How to Use Promo Codes to Increase Your Merch Sales

Just in time for the holiday season, we’ve launched Promo Codes for sellers on Bonfire! Now, sellers like you, can offer exclusive promo codes to buyers. This opens up the door for some pretty incredible marketing possibilities. But if you’re new to selling or struggle with your marketing strategy, this can be a little overwhelming. We’ve gathered the best tips and tricks from our resident experts on the subject – our Marketing team – so you can feel confident as you build out a promo code strategy that will be effective for your community and increase your sales.

There are a few different ways you can think about promo codes. Promo codes can be used as a reward or as a gift, and it can also be used for a limited time, or for a long stretch of time. They can be a way to offer your merch to volunteers or friends at a discounted cost. They can motivate your community to sign up for your email list. The list goes on and on. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to use promo codes.

Promo Codes

Before we get started, let’s do a quick promo code refresher!

What Are Promo Codes and How Do They Work?

Promo codes are coupons or promotional discount codes created by you, the seller, that allow buyers to purchase items at a reduced cost when they type in the code during checkout. Sellers set their custom discount percentages for their promo codes and then Bonfire takes that discount off the purchase. 

How Do I Set Up Promo Codes?

Creating promo codes on Bonfire is super easy.  Navigate to the ‘Promotions’ tab in the left menu of your Dashboard. From there, click ‘Create A Promotion’ and start crafting your promotion.

When Should I Use Promo Codes?

You can use promo codes at any time, but they tend to attract the most buyers when used as an incentive to buy on the big calendar days of the season. Since we are at the start of the holidays there are lots of promo code-worthy days coming up! Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and GivingTuesday are a few really good ones to choose from.

Promo Codes as Incentives

Promo codes can be a great way to reward your customers for their involvement and participation. Everyone loves a good deal, and promo codes are a fun way to connect with your buyers. There are countless ways that you could use promo codes to prompt your community to do something. If you have a certain goal you’re working toward, such as reaching a certain follower count number, adding more people to your email list, or having more people sign up to participate in an event, think about creative ways you could use promo codes to motivate your community

  • Provide a promo code for people when they sign up for your email list.
  • Throw in a promo code for new subscribers to your YouTube channel.
  • Inspire activity on your social media by sending a promo code to the first five people to comment on a post.
  • Put a promo code in your stories on Instagram to encourage people to check your content frequently.
  • Ask your community to share product or merch photos on social media and reward them with a promo code for their next purchase.
  • Partner with an Influencer and create a special promo code for them to share with their followers.

By trying one (or a few) of these promo code incentives, you will strengthen your relationship with your customers as well as increase your sales. You’ll also be able to get a better feel for the traffic on your social media sites, websites, and Bonfire store.

Promo Codes as Gifts

Offering discounts to your community is an awesome way to say ‘thank you’ for their loyalty, their donations, etc. Receiving a promo code feels like receiving a personalized gift and your community will both appreciate the offer and remember the gesture. Promo codes are also helpful for keeping people involved with your business. If someone receives a promo code once, they will want to use it and they will also want to check back and stay informed for more discount opportunities. 

  • If your customer records include their birthday, surprise them with a promo code as a birthday present.
  • When hosting an in-person event (such as an art show, fundraising event, etc.), hand out promo codes to people who attend.
  • Give promo codes to volunteers as a ‘thank you’.
  • Gift a promo code to donors to show your appreciation.
  • Include a promo code in your newsletter for the folks who have consistently followed along with you or your company.

Promo code gifts are easy to make happen and will have a lasting impact on your community. They will love that you took the time to show them some gratitude by offering them a personalized discount. Any of the ideas above for gifting promo codes are sure to make your customers feel special.

Promo Codes as Single-Day Sprint Strategies 

Promo codes are a highly effective way to encourage customers to make purchases. Limiting the number of time buyers have to use a promo code motivates them to act fast. Oftentimes when buyers take advantage of a limited-time deal they feel like they’ve won a prize! Adding to the excitement your buyer’s experience when making a purchase is beneficial to both the customer and you. Happy buyers are much more likely to become returning buyers. 

  • Offer promo codes to be used on “big shopping days” such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Giving Tuesday, etc.
  • Gift your community holiday specific promo codes that can be used on that day only.
  • Provide promo codes that run for a limited amount of time. For example: “Today only!”, “This weekend only!”, or even “Good for the next 4 hours!”. 

There are tons of shoppers out there who live for the thrill of the hunt and a limited-time offer is the perfect type of discount for them. They love a deal and they love knowing they were in the right place at the right time to get that deal. These types of promos can be extra fun and energetic. Play around with how you market the above ideas to your community to capture the excitement. 


There’s no reason to hesitate – promo codes have been proven to increase sales and build customer loyalty. The best time for you to begin using promo codes on Bonfire is now. We hope these best practices have given you the tools you need to get started. We can’t wait to see how promo codes help your business and your community grow.

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