Since gaining prominence in 2007, the share in sales from voucher sites has grown from 11% to a whopping 25%, collectively making them the most successful type of business model in the affiliate space.
This model is equally the one that comes under the greatest scrutiny, as advertisers become increasingly suspicious of the value voucher sites actually bring to their programmes.
Rather than dismissing a particular affiliate partner type outright, it is more beneficial to consider the strengths and opportunities that each promotional type can offer your affiliate programme. The reality is that voucher codes partners can be extremely valuable, both in terms of transaction volume and the quality of customer they are able to reach.
One common misconception is that using voucher sites will hurt the image of the brand. The concern from advertisers is that discounting appears to devalue their products and as a result will be devalued by customers. However, not featuring at all can have a negative impact on brand awareness and exposure. Customers who shop on voucher sites often aren’t necessarily looking for a specific brand, but rather looking for specific offers. Ultimately in searching for deals they are looking for the highest quality product that best suits their price range, and if your brand ticks those boxes you’re one step closer to a conversion. Even the brands that don’t typically run sales or offer discounts can still utilise voucher sites via content coding; opportunities such as free shipping or a gift with purchase will help ensure that exposure and competition objectives are met.
Another commonly held belief is that voucher sites add little value in the early stages of the path to conversion and merely overwrite cookies from other affiliates that were more incremental in influencing the sale. However, similarly to the above point, voucher sites are actually capable of providing a high volume of new customers that discovered your brand and products whilst researching deals. In a study on the subject of voucher code sales made by Affiliate Window, it was reported that in 65% of transactions where a voucher sites converted a sale, they were the only affiliate involved, highlighting their ability to attract consumers who may not have purchased to begin with. It’s especially important to remember that some of the larger voucher codes sites are bigger than the majority of the advertisers they promote and have in fact become brands in their own right. With millions of members having downloaded apps and signed up to weekly newsletters, these sites are often the first port of call for savvy consumers rather than an assumed afterthought.
If your concern is a lack of voucher code monitoring from the sites themselves, take control in code distribution by offering exclusives rather than generic; implementing single use codes; limiting the visibility of voucher code boxes on site; or by monitoring click-to-sale lag times to determine the degree of value that the affiliate contributed to the sale.
In short, moving past preconceived notions about what affiliate partners do and do not do is the most effective way of getting the most out of your programme. Voucher sites can vastly improve the performance of your marketing efforts and will certainly help to achieve key objectives if an effective strategy is put into place. After all, as long as consumers continue to demand the best deals and retailers need to stay competitive, voucher code sites will justifiably continue to have their place in the affiliate mix.
Ellie Corrigan, Account Manager
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