Since their introduction, voucher code affiliates have been a popular choice within the performance marketing channel and have continued to grow from strength to strength in the promotion of brand offers and discounts.
However, the success of voucher codes has meant that it is extremely important to understand how best to utilise this type of affiliate activity in order to have an optimised affiliate program.
Most people are aware of the pros and cons of working with voucher code affiliates but here is a reminder of some of the main ones:
- They offer great brand exposure and awareness
- They promote strong customer offers
- Voucher codes have become increasingly popular over the last few years with savvy consumers
- They create an urgency which helps convert customers where they may not have previously
- They have been accused of cannibalising other affiliate types
- If not correctly utilised they could result in a negative impact on sales
- They can have a detrimental impact on brand awareness. Some brands are seen as “discount brands” because they constantly offer discounts
There are a number of ways that we work to ensure that we have clear strategies in place to utilise voucher code activity for our clients, and ensure that there isn’t an over-reliance on this affiliate type.
Ideally, we would encourage the introduction of a voucher code planner, which would run alongside the client’s marketing planner for the year. This helps to ensure that any seasonal codes we promote are relevant to the client’s schedule for the year and fall in line with what the client wants to achieve. This can vary from pushing best sellers, to stock that’s difficult to shift, to seasonal products or services, increasing average order value and encouraging sales to hit target for the month – voucher codes can work to achieve any objective.
Having a clear marketing schedule which is aligned with the client’s, means that we can tactically plan promotional activity and discounts with affiliates and secure strong coverage for our clients. A voucher code planner allows us to forecast activity and therefore revenue for the year for our clients and helps us to see where we may need to run additional activity in order to help reach our target.
Exclusive voucher codes tend to help secure stronger on-site coverage with an affiliate, and in turn can give clients the opportunity to appear in front of competitors. Exclusive codes also help to attract customer attention and provide the opportunity to increase conversions. Generic codes also have their benefits; they’re usually cheaper for brands as they don’t have to offer as high a discount. In addition to this they can still receive relatively strong on site coverage as long as the customer offer is still attractive, and it helps to maintain a presence for the brand on site. It is important to note that these should be planned tactically and should vary in order for us to clearly analyse what performs well and to prevent customers from expecting a constant supply of voucher codes. We recommend running exclusive and generic voucher codes throughout the year.
Analysis is crucial when it comes to successfully using voucher codes. Through running analysis after every promotion, it helps us to understand what offer worked well for a client, what their spend was for a specific code, if a code has worked well at a particular time of month, or if a code performed better on a particular affiliate site, etc. The analysis and the findings from these help us to build future recommendations for our clients.
Through building our clients a clear and considered strategy, we look to ensure that there isn’t an over-reliance on voucher code activity. Forward planning and working alongside our clients as closely as possible helps to optimise voucher code activity and in turn works well with our client’s wider marketing plans.