What You Need to Know About Apple’s Subscription Offer Codes

25 May 2021

Apple’s subscription offer codes are a powerful tool for developers to market their subscriptions and increase the number of subscribers for their apps through a variety of marketing channels.


In this article, we’ll be talking you through everything you need to know about offer codes and how we leveraged them in one of our marketing campaigns.



What Are Offer Codes


Offer codes are alphanumeric codes, similar to what you find on gift cards, that provide free or discounted prices for auto-renewable subscriptions for a specific duration.


They’re ideal for you to entice iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 users to sign up to your subscription, retain existing subscribers, or win back past customers. Such codes can be distributed digitally or physically. The codes are then redeemed by users on compatible operating systems through a one-time code redemption URL or within your app with the appropriate API.



As of now, no two offer codes are the same. However, we hope that in the future of subscription offer codes we will be able to generate a single offer code to be used across the entire campaign.



How Offer Codes Work


In contrast to promo codes (which always give a 100% discount), you set your own rules with offer codes. Want to give away 25% off your £1.79/month subscription for 3 months? Sure. Free access to an annual subscription for a month? Done.


You can generate just up to 150,000 per quarter per subscription. You can also decide when the offer codes expire (maximum 180 days).



How to Create New Offer Codes


A screenshot of App Store Connect, where you can create new offer codes

You can create new offer codes within App Store Connect. When doing so you’ll also need to determine customer eligibility, where it’s for new, existing, or expired subscribers. If you’re creating a code for new subscribers, you’ll also need to decide whether the code is valid in conjunction with any other introductory offers you may be providing, such as a 7 day free trial.


You can provide multiple types of offers to people depending on your app goals. Take into account each type of offer's intended use, customer eligibility, redemption limits, and other criteria in order to determine which offer might be best for a particular use case.


Also in App Store Connect, you can see your active and inactive offers, the number of codes you have available to create, as well as how many of your offer codes have been redeemed.



How to Distribute Offer Codes


You can distribute offer codes in a variety of ways, whether you share code redemption URLs in an email newsletter or hand out printed offer codes at offline events. Like any other marketing campaigns, you must consider which channels might be most effective at reaching your target audience.


Take a look at how our app Noted shares offer codes in an influencer marketing campaign:



When sharing offer codes, remember to note any eligibility or availability limits, as well as the code’s expiration date. If you’re sharing offer codes with existing customers, make sure the offer is for a subscription within the same subscription group. For example, if you’re offering a Bronze and a Premium plan, you must offer them the same level of service as their current plan.






Can iOS 13 users redeem offer codes?


Sadly, only users of iOS 14 and later are eligible to redeem offer codes.






An Offer Users Can’t Refuse


If you’re looking for new ways to reach, acquire, retain, and win more users, you need to start exploring subscription offer codes.


If you have any questions on offer codes or anything App Store-related, feel free to get in touch via hello@digitalworkroom.co.uk or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – and our talented team will help make your app a success.