Voucher codes or links  What to use?

11th December 2017

There are two main types of affiliate marketing programmes, the link based programme and the voucher code.  Whilst they may appear technically similar at the beginning (both payments are triggered by a link from an external website) that is effectively where the similarity ends. So what are the pros and cons of using the two different systems?

Voucher code sites: Pro’s and Con’s

Voucher code sites are set up purely to give discounts.  They act to bring in potential buyers, by offering discounts to as many people as possible.  They are encouraged to do this by the provision by the retailer of a small commission.  This is usually at the 2% level.

On the negative side, consumers need to be incentivised too. This is typically achieved by sitewide discounts of around 5% to 10%.  It is possible of course to offer discounts that only work with a specific collection or sale item.  These discounts are then typically much deeper than the overall discount.

This need to encourage the consumer is the reason for the low fee paid to the affiliate, but typically reflects the low level of work that the affiliate publisher puts into the work

There is much to be said for voucher code sites.  They are a relatively cheap way of buying advertising on sites with high traffic levels.  They also allow you to offer a direct discount to a customer.  This not only builds brand awareness but is also cheaper than relying on a marketplace such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy.

Link affiliates Pro’s and Con’s

An affiliate that simply provides a static link, is not likely to be a very compelling page for the average shopper.  Affiliates that provide links to your store, tend to put in a lot more effort.  At the minimum, you can expect that they have put a screenshot of your products on the site, probably as part of a style feature or a lookbook.

This kind of affiliate is centred around building a relationship and community of readers and other contributors.  They operate in a similar mode to print publishers and magazine writers. They are usually doing far more to earn their 5% then the link affiliates do with their 2% fee.

As this kind of affiliate is not enticing it’s readers to you with a discount, this is all about building a relationship with the reader (or increasingly the viewer).

It is worth keeping an eye on your top performers and see if you are able to offer them exclusive partnerships, early access to new collections and maybe even the odd freebie.  The real cream of these sites might also be ripe for advertising tenancies.

On the negative side, without discounts, things tend to move a little more slowly.  Customers also tend to shop around and may land on a voucher site that hosts your voucher code.  If this is the case make sure that your set up is correct to only reward one of the clicks to your site.


Call the Experts

If you are looking to increase your business through affiliate marketing, then DOM Marketing are the experts you can trust.  As well as setting up and managing your campaigns we are able to help you with deciding on those all-important discounts and price points.