Use Coupon Code or Promocode Functionality in a Research Study

The coupon or promo code is ubiquitous across most forms of commerce. This article will tell you how you can use existing coupon code or promo code functionality in your own systems or those of a partner in a ProofPIlot research study.  You can use this functionality as a no-tech way to integrate with ProofPilot via a large number online systems that include coupon or promo code functionality.

How do you use Promo codes in a ProofPilot Research Study?

In ProofPilot, a promotion code or coupon code can be an intervention or reward study task.

Rewards are provided as a token of appreciation for participating in a study and collect limited data about how the participant used that code. A reward could be nearly anything of value that would be interesting to the participant. ProofPilot only records that a participant clicks a link to review the offer.

As promo and coupon codes are so common, this functionality opens up a huge number of research opportunities.  An intervention might be free/discounted access to online content, a digital health app, or order of a health or wellness product to be shipped to a person’s home. An intervention or treatment task promotion codes often shares additional data to your ProofPilot study that can be useful in analysis. This data might include purchase history, service usage, or web/app behaviors.

A promo code is a study task like all others in ProofPilot. The task introduction, who & where and activation & expiration rules process works like any other task in ProofPIlot. A researcher may use activation and expiration rules to design their study to activate a promo code code at an appropriate point in the study.

The Participant Promo code Experience

When the task activates, a participant will receive a notification via SMS, e-mail, or push notification depending on their preferences.  The notification and code will also be available in the ProofPilot application. After it is reviewed, it will be stored in a participant’s “Wallet,” available at any time via the ProofPilot app on desktop and mobile.

The notification to the participant when the task activates will look like this, tailored to your particular messaging and brand. Please note, rewards include social media shares to involve others in the study to earn the same reward (it does not share the reward code on social media). Interventional/treatment rewards do not include social media share functionality to maintain scientific validity.

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Promo code considerations: Going low tech or high tech

Once you’ve determined if you will be using promo codes as an intervention or reward, the next step is to determine the tech capacity of the entity processing these rewards.

Is the code going to be redeemed at something like a small coffee shop or farmers market vendor that don’t take credit cards? These organizations are unlikely to have any code processing technology. Follow the low tech options below.  Or is the code going to be used with a digital health app, online website or retailer with technology to process promotions? Follow the high tech option below. Not sure? Ask the person responsible for your accounting. They’ll know.

Setting Up Promo Codes to Redeem at a Low Tech Venue

In this scenario, you will fill the URL field in with a website destination that provides participants with information about hours of operations, location, etc. This could be as simple as a Yelp or FourSquare page.

You will want to choose “One code shared by all participant awardees” and enter that code into the “Enter Code” box.

Make sure that all staff at the location where the code can be redeemed know about the code. Participants will come to them and show their promo code intro pages to redeem the reward manually.

Setting Up Promo Codes to Redeem in a Higher-Tech Venue or Online

In this scenario, your URL should be a page that will most likely get the participant to make any relevant choices, and complete the transaction. To ensure participants do not abuse the promo code, we recommend giving each participant a unique code. Enter those codes into the “Enter code box.”

Setting Up Your Promo code Task in ProofPilot

The Define process of the task helps you set up the promotion codes and deliver them to the participant:

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You may choose to append the code to the URL where a user can redeem the code. In doing so, if your online tool supports it, the code will be automatically applied to the participant’s session. They do not need to enter the code in manually.