1. Listing your products
2. Setting your commission rates
3. Letting thousands of agents and resellers resell and promote your products

Ready to take the step to boost your bookings with Rezdy? Start a FREE 21-day trial or book a demo today.

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