Creating a Discount with Conditions (Creating a Coupon)

Overview

An excellent marketing tool is to give your customers a discount of some type. If no conditions are added to a discount, the discount will automatically be applied to all products for all customers who make an order. Adding conditions allows you to restrict when a discount is applicable. The following is a list of the possible restrictions on a discount:

  • A discount can be restricted to one product, some products, or be used for all products.
  • A discount can require a coupon code be entered during the order process (or passed in through the order process).
  • A discount can also be restricted to a certain date range.
  • A discount can be limited to only appear for certain link sources or certain order environments.
  • For subscription products, a discount can be restricted to only the first period of the subscription (which might be used to offer someone a free or discounted trial of the product) or can be used for both the first and additional subscription periods.
  • Limited Use Conditions include requiring a minimum order total, requiring a minimum number of products in the order, or limited a discount to only be valid once per email address.

Only one condition of any particular type is allowed. This article will describe all of the restrictions that are allowed on a discount, and how to add them to a discount. Only one discount can be applied to any order.

Discount Setup

To create any discount, go to SpringBoard's Store Home » Offers. Click Create Discount.

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Enter in a Name for the discount. This is not displayed for the customers, but is used for managerial purposes. Optionally, enter in text for the Customer Display / Messaging to display a message to your customers below the discount price. Pick the type of discount you would like to offer. These discounts include Percent Off, Amount Off Unit, Amount Off Product, and Free.

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Discount Types

Percent Off

327.pngWhen you choose Percent Off, you will need to enter the specific percent you would like this discount to subtract from the price, such as 10%. Do not choose the discount type if you want to offer a 100% discount, as a singular product in an order with a 100% discount cannot be completed. Instead, you will use either Amount Off Product or Free, both of which are described below.

Amount Off Unit

835.pngWhen you choose Amount Off Unit, you will need to enter the specific dollar amount you would like this discount to subtract from the price. If customers purchase more than one unit, they get the discount off of all units purchased. You can also specify the fixed amount off in currencies other than USD (if they are enabled in Active Currencies in Store Settings » Payment Methods). SpringBoard offers a currency calculator for setting foreign currency amounts, showing real time exchange rates and +5% and +10% calculations for each. This can be accessed via the small calculator icon to the right of the currencies.

Amount Off Product

836.pngWhen you choose Amount Off Product, you will need to enter the specific dollar amount you would like this discount to subtract from the price. If customers purchase more than one unit, they get the discount off of one unit purchased and the others are not discounted. You can also specify the fixed amount off in currencies other than USD (if they are enabled in Active Currencies in Store Settings » Payment Methods). SpringBoard offers a currency calculator for setting foreign currency amounts, showing real time exchange rates and +5% and +10% calculations for each. This can be accessed via the small calculator icon to the right of the currencies.

Free

When you choose Free, the price of the product will be striked-through and the price will become $0. A order with only a $0 priced product cannot be completed, but a $0 order that occurs from a Free Discount Type (where the product has an original non-zero price) will complete. This discount type is almost always combined with a Product Condition (to limit to a specific product) or an Order Environment Condition (to limit to a group of products), and is often combined with a Coupon Condition (to limit to be free only when a coupon code is used), all of which are described below.

Note: If more than one unit is allowed on the product, a customer will be able to receive multiple copies for free. For information on limiting the number of free units when more than one unit is allowed on a product, see Offering Only One Free Unit of a Product.

Setting up Restrictions during Creation of the Offer

No Restrictions Needed

If you do not need any restrictions (such as a coupon code, date limitations, or product limitations) on the discount, click Next. The discount is in test mode. You can see what the discount will look like to your customer using store testing. Notice that the original price is struck through and that the discounted price appears. Under the price you can see the text that was entered in the field to display to your customers. When you are happy with the discount, move it to Active Status.

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Adding a Product Condition

You can add a Product Condition to an offer when you create it. This condition will restrict the discount to apply only for one specific product. If you want to have an offer apply to all products in your store, do not add a Product Condition. If you want to have an offer apply to some of the products in your store, see How to Apply an Offer to a Select Group of Products or Setting Up Discounts Across a Set of Multiple Products.

To restrict the offer to apply only to one specific product, under Conditions, select the Add Product Condition checkbox. Select the specific product from the drop-down menu that appears. If you do not need additional restrictions, click Next.

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Adding a Subscription Period Condition

You can add a Subscription Period Condition to an offer when you create it. This condition will restrict the discount to apply only to the first subscription period or to apply starting with the second subscription period for a certain number of periods. Under Conditions, select the Add Subscription Period Condition checkbox. Select either First Period Only or Starts at Second Period. If you select Starts at Second Period, select the number of subscription periods from the drop-down menu that appears. If you would like to set up a discount for both the first subscription period and subsequent subscription periods, see Offering a Discount over a Period of Time for a Subscription Product. If you do not need additional restrictions, click Next.

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Adding a Coupon Condition

You can add a Coupon Condition to an offer when you create it.  A Coupon Condition will make the discount only work when the coupon code is present in an order. Under Conditions, select the Add Coupon Condition checkbox. Choose Single Code, and enter in the actual coupon code phrase you would like to use, or Multiple Random Codes to create random coupon codes all based on the same prefix you enter. Coupon codes are case insensitive - the customer may enter them in any combination of lowercase and capital letters. If you do not need additional restrictions, click Next. For more information on creating multiple coupon codes, see Creating a Coupon with Multiple Codes

Note: If you want to use a coupon code that you have previously used, you will need to do this after creating the discount offer. See Setting up Restrictions after Creation of the Offer: Adding a Previously Used Coupon Code.

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Setting up Restrictions after Creation of the Offer

Although all of the conditions that can be set up during the creation of the offer can also be added after it is created, some of the restrictions on a discount offer cannot be added until after the discount is created. Once a discount has been created, you can add restrictions by clicking Edit in the Conditions area or Edit Conditions under Actions.

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Select the condition you want to add to the discount. Restrictions on discounts that are not described above are described below.

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Date Condition

You can add a Date Condition to a discount to limit when the discount applies. This condition is most useful when you are offering a sale on a product for a period of time, such as around the December holidays or Valentine's Day. Select the Date Condition radio button and click Next. Enter in the Beginning Date and Ending date during which you would like the discount to work. Begin and end dates within the system are always according to the GMT / UTC time zone. Because customers may visit from a wide range of time zones, we recommend placing the begin date one day earlier and the end date one day later than you actually advertise. This will ensure that there are no surprises for customers across various time zones. Click Create to add the Date Condition to the discount. Notice that the date condition now shows up and specifies the dates between which the discount will appear.

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Testing the Discount with Date Restriction

If you go to store testing, your discount will appear if today's date is within the range of dates you set. It will not appear otherwise.

Link Source Condition

You can add a Link Source Condition to a discount to make the discount only be applicable from a specific link source. You would only use this condition if you have Link Sources set up in SpringBoard for tracking purposes. Select the Link Source Condition radio button and click Next. From the drop-down menu, select the Link Source that, when added to the end of the URL as ?source=XYZ, will receive this discount. Click Create. Notice that the Link Source Condition now shows up and specifies the link source that will make the discount appear.

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Coupon Condition (Adding a Previously Used Coupon Code)

Although you can add a Coupon Condition to a discount during its creation, you can also add it after the discount is created. Adding it after the discount is created also allows you to add a coupon code that has been previously used. Select the Coupon Condition radio button and click Next. If you want to use a coupon code you have already used, under Option 1: Use Existing Coupon, select your coupon code from the drop-down menu, and click Create. If you want to add a new coupon code, choose either Single Code or Multiple Random Codes. If you choose Single Code, enter in the actual coupon code phrase you would like to use; for Multiple Random Codes, enter the prefix you would like to use and our system with then generate random coupon codes using that prefix.

Coupon codes are case insensitive - the customer may enter them in any combination of lowercase and capital letters. For more information on creating multiple coupon codes, see Creating a Coupon with Multiple Codes. Notice that the Coupon Condition now shows up and specifies the coupon that will make the discount appear.

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Coupon Use Options

In order for you customers to receive this discount, they must receive the coupon code. There are two options to achieve this:

    1. Distribute the coupon code to the customers, and instruct them to enter the code during the order checkout process.
    2. Embed the coupon code:
      • In a URL that links from your website to the order page. (Note: that there is about a ten minute delay between creating a discount with a coupon restriction and when this discount will appear using a URL.)
        • Add the following to your order page URLs: ?coupon=YourCouponCodeEntered, such as ?coupon=10OFF or ?coupon=BKFRIDAY
        • If there is already a question mark in the URL, then instead add: &coupon=YourCouponCode, such as &coupon=10OFF or &coupon=BKFRIDAY
      • In the form POST used from your website to the order page.
        • In between <form> and </form> add: <input type="hidden" name="coupon" value="YourCouponCodeEntered" />, such as <input type="hidden" name="coupon" value="10OFF" /> or <input type="hidden" name="coupon" value="BKFRIDAY" />

Testing the Coupon Restriction

If you go to store testing, the discount will not appear, just like it will not appear to your customers who do not have the coupon code.

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If you enter in the coupon code during the checkout process, add coupon=YourCouponCode to the order URL, or add <input type="hidden" name="coupon" value="YourCouponCodeEntered" /> to your form POST, the discount will appear.

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Order Environment Condition

You can add an Order Environment Condition to restrict the discount to only be applicable in a certain order environment. The main reasons you would use this condition are if you needed to limit a discount to a certain group of products or prevent the discount from being used on a specific group of products (see How to Apply an Offer to a Select Group of Products) or to limit the discount to work only when a certain URL was used to link to the product.

To add this restriction to a discount, select the Order Environment Condition and click Next. If you want the discount to work when a certain order environment is present, enter information under Applies When. For example, if you want the discount to appear if the URL has ?tags=ABC on the end, under Applies When, enter ABC for Environment Tag Exists, and click Create. If you want the discount to work when a certain order environment is not present, enter information under Does Not Apply When, and click Create. Notice that the Order Environment Condition now shows up and specifies the order environment condition that will make the discount appear.

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Limited Use Condition

You can add a Limited Use Condition to require that specific criteria are met before completing an order. Available Order Criteria include a Minimum Order Total and a Minimum Product Count; available Customer Criteria include Email Verification, and limiting the discount of only One Use Per Email Address. A Limited Use Condition is almost always paired with a Coupon Condition. Select the Limited Use Condition radio button and click Next. 

Order Criteria

To require a Minimum Order Total be met for the discount to apply to an order, enter in the minimum values and click Save. If customers do not have that minimum total in their cart when they enter the coupon code, they will see a message telling them what they must do to receive the discount. 

You can also specify the Minimum Order Total in currencies other than USD (if they are enabled in Active Currencies in Store Settings » Payment Methods). Otherwise, the other currency minimums will be automatically calculated based on the current exchange rates. To require a minimum number of separate products for an order, select the Minimum Product Count from the drop-down menu and click Save. If customers do not have that minimum number of products in their cart when they enter the coupon code, they will see a message telling them how many products must be in their order to receive the discount.  

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Customer Criteria

To require a discount to only be valid once per email address, select the checkbox under One User Per Email Address and click Save. Note: This restriction will not work for test orders, so even if this restriction is in place, you will be able to complete multiple orders with this discount for the same email address. For live orders, the first order with the email address will successfully apply the discount. An additional order with the same email address will appear to successfully apply the discount, but when customers click Complete Order, they receive an error message that the offer is no longer available.

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To require a discount to only be valid for specific email addresses and/or domains, select the Use Postfix List radio button. Enter in the specific email addresses, domains, or top-level domains (or any combination of them), separated by a comma. Click Save.

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Examples of Postfix Lists

To restrict the discount to only apply to:

  • FastSpring's employee's Bob and Suzie, enter bob@fastspring.com,suzie@fastspring.com.
  • FastSpring employees, enter @fastspring.com.
  • FastSpring and MacPhun employees, enter @fastspring.com,@macphun.com.
  • EDU top-level domains only (perhaps for an educators only discount), enter .edu.
  • GOV and MIL top-level domains only (perhaps for a government and military only discount), enter .gov,.mil.
  • Emails from countries, such as Canada, enter .ca.

To require a discount to only be valid when the email address matches a regular expression, select Use Regular Expression (Advanced) and enter in the regular expression the email address must match. Click Save.

Allow Free Orders

When an Amount Off Product discount type or an Amount Off Unit discount type has been created, if you want to allow free orders, select the checkbox for Allow Free Orders and click Save. This option is not available with the Percent Off discount type. This option is especially useful when you offer multiple quantities of a product but want to allow one unit of the product for free, as described below.

Offering Only One Free Unit of a Product

If multiple quantities are allowed on the product, you can limit the discount to only allow one free unit of the product. To limit the free quantity to one unit, select Amount Off Product as the Discount Type. Enter in the full amount of the product. If you have fixed prices in currencies other than USD, enter in the full amount of the product in those currencies. If you do not have fixed prices in currencies other than USD set on the product, do not enter anything for those non-USD currencies. Add any other Conditions during the creation process, as desired, and click Next. On the next screen, select the checkbox for Allow Free Orders and click Save.

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Apply to Options

When a Percent Off, an Amount Off Product, or an Amount Off Unit discount type is being created, if you want to allow the discount to apply when the product is not necessarily the main product but rather a product choice / option (as in the case of a container page that displays multiple products, for example), select Apply to Options, add any other Conditions during the creation process, as desired, and click Next.

If the discount has already been created and you want to allow the discount to apply when the product is not necessarily the main product but rather a product choice / option, go to the discount offer and select Apply to Options and click Save.

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Deleting Conditions

Once a Condition has been added to a discount, to delete the condition click Edit in the Conditions area or Edit Conditions under Actions.

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Click Delete under Active Conditions. The Condition will no longer restrict the discount. On the same screen, you can now add a new Condition to the discount, if desired.

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Other Related Articles

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Christopher Grundy (christophergrundy)

    If I create a coupon that allows a particular product for free, will I still be charged Fastspring's minimum for the transaction?  I would like to give away a product or two as a way of encouraging users to try out the Fastspring system.

  • Avatar
    Shawn Engel (FastSpring)

    There is no cost on free orders.

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