The majority of marketing campaigns for the Christmas and New Year trading periods have begun in earnest; voucher codes are everywhere and consumer demand for them has never been higher.

Studies show that promotions influence 28% of consumers to spend more, 27% to buy from retailers they would not normally choose and 25% to make purchases they would other not have made otherwise. It’s clear that when managed effectively, voucher codes create positive sentiment amongst consumers, increase brand loyalty and drive conversion.

However, marketers grow increasingly concerned about the lack of control they exercise over their voucher codes and the impact this is having on their own business and across the industry. 

So, how can marketers increase control over their voucher codes whilst satisfying increasing demand for them, and enjoy all of their positive benefits without experiencing any of the potential repercussions?

Quality over quantity

Offering a voucher code is an easy way to win sales, but by consistently offering X% off or £Y off, you set a customer expectation that the same or better will be offered next time, with obvious consequences for average order values and repeat business levels.

There are better strategies available to win profitable repeat business: 

  • Discounts within a defined timeframe help to create a sense of urgency amongst customers, and will reduce the amount of voucher codes you have to make available across the year. Offering a two-hour flash discount on a quiet Monday morning, for example, could really drive sales during a slow period.
  • Concealing voucher codes through gamification (for example, Domino’s Wild West Wondershot game) allows you to reduce the amount of voucher codes you hand out, present content alongside your voucher codes and increase customer engagement with your brand.
  • Offering discounts depending on a certain level of spend to drive repeat business without affecting average order values.

Control viral spread

Marketers want their campaigns to gain traction across multiple websites and social networks. When that happens, the most important consideration is retaining control of your brand and messaging alongside your voucher code, so that campaigns appear only in the format you want them to appear in, thereby preventing overuse.

This can be achieved through the use of a landing page:

  • Putting voucher codes behind a landing page which can only be accessed by using a password or by giving an email address retains control through the use of a unique destination.
  • Presenting the voucher code within an image which links through to a landing page means you have more control over how the voucher code will be shared across multiple social networks.
  • Creating a voucher landing page hidden on your site which has been optimised for search engines will ensure control is retained by presenting you as the search result ahead of other sites when customers look for vouchers.

Monitor usage

If you do not monitor your campaigns in real time, you will be unable to control the overuse of your voucher codes. However, by regularly monitoring impressions, voucher claims, voucher redemption and other key performance indicators, you will be in a position to measure results and understand the impact they are having on your business.

If you are using monitoring mechanisms then the following strategies can be used to control overuse:

  • Implementing thresholds so that you can pause or discontinue campaigns after a certain level of usage.
  • Limiting the number of vouchers that can be claimed per user.
  • Analysing key performance indicators to understand voucher campaign results and drive decision making.

Technology has a huge role to play in the future of voucher codes. Innovations in digital payment platforms, social shopping, location-based advertising and beacon technology are just some of the ways we can expect vouchers to change over the coming year. 

Now more than ever businesses must be looking to implement digital solutions that will allow them to manage their vouchers more effectively so that they can embrace these changes and enjoy all of the positive benefits that vouchers bring.