The voucher code has fast become an important strategy for many businesses, helping advertisers to target new customers and ultimately drive increased sales. For many marketers, affiliate marketing is already proving a cost effective way to ensure these vouchers reach consumers when and where they wish to engage. A recent survey of 111 marketing professionals at the ad:tech 2011 show found that almost a third (32%) of respondents see affiliate marketing as more effective at generating direct sales compared to other forms of marketing.
Consumers have become extremely savvy when it comes to shopping online, visiting multiple sites and comparing prices prior to making a purchase. With this increased knowhow, online shoppers are increasingly hungry to find a bargain, often visiting voucher code sites as a first port of call, which offers a tremendous opportunity for brands to engage and acquire new consumers.
One of the key considerations for retailers when using voucher codes for customer acquisition is controlling brand image. We always recommend a planned and targeted approach to avoid being perceived as a discount retailer or to avoid situations such as double dipping on sale prices. The blanket use of voucher codes across multiple channels and affiliates is not the way forward, advertisers must be sure to target customers according to what they want to sell and to whom. This can be done by creating bespoke codes for particular channels, publisher groups or individuals, in order to acquire new customers, as well as driving up their level of spend.
Knowing your affiliates
Another concern regarding the control of voucher codes is ensuring retailers know who is offering their discounts online. The use of a voucher code by an unauthorised party can be easily avoided by ensuring a clear strategy is put in place and working with an affiliate network can help track all appearances of a voucher code. An affiliate network can help the brand to spot erroneous offers early and ensure they are removed as soon as possible. Removing commissions for the unauthorised use of vouchers acts as a deterrent and adds a layer of security for the advertiser by knowing the publishers they are working with.
Adding an incentive
The use of voucher codes can also offer significant business benefit to advertisers by enabling them to use incentives to achieve certain business goals. These can range from increasing the average order value by offering a discount with a minimum level of spend, acquiring new customers with an exclusive rate for new sign-ups or selling old stock through discount codes on specific lines or products.
Content is key
Bloggers can be very brand loyal, as well as influential over their reader base, so they should be treated as an important part of the affiliate mix. A good blog post can have very positive results on leads and sales generation, just as a negative one could be very damaging. As we sometimes hear of bloggers feeling undervalued, it’s important to look at how they can be rewarded to encourage activity. A tailored voucher code offer that they can push out to their specific followers can help increase activity. For publishers, the addition of voucher codes to a site offers the ability to monetise content and mobilise consumers, it can also act as an added incentive to write about and review products.
Being voucher happy
While there are a broad range of considerations facing brands using voucher codes, there are also opportunities to grow customer acquisition and increase the value of customers to the business through the affiliate marketing channel. The most successful brands using voucher codes are also using it to gauge response in different markets and identify opportunities in new areas, to ensure that when full campaigns are planned and put into action, they are able to offer the right deal at the right time to the right customer. Whether an advertiser wishes to acquire new customers, increase their average purchase value or simple boost sales, using voucher codes in the affiliate channel offers a targeted and measurable way to succeed.
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