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Posted on / by Ed Watson / in Uncategorized

Do Regular Voucher Codes Add Value To Your Affiliate Marketing Programme

There is often a fear or apprehension for brands and retailers when they first consider whether to start offering voucher codes regularly to their audience. This coupled with the fact that affiliate marketing is heavily associated with vouchers and discounts, often means that both – using vouchers and entering the affiliate channel – are the last touch points of an online marketing strategy and means that sometimes they are done grudgingly rather than embraced as a way to keep growing performance.

The most common objectives tend to be the following – 

  • We would have made that sale anyway
  • It cheapens the brand
  • We are giving away unnecessary margin

There can be some truth to those points, but at Fuel Affiliate we have looked at our own programmes as well as read a lot of wider research to give more insight on how voucher codes can be a really beneficial addition to your marketing activity and, perhaps, offer some evidence to counter some preconceptions. 

A prominent US based network shared a report in 2019, so just before Covid skewed things even further, reviewing a six month period of voucher code usage across their network of clients. Two key takeaways from this report were – 

  • AOV is 14% higher when a voucher is used
  • 69% of sales from voucher sites involve a voucher being used

Interestingly here, despite a discount being on offer the overall spend by customers was 14% higher than from their other affiliate partners. Even more interesting, from our point of view, is that 31% of the voucher code site traffic converted full priced sales. A code was not used, even though customers came to the retailer website via a voucher code affiliate, in nearly a third of the transactions recorded.

The data also showed that of the customers who used a voucher in their first transaction, 26% more went on to make two more purchases and 33% made four more purchases than customers who didn’t use a voucher. 

The long term value of these customers, who felt rewarded by the brand having a saving available on their first order, really shines through in those figures and the brands got the benefit of customer loyalty by giving that incentive for the first order.

Another thing to consider is that offering voucher codes to potential customers is a tried and trusted model that has been in practice for over a century via print media. This practice is one that brands have used to grow their customer base and build brand loyalty through a targeted audience, doing this in the digital space can simply accelerate this process and increase the visibility an offer can get, as well as being well controlled with end dates, spend thresholds and other terms to allow the brand to retain control.

These were stats presented in a Pre-Covid world. 

At that time, internet sales were tracking at around 19% percent of total retail sales. The Office For National Statistics now tells us that internet sales account for 36% of total retail sales. So these numbers have only grown, and the competition has only increased to make your brand stand out.

Our own statistics have shed some really interesting light on user behaviour where voucher codes are used.

One client is seeing that 45% of sales where a voucher code is used on their affiliate programme actually occur on a customers 3rd visit to the website or later, indicating that the voucher code and affiliates are an important part of the customers decision making……as opposed to a customer only leaving the website to find a code and come back to convert. 

Another has seen their affiliate performance in February outperform their November performance – despite the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness – by clever use of voucher codes with selected partners. In this instance the average orders stayed the same, despite a voucher saving being available, but traffic and number of sales saw 40% increases.

All of this points towards voucher codes being a valuable tool to have in your armoury, one that can add incremental value when utilised properly and bring new and loyal customers to your website.

To discuss how we can implement a voucher code plan that looks to add incremental sales to your programme, please contact us today.

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