How to Find Promo Codes: 15+ Basic and Advanced Strategies

Everybody loves saving money.

The easiest way to save money when shopping both online and in-store is to use coupon codes that unlock special discounts.

However, finding these promo codes can be challenging if you don’t know where to look.

This article will show you more than 15 ways that you can find promo codes, including different online and offline methods that can help you save a lot of money on your purchases.

  • What are promo codes, and why do you need them?
  • Basic strategies to find promo codes
  • Social media strategies to find promo codes
  • Strategies to find promo codes on store websites
  • Other strategies to find promo codes

What are promo codes, and why do you need them?

Promotional codes — otherwise known as coupon codes, are codes that consist of both letters and numbers that stores give customers to encourage online purchases on their sites. These codes usually offer some sort of discount.

Consumers know the value of promo codes, which is why 88% of people in the U.S. used coupons when shopping in 2020.

Illustration showing the percentage of US shoppers who use coupons

Typically, there are three types of promo codes:

1. Public codes: Anyone can see and use a public code. Consumers just need to search for them.

2. Private codes: These codes are commonly offered to loyal customers as well as first-time shoppers for special shopping opportunities.

3. Restricted codes: These are codes that are targeted to a sole user and can only be used once. These codes are usually sent to a customer as an apology for a Shipment delay or as a thank you for making their 30th or 50th purchase at a specific store.

Find some amazing coupon codes that’ll give you the best deals here.

The great thing about using promo codes is that you get to save a lot of money on your purchases — especially if you continuously shop with them.

Most retail and eCommerce stores offer promo codes on many of their items. Therefore, if you're an avid online shopper, you'll walk away with great deals that can save you hundreds of dollars.

Basic strategies to find promo codes

Here are the top basic strategies you can use to find promo codes.

Perform Google searches

The primary method that people use to find promo codes is through Google searches. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 46% of U.S. online shoppers searched for coupons for household items on the web.

Graph depicting the most searched online coupon categories in the US during the coronavirus pandemic

For example, if you’re looking for an Amazon coupon code, you’ll simply Google “Amazon promo codes.” Google will show you a list of websites that may offer promo codes for Amazon.

Many of the coupon codes that pop up likely won't work. However, you’ll usually find a coupon code that does work by trying each of the websites listed on Google.

The main downside to this method is that it takes time. But, if you’re patient and willing to take the time needed to search, you may walk away with amazing deals.

Browse coupon websites

For the more dedicated coupon searchers, you can use reliable coupon websites to find promo codes for each one of your purchases. These websites usually have a variety of coupon codes from different retailers available.

By bookmarking a few of the most popular coupon websites, they’ll always be a click away whenever you’re in need of a code.

While there are many coupon websites out there, it’s best to stick to trusted brands since they do a far better job filtering out expired coupons and have more coupons available for different stores.

Check out some of the most popular coupons currently available on our site.

Keep in mind that no coupon website is perfect, and the chances are that you’ll find expired coupons on all sites every once in a while. However, you stand a far better chance of finding current coupons with high discount value on these sites.

Add browser extensions and toolbars

Browser extensions offer a lot of convenience for online shoppers.

When 2.14 billion people were expected to purchase products and services online in 2021, many coupon sites created their own coupon browser extensions to make the process as convenient and seamless as possible for shoppers.

Browser extensions are plug-ins that you can install on your browser, such as Safari or Chrome, that’ll find coupon codes for you.

These extensions will pop up while you’re shopping on a specific website (e.g., Amazon) and will automatically find working coupons for you so that you don’t have to waste time searching for them yourself.

image showing where a browser extension is added

(Image Source)

Download the Cently browser extension here.

Social media strategies to find promo codes

Here’s how you can use different social media platforms to find promo codes.

Reddit

Reddit can be an excellent source for coupon codes. Since Reddit is so big and covers several different topics within various industries, everyday consumers often discuss and share promo codes for different stores on this platform.

Much the same as you would search for coupon codes on Google, you can also search for them on Reddit. For example, if you’re looking for a coupon code from Mac Cosmetics, you can search for it on Reddit as follows: “site:reddit.com + mac coupon code.”

Chances are you’ll find someone who’s recently posted a code. For the best results, you need to find the latest posts.

TikTok

TikTok, which has taken the world by storm with over 1 billion monthly active users, is another excellent platform for finding promo codes.

Creators on TikTok often share useful tips for finding some of the best promo codes for specific retail stores and fashion and cosmetic brands.

Furthermore, they also share useful tips and hacks that can help you save money on your purchases by shopping smarter.

Discover 10 TikTok shopping hacks here.

YouTube

YouTubers often get referral codes from brands that they post in their videos and description boxes. Often, these codes can give massive discounts — especially for first-time purchases — with some YouTubers having discount codes of up to 50% off.

The easiest way to find these codes is by searching for the brand name followed by “promo code” in the search bar. YouTube will filter through the results and find videos that contain those promo codes or similar promo codes.

For example:

 image showing an example of searching for a promo code on youtube

Make sure that you look for videos that were posted recently. Otherwise, the promo code may have already expired. However, this isn’t always the case. When you find a promo code that looks like a great deal, it’s always worth a shot to try it, even if it’s old.

Twitter

In certain cases, Twitter can also be used to find promo codes. This is because many brands use Twitter to actively promote special offers and tweet discounts.

Influencers and publishers also tweet coupon or referral codes on their Twitter feeds — especially when they’re sponsored by certain brands.

This is great since you get to save some money while at the same time supporting your favorite celebrities/influencers when you use their discount codes.

To search for coupon codes on Twitter, you can simply go to twitter.com and use the search bar. For example, if you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes, you can type in “Nike promo codes.”

Facebook

Another social media platform that’s great for finding promo codes directly from brands is Facebook. Since many brands use Facebook as their primary social media platform, they usually announce special promotions and discounts to their followers on this platform.

You can find promo codes on Facebook by typing the brand in the search bar, selecting and liking the business’ Facebook page, and looking for the “Get Offer” button each time you scroll through your feed.

example of getting special promotions on facebook

(Image Source)

Pro tip: You can increase the likelihood of finding Offers in your feed when you follow more brands and businesses.

Strategies to find promo codes on store websites

Here are ways you can get promo codes directly from stores.

Sign up for newsletters

Often, businesses like to reward people whenever they sign up to their email lists. These codes are personalized and will usually have a string of numbers and letters after the word “welcome” (e.g., “WELCOME-AC4E709K”).

You’re only able to use this promo code once. However, brands will often attach a great discount value to it.

After you sign up for the email newsletter, you’ll receive a discount code that can be used upon online checkout.

example of a welcome promo code

(Image Source)

Use the store’s coupon page

Many retailers have their own coupon pages on their websites. However, these pages are often hard to find or hidden in certain places on the site.

This is likely because retailers want customers to spend as much time on their sites as possible to increase their bounce rate and conversions.

Coupon pages are often linked in the site’s header or footer at the bottom of the page. The page name could be any of the following:

  • Promotions
  • Special offers
  • Deals
  • Coupons
  • Specials
  • Discounts

Furthermore, sometimes retailers also have promo codes and special offers directly on their Homepage or Product Pages.

Abandon your shopping cart

In March 2021, close to 80% of all online shopping orders were abandoned.

Image showing the percentage of online shopping carts that were abandoned in March 2021

Many times, in an attempt to reel the shoppers back in to finalize their purchase, retailers will send these shoppers special promo codes to get them to proceed with checkout.

Though not all retailers adopt this strategy, it’s still worth a shot.

However, before you try this strategy, remember that the retailer needs your email address if you want them to reach out to you. Therefore, if you want to try the abandon cart tactic, follow these steps:

Step 1 - Go to the retailer’s website, and subscribe to its email or open an account.

Step 2 - Add the items you want to your shopping cart.

Step 3 - After you’ve added all the items you want, proceed to checkout.

Step 4 - Close your browser window to effectively abandon your cart.

Step 5 - Wait a day or two to see if the retailer sends you an email with a promo code.

The ability to get promo codes when abandoning your shopping cart online is one of the many advantages of online shopping vs. in-store shopping.

Discover some interesting online shopping vs. in-store shopping statistics.

Chat with an agent via live chat

If you’ve shopped online before, you’ve likely seen the “live chat” link or popup chat box appear. It usually appears in the bottom right corner of the site and gives you the opportunity to chat with an agent.

Often, when you ask the agent if they have a promo code available, they’ll give you one. As retailers don’t want customers to leave their site without making a purchase, they’re willing to give discount codes (even if it’s just 10% off) to motivate the customer to make a purchase.

At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is for the agent to say “no.”

Join the store’s loyalty program

If you’re a big fan of a specific retailer or brand, it’s a good idea to sign up for its loyalty program, download its apps, and follow its social media accounts.

Not only will this give you all the latest news and promotions related to the brand, but it’ll also increase the chances of the brand sending you special promo codes and giving you a massive discount after your first online purchase with them.

Other strategies to find promo codes

Here are some other strategies you can use to find coupon codes.

Search through newspapers and magazines

This is an old-school yet highly effective way to get promo codes — otherwise known as manufacturer coupons.

The only downside to this method is that while you can generally use manufacturer coupons online, not all retailers allow it.

This is because adding manufacturer coupons to online stores still needs to be implemented by many retailers. However, with its popularity rising, these coupons will be usable on most retailers' online stores in no time.

Regardless, you’re still able to use these coupons in-store and save some money, even if you aren’t able to use them online.

Find one-time discount codes in your email

If you scroll through your emails, you’ll likely find a couple of one-time coupon codes sent to you by numerous retailers.

Retailers usually send these codes out to their customers to encourage them to come back to their shops. Many times, these discount codes make their way into your spam folder.

In 2021, the average percentage of marketing emails that landed in spam folders across different industries was between 10% and 14%.


Graph showing the delivery status of emails in different industries

Therefore, it’d be a good idea for you to head over to your spam folder and see if you can find any one-time codes from your favorite brands.

Apply frequently-used coupon phrases

Many times, retailers use common coupon phrases for their own promo codes.

Generally, there are frequently used coupon phrases for almost any holiday. The trick is to try different popular phrases at your retailer of choice until you find one that works. These phrases often run up to a 30% discount, depending on the code that you use.

For example, the coupon codes “WELCOME,” “WELCOME10,” and “WELCOME15” work on many online stores — especially if you’ve just joined their email lists.

The number at the end of the code usually signifies the percentage discount. For example “WELCOME10” will give a 10% discount, whereas “WELCOME15” will give a 15% discount.

Sometimes retailers will use the holiday name and year as their phrase. Here are examples of popular phrases for certain holidays:

  • Valentines Day: “VALENTINE,” “COUPLE20,” and “VDAY2022”
  • Mother’s Day: “MOM,” “MOTHERSDAY2022,” “MOM2022,” and “ILOVEMOM”
  • Father’s Day: “DAD,” “FATHERSDAY2022,” and “FATHER”
  • Black Friday: “BLACKFRIDAY,” FRENZY30,” “FRIDAY10,” and “FRIDAY15”
  • and more

Have a look at the most popular coupon phrases here.

Get ready to save some money

By following the strategies outlined in this article, you’re guaranteed to find some really great coupons and deals that’ll help you save on your expenses.

Want to save even more money? Here’s a list of 38 ways you can save money if you’re on a tight budget.

about the author

Marc Mezzacca
Marc Mezzacca is CEO of CouponFollow, a consumer savings engine that surfaces popular coupons. He has been in the coupon and deals industry for over a decade with a deep interest in evolving e-commerce technologies.