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Step by Step Guide to Unique Code Distribution Campaigns

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People love the feeling of exclusivity that comes with having access to savings or prizes that others don’t. In some circles, having a coupon code is as good as cash - especially if it’s not given to just anyone. 

ShortStack gives you the ability to distribute unique coupon codes to your customers. Running a unique code contest is an excellent way to not only divvy out a variety of prizes and rewards, but it also provides a way for you to track the effectiveness of your promotions and allows for some especially creative forms of audience engagement.

In this guide, we’ll walk through some of the reasons you might want to run a unique code distribution campaign, as well as how to set up a landing page of your very own that highlights this feature.

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Before You Start

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Consider what goals you are trying to achieve.

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Increase the effectiveness of coupon distribution via a contest or landing page

Providing customers with coupon codes is an easy way to drive in-person and online sales. However, getting the coupon codes in the hands of the right buyers can be difficult. ShortStack makes sending out unique coupon codes painless. You can issue them as part of a landing page contest or sign-up campaign to ensure the folks receiving the codes are already engaging with you, which makes them more likely to use the coupon.

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Send discounts via email

Reward your mailing list subscribers with access to unique coupon codes. Instead of setting up a landing page or contest, engage your current list to prompt repeat sales and increased engagement.

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Create a sense of urgency by limiting the number of codes available

Giving away a seemingly endless number of codes is a commonly-used tactic. However, passing out a limited number of codes can create an air of exclusivity that will increase demand. This can lead to more sharing of and traffic to your contest page, and a greater percentage of codes redeemed.


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STEP 1

Create and Upload Your Code List

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ShortStack streamlines the process of distributing unique codes to your customers. While there are many ways you can distribute unique codes with ShortStack, we’ll walk through how to set up a simple unique code contest using the S2 Giveaway Template. The unique codes you distribute will be sent to participants via an email.

However, before we jump into that, you need to create your list of unique codes:

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Create a spreadsheet for your codes

  1. In your spreadsheet program of choice (e.g Google Sheets, Excel, etc), create a new file.
  2. Manually type in or copy/paste one code per line, until you’ve created a file with all the codes you plan to distribute.
  3. Save your code list as a .csv file.

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Note: The codes you create aren’t restricted to any given syntax. They can be completely unique/random, or they can be specific, like the names of specific prizes. The only restriction is that the codes must be less than 256 characters. Our system issues codes in order, from the top of the list to the bottom of the list.

Also, if you would like to distribute the same code more than once, then make sure to have as many copies of that code added to your list as you would like to give out. For example, if you wanted the code/prize “Tablet” to be distributed 10 times, then you need to include “Tablet” 10 separate times on your list.

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STEP 2

Set Up Your Landing Page/Contest

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Now that you have your code list created and ready to go, you can jump into ShortStack and start building the campaign:

  1. In your ShortStack Dashboard, click the blue Campaign button at the top to start a new campaign.
  2. Click the View S2 Templates button.
  3. The Giveaway template should be one of the templates showing by default. If it isn’t, find the Template Gallery’s search field and type in Giveaway. The correct template should be the first one listed. Hover over the template preview and click the Use This Template button.

    Note: The Giveaway template is being used as an example. You can add the code distribution feature to any ShortStack campaign.
  4. After choosing a template, you’ll be directed to the Campaign Builder. You can customize it to fit your brand. When you have the campaign looking and behaving as you want, you can set up an autoresponder email that will send your custom codes.

    Note: For help with styling your campaign, be sure to watch our How to Use the Style Panel video, available on our YouTube channel.

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Next, configure your email to include your code list

Note: The Giveaway template has an autoresponder attached. For campaigns without an autoresponder, review our Creating Autoresponder Emails documentation.

  1. To begin creating an autoresponder, click on the envelope icon in the top right, then click the pencil icon to the right of the email listed in the dropdown to open the Email Wizard.
  2. In the preview pane that opens up, click on Content Preview.
  3. Now you’re in the Email Editor. You’ll see the autoresponder email that your entrants will receive; the email that disburses your codes. In the top left, click on Connect Prize/Code List.
  4. Click on New Code List.
  5. You can either click Select to open a popup where you can search for and select your .csv file with your codes, or you can simply drag and drop your .csv file into the window to upload it.
  6. You’ll now receive a prompt to name your new uploaded list. Use the field provided to type in a unique name, then click Save & Upload.
  7. Success! You’ll receive a popup letting you know that the list was connected to your email, and that you now have access to a new merge field to use in the content editor. Click the Close button.
  8. In the editor, you can add the Prize Codes merge field to your email. This merge field will add a unique code wherever you place it in the email. To add the merge field, you can either click the Prize Codes button on the left side or type {{entry.prize_codes}} directly into the content pane.
  9. Finish formatting/setting up your email, then click Continue.
  10. Make sure there aren’t any missing steps in the preview pane, then click the toggle on the bottom to the Active position.
  11. Click the Save & Activate button to save all of your changes and activate the autoresponder.
  12. You’ll receive a message letting you know that your email is active; click Close.

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Everything is ready to go and your landing page is ready to Publish

Click the Publish Campaign button to go through the publication process and push your campaign live! Anyone who submits an entry will receive an autoresponder email with a unique code pulled from your list.

Note: For a walkthrough of the publication process, simply check out our Publishing a Campaign help documentation.

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STEP 3

Promote Your Landing Page

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Once you’ve finished building your landing page, you’ll want to distribute it to as many people as you can. Get creative and have fun with it! Here are a few examples of how you can get the word out:

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In-Person

Certain use-cases for unique codes work great for in-person scenarios, like retail locations or pop-up shops where you can provide a code on a receipt, paper coupon or a product label. Use QR codes around the space to make it super easy for people to find their way to your contest.

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Your Website

Leverage your website traffic to drive visitors to your landing page. Try adding a link or splash graphic on your company’s homepage that takes them directly to the contest. If you want to take it a step further, you can embed the contest directly into your website.

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Social Media Channels

Social media marketing to the rescue! Share the link to your contest on all of your social media channels - if someone follows you on social media, it’s very likely they’ll also want to participate in your contest.

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And that’s it! You’ve successfully set up your first unique code contest and hopefully you’re seeing people flock to it in droves. Of course, if you need to edit anything in your contest after you’ve gone live, simply revisit the Campaign Builder, make your changes, and click the handy Publish Changes button.

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Additional Resources

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Create your Unique Code Landing Page today!

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P.S. This landing page was built with with ShortStack!