Industry Trends

Coffee Shop Marketing: Why Promo Codes are a Better Option than Gift Cards for User Acquisition

Coffee shops have used gift cards for everything from loyalty to customer acquisition because it's the only tool they had. But now, promo codes have taken over as the most effective way to acquire new customers when used in promotions and have a variety of benefits every coffee shop owner should know about.


This post is part of a new series from joe exploring industry trends that are creating big opportunities for independent coffee shops. Follow us on Instagram for tips, tricks, and trends. 

For years, coffee shops have used gift cards to acquire new customers, reward existing customers, and provide additional cashflow to stay liquid. However, as technology evolved and smartphones became ubiquitous, promo codes have emerged as the best tool for acquiring customers.

Many coffee shop owners aren’t familiar with the use cases and benefits of promo codes simply because the point-of-sale companies that dominate build tools to serve all categories and industries - they don't build specifically for coffee shops. As a result, if it’s not a tool that will be used by absolutely everyone - they don’t offer it.


Coffee Shop Gift Card Powered by Joe Loyalty and Rewards

(Gift cards powered by joe can be used in-person and on mobile orders and come free of charge with additional features and benefits you can't find anywhere else. Learn more)


Here are a few of the main advantage that promo codes have over gift cards and why you're missing out if you haven't made them a central part of your customer acquisition strategy: 

Flexibility: Promo codes are generally more flexible than gift cards, as they can be customized to offer different discounts or promotions. This allows businesses to experiment with different promotions and incentives to see what resonates best with their target audience. Gift cards, on the other hand, offer a fixed value and are less flexible in terms of customization.

Cost: Promo codes are typically less expensive than gift cards, as businesses can offer discounts or promotions without incurring the cost of producing and distributing physical gift cards. This can be especially beneficial for smaller businesses or startups that may have limited marketing budgets.

Tracking and Analytics: Promo codes also offer better tracking and analytics than gift cards, as businesses can track the performance of each code and see which promotions are driving the most conversions. This data can then be used to optimize future campaigns and improve user acquisition efforts.

Limited-Time Offers: Promo codes are particularly effective for limited-time offers, as they can create a sense of urgency and encourage users to act quickly to take advantage of the promotion. Gift cards, on the other hand, do not have an expiration date, which can make them less effective for creating a sense of urgency.

Overall, while gift cards can be an effective tool for user acquisition by allowing your customers to purchase them for friends and family, promo codes offer greater flexibility, lower cost, better tracking and analytics, and are particularly effective for limited-time offers.

With Joe, you can create and customize promo codes to offer discounts and other incentives to attract new customers or re-engage existing customers who haven't visited in a while and share them through social media, email, SMS, or through the joe app directly.

Learn why more modern coffee shops are choosing joe over generic mobile ordering and point-of-sale technology to streamline workflow, attract new customers, and better retain new customers.

View Testimonials

Similar posts

Let's build coffee
and community together.

Sign up today to get the inside scoop on all things independent coffee. From industry trends to inspiration about how to innovate, find out how others are thriving by leveraging joe's effortless technology.